Essential Oil Scent Descriptions

 

Essential oils are derived from plants and will therefore vary from country to country and year to year based on soil and other environmental conditions similar to fine wines.  

The descriptions below are based on a general consensus of what these oils smell like.  When used on your skin some of these oils may take on a slightly different aroma depending on how they blend with your own skins oils which will give you a very individual scent experience.  

 

  • Anise Star - powerful and black licorice-like 

  • Sweet Basil (Indian) - sweet-spicy, fresh aroma with a faint balsamic woody undertone

  • Benzoin - sweet, warm and vanilla-like 

  • Bergamot - citrus, fruity and sweet with a warm spicy floral quality

  • Blood Orange - warm, fresh citrus scent, radiant, fruity and tangy

  • Cajeput - fresh, camphorous aroma with a slight fruity note.  The odor of the oil has been stated to resemble the combined fragrance of camphor, rosemary and cardamom.

  • Calamus Root - refreshing similar to cinnamon

  • Cardamom - spicy and almost balsamic

  • Carrot Seed - strong characteristic fruity somewhat musky aroma

  • Cedarwood Atlas - woody, sweet, sharp, slight aroma of artificial mothballs, balsamic

  • Chamomile Roman - sometimes described as 'apples and straw', exotic and rich.  This is considered the best smelling of the chamomiles

  • Cinnamon Bark - warm, spicy scent that is somewhere between clove and cinnamon. It is slightly herbaceous with pepper notes. This oil has the 'cinnamon and spice' smell

  • Cinnamon Leaf - spicy, warm, clove-like smell

  • Citronella Ceylon - well rounded lemon citrus scent, though softer than lemon, also has subtle wood tones

  • Clary Sage - earthy, fruity and floral aroma that is both nutty and herbaceous

  • Clove Bud Indonesia - smells like the cloves from which is has been distilled.  The aroma is spicy, herbaceous and slightly sweet

  • Clove Bud India - sweeter than the indonesian variety and less herbaceous  

  • Cypress - sweet, balsamic and spicy; pleasant evergreen aroma with a combination of smoky, woody and dry elements; fruity and slightly nutty tones if compared to an exotic Cedarwood

  • Davana - is subject to change scent on each person more so than other oils.  Davana is highly valued in perfumery to create perfumes that are highly individual.  

  • Eucalyptus (Globulus) - soft herbaceous scent with soft woody undertones

  • Fennel (Sweet) - spicy, sweet scent similar to that of black licorice

  • Frankincense (Indian) - rich, woody, earthy scent with a deeply mysterious nuance.  Indian Frankincense is a mild and less pungent variety. Ours is not the frankincense from Somalia which is pungent, smoky and traditionally used in religious ceremony.

  • Galbanum - intensely green, fresh leafy odor with a dry woody back-note of balsamic, bark-like character

  • Geranium (Bourbon) - floral aroma and a hint of mint

  • Ginger - warm, spicy, woody scent with a hint of lemon and pepper; the smell of freshly cut ginger through not as powerful

  • Grapefruit Pink - fresh, sweet citrus smell that is very characteristic of the fruit

  • Helichrysum/Everlasting (African) - floral, mint, earthy and fresh

  • Ho Wood - A replacement for Rosewood essential oil which is currently severely endangered in every country.  Ho Wood has a woody floral scent that has sweet and camphoraceous notes.  

  • Hyssop - sweetly medicinal scent that many find appealing

 

  • Juniper Berry (India) - fresh, rich-balsamic woody-sweet and pine needle-like odor reminiscent of evergreen oils

  • Labdanum - warm sweet, musky, amber scent

  • Lavender - 40/42 Linalool/Linalyl acetate esters - has the most floral scent of all the lavenders, though its therapeutic levels are the lowest. That being said, lavender still has incredible healing properties no matter what the variety. This scent is floral, herbaceous, fresh with a balsamic woody undertone

  • Lavender (French dentate) - 30/21 - is balanced with its pleasant floral scent and it's therapeutic qualities; sweet, floral and lemony ; many prefer this scent above other lavenders 

  • Lavender (Population angustifolia - angustifolia variety is known to have the highest therapeutic qualities but is not as sweet smelling as other varietals) - 32/31 - sweet, green scent that speaks well of therapy

  • Lavender (Spanish stoechas) - 42/20  - fresh, floral, fruity and not as herbaceous as other lavenders; has lower health properties

  • Lavender (Ukraine angustifolia) - 36/37 - similar scent to lavender population; sweet, green scent that smells therapeutic

  • Lavender (South African angustifolia) - 30/31 - fresh, sweet, floral -herbaceous odor with a touch of the African veldt; similar to French lavender but more mellow and not as sharp

  • Lemon - strong citrus scent

  • Mandarin - intense, sweet fresh scent characteristic of citrus fruit

  • Sweet Marjoram - warm, spicy aroma with a hint of nutmeg

  • Myrrh (Egyptian) - warm, rich, spicy basalmic aroma

  • Neroli (Morocco) - sweet, floral, citrus aroma; exotic and exquisite

  • Niaouli - sweet, fresh, camphoraceous

  • Nutmeg - rich, spicy, sweet, woody scent similar to the cooking spice but richer and more fragrant

  • Orange Sweet - sweet citrus smell much like orange peel

  • Oregano - powerful, spicy, camphor-like aroma

  • Palmarosa - sharp, floral note with a hint of rose

  • Dark Patchouli - warm, earthy aroma with fresh fruit-like tones

  • Black Pepper - strong, sharp, spicy smelling oil; faintly reminiscent of clove oil

  • Peppermint (Japanese) - sharp penetrating mint scent with a sweet vapor

  • Petitgrain (Italian) - smells like orange blossoms with a bitter, floral, citrus and herbaceous undertone

  • Scotch Pine - crisp, fresh, sweet, forest like aroma; more resinous and warm smelling than the regular pine oil

  • Rose Otto - rich floral aroma similar to the scent of the freshly picked flowers

  • Rosemary (Spanish) - strong, clear, penetrating, camphoraceous and herbaceous aroma

  • Rosewood - We no longer carry Rosewood essential oil.  Any type of Rosewood including Brazilian and Indian are on the CITES endangered list.  These trees are destroyed for production of the essential oils and are being harvested at an unsustainable rate in every country.  Please look to Ho Wood as a substitution.

  • Sandalwood (Australian only as Indian Sandalwood is on the CITES endangered list) - rich, balsamic, sweet fragrance with delicate wood notes that add to its reputation as a luxurious and exquisite oil. We are also looking into Amyris Essential Oil as a substitution to Indian Sandalwood.  

  • Spearmint - fresh minty smell; sweeter and not quite as harsh as peppermint

  • Spikenard - earthy, harsh wood like smell that is slightly musty

  • Spruce (Black Wild) - one of Canada's best kept secrets.  It is sweeter and softer than most evergreen oils with a balsamic, resinous odor with green woody notes; clean, fresh and pleasant

  • Tangerine - citrus scent - fresh, radiant and tangy sweet much like mandarin; can be seen as lighter with more candy-like tones than Sweet Orange

  • Tea Tree (Australian) - antiseptic and medicinal; also minty, woody and camphorous notes

  • Thyme - medicinal and green

  • Vanilla - rich, sweet, vanilla odor

  • Vetiver - earthy, woody very smoky scent characteristic of most essential oils derived from roots in the earth.  Has a rich, sweetly satisfying note that is both warm and masculine. To some vetiver smells of tobacco.  

  • Ylang Ylang #3 - sweet, exotic, floral scent; an extremely popular scent for men and women