Most people associate essential oils with aromatherapy rather than with its other therapeutic benefits. Using essential oils in a diffuser at home still remains a primary reason essential oils are bought. This is no surprise since fragrance has the ability to influence emotions in so many different ways. Aromatherapy can be used to relieve stress, provide mental clarity, energize us, overcome fatigue, relieve insomnia, boost confidence or act as an aphrodisiac. Scent influences those parts of the brain that influence memory, emotions, and learning. Through the use of certain aromas, we can covertly affect how people feel about themselves and interact with us. Knowing which fragrance affects certain emotions can be very beneficial. One of the questions aromatherapy newbies often ask is which essential oil smells the worst?
Not all essential oils are equal
A great number of essential oils on the market today are not 100% pure natural extracts from plant sources such as leaves, stems, or flowers. Misleading labels only serve to add to the confusion. Certain brands contain only a small amount of actual essential oil with added synthetic fragrances, while others may contain a mixture of carrier oils and chemical compounds. For example, Jasmine essential oil may smell very different as a 100% pure essential oil than its synthetically created counterpart. Artificially created fragrances may put people off while the real deal may not. We are all so different. Some will think a certain essential oil smells the worst, while others like it. If you want to get the true benefit from aromatherapy, make sure that your essential oils are 100% pure and for therapeutic use. Sometimes these high-grade essential oils are pricey, but certainly worth it. Make sure the oils you buy are also not past their sell-by date otherwise they may smell ‘off’.
Top 5 essential oils that smell the worst
Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood has a woodsy and slightly smoky aroma, characteristic of pencil shavings or even turpentine. In aromatherapy, it is used to relieve anxiety. It is also used as a base note to give character to the overall scent in perfumes and colognes for men. As an essential oil by itself, many people find the aroma unpleasant. It may smell very strong straight out of the bottle, but less so in a diffuser. If you don’t like a certain Cedarwood, try another variety such as Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus deodara, and Juniperus virginiana.
Tea Tree essential oil
Tea tree oil might be popular for its antibacterial benefits and removing impurities from the air, but not so much for its potent smell. It has a fresh, earthy scent with undertones of eucalyptus, which could be too overpowering for some.
Patchouli essential oil
Back in the day, hippies wore patchouli to mask the smell of cannabis. Its very distinctive aroma can be described as sweet, earthy, woody, and musky. Today perfumers love it as a base, while on its own, many people experience this scent as too rich and overpowering.
Valerian essential oil
Valerian essential oil is popular for treating stress, nervousness, tension, and insomnia. People might swear by it for its therapeutic benefits but generally find the strong earthy odor quite repugnant. Online, Valerian has earned quite a reputation for its pungent smell. Descriptions like ‘the sweaty feet of herbs ’ and ‘smells like a sewer ‘ should give you some idea why valerian has probably earned the reputation of essential oil that smells the worst.
Lemongrass essential oil
Who doesn’t like lemongrass? Well, apparently quite a number of people. It has a very distinct and strong aroma with herbaceous undertones that some people find too overpowering. Even so, lemongrass is loved for its many health benefits. It not only keeps bugs at bay but helps to clear headaches, create calmness, and enhances mood.
Last thoughts on essential oils that smell the worst
So even if some essential oils do not have the best aroma, you might still want to use them. First, make sure the essential oil you want to use is pure and 100% natural. Synthetically created fragrances often cause headaches and nausea. You may also blend any of the essential oils that smell the worst with another essential oil. The end result may surprise you and become something you quite enjoy. Remember that essential oils contain potent and concentrated compounds. Use them with caution, especially if you are pregnant, have kids or pets in the home, or have any current health conditions.
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Disclaimer and Cautionary note: Sunny Life Mag is a digital magazine for entertainment. The articles published are not here to diagnose or treat any health or medical conditions. The contents of this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dermatologist, health practitioner, with any questions you may have regarding the use of essential oils, skin conditions, or other medical conditions.
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