The first thing that comes to mind when you think about essential oils is their scent. Those scents are what make us really love essential oils. Or, just tolerate them and use them because of their properties. The most popular essential oil scents also have a wide range of health uses and benefits.
The best smelling essential oils presented here may serve many purposes. This article is meant to help you find out what they are and if you’re curious, how to create your own perfume too. You’ll also find out why use essential oils instead of artificial fragrances.
These fragrances are very common. Since they are so popular too, I thought I’d tell you about the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils. A little Aromatherapy oils guide to scents and fragrances (sweet, earthy, floral, etc.) if you want.
You’ll see what the most popular essential oil scents are and what they can do for you. Of course, you’ll also get a few recipes and ideas to get your creative side working.
Just sit back, relax for a few minutes and get your fair share of inspiration.
Did You Know?
- In 1920, a butcher from Paris discovered that his clients felt a lot happier in his establishment when he added the essence of bacon to a mix of 11 essential oils. Success followed because today we have perfumes with the scent of bacon.
The Benefits of Using Essential Oils in All Your Scented Blends
Essential oils are widely known as aromatic natural remedies. Besides their medicinal properties, they can also be used to make perfumes and scented candles, or cosmetics.
These oils are also a good choice when you want to enjoy their properties on a daily basis. Or when you have to deal with certain skin problems or minor health conditions (coughs, difficulty in breathing, etc.). They can treat, prevent and scent at the same time.
Above everything else, they’re natural. Because of that, some of the most popular essential oil scents are a great investment. They should be used for beauty and health benefits, but also emotional benefits.
Essential oils give you complete control over what you use on yourself and your family. You can make anything smell like you want it to smell. No restrictions!
What is the Difference Between Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils?
Aromatic oils are powerful, natural essences. Try not to fall for terms like “fragrance oils” because they are not natural at all. They’re lab-made! They’re used to scent all the cosmetics, candles and cleaning products that are produced on a large scale.
Fragrance oils are generally used to:
- Make soaps.
- Make scented candles.
- Give cosmetics a certain fragrance. A lipstick that smells like cherries, for instance.
- Make body products or bath foams, etc.
- They are also used in the making of commercial perfumes.
The moment you use fragrance oils in your homemade recipes, you will only get that fragrance. Nothing more, nothing less.
Using a few essential oil drops in your homemade recipes will give you natural and unspoiled fragrances. It will also do your skin and mind a lot of good.
To the majority, the properties of most popular essential oil scents are already well-known. Even though it might be a bit more expensive to use essential oils instead of fragrance oils, it is a lot healthier.
So, what are the two main differences between the fragrance oils and essential oils? It’s their price and their health benefits.
Whenever you see “natural fragrance oil” on a label, it means that that oil is synthetic. It will smell exactly like it says, while natural fragrances maturate in time, giving many interesting scents.
Therefore, keep in mind that fragrance oils are synthetic, and they don’t have any health properties.
Did You Know?
- The Bronze Age, ancient Cyprus. That is where archaeologists discovered a 4.000 year old large, buried perfumery. It seems that this old perfumery was producing perfumes on a large scale.
10 of the Most Popular Essential Oil Scents to Use for Many Purposes
There are many essential oils that smell very nice, but some of them are favored by most people. It’s because they have a strong and unique fragrance. A strong fragrance can truly make great homemade perfumes for personal use, or to refresh the air.
There’s nothing more pleasant than to know what a certain fragrance is and where it comes from. On top of that, to be able to have it at hand every time you need it, is even better.
I often find it frustrating that I like a certain fragrance in a commercial perfume and I don’t know what it is. With aromatic oils, you always know what you’ve put in your blend.
Which essential oil smells the best, is what everybody wants to know. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way of giving an accurate answer. The best smelling essential oil is whatever you like. And what you like, may not be to the liking of others, and so on.
All I can do is give you examples of best smelling essential oils for almost anything that would interest you. You will read about them after talking a bit about some really popular aromas.
