Sense of Smell and Aromatherapy

Should You Use an Essential Oil That You Can’t Stand The Smell of?

One of the great things about aromatherapy is that you get to use amazing scents as an integral part of your therapy. Utilising the fragrance of essential oils to help manage everyday issues is a great thing, and it’s wonderful to have these incredible single oils and blends out there to help. But, have you ever wondered what you should do if you don’t like the smell of the particular essential oil suggested for a specific purpose?

Scent Preference

What smells good to you might not smell good to someone else. Scent is an incredibly personal thing. That explains why there are so many different kinds of perfume out there. For example, Lavender is arguably the most popular essential oil in the world, but there are many people who don’t like it at all and may even describe it as having a “stinky feet” smell. Additionally, some people absolutely love Patchouli, while others find the aroma too musty.

This is especially true when it comes to blends. The way that the several oils come together into a single scent is very unique. The outcome may not appeal to everyone. This is true at a whole other level when you begin using the oils topically. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, what smells good on one person, may not smell good on the person next to them.


So, knowing all of this, what do you do? If you have a recipe that calls for Frankincense and you just can’t stand the smell, should you use it anyway? The answer is NO. The most effective way to get the best results from your aromatherapy is to enjoy the scent you are using. The great news is that essential oils fall into families based on their therapeutic properties. Basically, the oils that are all sedatives are grouped together or the ones that are energising fall into the same category. This means that you have more options. Many of the essential oils in these groups are interchangeable. So, if you don’t like the smell of Lavender, swap it out for Chamomile.

Scent Swaps

Bergamot  –  Sweet Orange

Clove  –  Cinnamon

Lemongrass  –  Lemon

Jasmine  –  Ylang Ylang

Frankincense  –  Lavender

Vetiver  –  Chamomile

Buddha Wood  –  Cedarwood

Take the Time to Explore

Before you begin creating recipes and using up your precious oils, spend some time smelling each oil individually. Try to get a good feel for what you like and what you don’t like. Oftentimes oils smell better when they are combined with others. You may not like the scent of Clary Sage on its own, but when you blend it with Bergamot, you enjoy it. Keep in mind, that you can still get the therapy of that particular oil when you mix into a blend with other essential oils. We all have our own taste in scents, so have fun playing around with them and don’t settle for using a blend or an oil that you don’t enjoy having in your space. There are so many options and combinations out there that everyone can find an aroma they love!


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