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Scents that can ease tensions and relieve tired minds

Aromatherapy Concept. Aroma oil diffuser on chair against in the bedroom. Air freshener. Ultrasonic aroma diffuser for home
A nice room scent for better vibes! (Photo: Gettyimages)

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.

Check out Biolife essential oils range here!


Variety of Fresh Juicy Citrus Fruit Displayed on Platter and Backgrounds with Green Leaves and Negative Space
Orange you glad for these beautiful fruits? (Photo: Gettyimages)

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.

Get Orange essential oils here

Now Foods, Essential Oils, Orange

Aroma Naturals, Soy VegePure, 100% Natural Soy Essential Oil Candle, Orange & Lemongrass

Ylang Ylang

Yellow ylang-ylang flowers
Yellow ylang-ylang flowers (Photo: Gettyimages)

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.

Get Ylang Ylang essential oils here

MUJI Essential Oil / Ylang Ylang 10ml

Aura Cacia, Pure Essential Oil, Ylang Ylang

Aura Cacia, Aromatherapy Mineral Bath, Euphoric Ylang Ylang


Flowers and berries of spikenard, Aralia cordata.
Flowers and berries of spikenard, Aralia cordata. (Photo: Gettyimages)

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.

Get Spikenard essential oil here

Pure Gold Spikenard Essential Oil, 100% Natural & Undiluted, 10ml

Biofinest Spikenard Essential Oil - Organic Pure Undiluted


Pink rose bush in the evening sun
Pink rose bush in the evening sun

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.

Get Rose essential oils here

Trilogy, Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Acure, The Essentials, Rosehip Oil

Now Foods, Solutions, Rosewater Rejuvenating Spray


Frankincense resin crystals on a spoon, with essential oil bottles in the background
Frankincense resin crystals on a spoon, with essential oil bottles in the background

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.

Get Frankincense essential oils here

Aroma Naturals, Soy VegePure, Patchouli & Frankincense

Aura Cacia, Pure Essential Oil, Frankincense

Indigo Wild, Zum Mist, Aromatherapy Room & Body Mist, Frankincense & Myrrh


A photo of blue Geranium flowers
Blue Geranium flowers

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.

Get Geranium essential oils here

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Hand Soap, Geranium Scent

Other essential oils that are soothing and can promote sleep include Roman chamomile, clary sage, sweet marjoram, patchouli, sandalwood, and my personal favourite: vetiver.

Keep calm and carry on!