The following oils are among the most popular essential oil scents used for homemade blends. They are good to be used as natural fragrance in skin recipes, to diffuse or for home cleaning. But some of them are also used to make expensive, commercial perfumes.
Some of the Most Expensive Essential Oils
Jasmine Essential Oil (or Absolute)
Botanical name: Jasminum officinale – common Jasmine; Jasminum grandiflora – royal Jasmine
- Very rich oil.
- Exotic scent.
- Perfect as middle and base notes.
- Forms a great blend with Sandalwood and Vetiver. But also with Neroli, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Geranium or Bergamot.
- It’s an expensive essence because of its complex extraction method.
Jasmine essential oil is a great aphrodisiac and antidepressant. It helps calm down the nerves and spasms from coughing or asthma. Jasmine is one of the essential oils with the best floral smell.
*Note: Not for pregnant women and not to be used in high doses! It has stimulating effects and can induce contractions.
Rose Essential Oil
Botanical name: Rosa damascena
- Sensual, rich scent.
- Very expensive essential oil, but being so powerful, you can use very little.
- Forms a great blend with Sandalwood and Palmarosa. Rose goes well with Jasmine, Mandarin, Geranium Rose and Carnation also.
- Rose oil is perfect as a base note.
Among all the other floral scents, Rose is truly one of the sweetest smelling essential oils. It’s great in perfumes, but it also makes a great ingredient for skin and hair care. It is a very concentrated antioxidant, which is useful in improving fine lines and wrinkles.
Rose essential oil is also an aphrodisiac and antidepressant. It can also help with stomach pain and inflammations.
Rose and Jasmine are among the best essential oil scents, and the strongest. They’re rich, exotic and very feminine. Both Rose and Jasmine make one of the best smelling essential oil combinations.
*Note: Rose can give you headaches, if used in large amounts. Otherwise, a moderate to small dose can take away migraines.
Affordable, Sweet and Floral Scented Essential Oils
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus sinensis
- Fresh and energizing scent.
- It’s a top note.
- It goes well in a blend with Bergamot essential oil.
- It also blends well with Ginger, Cinnamon, Black Pepper and Sandalwood essential oils.
Sweet Orange essential oil is a great tonic for the body and a sedative. It is an aphrodisiac and it can reduce spasms as well. Orange is also among the best smelling essential oils for home cleaning.
*Note: It causes sensitiveness to sunlight. Thus, it needs to be uses in low doses and applied on areas that will stay covered out in the sun.
Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia
- Fresh, herbal and flowery scent.
- It’s a very good fragrance enhancer. That means all the other scents in your blend will smell better with one drop of Lavender.
- It’s a middle note (to top). You should add one drop at the end of the mixing process.
- Blends well with all other essential oils and enhances their fragrances.
Lavender has one of the best essential oils smells. It is definitely one of the best and most popular essential oils to be used in a diffuser. It can easily treat insomnia and remove the stress. It can treat almost all skin conditions too.
*Note: Use it with care if you’re allergic to mint substances.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus bergamia
- It has a very light citrus scent.
- It’s a top note. That means it’ll be the first thing you’ll smell after opening the recipient.
- Bergamot forms great blends when mixed with Frankincense, Orange and Rosemary. Vetiver, Jasmine and Cypress also blend well with Bergamot.
Bergamot is good at reducing the fever, relaxing the body and stimulating the digestion. It is also great at relieving many types of pain. Bergamot can successfully be used as one of the best smelling essential oils for skin care. It can help with acne and bacterial infections.
*Note: Don’t keep it in the sunlight! Also don’t expose yourself to the sun after using it, because it is phototoxic. Bergamot contains bergaptene. This constituent, in contact with sunlight, becomes toxic for the skin.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Botanical name: Anthemis nobilis
- Sweet, warm scent.
- It is a middle note.
- Roman Chamomile forms nice blends with Jasmine, Clary Sage, Tea Tree, Rose and citruses.
- The oil is sweeter than its German variety. The latter is a better anti-inflammatory though.
