Using essential oils for aromatherapy brings benefits that heal the body and mind. They promote overall wellness and provide relief from stress, fatigue, and anxiety. Essential oils with soothing scents improve your focus and lift up your spirits. Oils used for aromatherapy energize the body and help alleviate symptoms of depression as well. Learn about aromatic oils and their various benefits from this guide to essential oils. Find out some useful tips in using aromatherapy oils.
What is Aromatherapy Oil
Aromatherapy oils are extracted from parts of a plant or a tree. The oils extracted keep the fragrance and the nourishing properties of the ingredient. They are common ingredients in perfumes and personal care products, which give them scents.
Essential oils are not the only materials used for aromatherapy. Dried plants, herbs, flowers, and other materials that have aroma are great for aromatherapy as well. However, there are advantages to using essential oils. You can use aromatherapy oils in various ways. They work well for a massage, direct inhalation, or in diffusers. Aromatherapy oils are versatile and bring a lot of benefits.
Most aromatherapy oils are safe to apply to skin and hair directly. Skin oils work as massage oils that can alleviate pain and tension in muscles and joints.
Essential Oils for Aromatherapy
With aromatherapy oil, you can heal the body and mind. It lifts up your mood and eases your body into relaxation. It also helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Aromatherapy oils have many benefits that can improve your mental and physical health.
Essential oils are safe and effective. There is a wide range of aromatherapy oils to choose from. You can pick from light scents of deep fragrances depending on their uses. The oils are very handy and you can carry them anywhere. If you need an instant pick-me-up, aromatherapy oils are perfect for you.
There are many types of scents of aromatherapy oils. These aromas have different effects for the users. The various scents are perfect for creating a blend of aromatherapy oils, which has a complex fragrance.
Where to Use Aromatherapy Oils
Whether it is to help improve your sleep or to regain focus, there are aromatherapy oils for your needs. Here are the common uses for aromatherapy oils and their benefits:
Relaxation – Aromatherapy oils bring peace and help ease tension. For instant relief, apply a small amount of aromatherapy oil to the temples. Aromatherapy oils soothe children as well. To prevent tantrum or to calm a restless child, use a few drops of lavender or chamomile oil on their stuff toys. Diffusing aromatherapy oils helps too.
Therapy – Enjoy a peaceful and relieving massage with aromatherapy oil. Aside from the fragrance of the oil, you can get benefits from its moisturizing properties for the skin. There are oils that ease the ache in muscles and joints. Aromatic oils are perfect for meditation and yoga. Gentle scents help you focus and drive away unwanted thoughts. Experts use essential oils in therapy to make patients feel calm.
Improve Sleep – Get a good night’s sleep with relaxing oils like lavender and chamomile. Woodsy and mild scents are well known for their relaxing effects. Diffuse these oils before going to bed or apply to the soles of your feet. You can also put oils on linens and pillows to help you sleep better.
Deodorizer – Aromatherapy oil gets rid of the undesirable smell. It is the perfect air freshener for home. It purifies the air to keep the air clean and fresh. Use it in every room of the house including the bathroom and kitchen. This helps reduce asthma attacks or allergic reactions. It keeps your shoes and linens smelling fresh as well. Tea tree oil and other oils with citrusy scents such as lemon oil and bergamot oil are perfect for this use.
Relieve Nausea – Aromatherapy oils relieve nausea and ease headaches as well. Oils with fresh, minty, and gentle aromas are best used to alleviate nausea. Inhale them directly or apply on the side of the neck. Milder fragrances are suitable for pregnant women and children.
Reduce Fatigue – Use essential oils for an instant pick-me-up. Smelling fragrant oils can awaken the senses and reduce sleepiness. They improve your focus and make you feel more alert.
Other Uses – Essential oils are good for your cough and colds. Try diffusing peppermint and eucalyptus as a remedy for symptoms of a cold. You can rub them in your chest as well, but make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil first. There are certain blends of essential oils effective in repelling bugs or insects. Another use of aromatherapy oil is to use it to control cravings and to ease hangovers. In organic body care, essential oils are commonly used for massage and to add extra nourishment to products. Find out more uses of aromatherapy oils in organic body care.
Choosing Aromatherapy Oils
When choosing aromatherapy oils, you should know which type of scent works best. The various types of essential oil scents fall into different categories. Knowing these categories will help you choose which oil to use or blend together.
Aromatherapy notes are important in making blends of scents. The note of the oils depends on the rate at which they evaporate. This can decide which scent you will first smell and which scent will linger up for days. Learn about the various notes that make up an essential oils blend.
