An Essential Oil Use Chart

Many of our projects call for natural oils as ingredients, so here’s a comprehensive list of essential oils and their uses, along with some detailed information on more than forty of the most popular oils to explore, I have listed their properties along with pairings, substitutes, descriptions, and my recommended choice.

essential oils

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Below you will find a list of essential oils and their uses, along with some detailed information on more than forty of the most popular oils to explore, I have listed their properties along with pairings, substitutes, descriptions, and my recommended choice.

If you can’t find what you are looking for here, take a look in my ingredients store for the latest recommendations.

essential oils

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Essential Oils

Click each link to jump further down to the properties of a specific oil, or scroll down and browse through all the information on using essential oils.

A to D Essential Oils

Angelica

Fragrance: Sharp and peppery
Note: Top to middle
Blends Well With: All citrus oils – Clary sage- Oakmoss – Opopanax – Patchouli – Vetiver

About:

Angelica is widely recommended for treating various digestion problems such as stomach ulcers, anorexia, gastritis, flatulence, gout, and indigestion. Other main benefits include the reduction in the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, and colds. Angelica is also good for detoxifying the body, healing various skin conditions, and balancing the nervous system.

I Recommend:
Angelica Essential Oil from Amazon
Angelica Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Anise

Fragrance: Fresh, sweet and spicy smells a bit like licorice
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Lavender- orange- spice oils- pine- rose

About:

Extremely good for relaxing muscles, clearing the mind, and generally making you feel more balanced and tranquil. Anise is also an antiseptic and is often used to treat headaches, respiratory problems, and aid digestion. Avoid using this oil outdoors as it often attracts insects.

I Recommend:
Anise Essential Oil from Amazon
Anise Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Basil

Fragrance: Fresh, warm and spicy
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Bergamot- citronella- citrus oils- clary sage- geranium- hyssop- rosemary

About:

Mainly known for its fresh, warm and spicy aroma that’s perfect for expelling unwanted odors, basil can also actually help to stimulate hair growth when added to a hair tonic. Basil also has antiseptic and antibacterial qualities that can combat mouth ulcers, gum infections, and ease bronchitis.

I Recommend:
Basil Essential Oil from Plant Therapy
Basil Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Bay

Fragrance: Strong, spicy and medicinal
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bergamot- ginger- orange- patchouli- rosemary- ylang-ylang- pine- cypress- juniper- lavender- frankincense- clary sage-citrus oils- spice oils

About:

Bay is a fantastic and uplifting oil that can stimulate the memory, help concentration, and increase confidence. It’s also good for stomach complaints and will help to ease cold and flu symptoms.

I Recommend:
Bay Essential Oil from Plant Therapy
Bay Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Benzoin Resin

Fragrance: Soft, sweet and warm, smells a bit like vanilla
Note: Base
Blends Well With: coriander- cypress- frankincense- jasmine- juniper- lemon- myrrh- rose- sandalwood- spice oils.

About:

Its sedative qualities are great for dealing with general sleep problems along with relieving anxiety and stress.

It is also useful for helping to relieve asthma, coughs, and colds.

I Recommend:
Benzoin Essential Oil from Amazon
Benzoin Essential from Mountain Rose

Bergamot

Fragrance: Fresh, spicy, floral and citrusy
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Chamomile- citrus oils- coriander- cypress- geranium- jasmine- juniper- lavender, melissa- neroli- nutmeg- rose- sandalwood- vetiver- violet- ylang ylang

About:

Produced from orange rind and has a lovely refreshing citrus scent. This is a great uplifting effect so it’s a good one for relieving stress and anxiety.

I Recommend:
Bergamot Essential Oil from Plant Therapy
Bergamot Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Black Pepper

Fragrance: Dry, spicy, woody and sharp
Note: Middle to Top
Blends Well With: Cardamom- clary sage- clove- frankincense- geranium- lavender- juniper- marjoram- myrrh- orange- nutmeg- rosemary- sage sandalwood- tea tree- vetiver- ylang ylang

About:

Black pepper not only helps to strengthen the nerves and mind, because of its warming qualities it helps to reduce the discomfort of any muscular aches and pains along with easing arthritis and sprains.

I Recommend:
Black Pepper Essential from Plant Therapy
Black Pepper Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Cajeput

Fragrance: Strong and slightly sweet, a bit medicinal
Note: Top

Blends Well With: Clary sage- geranium- lavender- marjoram- oakmoss- pine- rosemary- spice oils- ylang ylang

About:

With its painkilling properties this oil will help to ease most muscular aches and pains. Adding cajeput to a diffuser will disinfect the air, clear congestion and ease headaches, catarrh, and sinusitis infections.