Roman Chamomile is among the most popular essential oil scents. It is used for babies too. It’s a good antidepressant and pain reliever.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis
- Pungent scent. It resembles the pine.
- It is great as middle note.
- It forms nice blends with Lavender, Peppermint, Geranium and Lemongrass.
Rosemary helps relieving the pain and soothes stomach discomfort. Also strengthens the immune system and improves the mood. Not to mention it stimulates the brain to function at maximum capacity.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Botanical name: Pogostemon cablin
- Earthy, musky, yet somewhat sweet, strong scent.
- Great base note.
- If you hate the smell of Patchouli however, you could replace it with Vetiver.
- Patchouli forms very nice blends with Clary Sage, Myrrh and Bergamot. Also blends well with Lavender.
Patchouli offers great support for depression and anxiety and treats many skin problems. It can also be used to help in curing addictions.
Lemon Essential Oil
Botanical name: Citrus limonum
- Refreshing, clean lemony scent.
- Top note.
- It forms great blends with Lavender, Geranium, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang and Rose essential oils.
Lemon has always been good at almost everything. It can treat various skin problems and it can boost the immune system. It can also improve the mood and get you rid of headaches. It’s a great disinfectant too.
Peppermint Essential Oil
- Minty, refreshing and cooling scent.
- It’s a top note that evaporates quite fast, leaving room for the middle notes.
- It blends incredibly well with Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, Rosemary. Peppermint also blends well with Lemon and Marjoram essential oils.
Peppermint is among the most popular essential oil scents. I mean, who doesn’t know its smell since it’s been long used in toothpaste and candies?!
Peppermint is also very good at sharpening the mind and treating digestion issues. It improves the blood circulation, removes stress and pain, and boosts hair growth.
Quick Guidelines to Help You Choose the Best Smelling Essential Oils
Now that you know more about some of the popular aromas among plant essences, I thought about making it easier for those who want to mix and match more oils in their blends. People like what they like, and I know we all have different tastes.
That’s why I made a list of scented essential oils and put them in categories. I hope this list will serve you as a quick reference for when you want to narrow down your options, and help you choose the best oil blends for your own perfumes.
Sweet Smelling Essential Oils
This type of smell can be found in exotic scents like:
- Lemon Verbena
When it comes to sweet fragrances, there are many that remind us of various sweets, like candies for instance. There are a few candy smelling essential oils that could work nicely in a blend.
You can try Star Anise and Aniseed essential oils, Cinnamon oil and even Peppermint. Any other sweet essence you like may go into your candy smelling blend.
Strong Smelling Essential Oils
Generally speaking, the strongest scents are sweet. But it is not a rule, as spicy and woodsy essences can also persist a long time.
- Ylang Ylang
Musky Smelling Essential Oils
The fragrances in this category are all base notes. This means their smell is strong and persistent. Musky fragrances are also great perfume fixatives that balance the bouquet.
Originally, musk is an animal product that comes from male deer glands. It is also very expensive and hard to find.
Nonetheless, today we have synthetic musk fragrances to replace the animal product. But we also have natural, plant-derived musky scents. Those plants and flowers that give some of the best musky smelling essential oils and absolutes are:
- Ambrette seed or musk seeds (musky)
- Angelica (earthy, balsamic and root-like scent)
- Opopanax (earthy, rich scent)
- Amber essential oil.
- Valerian root (kind of bad, funky smell, with some resin and conifer notes)
- Cepes absolute (mushroomy, earthy and dirty smell)
- Musk flower.
All these essences, absolutes and essential oils can be used in various combinations to make musky blends for perfumes. These musky essences are good, natural substitutes for the true musk, which is very hard to find as its trade is strictly controlled.
Musky scents can also be considered unisex. A drop of any musk fragrances can enhance any blend and make it last longer.
