30+ Best Smelling Essential Oils | DIY Best Smelling Essential Oil Blends
Stop and smell the roses. But, what if you can’t? What if your olfactory senses say “Nope, not today”?
It happened en masse, and in our lifetimes. Remember when a tiny virus held the whole world hostage and robbed the afflicted ones off of their sense of smell and taste. Even diffusing the best smelling essential oils of the world would have been a Sisyphean attempt.
So, stop and smell the roses as often as one can. (If smelling roses is not an option for most who work in confined spaces, diffusing rose essential oil is also enough.)
Picture a world without the enchanting aroma of freshly baked bread, the invigorating scent of a morning cup of coffee, or the soothing fragrance of blooming flowers. Our quite underrated sense of smell plays a pivotal role in shaping our daily experiences and even memories.
The limbic system in our brain is like a special memory and emotion center. It helps us remember things and feel emotions when we smell certain scents. So, when we encounter particular smells, it can trigger strong memories and feelings. It has the power to transport us to far-off places, invoke strong emotions, and even promote physical and mental well-being.
Here, we'll embark on a fragrant journey to discover some of the best smelling essential oils, learn their aromatic qualities and the ways in which they can enhance our lives. So, get your olfactory senses primed for an enticing adventure through the world of scents and essential oils!
How Aromas Affect The Brain?
Aromas have a fascinating impact on the brain. They are not just feel-good entities; fresh-smelling essential oils can influence memories, emotions, and our physical and mental well-being. Let's look at a simple breakdown of how aromas affect the brain.
Emotions: Certain scents can trigger specific emotions. For example, the smell of lavender often makes people feel calm and relaxed, while the aroma of citrus can be invigorating and uplifting. The scent of cinnamon essential oil and nutmeg essential oil can evoke memories of baked goods and childhood or romance. Why does this happen? This happens because the olfactory system, responsible for our sense of smell, is closely connected to the brain's emotional center, known as the limbic system.
Memories: Aromas have a remarkable ability to evoke memories. As mentioned before certain fresh smelling essential oils reminds us of certain places or people. When we take in a scent we associate with a past experience, it can bring back certain recollections of that moment. When we sniff in a scent This happens because the olfactory system is linked to the brain's memory hub, the hippocampus.
Anxiety and Relaxation: Aromatherapy, the use of scents to promote well-being, is based on the idea that certain fragrances can reduce fear and anxiety. Inhaling calming scents like lavender essential oil or geranium oil can soothe the nervous system and help you relax. Are these vague claims? Try smelling the roses.
Concentration and Focus: Some scents such as those of rosemary essential oil and peppermint essential oil, may enhance concentration and cognitive performance. Inhaling these aromas can sharpen your mind and improve your ability to focus on tasks. There have been some studies that investigated the effect that good smells have on cognitive performance and the results were largely positive.
Physical Effects: Aromas can also have physical effects on the body. Yes, aromatherapy has an impact on the physical health of a person as well. For instance, inhaling the scent of eucalyptus essential oil can help clear the airways and make it easier to breathe, while the aroma of ginger oil or lemon essential oil may soothe an upset stomach.
Basically, when you smell something, it sends signals to your brain, which can impact your emotions, memories, and even your physical state. This is why choosing the right aroma (and the right quantity of the essential oil) is not just about enjoying a pleasant smell, but also about harnessing the power of scents to influence your well-being and mood.
Essential Oils That Smell Good
Where do we start? Which are the best oil diffuser scents for home? There are so many essential oils with unique aromas and notes that can be used for diffusion that choosing the best scents for diffuser can be quite a task. Picking the right aroma is like searching for a comfortable pair of shoes.
Just as everyone's feet are different, everyone's nose and scent preferences are unique. What smells delightful to one person might not appeal to someone else. Additionally, some scents can be too overpowering, like wearing shoes that pinch your toes, while others may be too faint, like shoes that are too loose and don't offer the support you need.
The process of selecting the right aroma involves a bit of trial and error. You might need to diffuse various scents to discover the one that resonates with you. It's not just about what smells nice; it's also about what makes you feel comfortable and relaxed.
The right aroma can have a significant impact on your mood and overall well-being, so it's worth the effort to find the one that suits you best. And then there are the blends. There is 100+ essential oils and most of them can be blended in myriad combinations. Here too personal preference, and trial and error are needed to determine the best smelling essential oil blends.