I Recommend:
Cajeput Essential from Plant Therapy
Cajeput Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Cardamom

Fragrance: Warm, green, spicy, balsamic
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bay – bergamot – black pepper – caraway – cedarwood – cinnamon – cloves – coriander – fennel – ginger – grapefruit – jasmine – lemon – lemongrass – mandarin – neroli – orange – palmarosa – patchouli – petitgrain – sandalwood – ylang ylang

About:

Cardamom oil is used heavily in perfumes and is added to many soaps, cosmetics, and body care recipes.

I Recommend:
Cardamom Essential from Plant Therapy
Cardamom Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Carrot Seed

Fragrance: Dry, sweet-woody, root-like, earthy
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bergamot – cedarwood – cinnamon – clove – geranium – grapefruit juniper berry – frankincense – lavender

About:

Carrot Seed Essential Oil is your go-to for dark spots as it’s absolutely amazing at evening out skin tones. Its high beta-carotene content reduces pigmentation in the skin by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme produced in our melanocytes that is responsible for the production of melanin.

I Recommend:
Carrot Seed Essential from Plant Therapy
Carrot Seed Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Cedarwood

Fragrance: Woody and balsamic, with rich dry overtones
Note: Base
Blends Well With: Bergamot- chamomile roman- clary sage-cypress- eucalyptus- jasmine- juniper- labdanum- lavender- neroli- petitgrain- rosemary- rosewood- sandalwood- vetiver- ylang ylang

About:

Cedarwood is a superb skin refresher particularly if your skin is dry or cracked. This oil is extremely relaxing; its scent is popular with both men and women and makes an excellent aphrodisiac. Can be used to relieve a persistent dry cough or to lift depression when mixed with citrus oils.

I Recommend:
Cedarwood Essential from Plant Therapy
Cedarwood Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Chamomile Oil

Fragrance: Strong, warm and sweet
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Benzoin- bergamot- citrus oils- clary sage- frankincense- geranium- jasmine- labdanum- lavender- marjoram- neroli- patchouli- rose- rosemary- tea tree- ylang ylang

About:

For soothing just about anything; anxiety, sleep disorder, anger, arthritis, neuralgia, headaches, migraine and stomach problems.

I Recommend:
Chamomile Essential from Plant Therapy
Chamomile Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Cinnamon Oil

Fragrance: Warm, dry and spicy
Note: Base to Middle
Blends Well With: Benzoin- bergamot- cardamom- clove- frankincense- ginger- grapefruit- lemon- mandarin- marjoram- nutmeg- orange- peppermint- petitgrain- rose- vanilla- ylang ylang

About:

A mild antiseptic that gently warms and relaxes, it can make a mild and calming aphrodisiac. Cinnamon is a very good addition to a blend that’s to be used for disinfecting the air.

I Recommend:
Cinnamon Essential from Plant Therapy
Cinnamon Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Citronella

Fragrance: Rich, fresh, sweet, lemony
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Bergamot – cedarwood – citrus oils – geranium – pine – sandalwood.

About:

Citronella is used within fragrances and also medicinally to help with fevers and rheumatic pain. It’s also been useful for menstrual and digestion difficulties. Citronella is broadly identified as a bug repellent and may be utilized to create your own outside candles for all those late summer evenings. It’s also good for pimples, joint inflammation, bruises, common colds, fatigue, abnormal sweating, high temperature, influenza, headaches, infections, bites and stings, neuralgia, greasy skin, rheumatism and abdominal spasms.

I Recommend:
Citronella Essential from Plant Therapy
Citronella Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Clary Sage

Fragrance: Nutty, warm, light and musky
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bay- bergamot- black pepper- cardamom- cedarwood – coriander- cypress- frankincense- geranium- grapefruit- jasmine- juniper- lavender- lemon- verbena- lime- mandarin- patchouli- petitgrain- pine- rose- sandalwood- tea tree

About:

Although clary sage is well known for its sedative effect, it can also be used to treat pre-menstrual tension and stomach cramps along with labor pains and nightly sweats. It can also make a first-rate skin conditioner.

I Recommend:
Clary Sage Essential from Plant Therapy
Clary Sage Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Clove

Fragrance: Warm and spicy with a woody odor, a slight hint of leather
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bay- bergamot- clary sage- geranium- ginger- grapefruit- jasmine- lavender- lemon- mandarin- palmarosa- rose- sandalwood- vanilla- ylang ylang

About:

A well-known antiseptic regularly used to relieve tooth and gum pain. Treats colds and flu symptoms along with warts, verrucas, acne, cuts and bruises, also makes a first-rate insect repellent.