Best Smelling Essential Oils for Body and Skin Care (in General)
This category is more or less subjective. Generally speaking, you could use any essential oil scent and fragrance you like. But if you’re having trouble deciding what to begin with, here’s a list:
- Citrus essential oils (Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea, Lemongrass, Petitgrain)
- Fir and White Fir
- Pine, Cedar (Atlas)
Best Smelling Essential Oils for Hair Care
Best Smelling Essential Oils to Diffuse
Here it matters more what the purpose of the diffusion is, rather than the fragrance. Earthy Aromatherapy oils for instance, may not smell very nice. But they would be perfect for killing germs and bacteria, and preventing viral infections.
In case you wish to simply uplift your mood or give your home a more summery feel, here are some of the best smelling oils to use in a diffuser:
- Neroli (Orange Blossom)
- Litsea Cubeba
- Sweet Orange
When it comes to using essential oils for Aromatherapy, some can be diffused easier than others. What are the best essential oils for a diffuser, right?
Well, the best essential oils for a diffuser need to be very thin and watery. That’s how most aroma oils are anyway.
But there are also thicker extracts like absolutes, concretes and others, which should be used carefully. They may clog the electronic device. Vanilla and Rose absolutes are good examples. Rose, however, can also be essential oil (Otto).
Thus, you can either mix a small amount with a thin essence or use a different diffusing method.
Best Fresh Smelling Essential Oils for Home
Aromatherapy oils can be disinfecting, antiviral and refreshing. Their uses are more subject to imagination and of course, a good research in advance. Nonetheless, they make great cleaning agents, with many therapeutic effects.
Here are a few of the best essential oils good for odor change and health benefits:
- Tea Tree
- Lemon Eucalyptus
All the oils mentioned in these lists are generally perceived as essential oils that smell good. These lists are non-exhaustive, of course. This means there’s plenty more space to add whatever fragrances you like.
Feel free to experiment and maybe even make a list with essential oils that smell good of your own.
Essential Oil Scents and Perfumes. Recipes for Yourself and Your Home
People are different and so are their preferences when it comes to aromas and scents. When a person loves a certain fragrance, another one can hate it. There are so many factors that can influence these decisions.
Oftentimes, people would find a fragrance very pleasant but not entirely. So, only because the overall smell is nice, they buy the whole perfume. Even though it is not really what they were initially after.
Now, you don’t have to do that anymore. You can start making your own signature perfume and add exactly the fragrances you like.
In this article, I gave you some of the best smelling essential oils for perfume making. Take your time with them and also, give them time to maturate into a blend. A matured blend will smell different than a fresh one.
Before mixing and matching perfumes, you should read my article on mixing essential oils and their notes. I recommend it to avoid any uncertainties or surprises.
You can make your home smell like you’ve always wanted to. Or you can put your signature on a unique perfume just for yourself and your senses. Nothing’s stopping you.
Some of the best smelling essential oil blends may be something you’ve never even imagined. Which is why you’ll need to do some experimentation!
Before starting to make your own recipe, keep a notebook at hand. Write down every single thing you do or add into a blend. If you’ll really like the blend, you’ll want to replicate it.
Recipe #1: Scented Sticks (Reed Diffusers)
- A tall jar or a small vase.
- Baby oil or carrier oil.
- Skewers or bamboo sticks
- Essential oils of your choice
Fill the jar (or vase) with the carrier oil you’ve chosen. The jar needs to be at least half full with it. Dip your bamboo sticks or skewers into the blend. Add your essential oils taking into consideration the amount of carrier oil in the jar.
Then make a few holes in the lid of the jar. After an hour, it’s time to turn around your sticks (heads at the bottom of the jar) and enjoy your new scent.
Recipe #2: Home Deodorant with Bicarbonate
- A small jar with lid.
- Essential oils of your choice.
- Bicarbonate (baking soda): ¼
You’ll have to cut a few holes into the lid of the jar. After you’ve added the bicarbonate in the jar, pour a few drops of essential oil or more oils in it. Then screw the lid back on. All you have to do is shake the mix inside a few times and you’ll find yourself in the middle of an amazing aromatic environment.
Recipe #3: Fresh Aroma Unisex Perfume
- 20 drops of Bergamot essential oil.
- 5 drops of Sandalwood essential oil.
- 10 drops of Lemon essential oil.
