Tag Archives: aromatherapy

Turmeric essential oil


My main essential oil stockist not only added a new one to the range recently, but discounted it heavily – you don’t have to shout ‘try me!’ any louder, really ūüėČ

jar of turmeric spice, spilledTurmeric is something I’m very familiar with from cooking. It’s said to have anti-cancer properties, anti-alzheimer benefits, improves liver health, and is also an anti-inflammatory.

For me, the oil is for either the oil burner or occasionally a massage or bath, with a carrier oil. In the latter cases, the warming oil can be good for joint problems. It’s also said to help with depression and anxiety, and colds.

I wasn’t sure how similar this would smell to the more familiar spice, but it’s pretty much the same – not overwhelmingly stronger or more potent. I look forward to trying it in a few blends, eg with other spices such as black pepper or ginger; to counteract sweeter scents such as ylang ylang or vanilla; or as a counterpoint to zingy orange or grapefruit.

Combos tried:

  • none yet

Frankincense essential oil


Up until this point, my aromatherapy posts have been about citrus oils, or herbal, and all more obviously plant-based. Frankincense, on the other hand, is a resin (derived from a tree, so still plant-based!). Well-known as one of the gifts at Christmas, the name itself means ‘high quality incense’, so it’s not really surprising at how much this just ‘smells like aromatherapy’, if there was one stereotypical scent.

frankincense resin

Also known as ‘olibanum’, frankincense has a warm tone, sort of a spicy-earthy mix of lemon and fir. It promotes relaxation, de-stressing, feelings of well-being, and peaceful focus.

Frankincense is also used in skin-care, and is said to rejuvenate the skin as well as offering relief from minor irritations. It can be beneficial for respiratory issues.

Blends well with citruses eg grapefruit, lemon, orange, and clary sage, geranium, lavender, and rose, amongst others.


Combos tried:

  • 2 frankincense, 2 orange, 1 geranium
  • 3 frankincense, 2 lime, 2 orange, 1 peppermint
  • 2 frankincense, 3 orange, 2 cinnamon – autumny spice
  • equal parts frankincense and lavender, as used in a yoga nidra relaxation session
  • 2 frankincense, 2 bergamot, 2 lemon¬†– cheery and uplifting

Orange essential oil


photo of cut orangeThere are few things that seem as summer-y and uplifting as the scent of fresh oranges, if you ask me. But then again, orange is also a great base for autumn-y blends, mixed with cedarwood, or patchouli, or very Christmas-y with cinnamon or ginger. In fact, I think orange is an amazingly versatile oil which is why I own four different variations and am still trying to detect the subtle differences!

Use for energy and a mood lift, to combat anxiety, stress and depression.

Orange blends well with other citruses, such as bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, etc, for bright, uplifting, and summer-y scents.

It also blends well with woody and spicy oils, such as black pepper, cedarwood, cinnamon, frankincense, ginger, vetiver, for a warming and comforting autumny feel.

Perhaps more surprisingly, ‘bright and cheery’ orange can also blend well with soothing lavender for an uplifting yet relaxing blend, and also (more shock!) peppermint and/or spearmint for a more refreshing mood.

Combos tried:

Orange is one of my staples, so I’ve probably used it with just about everything – in fact, when I find a scent or blend isn’t quite ‘me’, I’m likely to throw in some orange to sweeten it up.

Some of my favourite blends include:

  • equal quantities of orange and lavender – that soothing relax with a perky uplift
  • 2 orange, 2 frankincense, 1 geranium
  • 3 orange, 2 frankincense, 2 cinnamon – very autumny
  • 2 orange, 2 lime, 2 grapefruit, 2 spearmint – the ‘mojito’!
  • and combo of the citruses is also good especially as a ‘wake up and get going’ e.g. orange, lime and grapefruit, with the orange bringing a sweetness to the sharper citruses.

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 РI 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 Рlemon 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
  • 2 lemon, 2 bergamot, 2 frankincense – bright and cheery