The Power of Scents: What are the benefits of aromatherapy?

Some people better understand aromatherapy as a practice involving a variety of scents that can relieve stress and aches. And they wouldn’t be wrong. But there is so much more to aromatherapy than meets the eyes. 

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Some people better understand aromatherapy as a practice involving a variety of scents that can relieve stress and aches. And they wouldn’t be wrong. But there is so much more to aromatherapy than meets the eye. 

Aromatherapy is thought to be hundreds of years old having been around since the middle ages. It embodies a holistic approach to well-being by using essential oils and ‘smells’ in a variety of different ways. These could be to target a specific area of pain, to relieve a headache, nausea, and even unstuff noses. But they can also be used to aid our mental health.  to benefit the person as a whole rather than targeting specific symptoms. Unlike conventional medicine, aromatherapy doesn’t work to mask the pain. It treats overall well-being so that we’re better equipped to deal with instances of stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Image from Jopeel Quimpo from Unsplash.

How can aromatherapy help me?

Here are just three of the many ways that aromatherapy can benefit you. While these are largely mood-based, there are hundreds of conditions that can be aided by the correct use of aromatherapy.

Certain aromas can be used to reduce muscle, joint and general pain.

A study carried out and published in the Pain Research and Treatment Journal found that aromatherapy had a more positive impact than placebos and other controlled treatments in the treatment of pain. This is especially true for pain associated with gynaecological and obstetrical issues.

Menstrual pain specifically is extremely common and affects between 25-97% of people worldwide. It can completely impair my ability to function! But aromatherapy has helped me combat menstrual pain, and even back pain!

I had a personal mix created by Olivia during a particularly bad period earlier this year. I’ve since refilled mine with my own blend and it continues to work wonders!

They can boost your mood.

It’s not hard to imagine why certain scents can work wonders regarding our mood. Just think about lighting a citrus-scented candle and the jolt of energy you feel. Or the warm feeling when you enter a house with burning cinnamon or sandalwood. Smells can have a profound impact on how we feel not only in our bodies but also in our minds. It’s another reason why so many people enjoy gardening. Not only are they working with their hands to create something beautiful, but the various scents found in a garden can be therapeutic.

Use them for a good night’s sleep or to help you unwind.

Ever wonder why Lavender seems to be stable in all sleep or relaxation products? Scents such as lavender are proven to be a great way of aiding relaxation and sleep disruption. A study published by Nursing in Critical Care found that lavender had a profound impact on patients in the ICU. Patients inhaled lavender oil for approximately fifteen days and showed a significant impact on sleep quality compared to the control group.

Additionally, the American College of Healthcare Sciences conducted a study where patients were given hand massages using a blend of essential oils once per day. In the following days to weeks, patients reported less pain and a positive boost in mood. These results confirmed that massage combined with the use of essential oils had more of an impact than the traditional treatment for depression. Considering most are unable to access help beyond traditional, and often expensive medications, this could have a profoundly positive impact on mental health self-care going forward.

Common methods of aromatherapy.


You can add a drop of essential oils to your diffuser or oil burner. Add a little bit of water to dilute it and bingo. You have yourself a creative way of emitting a scent throughout your house! Diffusers come in many shapes and sizes, and you can easily use a traditional candle burner.

*Diffusers are easy to clean, but remember to change your water often for maximum benefit.

Burning Candles

This is a no-brainer! Aromatherapy candles are very popular for relaxation and stress relief purposes. Simply pick your scent, place it in a safe location and light the wick.

*If you’re living in rented accommodation or on campus, be sure to check what you are and are not allowed to do. Some places may have a ‘ no open flame’ policy. In this case, diffusers can be used to prevent any fines or accidents.

Room Sprays

You can quickly add the scent of essential oils to an area of your home using a room spray. You can buy premixed room spray or make your own!

Bath or showering products.

Scented bath products such as bath bombs, shower soaps, bubble baths and even salts are a wonderful way to unwind! And they don’t cost you an arm and a leg, either! There are many places where you can pick up bath products of all scents, including small businesses. Be sure to check out Etsy or you local quirky market for a full range!

What oils should I use? 

There are many different aromas out there, some of which are used to pinpoint specific issues. While I can’t discuss every specific one, here are a few more common aromas and what they’re used for. I suggest going for one that can be used to pinpoint numerous areas or issues. 

  • Lavender is one of the most frequently used scents. It’s known for its stress-relieving properties and is often associated with sleep. Lavender can connect with many emotions and is excellent at helping to restore our minds and bodies. – Stress, Focus, Sleep.
  • Yang ylang is a scent I’ve only tried once and is known for its floral aroma. It helps in making you feel uplifted and promotes total body wellness. – Stress, low mood/mood boosters, sleep. 
  • Lemon is ideal for mental fatigue due to its sharp, citrus aroma, and when used this scent often leaves you feeling refreshed. – Focus, stress. 
  • Peppermint is often used as spider repellant, and can often make your breathing feel at ease. – Headaches, heartburn, opening airways. 