- 5 ml roll-on recipient or dropper.
- 1 drop of Lavender to enhance all the scents.
- Any carrier oil.
1 milliliter = about 20 – 25 drops of medium to thick essential oil. Citrus oils are thinner, therefore 1 ml = 40 – 50 drops.
If you intend to apply it on the skin then you’ll need a good carrier oil. But if you intend to put it on your clothes, only then you can use it without a carrier oil. You should add some pure alcohol though, to help disperse the oil molecules better.
Roll the bottle between your palms a few times so the oils mix well, and let it sit for at least a night before using it.
Experts recommend letting the essential oils perfume undisturbed for at least a month before using it. That’s the best way to enjoy a matured perfume.
Recipe #4: Sweetness and Gentleness
- Verbena essential oil: 4ml.
- Geranium (bourbon) essential oil: 7ml.
- Damascus Rose essential oil: 10ml.
- Cedar essential oil: 3ml.
- Sage or Galbanum essence: 4 drops to fixate the blend.
- 100 ml perfume bottle.
Blend all oils together and add in the fixator. Again, leave the blend overnight or if you can, leave it for one month untouched. This way the scents will mix really well and the smell be divine.
Using all or some of these popular essential oil scents will give you great perfumes. They will not go unnoticed, I can assure you. Don’t forget to write down any changes you make to the recipe!
Did You Know?
- The first modern perfume was ordered in 1370 by the Queen of Hungary, Elizabeth. It was made out of floral essential oils and alcohol. Nowadays, commercial perfumes use a lot of Rose and Jasmine essences. They’re so used that they became staples.
How Can I Create My Own Perfume with My Favorite Essential Oils? Things to Know Before Beginning
I gave you a few recipes with some of the most popular essential oil scents to use in perfumes. They’re either for personal use, or for your home. I personally enjoy making my own body perfume. It gives me a sense of pride and I also like the whole making process. It feels like a nice adventure…
Let’s see what the general guidelines are when making your own essential oils perfumes. In my opinion, these guidelines should help you find your own way through all the intricacies of a first-time homemade perfume.
A regular perfume is:
- 70 – 85% alcohol mixed with water.
- Plus 15 – 30% essential oils.
For a quality perfume, you need a kit. You’ll have to use quality ingredients and specific tools as well:
- Only pure or organic essential oils.
- Distilled water.
- Pure alcohol. It can be pretty hard to find it so you can use vodka instead. It has a neutral smell.
- Dark colored bottles, the glass would be ideal.
- A dropper, a pipette and a spray pump.
- A notebook used exclusively for essential oils perfumes and blends.
A perfume can be influenced by the fact that essential oils evaporate quite fast. Many essential oils change their scent over time. For example, Patchouli will smell even better over time. Its aroma will become denser and its color will change into amber (from pale yellow).
Because of this, your perfume will smell differently with each passing week for a while. To avoid noticeable changes in your perfume, there are a few animal fixators to be added to a blend.
The main quality of these fixators is that they hold all scents in one place. Managing to avoid the essential oils’ evaporation, they can increase the value and the life of the perfume. They also add sensuality and character.
The animal fixators in perfumes are:
- Ambergris – a waxy secretion that comes from the sperm whale.
- Castoreum – this is a substance that comes from the internal glands of the American and European beaver.
- Musk – is taken from the abdominal gland of the Himalayan male musk.
- Chive – again a secretion. This time it comes from the chive, which is a small fox-like mammal that lives in Ethiopia.
You’ve probably read the above paragraph with the same big eyes as I did when I first found out. But let’s not forget that no matter where these essential oils fixators come from, they enhance our perfumes in a way nothing else does.
What can you do with the most popular essential oil scents? You have total freedom in making our own perfumes and scent your cosmetics or candles. You can treat your skin and body and improve the quality of your life. And all that with just a few drops of your favorite essential oils.
Have you ever made your own essential oils perfume? Was it easy? I hope you find this adventure just as interesting and mesmerizing as I do. Can’t wait to hear your opinions.