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How to Make Your Own Smelling Salts

What are smelling salts?

Yes, they are just what you think they are - little glass jars or pretty potpourri bags filled with aromatic salts that you can leave in your purse or pocket and take out and sniff whenever you need a boost.

The actual ingredient in true smelling salts in ammonium carbonate. And, although we may associate them with ladies who suffered from fainting spells (I think the main time period for that was in the 1800's) they've been around since early Roman times.

Today, professional athletes still use them, particular boxers who often need to be revived after experiencing a knockout.

Make Your Own Smelling Salts


Homemade Aromatic Smelling Salts Recipe

Even though real smelling salts are made from that ammonia carbonate stuff, I personally like to make my own using essential oils and salt.

To be honest, I hate the smell of ammonia in all its forms. It reminds me of scooping the cat litter, and of cleaning with things that are so strong they burn my lungs. In fact, I know a woman who is having health problems from inhaling too much ammonia.

Not to scare you, but it grosses me out.

Essential oils, on the other hand, are quite pleasant. I love smelling salts made from both energizing (rosemary, peppermint, lavender) and stress relieving (just lavender) blends. You can also make a big batch and reserve some of the salts to use as a bath salt.


The Method


1/4 cup epsom or dead sea salts

3 drops of your favorite essential oil, or any combination of essential oils

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Put salts in a small mixing bowl. Add essential oil and mix. Pour into a small glass jar or potpourri bag.

Essential Oils:

You can try three drops of any one of these essential oils. Or, try mixing them, but still make sure to stick with the three drops for every 1/4 cup.

  • Lavender - relaxing, calming
  • Rosemary - energizing
  • Peppermint - energizing
  • Chamomile - relaxing, calming
  • Rose - relaxing, calming
  • Vanilla - relaxing, calming

I Thought Smelling Salts Were Only For Fainting

I always had this idea that smelling salts were primarily used to revive swooning women. I have this fantasy of fainting and being revived by my "womanly spell" with the smelling salts of my own creation. Of course, when I had this fantasy, I was a good twenty years younger than I am now. Now, the last thing I want to do is faint because I know it could signify a bigger health problem. But you know what? Part of me is hold out hope. I have my smelling salts on hand just in case.

What do you think?

Katherine Olga Tsoukalas (author) from New Hampshire on December 11, 2012:

Yes, it is! If I forgot to say so in the hub I'll go back and change it - but I also like to put a tablespoon of olive oil or almond oil in mine.

Deya Writes on November 16, 2012:

This is actually so simple! I have a bunch of epsom salt and this really nice Pine scented essential oil. If I remember this next time I take a bath I will definitely do it! Great hub, voted up!

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