Please note that aromatherapy isn’t a cure and should not be used instead of therapy or medication. It should always be used in conjunction with other treatment plans.

With the holidays just around the corner, there’s no better gift than relaxation. Whether you’re looking for something for a loved one, a friend or even yourself, here are some aromatherapy essentials.

If you’re going down the diffuser route, then why not buy one with essential oils already included? I purchased this diffuser for myself to replace an older model. It’s got a funky design, two different mist modes and comes with a variety of scents for you to choose from. I highly recommend orange if you’re in need of an energy boost, or lavender to help you unwind.

You can’t go wrong with a scented candle and I, for one, am addicted to them. I’m always eyeing up candles in the local Home Bargains or Yankee Candle, and yet I hate burning them. But, I’ve started to take my own advice and instead of saving them for a ‘special occasion‘, I’ve decided to work my way through them on a daily basis.

These are some of my favourite to buy on Amazon because, not only do they smell great, but the containers are gorgeous! I have multiple of these now spotted around the house for ‘stuff‘ and even pass them on to local candle makers!


  1. This is such a great post and so informative! I love to use aromatherapy mostly with candles and plan to get a diffuser soon. I really love to use lavender as a spray when I go to sleep and use eucalyptus to help when I feel sick or have issues with muscles and joints, such a life saver! X

  2. I swear by a spray to help me sleep when I am a little too stressed or panicked, and a roll-on for my pulsing points during the day. Aromatherapy is such a great help to some of my tricky situations that I could no longer do without it!

  3. Yes! I love to have some me-time while doing some aromatherapy! I have humidifiers and candles to boost my mood. I love the lavender and peppermint scents too!

  4. Oh I will have to look more into this! I have only tried aromatherapy during massages!

  5. I can attest that this is a very effective meditation practice.. I often do aromatherapy whenever i want to unwind or if i am having hard time sleeping.. It helped me a lot when i was facing insomnia.. I love the lavender scent the most and some jasmine essential oils.. I also have scented candles in my room and i do enjoy my caramel scented candle hehe..

  6. I often deal with insomnia, and using lavender essential oil for aromatherapy has helped so much! It’s such a relaxing scent, and I just need a few drops in my oil diffuser.

  7. I love the scents of lavender and always using that oil in my diffuser every day and every night. The scent calms me and helps me to have a good night of sleep.

  8. I have a diffuser which I used a lot during lockdown when we were homeschooling and it really helped with mood and focus. I also love to rub lavender oil on my daughter’s feet before she sleeps to help her nod off.

  9. Aromatherapy definitely helps for my mood! I love burning a candle or wax melt when I’m not feeling like myself. I would really like to try and make a room spray one day too x

  10. I love diffusing essential oils in my diffusion. I had no idea they helped well being and pain. thanks for sharing!

  11. I love using aromatherapy as I find it so beneficial. I use it to help me sleep, relax or awaken my senses a bit and get a bit of energy. I have two diffusers I use and they are ideal for creating the right atmosphere I’m looking for. The one near my desk I often use citrus-based essential oil to boost my mood and brain function when working. Thanks for the information you shared here — it was really useful!

  12. My 3 favorite oils are on your list! I love to diffuse lavender, lemon, or peppermint. It depends on what mood I’m in and the time of day.

  13. Peppermint can be a God-send when a headache sets in. Definitely recommended the other scents, especially using lavender for sleep and lemongrass for giving you an energy boost.

  14. I love aromatherapy! I stopped doing it a couple of months ago and miss it. I need to get my stuff together and start again. Sometimes it just takes a bit of work to get it all going smoothly again. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. I love lavender and peppermint for headaches and stress. I’m going to have to check out some of these other scents you’ve listed!

  16. My oils all expired a while back, and I’ve not gone and bought more because the Apothecary where I bought them from in town is where I got the sports massage that screwed my shoulder/chest so I’ve never wanted to step foot back in there in case they ask me if I enjoyed it :-O

  17. I need to pick up some more Ylang Ylang. I ran out a while back and never bothered me bum to go looking for it. Thank the Gods for amazon!

  18. It’s incredibly important to remember that if you are blending essential oils with a carrier oil and applying to your skin that many can increase your photosensitivity and you should be careful with going out in the sun to cover up and not burn.

    I love ylang ylang – the aromatherapist I used to see told us it’s nickname was “poor mans jasmine”
    Bergamot is a fascinating oil to me because it can be either stimulating or soothing depending on the properties of the oils that it is blended with.

  19. I like having both candles and diffusers in my home. The candles fill my house with such a sense of warm and the diffusers help to refresh the air.

  20. If Young LIving essential oils are not very expensive, I will keep on doing aromatherapy. For now, I just make rollers and diffuse from time to time only.

  21. I love the orange ones! There was an orange diffuser going today at clinic and it was a little piece of heaven (in an otherwise hellish environment)!

