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The 5 best smelling essential oils

Last Updated: 02/08/2024


The definition of an essential oil that ‘smells good’ is so subjective; many aromatherapists say that different oils can smell different to your body if you like them or need them. A lot of what constitutes something ‘smelling good’ is personal preference, be it our experience with the oil or the plant from which it comes, or conversely, an aversion due to a prior memory or interaction. You’ll hear many aromatherapists say “the nose knows!” - which really just means there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to choosing the right essential oil for you.

This was hard, but we did it. We narrowed down what we believe to be 5 of the best smelling essential oils, period.


If you like the smell of fresh squeezed juice on a sunny morning in the countryside, then you’ll love the tangy, uplifting citrus of orange

Orange pure essential oil

Orange is a sweet citrus essential oil loved by many for its uplifting and mood-boosting properties. It can be used to restore suppleness to the skin, as well as to shine light on the positive side of life. One of the lesser known facts about orange essential oil is its adaptogenic properties. This means that an oil can exert normalizing effects on bodily properties; some people experience orange as relaxing and soothing, while others experience it more as illuminating or revitalizing. Either way you experience it, this juicy and sweet citrus is a surefire crowd pleaser.

Blends well with: rose, sandalwood or lemon


If you like the smell of fresh, crisp, ripe off the vine fruit that makes your mouth water in anticipation, then you’ll love the tart, juicy sweetness of grapefruit

Grapefruit pure essential oil

Grapefruit is naturally astringent, hence the tart and tanginess, and is often found in products formulated to help smooth the skin. It’s another essential oil highly touted for its ability to invoke feelings of happiness and contentment, and to overall help lighten one’s mood. Reach for grapefruit to inspire the expression of joy and to ease heavy feelings like nervousness.

Blends well with: peppermint, geranium or frankincense 


If you like the smell of a warm summer morning; dew fresh on the petals of a rosebush with a rich, intoxicating floral note lingering on the breeze, then you’ll love the nurturing and sweet-floral of rose 

Rose is commonly known as ‘the queen of essential oils’. Her precious essential oil is a true labor of love; 60 full size rose blooms are required to produce one singular, precious drop of oil. Rose is prized for many of its spiritual uses, helping nurture while also bringing harmony and comfort to the mind. Rose is an excellent choice in soothing and restoring dehydrated skin, as well as providing the comfort of a rich, intoxicating aroma.

Blends well with: frankincense, orange or lavender


If you like the feeling of a deep, cleansing breath in a forest after a thunderstorm, then you’ll love the fresh and camphorous notes of eucalyptus

Eucalyptus pure essential oil

Eucalyptus is well known in aromatherapy as ‘the breathing oil’ as the leaves of the plant are high in a compound called eucalyptol (or cineol), that helps to encourage deep breathing, as well as helping to soothe the respiratory system. When we refer to eucalyptus as camphorous, it means that it has a sharp, sometimes cooling effect immediately when breathed in through the nose and mouth. Eucalyptus is well-loved for its distinct woodsy and fresh notes that create feelings of being refreshed and regenerated.

Blends well with: orange, frankincense or cedarwood 


If you like the idea of a slow afternoon walk through fragrant fields of delicate flower buds in the sunny summertime, then you’ll love the subtle and herbaceous notes of lavender

Lavender pure essential oil

Lavender is commonly referred to in aromatherapy as ‘the mother of essential oils’, due in large part to its versatility and wide range of uses. Lavender promotes deep relaxation, encourages rest and can also be used to treat minor skin inflammations or skin dehydration. Like its fellow essential oil orange, lavender also has adaptogenic properties that allow people to experience it either as calming or uplifting. The gentleness of lavender is evident in its sweet floral aroma, and in its ability to ease worries of the mind.

Blends well with: orange, roman chamomile or peppermint

Kristen Rondeau
Contributor & Editor
Kristen Rondeau
National Educator