Top Note – Top notes are very volatile and light, which makes them evaporate fast. Oils used as top notes often have sweet and refreshing scents. These oils often have anti-viral properties that purify the air as well. Top notes are the first scent in every aromatherapy blend. They have sharp and refreshing aromas. The scent only last for up to two hours. The best scents for top notes are floral, minty, and citrusy scents.
Middle Note – Middle note is the body or the “heart” of the aromatherapy blend. It has a well-rounded scent that masks the unappealing first impression of the base note. The full-bodied fragrance of the middle note helps bind the other essential oils. The scent usually lasts up to four hours. Middle notes should have a mellow scent. Most essential oils used as a middle note have mellow scents such as floral, spicy, and herbaceous aromas.
Base Note – Deep, rich, and earthy scents are the best base notes. These are often the thickest oils and take a long time to evaporate. The fragrance of the base notes can last up to a day. Base notes are great for relaxation and often has earthy, woody, or resinous scents.
Types of Essential Oil Scents
Here are the various types of essential oils scents and their common uses:
Citrus – Citrus scents have a clean and sharp smell that is described as refreshing. Citrusy essential oils often have sour and tangy undertones. They smell sweet, making them perfect as a top note. The fresh and crisp fragrance of citrus scents is good for energizing yourself or awakening the senses. Common aromatherapy oils that have citrus aromas include lemon, orange, lime, bergamot, grapefruit.
Floral – The scents of aromatherapy oils from flowers can vary. However, most floral aromatic oils smell dry, sweet, and soft. They can be used as a top note and middle note. Floral aromatherapy oils are best used for relaxation and sleep. Most common floral essential oils include lavender, jasmine, and chamomile.
Camphorous – Camphorous scents have strong scents that are close to medicinal. The scent is described as astringent or acrid. They may smell musky, minty, or herbaceous. They have a rounded fragrance that is richer compared to the freshness of mint essential oils. Examples of camphorous essential oils are eucalyptus and tea tree oils. They work best as middle and base notes.
Minty – Minty aromatherapy oils have a camphorous scent but are more refreshing. They may vary in the deep undertones of musty, fresh, or earthy but they will always have a cooling or refreshing smell that is very clean. Some minty aromas can be strong enough to make you feel awake and energized. Use oils that have minty scents for coughs, colds, and to energize the body or use as a deodorizer to drive away bad odor. Peppermint and spearmint are great examples of minty essential oils. They blend well with earthy, woodsy, and citrusy scents.
Earthy – The musty smell of earthy fragrances are often associated with nature. Essential oils that have earthy scents may smell like freshly-upturned earth. They may also have traces of warm and spicy aromas. Earthy scents can vary from sharp and mellow scents or a deep and musky fragrance that is best used as a middle or base note. Oakmoss and angelica root essential oils have earthy scents just like vetiver.
Spicy – The spicy aroma of essential oils is warm and pungent. They often have musky or woodsy scents as well. A spicy scent can make you feel calm and relaxed. The rich fragrance of spicy essential oils is great as middle and base notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg are examples of essential oils with a spicy scent.
Woody – The deep aroma of woody essential oils are earthy and woody. The woody fragrance is rich and works best as middle and base notes. It may smell musky but it has relaxing effects on the body and mind. Some woody scents of essential oils are spicy and sweet-smelling as well. Sandalwood and vetiver are the best examples of essential oils with a woody aroma. They may be used as a base or middle note.
Herbaceous – Herbaceous scents of essential oils may vary as well. Most of them have an earthy, grassy, or woodsy smell. Aromatherapy oils that have herbaceous scents are often pungent. They are usually used as middle notes in blends of essential oils. Thyme, rosemary, and marjoram are some of the common herbaceous oils.
Oriental – Oriental aroma have traces of woodsy and medicinal scents. It is well rounded and has a musky scent. It is very relaxing and warm to the senses. Some floral and spicy essential oils have an oriental smell as well. You can use them as base notes in essential oil blends. Oils that have an oriental aroma include patchouli and myrrh.
Resinous – Resinous oils have a heavy and musty scent. They may also smell smoky, or burnt. The deep aroma of these oils is very earthy and often associated with nature. This is why they are effective in helping the body and mind relax. An essential oil with resinous scent can have a sweet smell as well. Frankincense and benzoin essential oils are examples of oils with resinous scent. Use them as base or middle notes in aromatherapy oil blends.
Aromatherapy oils with soothing scents such as floral and oriental promote better sleep. Find out which essential oils you can use best to sleep better and faster.
Blend of Aromatherapy Oils
The versatility of aromatherapy oils makes them perfect for creating blends. You can personalize aromatherapy blends and make your own. The mixture of various oils with different scents builds a complex blend that you can diffuse or apply as needed. These blends have positive effects on the body and mind. Here are the blending ratios for essential oils:
Essential Oils Blend Ratio
The 30-50-20 ratio helps balance the scents together while bringing out the distinct characteristics of each scent. This blend uses 30% of the top note, 50% of the base note, and 20% of the base note. This works best for blends that use only three oils.
