Category Archives: essential oils

Oregano essential oil


oreganoThis was my other new purchase recently, and while I’ve got a huge backlog of more commonly used essential oils to talk about, it makes sense to write this while I’m actually looking up what to do with it!

Oregano means ‘joy of the mountain’ and its oil is useful for colds and respiratory problems – very appropriate for me right now! It might also help generally boost the immune system, ward off insects, and as an aid to digestion. The other claims I’ve come across seem a little less provable, so I won’t note them here. Emotionally, the claims are that oregano helps you ‘let go’ and be more at ease, perhaps combatting over thinking.

I’m finding it a slightly strange one, both in scent – that sweet herby smell so reminiscent of nommy Italian cooking – and finding what I want to pair it with.

Oregano oil blends well with herbaceous, woody, and floral oils, e.g. bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, frankincense, eucalyptus, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rose, rosemary, tea tree

Combos tried:

  • 2 drops each of oregano, lemon, and frankincense
  • above with 2 drops tangerine oil added in – think it improved it

Want to try:

  • Immunity-boosting: 3 lemon, 2 frankincense, 1 tea tree, 1 oregano, 1 peppermint

Star Anise essential oil


I couldn’t resist adding this to my collection when it came up in a black Friday sale, despite really disliking the aniseedy flavour when it’s added to food, especially ‘hidden’ in Chinese five spice. However, the spicy liquorice-y scent might be interesting in a blend, I thought.

star aniseStar anise – which is not the same as anise, btw – is said to be useful for alleviating stress and fatigue, improving concentration, and generally providing a mood boost.

Blends well with: black pepper, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, geranium, lavender, lemonlime, mandarin, neroli, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rose, spearmint, tea tree, vanilla.

Combos tried: none yet!

Want to try:

  • a christmassy blend: 4 drops sweet orange. 3 frankincense, 2 star anise, 1 cinnamon


May Chang essential oil


Looking for a bit of a mood boost and pick-me-up, I remembered this mysterious-sounding ‘May Chang’. It’s also known as Litsea, ‘chinese pepper’, or exotic verbena – although it’s not related to verbena, it can be used in place of melissa (lemon balm) oil. Giving it a sniff, it’s a fresh citrusy scent, not quite as sharp as lemon and sweeter than lemongrass, with perhaps a slight spiciness.

As with most citruses, may chang has uplifting properties, and is used for mental fatigue and lethargy. It can help combat depression, clearing the head if you’re feeling anxious, stressed, or foggy-headed.

May Chang blends well with: other citruses (bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, etc), as well as basil, clary sage, geranium, ginger, lavender, marjoram, rose, rosemary, and ylang ylang. It can be used in place of lemongrass, for a slightly more subtle lemon scent.

Combos tried:

  • 3 may chang, 2 marjoram, 1 tangerine – light, sweet, and cheery
  • 3 geranium, 2 bergamot, 1 may chang, 1 rose

Want to try:

  • Calm and clarity: 5 bergamot, 1 may chang, 1 rose, 1 neroli
  • Refreshing: 4 sweet orange, 3 may chang, 3 spearmint

Geranium essential oil


geranium-1906554_960_720This one always reminds me of turkish delight, even though that’s more of a rose thing. It’s one of my favourite florals, which isn’t necessarily saying much as I’m not a fan of flowery-sweet scents as a rule, but I do find it quite happy and uplifting. I’m learning to balance the sweetness with something like a citrus or spice (e.g. black pepper).

Geranium essential oil is used to combat stress and depression, as well as for general relaxation. It blends well with, among others: bergamot, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, patchouli, and citruses including lime, orange, grapefruit, and lemon.

Combos tried:

  • 2 grapefruit, 1 lime, 1 geranium – fresh and spring-like
  • 3 rosewood, 2 geranium, 2 mandarin, 1 patchouli – nice depth of scent, with almost a little of everything
  • 2 orange, 2 frankincense, 1 geranium

Want to try:

  • 2 lavender, 1 geranium, 1 rose

Bergamot essential oil


I always think of bergamot (which I absolutely refuse to pronounce with that last ‘t’ – urgh! As well say ‘buffit’ instead of ‘boufay’! ;)) as ‘my’ essential oil, as it was possibly the first one I ever tried – or rather, had used on me, blended with black pepper for a muscle-soothing, calming and uplifting massage.

Bergamot is part of the citrus family, alongside the more obvious orange, lemon, and lime, etc. I do seem to be keen on the citrus oils – I like the zing and uplifting nature of them! I find bergamot a bit less sharp than the others, with a sweeter, softer scent that I really like.

Bergamot is used as a mood enhancer, lowering anxiety and stress, and confidence booster, and also said to help with headaches and muscle tension.

It blends well with the other citrus oils, and various online sources also suggest trying cedarwood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, neroli, lavender, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

Combos tried:

  • bergamot and black pepper
  • 2 drops bergamot, 2 drops grapefruit, 1 drop neroli – lovely! From blend 4 on this list of suggested ‘happy’ blends
  • bergamot, lemon, orange – classic mood-lifting citruses
  • 5 drops bergamot, 3 drops grapefruit, 2 drops peppermint – ‘wake up’, and it really does! Lovely balance of sweet and sharp
  • 2 bergamot, 2 lavender, 1 lemon – a nice soothing mood-lift

Want to try:

  • bergamot, frankincense, lavender in equal amounts (from here)

Lemon essential oil


lemonBeen a while since I started this category, but as I’m getting back in to using my oil burner and a bit of aromatherapy, thought it was high time to get back to it!

Today’s oil burner mix is from a google search for ‘uplifting essential oils’, which brought me to this Liz Earle page. I’m currently using a mix of 3 drops lemon, 1 bergamot, and 1 lavender – and it’s lovely! Lemon can sometimes seem a little kitchen cleaner-y, but this is very well balanced and refreshing.

Lemon oil is a citrus and thus generally held to be refreshing, energizing and uplifting, and good for aiding concentration.

For blending, citruses tend to go well together, so lime, orange, neroli, bergamot, etc. The list from other sites seems to include almost everything – lemon seems to be quite the versatile one! I like the idea of matching it with spicy (ginger, black pepper) or earthy scents, or to add a bit of zing to balance out florals (geranium, rose, ylang ylang).

Combos tried:

  • lemon, orange, lime – very refreshing!
  • lemon, bergamot, orange – more classic citrus combos
  • 3 drops lemon, 1 drop bergamot, 1 drop lavender – uplifting and nicely balanced
  • 1 lemon, 2 bergamot, 2 lavender – a more soothing version of the above

Lime essential oil

Lime essential oil

I include aromatherapy in my ‘passing interests’ – things I like, but not too deeply. That is, I think scent can affect mood, even if none of the other supposed benefits are real. As such, I have a great little collection of essential oils I use in an oil burner (when I remember!). A while back I started making a list of those I had, their benefits, and what they blended well with.

I’m starting this time with lime: I’m super-tired today and in need of a pick me up, and it’s a happy reminder of some delicious lime-containing drinks at the weekend. Ahem 😉

My oil comes from Tisserand, who say: “Lime is a lively, stimulating and uplifting oil… Ideal for vaporisation to freshen a room and restore a tired mind. Blends well with clary sage, lavender and sandalwood.” Other sites claim it useful in combating anxiety and colds, as well as aiding concentration.

Other suggested blends include geranium, ginger, grapefruit lemon, orange, peppermint, rosemary.

Combos tried:

  • lime and peppermint – a clean, wake-me-up favourite 🙂
  • lime and clary sage – definitely refreshing, but a bit too much like a bathroom cleaner
  • lime, lemon, orange – bright and refreshing