Category of Essential Oils Fragrances by Notes
Here’s an analogy - aroma notes are like the musical chords but of scents. These “chords” are “composed” of various fragrance elements (described below) that synchronize to make up a balanced aroma that accentuates the olfactory experience.
These notes can be categorized into three main types: top notes, middle notes (also called heart notes), and base notes. Let's explore each of these aroma notes (with examples) and understand how they work:
1. Top Notes Fragrance
Top notes are the first scents that register when you smell a fragrance. They are light and fresh. Top notes are often citrusy or herbal fragrances that grab your attention right away.
Duration of top note aromas: Top notes evaporate quickly; they usually last for 15 minutes to 2 hours.
Examples of top note aromas: Citrus scents from lemon oil and bergamot oil, herbaceous scents from basil oil and mint oil, and light florals scents from lavender oil and neroli oil are common top notes. When you first apply a deodorant or perfume, or smell a scented candle, these are the scents that stand out and make the first impression.
2. Middle Notes (Heart Notes) Fragrance
Middle notes, between the top and base notes, emerge once the top notes fade. They provide the body of the fragrance and defines its character, thus creating the main theme of the scent.
Duration of middle note fragrance: Middle notes are the heart of the fragrance, typically lasting from 3 to 5 hours.
Examples of middle note fragrance: Floral scents from rose essential oil, jasmine essential oil, and geranium essential oil, as well as spicy aromas from cinnamon essential oil and cardamom essential oil, are often found in the middle notes. These scents make up the core of the fragrance blend giving it its depth and complexity.
3. Base Notes Fragrance
Base notes can be thought of as the foundation of the scent blend on top of which the other scents are placed. Imagine it to be at the bottom of an olfactory pyramid. They come into effect as the fragrance of the top and middle notes dissipate, thus providing a lasting impression and stability to the fragrance.
Duration of base note fragrances: Base notes are the longest-lasting, lingering for several hours to even days.
Examples of base note fragrances: Woody aromas like that of cedarwood essential oil and sandalwood essential oil, resinous aromas including that of frankincense essential oil and myrrh essential oil, as well as deep vanilla and musk, are common base notes. These elements give any blend its long-lasting and full-bodied character.
Aroma notes work together in a perfume or essential oil blend to create a balanced and pleasant olfactory experience. It’s not just the top note that all the work; the middle and the base notes holds the fort efficiently.
The initial burst of top notes that fill our nostrils the moment a perfume is sprayed or candle is lit gives way to the more complex and expressive middle notes, and the base notes provide a comforting fragrance that lingers on. It is this harmonious amalgamation of scents that transcends the boundaries of our consciousness, evoke emotions, and enhance our sensory experiences.
Category of Essential Oils by Aroma
By categorizing essential oils based on their aroma/scents, we can better understand and harness their therapeutic benefits and aromatic potential; and most importantly it helps realize one’s olfactory preferences. In this section, we will look at the category of essential oil based on aroma.
1. Essential Oils with Floral Aroma
Let’s start with floral-smelling essential oils. Why? Because it has lavender essential oil, arguably the most popular essential oil. When you think about it, perhaps all the essential oils that smell good fall under the floral aroma category.
There is lavender essential oil, jasmine essential oil, geranium essential oil and Roman essential oil. Most floral oils have sweet aroma with its unique undertones. Inhaling floral essential oils has a calming effect on the senses and it relaxes the mind.
Now, most of the floral essential oils fall under the expensive side of the catalogue. But, why are floral essential oils expensive?
The reason behind this is that to make an ounce of essential oil, several pounds of raw materials are required. Take for instance any fresh smelling essential oils, such as jasmine oil, that are derived from the flower petals. It takes roughly more than 7500 petals to extract 1gm of jasmine oil.
Floral oils are still sought after because they are best smelling essential oils for home diffuser. Inhaling its aroma brings about a peace of mind that is good for mental wellbeing.
The floral essential oils are also useful in hair and skin care. These oils when diffused in homes and offices also evoke a welcoming feel. Ylang ylang essential oil is another floral essential oil that is considered one of the best oil diffuser scents for home.
2. Essential Oils with Minty Aroma
There are not many oils that fall in this category, but who needs an army when you have a Hulk. Hmmm… have you heard that somewhere? (Hope this site is not hit with copyright strikes; or even worse, this writer gets Hulk smashed). Jokes aside, which is the oil that rules this category?
