My childhood was spent in the Southwest where triple-digit temperatures were standard summer fare. We lived miles away from the nearest public pool and nowhere near a wading stream. So I kept cool by running through the lawn sprinklers.
Mom was happy to let me pull on my bathing suit and haul out the hose. After setting up the sprinkler, I dashed in and out of the spray, squealing as the cold well water drenched my hot skin. Then when I was thoroughly wet, I’d lay on the grass with a towel, pretending I was at the beach.
Today I’m too dignified to be caught running through the sprinklers. At least not when the neighbors are looking. But I still long for a cool spray when I’m out tending the garden. Well, if the sprinklers are out of the picture, what about something more discrete?
Any household pump spray bottle can become an aromatic spritzer to keep you cool. Avoid using any bottle that has had pesticides or harsh cleaning agents. Better yet, buy one in a cool blue or green for your spritzer.
You can make scented water from the herbs and flowers in your garden for your spritzer. For centuries, the well-equipped home had a still room where ladies created their own fragrant waters. Since you probably don’t have a fully equipped still room, try using this simple technique to make lavender water.
Lavender Water Directions
- Cut enough lavender leaves and flowers to fill a two-gallon household bucket.
- Rinse to remove debris and insects.
- Pack the bucket with lavender and cover with hot water.
- Take a small plate and push down, weighing it with a brick if necessary. Allow to sit in the summer sun.
- The following day, remove the herbs or flowers and strain the liquid through a coffee filter.
If you want to make fragrant water during cooler seasons, use your stove instead of the sun. Place the herbs in a large pot and cover with water. Slowly bring the water almost to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to steep until the following day. Strain the liquid and use.
If you don’t have enough lavender or other aromatic herbs, you can still make your own spritzer. To four ounces of filtered water, add 10-14 drops of essential oil. You can buy them in craft shops or anywhere aromatherapy or home fragrance products are sold.
When making your spritzer water, use any combination of fragrances for the scented oil.
Here’s a few popular scents.
Chamomile – soothing, combines well with others
Eucalyptus – sharp, head-clearing, stimulating
Lavender – refreshing, clean, relaxing
Mint – cooling, stimulating
Rose – relaxing, sensual
Sandalwood – warming, uplifting*
Rosemary – pungent and outdoorsy
Jasmine – pleasant and seductive
When first using an herbal spritzer, exercise caution if you have sensitive skin. Try spraying it on your arm before using it on your face and neck. Always avoid eye contact.
Whether you use purchased essential oils or fragrant water made from your garden herbs, the results will be the same – a refreshing spritzer. Next time you see children running through sprinklers in your neighborhood, find a seat in the shade. With an iced drink and your spritzer bottle, you’ll be as cool as they are – without losing your dignity!