Popular in aromatherapy, essential oils are fragrant oils extracted organically from a variety of plants. In addition to a pleasant aroma, the best essential oils also provide benefits to your health and well-being.
What is the best essential oil? Read on for our top 10 must-have essential oils.
Health warning: With all of our best smelling essential oils, we advise to test for a reaction with one or two drops on the skin, before using more.
10. Rose Oil
Rose oil is possibly the sweetest smelling essential oil there is. A delicate blend of velvety creaminess and exotic sensuality makes this one of the best aromatherapy oils. It works well when combined with jasmine oil as the two compliment each other.
Great in perfumes, rose oil is potent, so you don’t need to use too much. Aside from the rich scent, there are numerous other advantages to using rose oil. It’s a concentrated antioxidant, making it brilliant for skincare, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s been known to soothe swelling and help with stomach cramps. A small amount can counteract migraines, but be careful, use too much and it can have the opposite effect.
9. Cinnamon Oil
Much like the spice, the fragrance of this oil contains a unique contrast of sweet and tangy. The scent fills you with a musky warmth, appearing to be both distantly exotic, yet homely and familiar at the same time.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest essential oils, with Ancient Egyptians using it for medicinal purposes over 3,500 years ago. It was only available to the elite for a long period of time.
Today, it’s easy to obtain, yet its qualities remain unchanged. In aromatherapy, it’s used to help clear chest infections. Applied topically, it can soothe muscle aches, cramps, and pains. It’s a brilliant natural preservative, and is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic. Cinnamon oil is a brilliant pain reliever and can be used to cool skin and reduce inflammations.
8. Bergamot Oil
Bergamot has a faint citrus smell, not quite as pungent as orange, but teasing something far more complex. It appears to have a floral base layer, with a hint of spice. It’s highly regarded in the perfume industry because of its ability to blend naturally with other oils, creating more intense aromas. In particular, orange, rosemary, and jasmine mix well with bergamot.
As with all these smell-good oils, bergamot has medical benefits, too. It eases the symptoms of fever, relieving pain and alleviating fatigue. It’s useful in aiding digestion and can help rid the body of bacterial infections.
Bergamot can also help clear up acne, however, it’s phototoxic. This means that exposure to the sun can damage the skin where the oil has been applied. Cover up when outdoors to avoid this.
7. Rosemary Oil
You’ve probably smelled rosemary in your condiment cupboard. The oil is similar in a way, but much more camphorous. It resembles pine, but is more pungent. It’s invigorating and energising, making it a fantastic mental stimulant. Feeling a little cloudy? Add a few drops to your bath to clear the haze and instantly lift your spirits.
Rosemary decreases the body’s level of cortisol, a stress hormone that brings unwanted tension to your daily life. It increases brain-wave activity, enhances memory, and acts as an antidepressant. In this list of essential oils, it’s the most useful for maintaining a constantly high level of mental performance.
It’s been known to ease discomfort of the stomach, and relieve pain. It’s important that you avoid rosemary oil if you are pregnant, epileptic, or have high blood pressure.
6. Sweet Orange Oil
As you can probably imagine, sweet orange oil has a zesty smell. It’s a tangy citrus scent that leaves you feeling cheerful and energized. Simply inhale deeply and feel the woes of the day flood from your body. It flushes anxiety from your system, leaving you revitalised and refreshed.
It’s best used in shower products as it can be irritable for the skin if left for too long. Apply a few drops to your nightly bath and be amazed at how peacefully you drift off. It’s a natural sedative so it can be useful for those suffering from insomnia.
Due to the strength of the fragrance, it’s great for use around the house. Maybe you can create your own air freshener, detoxifying your home with an energy-giving aroma.
Sweet orange oil is best used when diluted with a carrier oil, in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Definitely not for the faint-hearted, eucalyptus oil is one of the most powerfully pungent oils there is. There’s a slight mintiness to it, a touch of pine, and a dash of honey. Inhaling it is quite literally breathtaking - it instantly clears your airways, leaving you revitalized and invigorated.
The scent is certainly strong, but there is nothing better at freshening a room than eucalyptus oil. Applied to the body, it works as an anti-inflammatory, soothing any swelling of the limbs. It also doubles as a natural insect-repellent, reducing your chances of being stung.
4. Lemon Oil
Like the fruit from which it derived its name, lemon oil is another tangy and zesty scent. It feels somewhat brighter than the sweet orange oil, appearing to clean the air in which it drifts. It has a startling effect on your mood, lifting you up and making you feel cheery and full of life.
Lemon oil works to reduce stress, soothing migraines, and clearing the skin of various problems. It also assists in diminishing wrinkles, toning the skin and increasing circulation.
It’s antibacterial and antiseptic, making it a brilliant disinfectant - it’s often used in household cleaners.
3. Jasmine Oil
Jasmine oil is one of the more luxurious on this list of best essential oils. It has a rich and exotic scent, sweet, floral, and faintly fruity. It is slightly more expensive due to its difficulty to extract, however, the price difference is justified by its benefits.
Jasmine oil is an antidepressant that can help calm nerves and ease coughing fits caused by asthma. It’s also an aphrodisiac and rectifies a low sex drive. As a natural sedative, it encourages a deep and restful sleep.
Massaging the oil into your skin can help stop headaches and relieve stomach pains. It works great against the symptoms of flu. Jasmine oil also assists greatly in preventing anxiety and relaxing the body, even neutralising the effects of a panic attack.
2. Lavender Oil
Just missing out on the top spot, lavender oil is possibly the most popular oil on this list - and with good reason. It has a herbal-type scent, reminiscent of fresh flowers. It’s one of the best fragrance-enhancers, blending well with almost every other essential oil. If you’re creating your own perfume, then add a drop of lavender to improve it.
Lavender oil is not only one of the best aromatherapy oils, but also seems to be an essential oil on steroids. It has so many benefits that they’re almost uncountable. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, making it a great oil for cleansing. It’s antispasmodic, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory, meaning that it can help the body fight off both mental and physical ailments. It’s also a natural anesthetic, numbing pain and easing tension.
Use with caution if allergic to mint.
1. Peppermint Oil
What is the best essential oil, you say? We think peppermint oil provides the perfect combination of positive effects, fragrance, and price. It has a distinctive scent - one you already know. It’s minty and refreshing, reenergizing the tired mind with menthol and menthone.
It’s an antispasmodic stimulant that invigorates you throughout the day with its icy cool aroma. It’s effective at soothing nausea, easing headaches, and numbing pain. It sharpens the mind incredibly well, enhancing concentration and memory.
Peppermint oil has also been proven beneficial at regrowing hair. You might have seen that it’s already used in many hair products to thicken and nourish. Add a few drops to your shampoo to see the effects for yourself.
Do you agree with our list of best smelling essential oils? Let us know in the comments below!