It’s none other than the omnipresent Peppermint oil. And guess what – it has a minty aroma. Some of the oils that fall in this category other than peppermint oil are spearmint oil, wintergreen oil, and cornmint essential oil. Some may also include eucalyptus oil in the mint smelling category.
Mint oils are considered to be one of the best smelling essential oils for home diffuser especially during flu season. The aromatic molecules of the mint essential oils are renowned for their positive effect on the respiratory system. And, it also promotes calmness and a peaceful ambience.
2. Essential Oils with Earthy Aroma
Earthy scent can also be musky and grassy. Diffusing essential oils with musky scents can establish a connect with nature and help calm the mind. These oils are also effective when used in skincare and hair care.
This aroma is popular amongst people and is largely used in spiritual practices and meditation as it has a grounding effect. Some of the popular essential oils with an earthy fragrance are patchouli oil, vetiver oil, oakmoss oil, myrrh oil and frankincense oil.
3. Essential Oils with Citrus Aroma
Smell a lemon for morning sickness. Smell a lemon for motion sickness. Smell a lemon for nausea. Smell a lemon for good luck. Smell a lemon for lemon’s sake. Let’s explore the citrus-smelling essential oils which is perhaps the most practical scents in the essential oil category.
Citrus oils have a refreshing effect on the mind and body. Aromatherapists advice against diffusing this oil close to bed time as this fragrance may improve energy levels in the body and drive away sleep. It is usually diffused in the mornings and in workplaces, where the energy levels have to be high.
Most citrus oils have a tangy and sweet aroma, which rejuvenates the mind. Lemon oil is of course the name that comes to mind when one thinks of essential oils with citrusy aroma. However, there are so many oils with citrus scent.
Some of the citrus scented essential oils are lime oil, sweet orange oil, Bergamot oil, mandarin oil, tangerine oil, grapefruit oil, bitter orange oil, litsea cubeba oil, citronella oil, petitgrain oil, blood orange oil, neroli oil and Clementine oil. See, there are so many options you can choose from. (And guess what? We’ve got ‘em all.)
4. Essential Oils with Herbal Aroma
Herbs are refreshing right – like oregano on a pizza. The essential oils with an herbal aroma have a refreshing effect on the mind and body. The scent of the oil can light up a room with its uniqueness and health-based properties. And it does make you happy.
Just imagine the aromas coming out from your kitchen. The herbal essential oils are extensively used in aromatherapy. Some of the names in this category will remind you of the herbs in the kitchen. These oils are turmeric oil, coriander oil, cilantro oil, basil oil, lemongrass oil, oregano oil, sage oil, marjoram oil, bay laurel leaf oil, thyme oil and rosemary oil.
5. Essential Oils with Spicy Aroma
What do spicy oils smell like? They have a pungent aroma. And it is strong. When looking for the best oil diffuser scents for homes that have a strong presence, choose some of the oils listed here. Spicy essential oils have many health-based benefits.
Besides inhalation aromatherapy, they are also used in massages to promote circulation and digestive health. The oils in this category are some of the best smelling essential oil blends for skin health. Some of the oils in this category are ginger oil, cardamon oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, allspice oil, black pepper oil and nutmeg oil.
6. Essential Oils with Woodsy Aroma
Woody or woodsy aroma is akin to earthy aroma. Inhaling the aroma of woodsy oils will give an outdoorsy feeling. Some of the oils that fall in this category are sandalwood oil, cedarwood oil, pine fir oil, juniper berry oil, and cypress oil. This aroma has a grounding effect on the senses and can be diffused in houses to get that elusive outdoor ambience during winter times.
7. Essential Oils with Camphorous Aroma
Camphorous essential oils are known for their distinctive balsamic aroma. Derived from plants containing high levels of camphor, these oils have a cooling effect on the senses. And this category has some of the best and potent essential oils, after all the almighty tea tree oil falls in this category.
The oils are widely used for their therapeutic properties. Common camphorous essential oils include Eucalyptus oil, Tea Tree oil, star anise oil, cajeput oil, ravintsara oil, niaouli oil and Camphor oil. Some of the best smelling essential oil blends contain camphorous essential oils not just for their aroma but for the medicinal qualities.
30+ Best Smelling Essential Oils
Let’s get to the crux of the topic. What are some of the best smelling essential oils? So, here’s a list of essential oils that smell good and can be used for diffusion and topical application.
1. Rose Essential Oil
A timeless floral scent (remember we started with smell the roses), rose essential oil promotes emotional well-being and is often used to enhance relaxation and uplift the spirit.
