A couple of months ago, we published a story about essential oils and asked readers what kind of scenes they would like to set via scents. More than half of respondents indicated that easing tensions in the room is one of their top interests – what high-stress places we reside/work in! – and so we're back with a new list of essential oils and their uses.
Since telling someone to calm down might have the opposite effect, perhaps we should approach this in a more subtle way, by introducing calm, peace and clarity into the room with essential oils such as these.
One of the most recognisable smells in this list, orange essential oil has an energising and uplifting aroma. In a 2019 study on mice which looked at the inhalation of orange essential oils and its potential effect on depression, researchers found that the mice who inhaled the orange essential oil displayed fewer depression-like behaviours.
The oil stands alone adequately, but also blends well with other oils. If you had to choose just one stress-relieving oil, sweet orange is one of the most effective and versatile choices.
A common fragrance which has found a wide variety of usage, Ylang-ylang features prominently in spa products, and for good reasons why. The smell of ylang-ylang oil is said to be good for stress relief, sedation, as well as memory and thinking skills. Traditionally, it was even employed as an aphrodisiac.
Less common than some of the other oils on the list, spikenard is a plant in the Valerian family, collectively known for its sedative properties. It's used mostly in aromatherapy for relaxation, and in ancient times, was costly and prized as an anointment oil.
Another widely-used fragrance in various products, even food and drinks, rose essential oil repeatedly appears in studies demonstrating the ability to trigger relaxation and relieve anxiety.
Frankincense is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree, and its woody and pleasant aroma make it a popular choice of scent. Frankincense is used to balance emotions, calm the mind, and may even be able to support the body's response to healing, in addition to promoting sleep.
Traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat bronchitis and asthma for centuries.
Geranium oil is thought to have strong antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. But most importantly, it's often included in stress relief blends to take the edge off of stressful situations.
Keep calm and carry on!