30 Fantastic Oil Fragrances

You may have you own favourite scents - if so then start your essential oils using four or five of the fragrances that make you feel good. If you don't know where to begin here is a list of essential oils that are tried and true - they will bring your olfactory nerve alive.

Using fragrant oils is a wonderful way to promote health and a feeling of wellbeing.

Basil - sweet basil is used to clear the mind and strengthen the nerves. It is effective for relieving mental fatigue and the inability to concentrate. It has a refreshing and uplifting aroma and a stimulating effect on the skin. Basil oil is also used for headache, nausea and head colds.

Avoid the use of this oil during pregnancy.

Bay - has a pungent aroma and is mostly used as a liniment for sore muscles and sprains. The smell of bay helps to relieve headaches and is useful for stimulating the immune response to help clear a cold or flu. This is an oil that creates warmth in the body so it increases circulation and helps unclog the sinuses.

Benzoin - has a scent that is similar to vanilla. It is:

  • often used as a fixative to increase the longevity of the oil and it combines well with sandalwood and rose.
  • used as an inhalant for asthma, colds, coughs and bronchitis.
  • beneficial for skin conditions, such as rashes, itching, dermatitis and cracked or dry skin.
  • useful in lifting depression, relieves anxiety and picks up your energy when you feel tired or run down.

Bergamot - you may be familiar with the bergamot oil as the substance that is used to flavour Earl Grey tea. Bergamot oil increases the photosensitivity of the skin - so avoid exposure to the sunlight for 4-5 hours after using on the skin. As an inhalant it is:

  • used for depression, nervous tension and emotional imbalance.
  • in sitz (or hip) baths where it is used to relieve vaginal itching and urinary tract infections. To make a sitz bath fill the tub far enough so that the water just covers the abdominal area.
  • diluted with a fixed oil for the effective treatment of acne, shingles, eczema and psoriasis.

Camphor - has a eucalyptus like scent and is cooling on the body, reducing inflammation. Natural camphor is the main ingredient in rosemary essential oil. It is recommended that you use rosemary oil which is safer than pure camphor. The pure camphor is:

  • an ingredient in many pain relieving ointments for arthritis and sore muscles.
  • used to relieve congestion and difficulty breathing in coughs, colds or flu and is the main ingredient in Vicks Vapo Rub.
  • tonifying to the heart and nervous system in small amounts.

Cardamon - has a musty fragrant scent that acts as an aphrodisiac and is stimulating to the senses.

Cedarwood - has a clean woody scent. The oil contains astringent and antiseptic properties and is beneficial for many skin problems including acne, dandruff, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and insect bites.

Camomile - the German chamomile has a chemical called azulene which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Chamomile oil is:

  • massaged into sore muscles, swollen joints and aching back muscles.
  • famous for its sedative properties and is used for anxiety, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and intestinal spasm.
  • is a good remedy for boils, rashes, mild burns and dermatitis.

Cinnamon - is strongly warming and is often added in liniments to loosen and relieve the pain of tight muscles. It is as an inhalant to reduce stress and calm nerves. The oil is helpful for respiratory congestion when no acute infection is present.

Clary sage - has a beautiful scent and has many beneficial uses. It evokes the feeling of euphoria and acts as an aphrodisiac. Used in an aromatherapy bath it is warming and relaxing and is reputed to help preserve smooth and youthful skin. It is tonifying to the uterus and is used for menstrual cramps.

Clove - is hot and spicy and is often added to liniments. The oil has a numbing effect and is used in easing toothaches. Always dilute the clove oil as it often causes skin irritation.

Eucalyptus - is often used as a steam inhalant for coughs and sinus infection, for cleansing mucus from the respiratory tract and as a chest rub. The oil has cooling properties and is good for a fever. The oil is a strong antiseptic and can be used for boils and wounds.

Gardenia - contains mood lifting and antidepressant properties. Try it in a bath or mist spray.

Ginger - oil is warming and activating to the digestion and helps to alleviate nausea and an upset stomach.

Grapefruit - is used for obesity and depression. It has been recommended as a cleanser for the lymphatic system. It is used for preventing and treating skin problems. It increases energy and is good to use in an oil diffuser in the afternoons.

Jasmine - has a strong effect on the emotions, acting as an antidepressant and provoking the feeling of optimism. The oil works on the sexual centres and is a popular aphrodisiac.

Lavender - is a very versatile oil. It is effective for the nervous and respiratory systems. One or two drops added to a cup of ginger tea is an effective remedy for quelling nausea or upset stomaches. The oil quickly lifts the spirits. Lavender is good to use if you have chronic infections with a weakened immune system.

Try a lavender oil bath when you feel rundown, tense, have sore muscles or during a period when you are experiencing chronic sinus or respiratory tract infections.

Lemon - is a cooling and purifying oil that works well in air fresheners. It has cleansing properties, especially for the liver and gall bladder and it also has immune activating powers, providing protection against bacteria and viral infections.

Orange - has a cooling, purifying effect and is used for cold, flu and hypertension. It is considered an effective nervous system relaxer.

Patchouli - has a strong earthy scent that is healing to the skin and is used in acne, eczema and cracked skin.

Peppermint - contains menthol, a strong cooling terpene which is the active ingredient in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and facial fresheners. It is a popular oil and is used for:

  • indigestion, nausea and motion sickness as well as for colds, flu and fever.
  • in an enteric-coated capsule as an effective remedy for irritable bowel syndrome. The capsules are coated so they are able to move through the stomach and into the intestines.
  • as an instant breath freshener which also serves as a pick me up.
  • the relief of gas pains - add a drop or two into a cup of hot water.

Rose - acts as a digestive, vascular and nervous system tonic and is renowned as an aphrodisiac. It has been recommended for keeping all skin types young and wrinkle free.

Rosemary - is one of the most reliable gentle energy stimulants. The oil contains camphor, a nervous system activator. It gets the mind going in the morning and is a good pick me up whenever you feel sluggish.

The oil is excellent for improving the circulation and memory.

Sage - is a strong antiseptic and is used for bacterial infections, bronchitis, sore throats and mouth infections. It is also recommended as an inhalant for lifting depression and mental fatigue.

Spearmint - is used in the same way as peppermint.

Tangerine - the smell of tangerine is likely to get your digestive juices going. It is recommended for weak digestion, and for easing intestinal spasm and flatulence. Inhaled it is also used for nervous shock, tension and grief.

Thyme - is a potent antiseptic and is used for bacterial and viral infections particularly in the urinary tract and bronchioles. The oil creates a warming effect on the body and is used in liniments for sore muscles and achy joints.

Always dilute the oil as it causes skin irritations.

Vanilla - the oil enlivens the senses and is a great addition to personal essence blends.

Vetiver - has a comforting scent that is used for nervousness, insomnia, arthritis and tight muscles. it is an earthy and spicy scent that helps to relieve poor concentration and spaciness.

Wintergreen - has a similar scent to chewing gum and breath mints. It contains the compound methyl salicylate, which is related to aspirin. It helps to relieve the pain of sore muscles, joints and body aches. Be careful with pure essential oil - it is toxic. Never use it internally and keep it out of the reach of children.

Fragrances for health

These 30 fragrant herbal essential oils are widely available. Use them as fragrances for health to promote your wellbeing.

Try several or try them all. You will soon develop some firm favorites.



Hobbs, C. 1998, Herbal Remedies for Dummies. IDG.

Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.

Woodward, P. 2003, Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies. Hyland House.

Marcin, M. M. 1990, Herbal Teas: Growing Harvesting and Brewing. Collins.

Shaw, N. 2002, Herbalism. Element.




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