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Known for its calming properties, the versatile lavender essential oil aids in relaxation, promotes better sleep, and soothes the senses.
3. Jasmine Essential Oil
The essential oil of jasmine has a sweet and exotic fragrance. It is traditionally associated with romance and is believed to have mood-enhancing and aphrodisiac qualities.
4. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
This floral oil, with its rich and sweet aroma, is cherished for its ability to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and create a sensual atmosphere.
5. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil has a rosy scent that has a balancing and uplifting effect that is often used to tackle stress, enhance mood, and balance emotions.
6. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oil is known for its soothing properties due to its gentle and calming fragrance, making it ideal for relaxation and promoting a sense of tranquility. There are two variants of chamomile oil – Roman chamomile oil and German chamomile oil.
7. Neroli Essential Oil
Extracted from orange blossoms, neroli essential oil has a sweet and citrusy floral scent. The oil can be diffused after a hard day’s work to calm the nerves and alleviate anxiety.
8. Clary Sage Essential Oil
The sweet fruity aroma of Clary sage oil with herbal undertones has an uplifting effect on the senses. It is also diffused in aromatherapy for its euphoric qualities. It can help balance emotions and promote a sense of well-being.
9. Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli essential oil has an earthy with grounding effect. It is often used for its calming properties and also as an ingredient to add a natural, musky aroma to essential oils blends.
10. Vetiver Essential Oil
It has a deep smoky scent, which is known for its relaxing and balancing effects, making it a popular choice for diffusion as it promotes a sense of stability.
11. Cedarwood Essential Oil
Boasting a woody and earthy aroma, cedarwood is often used to evoke a sense of tranquility and is believed to support focus and concentration.
12. Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood is prized in Ayurveda for its grounding properties. Its warm and sweet aroma is useful for promoting relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.
13. Frankincense Essential Oil
Earthy and resinous, frankincense has been used for centuries in spiritual practices for its calming and centering effects on the mind and emotions. Frankincense along with myrrh finds mention in religious texts.
14. Peppermint Essential Oil
This is (arguably) the only minty essential oil that makes the list. Peppermint essential oil is renowned for its invigorating and refreshing properties, and for its ability to open the respiratory tract. With a cool, minty aroma, it's a popular choice to promote peace of mind, make headaches bearable, and provide a revitalizing boost. Additionally, peppermint oil is often used to alleviate digestive discomfort and create a crisp, energizing atmosphere.
15. Cinnamon Essential Oil
Warm and spicy, and reminiscent of baked goods from the years bygone, cinnamon oil adds a comforting touch and is known for its ability to create a joyous atmosphere.
16. Clove Essential Oil
With a strong and rich scent, clove oil is often used for its warming properties. Merely diffusing the oil can help in dealing with dental pain.
17. Cardamom Essential Oil
Cardamom is used aplenty in certain tropical parts of the world. Sweet and slightly spicy, cardamom oil is cherished for its soothing aroma and is commonly used to ease tension and stress.
18. Black Pepper Essential Oil
Even now many people don’t believe that there exists an essential oil from black pepper. Boasting a sharp and spicy fragrance, black pepper oil is one of the best smelling diffuser oils. Just try it!
19. Ginger Essential Oil
Ginger oil is known for its spicy kick and is often used to alleviate feelings of nausea and boost vitality. Diffuse or apply it to beat digestive issues.
20. Nutmeg Essential Oil
An oil with nutty spiciness, nutmeg essential oil is comforting and can create a warm ambiance, especially during colder seasons.
21. Coriander Essential Oil
Combining citrus and spice, coriander oil has a refreshing scent and is often used to promote relaxation and maybe improve appetite.
22. Cilantro Essential Oil
It’s almost similar to coriander oil. Combining citrus and spice, cilantro oil has a refreshing scent and is often used to promote relaxation and maybe improve appetite.
23. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus has a fresh, camphor-like scent, often used to help clear the nose and support respiratory well-being, especially during colds.
24. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Known for its clean and medicinal aroma, tea tree oil is prized for its many health-based properties, making it a go-to for skin concerns and overall wellbeing.
25. Camphor Essential Oil
Camphor oil is not as popular in aromatherapy as the other oils in this list, but it is one of the best smelling essential oils. With a strong, penetrating scent, camphor oil is used for its cooling effect, providing relief to muscles and aiding in respiratory congestion.
26. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary has a camphoraceous, herbaceous scent, promoting mental clarity and focus, and often used or diffused in the study rooms.
27. Pine Essential Oil
With a woody fragrance, pine oil is invigorating and often reminiscent of the festive season. It is diffused to create an energizing ambiance and it may also support positive breathing.
28. Juniper Berry Essential Oil
With a crisp and woody aroma, juniper berry oil is often used for its refreshing scent and may be used for purification or sanctification.
29. Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella oil has a fresh, citrusy scent with a hint of grassiness. It is known for its insect-repelling properties, and is hence a popular choice for outdoor use to create a pleasant and bug-free environment.
30. Vanilla Essential Oil
Vanilla oil exudes a sweet, comforting aroma reminiscent of baked goods. Renowned for its calming properties, it adds a warm and inviting touch to blends, creating a cozy atmosphere.
Best Smelling Essential Oils For Home Diffuser
Selecting the best-smelling essential oils for your home diffuser can transform your living space or office into a fragrant leisure house. The options of best smelling essential oils are diverse, ranging from the crisp notes of citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange to the soothing flowery scents of lavender, helichrysum and chamomile. The choice ultimately depends on personal preferences, the weather, health and the desired ambiance.
Consider the use of peppermint essential oil during times when everyone is under the weather; or the woody embrace of juniper berry essential oil for an outdoorsy feel. Health considerations also play a role; eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil may be chosen for their respiratory benefits. Whether aiming for a calming retreat or an uplifting atmosphere, the world of essential oils offers a myriad of options to suit every mood and moment.
Best Smelling Essential Oil Blends
The effect of the best smelling essential oils can be increased manifold by including them in various essential oils blends. Here are just 5 random blends.
Recipe #1 - Breathe Easy Blend
- 3 drops Peppermint oil
- 2 drops Eucalyptus oil
- 1 drop Ravensara oil
Diffuse this blend for 15-30 minutes to help clear congestion and promote respiratory health. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage it into your chest and throat.
Recipe #2 - Anxiety Relief Blend
- 3 drops Lavender oil
- 2 drops Ylang-Ylang oil
- 1 drop Bergamot oil
Diffuse this blend for 15-30 minutes to help reduce anxiety. You can also add a few drops to a warm bath or massage it into your neck and temples.
Recipe #3 - Focus Blend
- 3 drops Rosemary oil
- 2 drops Peppermint oil
- 1 drop Lemon oil
Diffuse this blend for 15-30 minutes to help improve focus and concentration. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply it to your wrists or temples.
Recipe #4 - Energy Boost Blend
- 3 drops Wild Orange oil
- 2 drops Grapefruit oil
- 1 drop Cinnamon oil
Diffuse this blend for 15-30 minutes to help boost energy and improve mood. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply it to your chest or pulse points.
Recipe #5 - Sleep Aid Blend
- 3 drops Lavender oil
- 2 drops Vetiver oil
- 1 drop Roman Chamomile oil
Love the scent of floral and earthy aromas. Diffuse this blend for 15-30 minutes before bed to help promote relaxation and sleep. You can also add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage it into your feet or neck.
The topic of best smelling essential oils for home diffuser is subjective, yet here we have compiled a list of 30+ best smelling essential oils that not only satiates the olfactory senses, but boosts overall wellbeing as well. Whether you seek the invigorating aroma of citrus to uplift your spirits, the calming embrace of floral fragrance to unwind, or the earthy notes of cedarwood for a cozy ambiance, the choices are abundant. Here, we explore the vast array of essential oils, and unlock the power to enhance our living.
What is the longest lasting essential oil scent?
Sandalwood oil, frankincense oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, jasmine oil, ylang ylang oil, ginger oil, patchouli oil, lavender oil are some of the longest lasting essential oil scents.
What is the sweetest smelling essential oil?
Lavender oil, jasmine oil, grapefruit oil, orange oil, lemon oil, lemongrass oil, lime oil, citronella oil, etc. are some of the sweetest smelling essential oils.
Which essential oil has the best smell?
Lavender oil, jasmine oil, grapefruit oil, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, sandalwood oil, lemon oil, cardamom oil, clove oil, ylang ylang oil, rose oil, vanilla oil, sweet orange oil are some of the essential oils that have best smell.
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- Food Control. Volume 19, Issue 12, December 2008, Pages 1130-1138. Antifungal activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulata L.), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi L.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L.) essential oils. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0956713507002629.
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