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Hotels, spas and malls have long utilised the power of scents to evoke positive emotions they want associated with the space they occupy. Diffusers, too, have been mainstay in people's home and office space. It's no wonder that popular essential oil blends often fly off the shelves, whether in retail stores or online.
With more than 130 essential oil profiles in the market, how do we narrow down to the scents we might need? We've put together a short guide for some of the more common situations when a few drops of essential oils in the diffuser will enhance your enjoyment in the now.
To diffuse tensions in the room
One of the most recognisable smell 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.
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.
My personal favourite, Palo Santo is a sacred tree native to South America. Indigenous Latin American cultures have used its wood in traditional healing and spiritual ceremonies, and in modern usage, users have said it brings positivity into the space. It's also said to have antimicrobial properties.
Interestingly, Palo Santo is a cousin of both frankincense and myrrh.
To concentrate and focus
For those feeling mentally exhausted, basil has a calming effect and gradually gives an energising boost to the surrounds.
Sage oil is great for stimulating the mind, helps with focus, and research suggests that it may help with symptoms of Alzheimer's.
Studies suggest that lemon essential oil may help with the stress associated with ADHD, and can also help with focus.
Used to help individuals concentrate, the aroma of this oil can help with mental alertness.
To unwind for the day
Stress is a daily occurrence for everyone, but the effects of stress can be countered with this oil, which promotes relaxation. It can also help individuals focus on both simple and complex tasks without letting stress interfere.
With an aroma that puts you in the middle of a forest, sandalwood is an ideal essential oil to diffuse for relaxing and relieving stress.
Extracted from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree, neroli essential oil has a tranquillising effect that helps relieve insomnia, lethargy, anxiety and stress.
To set the mood for love
Extracted from the premier flowers of love, rose essential oil has been known to be an aphrodisiac and antidepressant. It also helps relieve anxiety and high blood pressure.
With an aroma that is similar to rose, the scent helps lessen fatigue and enhance emotional well-being. It is also commonly used to balance hormones and relieve anxiety.
Jasmine’s floral aroma is believed to arouse passion and helps with managing negative emotions.
For better sleep
Cedarwood is said to support the function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the hormone that promotes good sleep.
The go-to for sleep-related uses, Lavender is known for its calming effects.
Frankincense is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree, and its woody and pleasant aroma makes 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.