Another ratio to try out is the perfect balance. In this blend, you add the same amounts of essential oils. Most aromatherapy oils that have the same type of scent complement each other. However, there are types of scent that do not go well when mixed.
Homemade recipes are the best choice if you have preferences when it comes to the scents and quantity of the oil. You can check pre-made blends by experts and see how the oils smell.
To mix the perfect blend of essential oils, you will need these tools:
Choice of Essential Oils – Pick the best essential oils and make sure to include a top note, middle note, or base note. You may need to use a carrier oil for oils that are too thick. Choose carrier oils that have light or very mild scents.
Paper Strips – When choosing which oil to pick, you can use paper strips to test the fragrance. Cut rectangular strips of paper and use one drop of oil on one end. Wave in a circular motion to spread the scent. Take note of the distance that the scent can cover.
Glass Bottles – You need a glass bottle to mix the oils in and another bottle for storage. Make sure to use glass to prevent any chemical reactions that can alter the scent of the oils.
Dropper – Prevent mess in the counter by using a dropper to transfer oils. Use different droppers for each oil.
Notepad – The first try is not always the best. There is always room for improvement in your blend. Take note of the things you want to change.
Creating Essential Oils Blend
Create blends of essential oils at home. There are no restrictions as to how many drops of essential oils to use. You can blend various oils as long as you create an appealing aroma. Here are some tips for blending essential oils:
- Choose pure essential oils that do not contain fillers such as chemicals or water. They dilute the scent of the oils and weaken its strength. Pure essential oils are safer to use as well. See more benefits of using pure oils for aromatherapy below.
- Top notes should have refreshing and crisp scents since they are the initial impression of the whole blend. Citrus, minty, and floral essential oils are the best choices for top notes.
- Make sure to go easy on spicy and oriental oils since they have warm scents. Floral and citrusy oils suit the warm aroma of spicy and oriental oils.
- The depth and richness of the scents make a difference in how they affect you. Deep and heavy scents are more relaxing for the mind while sharp aromas reduce feelings of sleepiness or fatigue.
- When creating blends of essential oils, take note of the distance that the scents can reach. The strength of the aroma can indicate its quality and quantity. Pure oils tend to have stronger scents compared to diluted oils.
- Smell coffee grounds in between testing aromatherapy oils. They serve as a palate cleanser for the nose and neutralizes the odor. This way, you can smell the distinct characteristics of the oils you are testing.
- Do not apply aromatherapy oils to the skin for testing. Some aromatherapy oils can be too potent for the skin and may cause irritation. Another reason is that applying oils to the skin can change their scents. Instead, put a drop of aromatherapy oil on a strip of paper and wave it in circles in front of you.
- Store the blend of essential oils in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. Wait at least a day before using the blends. Letting it sit overnight helps combine the oils well.
- Test the blend you created and take note of things that you want to change.
How to Use Aromatherapy Oils
Get the benefits of the aromatherapy oils by using them correctly. There is a right way of using aromatherapy oils depending on what you need them for. Here are the common ways to use aromatherapy oils:
A diffuser is an instrument used to evaporate essential oils. By evaporating the aromatic oils, it spreads the scent into the air. It is also known as aroma lamp. Using a diffuser helps freshen the home and mask bad odors. It is the recommended method for better sleep.
Here are the four different types of diffusers:
Heat Diffuser – This lamp is made of ceramic material and does not need to be plugged in. The structure is designed to house a candle under a basin-like dent on top. The oil is placed in the basin and the candle is lighted. The heat may change the composition of the oils but it does not alter the scents. A heat diffuser is cheap and easy to use as well.
Nebulizer – Unlike other diffusers, this device does not use water. Since the oil is not diluted, it has a strong scent that spreads farther and lasts longer compared to using other diffusers. It tends to make more noise than other devices as well.
Ultrasonic Diffuser – This device uses water to mix with essential oils. The scent is lighter and mellower compared to the fragrance produced by a nebulizer. It works as a humidifier at the same time, making it the perfect device to use during winter.
Evaporative Diffuser – An evaporative diffuser uses a filter or a pad. Essential oils are dropped into the pads. You can use a fan or a device to blow on the pad and circulate the fragrance around the room. Another way of using an evaporative diffuser is to store them in handy things such as oil inhalers, pendants, or pens.
Using a diffuser is the best way to get the benefits of aromatherapy oils. Check out this page to learn how to use a diffuser.