I Recommend:
Clove Essential from Plant Therapy
Clove Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Cypress

Fragrance: Fresh, green, evergreen aroma, balsamic undertone.
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Benzoin – black pepper – cedarwood – chamomile – citrus oils – clary sage – ginger – lavender – pine – ylang ylang.

About:

Cypress was used for centuries as the cleansing incense for many Nepalese and Tibetan civilizations. The anti-inflammatory as well as antispasmodic attributes of cypress helps asthma when breathed in, and will also reduce inflammation when used in your blend. You can even make use of cypress in your home as an alternative to pine oil. Additionally beneficial for respiratory disease, cellulite, coughing, dysmenorrhoea, water retention, insect bites and repellent, the symptoms of menopause, rheumatism, greasy skin, anxiety, inflammation, wounds

I Recommend:
Cypress Essential from Plant Therapy
Cypress Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Oils: AC – EL – MP – QZ

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Angela Wills

Hi, I'm Angela, and I make most of the homemade things here at Savvy Homemade. I’m fearlessly dedicated to creating tried, tested recipes & products that will work for everyone. I'm an experienced soap maker, skincare formulator, author, busy Mom of 3, and recently a Grandma! Welcome to SavvyHomemade, it's my true passion.

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Discussion (14 Comments)

  1. Hi Angela, I love your site, great information! I was wondering if you have a good recipe for those of us who suffer from migraine? I noticed that chamomile, peppermint and lavender are recommended, but they are all middle notes and I’m not sure what I should mix them with to get the best result. I’d appreciate if you could post a good recipe as I am very much a beginner 😉 Thank you so very much!

    Reply
    • Hi Helen,

      It’s great to see you experimenting with aromatherapy! Those choices sound wonderful, but I agree you really need a base note. In fact, if you want a well rounded fragrance, I’d also add a top note as well. But that’s just me.

      For your base note, I would recommend Vanilla Absolute. It’s has a rich, smooth fragrance that goes well in just about any blend. My friend uses it in her PMS aromatherapy blends and she swears by it. It’s excellent for bringing down inflammation, but also to reduce high blood pressure (which can be a cause of some people’s awful headaches). Whatever you do, don’t buy a vanilla fragrance oil, it must be the real thing for aromatherapy to really work.

      For a top note, consider something citrus. It’s uplifting and helps fight off those blues we get when we’re not feeling so great. Blood Orange would be a wonderful choice, as it’s completely non-phototoxic. But you don’t have to, the addition of a base note will probably round everything out quite well.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. I appreciate the information and the time that you have put into this site. It is quite helpful to me. I intend to order any needed product from your provided links to help support your efforts. That said, I do have a question. I do realize that there is no “one recipe suits all” and that, in many cases, there is more than one to achieve the same goal for the same person. However, is there a possibility of causing harm to a person by mixing “not so agreeable” oils?

    Reply
    • Hi Candace, thanks for your kind words and support! 😀

      This is a really interesting question, and something definitely worth discussion. From my research and experience, I’m going to give you a short answer of no, it’s not possible to combine two essential oils that will ultimately harm someone. However, this is only the case if we’re using essential oils properly and taking the normal precautions.

      First, it’s important to remember why only a small percentage of our final product can be essential oils. This is because essential oils are powerful botanical extracts. More specifically, it’s because essential oils contain substances that are known ‘sensitizers’, meaning if too much is used it’s possible for our skin to become hyper sensitive to these substances over time, which can lead to an unpleasant allergic reaction.

      Now, how does this relate to your question? Well, essential oils share some of the same sensitizers. So, it’s possible to combine two essential oils that have a high concentration of a single sensitizer. Providing you’re keeping the concentration of essentials oils in your recipes to below 1-2%, you probably won’t have any issues. However, if someone does have very sensitive skin, it could cause a tingling sensation on the skin or a mild reaction.

      Furthermore, it is possible to unknowingly use two essential oils that are counter productive to each other. For instance, lemon and rose essential oils have opposite properties. Lemon is great for oily and complex skin, whereas rose is great dry and mature skin types. If you use these together, it’s likely they will cancel each other out. While this isn’t dangerous or harmful, it is a complete waste of your time and money, and definitely something worth considering when selecting lovely essential oils for your lovely recipes.

