Essential oils and other naturally based fragrances are the best option for scenting a rice bag. Using synthetic fragrances such as perfume, perfume oils or other manmade scents will often result in a harsher aroma that can change in smell when heated. Flowers, herbs and natural essential oils will generally smell more pleasing when heated in the microwave.
Teas are a frequent addition to rice bags, and are used as a natural fragrance that increases when heated up in the rice bag. Any type of scented tea will work for a rice bag, so choosing your favorite tea is a good way to go. Specific teas that work well for a rice bag are chamomile, mint, vanilla, caramel, chai or a fruit-flavored tea.
Aromatherapy Essential Oils
There are many aromatherapy essential oils on the market that are designed specifically for inhalation. Add these oils to the rice as you are making your rice bag, and you can add additional drops of essential oil to the fabric as the scent wanes. Stress-relief scents include chamomile, lavender, lemon, orange and vanilla. Fatigue-relieving scents include basil, sage, ginger, grapefruit, jasmine and peppermint.
Flowers and Herbs
Lavender is an excellent choice for a rice bag because the fragrance retains potency well over time. However, many flowers and herbs are sold for use in producing fragrance in the home. Dried flowers usually require a fixative to maintain their fragrance, but many companies sell dried flowers with the fixative already added. The benefits of using dried flowers and herbs is that the fragrance increases when heated. Fragrant flowers and herbs used for rice bags include rosemary, lavender, chamomile, spearmint, dried vanilla beans, rose petals, cloves, ginger and cinnamon sticks.
Mixing fragrances to produce your own homemade scents for your rice bag might take time to perfect, but can be enjoyable and informative. One benefit of taking time to combine essential oil fragrances is that they can also be worn as perfume. A few fragrance oil combinations to get you started are mixing lavender with lemongrass or mint. Try mixing ginger with rosemary or mint. Make a floral bouquet rice bag by mixing dried rosebuds with lavender and dried orange peels.