Many of us can clearly state our favorite aromas. But have we ever gone so far as to ask ourselves why they’re our favorites?
Our sense of smell is our only sense that is directly connected to the emotional control centers of our brain. This means that what we smell can have a direct impact on how we feel and experience the world around us. Having said that, we all have unique moods and personal preferences that ebb and flow daily. Our aromatic preferences often change and evolve over time, as well.
Finding Your Favorite Essential Oil
Aroma is highly subjective. Some really love lavender essential oil and would say it's the top-selling essential oil. It has been said that it is the best oil for sleep, or the best essential oil to help soothe irritated skin. To say it is one of the best-smelling essential oils; however, this is completely a matter of opinion. There are plenty of people out there who do not love lavender’s floral and herbaceous aroma.
Some people love the aroma of vetiver. The roots of this tropical grass provide a rich, earthy, and smoky essential oil. Similarly, some people smell this deeply therapeutic oil and are turned off by its strong, almost medicinal aroma. Vetiver is an amazing base note — it can provide longevity and depth to a blend. Just a tiny drop of this oil added to a blend of floral or citrus essential oils can create an aromatic nuance that brings a whole blend into balance.
Aromatherapy is really all about olfaction, or smell – using aroma to aid the body, mind, and spirit into greater balance. Essential oils are powerful tools to aid this process.
Citrus Essential Oils
Oftentimes, it is the uplifting, energizing, and cheerful essential oils that are regarded as the best smelling. Citrus essential oils — orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime, mandarin, etc. — are among these widely regarded favorites.
Woody Essential Oils
Tree oils are also favored by many, as they tend to be emotionally grounding and supportive for the respiratory system. Oils such as cedarwood, sandalwood, and fir all fall into this category.
Floral Essential Oils
Flowers are probably the third-most popular type of essential oils. Oils such as rose, jasmine, and chamomile are some of the most sought-after essential oils; however, they are also some of the most expensive and considered some of the most precious. This is primarily due to the immense amount of plant material that is required to produce these oils. For example, it takes approximately 10,000 pounds of rose petals to produce just 1 pound of rose oil. Essential oils extracted from flowers tend to be excellent for providing emotional support and nurturing the heart and mind. Flowers are also generally excellent for use in skincare products, as they tend to be calming and soothing to the skin.
Putting Essential Oils to Use
Again, the best-smelling essential oils are really a matter of personal preference. Once you find the oils that really speak to your mood, it’s time to use them.
Diffusing Essential Oils
If you are somewhat new to essential oils, let’s go over the basics. The safest and easiest way to experience the benefits of essential oils is aromatically. By using an aromatherapy/essential-oil diffuser, the essential oil molecules are dispersed throughout the air and can benefit anyone in that space. This is the perfect way to create an uplifting home environment. Citrusy essential oils, such as lemon and orange, have been shown to be highly effective in elevating moods. The main chemical components of these citrus oils have also been shown to be effective in cleaning the air.
Diffusing essential oils can be the perfect way to support the health and well-being of your entire family, especially during cold-and-flu season. By adding a few drops of oils such as eucalyptus, fir, or peppermint to your diffuser, you can help provide respiratory support.
Once you find the right oil for you, given your aromatic preference and whatever physical, mental, or emotional need you may have, an oil’s benefits can actually be amplified by combining it with a complementary essential oil.
Blending Essential Oils
While blending essential oils is an art and a science, there are really no wrong ways to do it. The best recommendation we can make for when you start mixing essential oils is to take notes of what you combined and how you liked the outcome. The benefit of blending essential oils, from an aromatherapy perspective, is that you can create a more diverse chemical profile, which can in turn provide a more comprehensive base to address whatever issue you may be trying to solve.
Applying Essential Oils Topically -- Use a Carrier Oil!
In addition to diffusing essential oils aromatically, they can be used topically. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so always be sure to dilute first, using a carrier oil such as jojoba, almond, or avocado, and follow recommended usage and dilution guidelines.
The plant kingdom provides an array of options when it comes to aromatic oils. Whenever choosing to use an oil therapeutically, it is important to only use essential oils from trusted suppliers who provide pure, undiluted essential oils. Take the time to get to know the oils you have. Sit with them, smell them, research them. Come to appreciate them for what they are. Even if they are not your favorite scents, they can still provide a positive impact on your quality of life.