There are many benefits to aromatherapy. Essential oils, or plant extracts, have unique medicinal properties. When inhaled, essential oils help with psychological as well as physiological healing.
This is an often-debated list and changes with what is current, but these 10 scents are the go-to for beginning in aromatherapy.
It is easy to start with these individually, and then, as you find what you like, try blending them with each other to create your own personal scent.
Make one to relax, one to refresh, one to focus. Any feeling you wish to evoke that works for you.
Don’t be shy! You can do it!
Vetiver – Little known but widely used, this grass is native to India and has a leathery, woodsy, masculine aroma. The essential oil is made from the dried root of the grass Vetiver is soothing and grounding. It is known to increase brain function and alertness, helping you feel more awake and able to focus. Also helps with inhalation and exhalation during sleep, so it may help with snoring!
Jasmine – Originally from the area that is now Iran, this plant can be found in most tropical environments. It is a very romantic scent, known for its aphrodisiac benefits as well as being an antidepressant. Just smelling it while walking down a street can be very soothing, bringing back scents reminiscent of our childhoods and happy days.
Patchouli – Woodsy, spicy and sweet all at the same time, that’s patchouli. Many of us remember it as something from the hippie era, or in dried flowers, leaves and twigs on our grandmother’s side table. We’ve grown up thinking it was a blend, well, it’s not. It is from tropical Asia and the oil is derived from the leaves of the plant. It has a very wide variety of uses, but for aromatherapy it is used for relaxation, lifting mood, relieving headaches, and repelling bugs.
Rose Geranium – A native of Africa, it is the leaves of this plant that give it its name, it is the leaves themselves that smell like rose. Couple that with the pink geranium flowers and you have a recognizable plant. It is vastly used in perfumes. The scent is known to enhance relaxation, give pain relief, and soothe anxiety.
Ylang Ylang – Oh boy! Ylang Ylang is a very well known scent in fragrances. Although many do not know what it is, they recognize the scent. It is floral, fruity, aromatic and heady. It is from the tropical flower of the Cananga tree from the areas surrounding the Indian Ocean, India, Philippines, Indonesia. It is found in research to lower anxiety, reduce depression, decrease heart rate and elevate moods.
Eucalyptus – Original to Australia, it is now grown all over the world due to its popularity for medicinal purposes. It is a strong, menthol scent that clears breathing and awakens the senses. It is great in a blend or to use in the shower to open sinuses in the morning or after a workout.
Peppermint – An enlivening scent! Just a sniff can awaken our senses and open our sinuses. There’s a reason why peppermint is added to so many cocktails. It is a fun uplifting scent. It is easy to grow and will grow almost anywhere. Grow your own pot of it and cut a sprig to put in tea, a mojito or just simmer for a cleansing aroma.
Bergamot – One of my favorites! This is a bright citrus scent with a complexity to it. Add floral, herbal and woodsy notes to a mix of lemon and lime and you may get close to explain bergamot. Known for its ability to reduce stress and lift spirits when used for aromatherapy. It is originally from Italy, but is now grown in other areas where citrus is due to its popularity. There are many other uses for it other than for scent alone.
Chamomile – Another of the best known essential oils, for reducing stress, relaxing and promoting sleep. There are Roman and German varietals and each has positive effects in different areas. There have also been studies about how chamomile may help with depression.
Lavender – So well known for being the relaxing scent for everyone and their pets, it makes every Top 10 List for Aromatherapy. Even if you aren’t into aromatherapy, you can remember being introduced to lavender drawer liner paper and sachets or linen sprays. Originally the best was from France, but now superb fields can be found around the world.
Still not sure? We offer blends that include these scents from our Top 10 List. Take our quiz here to find the one that's right for you.