Inhaling essential oils have instant benefits. You can do this when you need immediate results. For example, you can smell essential oils when you need to feel more awake or ease nausea. There are two ways to use it as well:
Steam Inhalation – Steam inhalation is done when you suffer from certain conditions such as cold or cough. The combination of the steam and the essential oil helps alleviate the symptoms. Here is how to do this:
Step 1: Boil water and transfer to another bowl. Put a few drops of floral, minty, herbaceous, or camphorous oil in the bowl.
Step 2: Place your head above the steaming bowl, just far enough to avoid being burned. Place a towel on top of your head.
Step 3: Do this for 5-10 minutes or until the water has slightly cooled down.
Direct Inhalation – Directly inhaling the scents of essential oils help bring instant effects. You can bring an inhaler with you or a small bottle of essential oil. Another way to do it is to use a few drops of essential oils on your handkerchief. Do this on pillows and linens as well to help you sleep better.
Topical application is another way to use aromatherapy oils. They work well for massage. There are oils that have soothing effects on the muscles and joints. They also moisturize the skin well. The appealing scents enhance the experience, making the body more relaxed.
For headaches or for better sleep, apply aromatherapy oils on pulse points on the wrist or on the neck. Rubbing it on the temples and the chest help as well. It is also recommended to apply essential oils on the soles of the feet before sleeping. Make sure to dilute aromatherapy oils before applying to skin to avoid irritation.
Top 5 Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Essential oils used for aromatherapy have soothing scents that can heal the body and mind. The fragrance of the oils is important in choosing which oil to use. The best oils have a rounded fragrance and many therapeutic effects. Here are the top five aromatherapy oils and their benefits:
Rose Essential Oil
Rose oil is one of the most expensive essential oils on the market. It takes at least 60 roses to produce one drop of rose oil. The soothing fragrance of rose oil brings peace. Using rose oil helps with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Aromatherapy using rose oil promotes positive thoughts. Women use rose oil for cramps and menstruation as well.
For aromatherapy blends, rose oil mixes well with floral, woody, and citrus scents. Here are two recipes to try out:
Rose Oil Blend for Anxiety
- 2 drops Rose Essential Oil
- 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 drops Vetiver Essential Oil
- 4 drops Mandarin Essential Oil
Rose Oil Relaxing Blend
- 1 drop Rose Essential Oil
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- 7 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
- 10 drops Lime Essential Oil
Lavender Essential Oil
The mild fragrance of lavender oil makes it perfect for a relaxing night. It contains a substance called ester. It soothes and calms people. Lavender oil has antiviral properties as well. Use this oil to freshen up your home or diffuse for a relaxing atmosphere. The oil is also effective in making you fall asleep faster. Try these two recipes of lavender oil blends:
Calming Lavender Oil Blend
- 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 7 drops Roman Chamomile Oil
- 1 fl. oz of carrier oil, preferably, sunflower or sweet almond
Lavender Oil Stress Relief Blend
- 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 2 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 6 drops Sage or Nutmeg Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
The minty aroma of peppermint essential oil gives you a refreshing feeling. Peppermint oil lifts the spirit and improves your mood. Peppermint is very soothing for aching muscles and joints. The cooling effects of the oil reduce the tension in the muscles and help the body relax. The scent of peppermint relieves fatigue and stress.
Air Freshener Recipe
- 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 8 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
- 2 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 20 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
Energizing Peppermint Oil Blend
- 2 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
- 1 drop Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil has a deep and rich fragrance that is very relaxing for the mind. It helps improve the mental and emotional balance of a person. Frankincense oil prevents stress and calms a person. Diffuse frankincense oil to ease tension, fatigue, and nervousness. People who use frankincense in meditation or therapy focus better.
Frankincense Oil Blend to Reduce Anxiety
- 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 4 drops Sage Essential Oil
Stress-Relieving Frankincense Oil Blend
- 2 drops Frankincense Essential Oil
- 2 drops Geranium Essential Oil
- 3 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary oil smells herbaceous with traces of camphorous scent. The scent improves your memory and ability to focus. The fragrance of rosemary oil keeps you from getting distracted or drowsy. It stimulates the mind to keep it alert and focused. Rosemary oil is perfect for massage due to its soothing effects. You can also use it to treat symptoms of cold or cough.
Soothing Rosemary Essential Oil Blend
- 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 drop Spearmint Essential Oil
- 1 drop Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Uplifting Blend of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 4 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 6 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
Aromatherapy oils have a lot of uses and benefits. Their scents have various effects for each user. Make sure to choose high-quality pure oils that treat you to their therapeutic effects. Find a balance in your emotional and mental health using the best aromatherapy oils. Check out this collection to find out the benefits of using high-quality natural essential oils.