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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Q to Z Essential Oils

Rose

Fragrance: Very rich and deep a sweet-floral and slightly spicy aroma
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: just about all oils

About:

Because of its lovely deep aroma, rose oil has been extensively used in soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, and perfumes for years. Rose oil has many more wonderful properties than just its scent; in fact, it’s one of the best essential oils on the market for combating skin problems and would make a nice addition to wrinkle and dry skin creams. Being a mild antidepressant rose oil can give relief from stress, nerves, palpitations and ease headaches, hay fever, and coughs.

Rose is extremely expensive so as a beginner I would use Rose Absolute, this is a great alternative and the technique has come along way over the years.

I Recommend:
Rose Absolute Essential Oil from Plant Therapy
Rose Otto Essential Oil from Plant Therapy
Rose Bulgarian Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Rosemary

Fragrance: Strong and fresh, camphor-like and with a trace of woody-balsamic
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Basil- bergamot- black pepper- cedarwood- cinnamon-clary sage- eucalyptus- frankincense- geranium- grapefruit- lavender- lemon- mandarin- marjoram- niaouli- oregano- peppermint- petitgrain- pine- tea tree

About:

It is another must-have oil that treats or aids just about any muscular ache or pain you can think of. Other great users include treatment of varicose veins, scabies, dandruff, lice, arthritis, rheumatism, cellulite, circulation, digestion, bronchitis, coughs, colds, flu and so much more. Like I said a must-have oil.

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

Rosewood

Fragrance: Very sweet, woody-floral, with just a hint of spice
Note: Base
Blends Well With: Most oils, in particular citrus, woods, and florals.

About:

A real spirit lifter to help you feel more balanced and rejuvenated. Rosewood is fine tissue regenerator so a good homemade skin tonic will do wonders for any wounds, scars, acne, wrinkles and dull dry skin. (Rosewood is being felled from the rainforests so use sparingly)

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

 

Sandalwood

Fragrance: Deep and soft, sweet-woody balsamic
Note: Base
Blends Well With: Benzoin- bergamot- black pepper- clary sage- clove- geranium- grapefruit- fennel- frankincense- jasmine- lavender- lemon- mandarin- myrrh- neroli- orange- patchouli- rose- rosewood- violet -ylang ylang

About:

A very spiritual oil, it’s also a sedative and aphrodisiac oil which makes this oil a perfect choice for meditating and relaxing with. Sandalwood has many other good qualities including treatment of dry chapped skin, insomnia, urine infections, sore throats and chest infections.

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

Spearmint

Fragrance: Warm, spicy-herbaceous, minty
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Basil – benzoin – eucalyptus – jasmine – lavender – lemon – orange – peppermint – rosemary

About:

Used within food and the pharmaceutical industry, Spearmint is good for your digestive system and for any aches and pains. It’s not as strong as the peppermint oil so it should be better suited for any recipes intended for children.

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

 

Tagetes

Formerly known as Marigold
Fragrance: Fresh and sweet, herbal and fruity aroma.
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Bergamot -citrus oils – clary sage – jasmine – lavender – lemon

About:

Commonly known as a Marigold, Tagetes should not be confused with Calendula Oil which is often seen using the same common name.

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

 

Tangerine

Fragrance: Fresh and sweet, like orange
Note: Top
Blends Well With: Basil – black pepper – chamomile – cinnamon – clary sage – clove – frankincense – geranium – grapefruit – jasmine – juniper – lemon – myrrh – neroli – nutmeg – palmarosa – patchouli – petitgrain – rose – sandalwood – ylang ylang

About:

A well known as an antiseptic, Tangerine is great for Acne, congested and oily skin, constipation, dyspepsia, fluid retention, hiccoughs, indigestion, insomnia, intestinal problems, nervous tension, obesity, restlessness, scars, stretch marks. Tangerine can be used in a similar way to Mandarin, but it does have a much sweeter smell than the mandarin oil.

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

Tea Tree

Fragrance: Warm and Fresh, a spicy -camphoraceous
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Basil- bergamot- black pepper- clary sage- clove- cypress- geranium- juniper- lavender- lemon- marjoram- nutmeg- peppermint- pine- rosemary

About:

A well known antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial oil, tea tree oil is also great for fighting off fungal infections, catarrh, sinusitis, chest infections, mouth ulcers, verrucas, and athletes foot. And if that wasn’t enough tea tree oil is also excellent at treating spots, boils, insect bites, cystitis, and thrush.

I Recommend:
Tea Tree Essential from Plant Therapy
Tea Tree Essential Oil from Mountain Rose

Thyme

Fragrance: powerful and warm a spicy herbaceous
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bergamot- clary sage- cypress- eucalyptus- geranium- grapefruit- lavender, lemon- marjoram- pine- rosemary- tea tree

It is a wonderful oil to burn if there’s an epidemic around. It can treat colds, coughs and flu symptoms and help ease headaches, pain, sciatica, and sprains.

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

Vanilla

Fragrance: Rich, sweet and balsamic
Note: Base
Blends Well With: Benzoin – bergamot – frankincense – jasmine – lemon – mandarin – opopanax – orange – patchouli – rose – sandalwood – vetiver – ylang ylang

About:

Mainly used as a base note within the perfume industry, Vanilla oil is viscous and may need to be heated to help pourability. We do not recommend this oil in aromatherapy.

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

Violet

Fragrance:
Note:
Blends Well With: Benzoin – bergamot – frankincense – jasmine – lemon – mandarin – opopanax – orange – patchouli – rose – sandalwood – vetiver – ylang ylang

I Recommend:
Violet Essential from Amazon

Yarrow

Fragrance: Dry, smooth, herbal
Note: Middle
Blends Well With: Bay – black pepper – bergamot – cedarwood – chamomile – clary sage – cypress – grapefruit – lavender – neroli – oakmoss – pine – valerian – vetiver – ylang ylang

About:

Yarrow is recognized for its astringent attributes and can be used as an anti-inflammatory or within cold treatments. Yarrow can also be included in skin care treatments for calming arthritis and irritations. Good for pimples, amenorrhea, arteriosclerosis, joint inflammation, burns, bowel obstruction, coughs, cramping, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysmenorrhoea, eczema, temperature, wind, influenza, hemorrhoids, heartburn, inflammation, sleep disorders, yeast infections, varicose veins, wounds.

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

Ylang Ylang

Fragrance: Extremely sweet, floral-balsamic and a little spicy, with a rich and velvety top note
Note: Base
Blends Well With: Bergamot- clary sage- clove- ginger- grapefruit- jasmine- lemon- mandarin- neroli- orange- patchouli- petitgrain- rose- rosewood- sandalwood

About:

This exotic, floral smelling oil has been used for years to improve high blood presser and ease shock and palpitations. Ylang ylang is also wildly used as an aphrodisiac and to ease stress, depression, fear, and anger. To lighten its aroma, mix with citrus oils for a refreshing change.

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

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Hi I'm Angela

I make most of the homemade things here. 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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