      I hope this has answered all of your questions. Let me know if you need me to clarify anything. <3

      Reply
  3. Angela,
    Thank you for the information you have provided here. I found your site when looking for oils to combine with Frankincense and boy was I happy to land here. Anyway, I have a question. In the descriptions of each oil, you have “Note” listed. Could you explain to me what “Note” means in reference to the oils?

    Reply
  4. Hi, again, I just got eNotified due to your other commenters, and my above comment is past history by now, even though i’m still predisposed to those symptoms and way more, due to my life situation.

    FYI, i also have severe varicose veins plus severe neuropathy, tarsal tunnel, plantar fascitis, tendinitis, tailors bunions, and spinal osteoarthritis. I’ve tried many permutations of oils, including cypress, lemon, rosemary, marjoram, witch hazel, as well as a raved-about ointment on amazon which appeared greenish-herbal and smelled citrusy.

    Despite their rave reviews online, none of those oils really helped, and in fact, some made me feel more constricted.

    What does offer a bit of relief, is indeed eucalyptus or eucalyptus/ginger, as well as =red= tiger-balm (the American one, =not= the high-camphor ebay product), as well as the combo of grapefruit, geranium and lavender oils, approx. 2-drops each (in a 2 oz. glass jar) – swirled into a bit of carrier oil. While sitting with legs immersed in a hot tub, i dip my fingers into EITHER the tigerBalm, OR into aforesaid oil-combo, and lightly massage it into my painful areas, especially my right foot/leg/knee/etc.

    For my back, I use a cheap-junk lotion applicator (omitting the fabric covers:
    https://www.dhgate.com/product/2-pink-blue-back-rubs-massager-bath-brush/552303888.html
    It’s also on aliexpress and amazon.
    Unfortunately, i found this junky applicator way more usable and effective than a high-end “recommended” one which looks sorta like a white-rubber spatula. The pink-plastic is already starting to break and loosen. Why on earth couldn’t they make the same contraption in a non-junky construct, and with no removable parts/or/fabric? Par for the course these days.

    Reply
  5. Have not found so much information anywhere else with the minutest details and pictorial. Million thanks for helping beginners like me. Appreciate your good work.
    Looking forward for more

    Reply
  6. Hi, by the time you might respond to my email, it will be too late, but for the record, i’ve been spending a very very very very long time, trying to find a consistent bath-recipe for severe calf-pain (other people probably call it leg cramps, or permanent leg-charley-horse).

    Confusingly, I’ve seen various combo’s advised:
    (1) lavender, majoram, eucalpt, rosemary, pepermnt
    (2) ginger/or/clary, lavender, majoram, clove
    (3) ginger, eucalypt, majoram

    It happened as a result of walking tensely & gingerly, for quite awhile, in freezing weather, on a horrible icy-sidewalk near an ill-kept road w/wild drivers. Due to a stupid family invitation i couldn’t weasel out of (since her husband, my nephew, had recently died of cancer). I hadn’t arrived yet, when I developed stomach cramps too, and no bathroom nearby. When i arrived, it was a madhouse (nowhere to relax or sit, basically a nightmare).

    I also have severely painful pin-prick chilblains all over the uppermost joint of my pointer-finger, including the underpart. I tried everything,
    after priming with alcohol or peroxide or NaphthaSoap:
    one or more of these:
    wound-honey, bacitracin, calendula, aloe, silvadene, jojoba-oil, pure-lanolin, Aveeno-Anti-Itch, Blue-Star-ointmt

    The doctor told me to just (before bedtime only) put:
    bacitracin+loose-breathy-gauze
    I’m skeptical because it kills without covering it.

    P.S. i’m a senior fyi.

    Reply
    • Hi there,

      Yeah, it can be confusing with conflicting information. The truth is that many of these combinations can actually work quite well. It really depends on you and how you respond to different essential oils. I personally would try either 1 or 3, as I know anything with eucalyptus tends to be quite good for pain. Be sure to follow IFRA guidelines for individual essential oils to ensure you’re not overloading your skin with too many sensitisers.

      Ultimately, I would follow the advice of your doctor. While I know lots of people have extensive experience with using essential oils in home remedies for pain, I personally don’t. My experience is mostly related to using essential oils in cosmetics. So I’m ever so sorry I can’t give you any further advice. Let me know how you get on and how your pain responds to different essential oils. I think it would be a great learning experience, for both you but also myself and other SavvyHomemade readers.

      I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. Pain can be so debilitating, and I hope you find something to help ease it soon.

      Reply
    • Hi ND,

      Yeah, starting something new can be frustrating sometimes, but if you stick with it there’s no reason you can’t master it! Good luck, and thank you for your kind words.

      Reply

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