  22. I used to find that with strong smells, especially incense sticks. I love them but can’t have them. It may be you’re sensitive to strong scents. I’d try a mild scent to start with. In regards to oil you can find many mild scents, and often if you go into the chemist (or a holistic store) and ask them for guidance they have someone on hand to help. However, be careful. My partner has asthma, and he can’t have essential oils at all. Strong candles also give him a light head. So it’s a matter of trying a few out and seeing which suits best. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, it can be different for everyone so coming up with a solution proved more difficult than I had anticipated.

  23. I used to always burn candles but I recently got a diffuser and have been diffusing oils more lately. I love that something as simple as scent can relax me or make me feel more alert!

  24. Interesting, I was quite uninformed about aromatherapy. I have been apprehensive about it because strong aromas, like those from diffusers and scented candles often disturb me (headaches mainly, sometimes a choking sensation or nausea). Any suggestions?

  25. I love aromatherapy! The scenes are so soothing. I try to make a point and spray some eucalyptus scents before sleeping. It is a gamechanger! Thanks for sharing these benefits!

    Nancy ♥

  26. Aromatherapy works for my family. We have diffuser and we use it at night especially in autumn/winter time

  27. I love a good candle and have always wanted to try essential oils! The orange one seems great for boosting my mood!

  28. I have to say, I’m a big fan of wellness and massage, but never knew any of the actual benefits! This is a really interesting post, and has made me love aromatherapy even more!

  29. The diffuser is excellent (But remember to empty it frequently and clean it, I learned this the hard way!). Thank you so much for reading.

  30. I love it too which I why I thought it only appropriate to incorporate it into the mental health side of things on this blog! Thank you so much for reading.

  31. Strawberry scent I’m sure can be used in aromatherapy. It’s a soothing scent 🙂 I highly suggest adding more smells into your life! I couldn’t live with out them.

  32. I have peppermint in my kitchen right now and I just think it makes everything seem fresher! Thank you for sharing your experience 🙂

  33. I think in a way I’ve always loved it. I’ve collected and burned candles etc since I was a teenager, it’s only recently that I started picking ones to suit healing properties.

  34. I was never allowed to diffuse them in the office due to health and safety, plus we worked in a meat factory so it wasn’t the best place. But I now burn oils all the time in my home office, or where ever I choose to set up shop (within reason).

  35. Thank you so much for sharing this information. I’m only aware of the very basic oils, or the most commonly discussed. I’ve never heard of petitgrain oil but I’ll certainly have to pick some up! Thanks again for stopping in, reading and sharing your knowledge with us 😀

  36. I think I need my oil diffuser and star doing aromatherapy following your excelent advise. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Great post, I love that you are highlighting the ways that essential oils can help us connect with healing plants on another level.

    Besides lavender, petitgrain essential oil has been traditionally used to ease anxiety and to uplift the mood. Petitgrain essential oil is distilled from the leaves and twigs (just before the blossom) of the orange tree, so it has a green, woody, floral scent.

    An aromatherapy bath is a great way to unwind and de-stress.

    For an aromatherapy bath, blend 6-8 drops of pure petitgrain or lavender essential oil with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil (or other vegetable oil – so the essential oils are diluted in vegetable oil when added to the bath, to protect delicate areas of the body).

    Oh, and petitgrain essential oil is very inexpensive, which is nice!

  38. Interesting read! I’m a candle addict as well. Diffusers and wax warmers are also great alternative for aromatherapy. Nothing like taking a bath with candles and a glass of wine. Thanks for sharing this info!

  39. I’m a big user of essential oils/diffusers and perfumes that I wear that follow aromatherapy scents, etc. I find it so useful if I need to relax and sleep well or feel energized and ready for my day. Fab post!

  40. I’d love to check these out, I love my home smelling nice, it certainly helps with mood

  41. I love aromatherapy therapy oils and candles. I like to diffuse them at the office, and I let my diffuser run while I’m at work so my place smells good when I get home. Thank you for spreading awareness on wellness and the benefits of this natural approach!

  42. I’ve heard of many benefits one can get from using aromatherapy. Need to try it out myself! 🙂

  43. Loved this post. Am going to try picking up some candles from the scents you have listed for focus and relaxation and see how I get on. Thank you for this post ☺️

  44. Funnily enough I have just lit a scented candle for the first time in ages, and then came across your post (although mine is strawberry scented, so not really aromatherapy!)

    I have been meaning to get into using scents around the house in order to promote relaxation and boost my mood throughout the day. I am definitely going to have to invest in one of those diffusers though, it looks amazing!

  45. Thanks for sharing the oils and what they are for!! I’m a candle addict too! I have them everywhere!!

  46. Aromatherapy in my opinion is fundamental in the home to maintain serenity and to the extent possible to manage stress … I love it!

  47. I love aromatherapy
    I always applied in my life and it’s really really helpful for when we are stressed and needing to relax

  48. My mum was really in to aromatherapy but whenever I think of it I’m reminded of lavender which I hate.

    This is really interesting because I now know it goes beyond lavender (YAY!) I’ve always loved the idea behind it.

    That diffuser might have to go on my Christmas list x

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