If essential oils are a regular part of your routine, your aromatherapy kit probably contains at least one of the following - lavender, peppermint, lemon, tea tree or orange essential oil (and if it doesn’t, you should take a look at this popular solution).
Certain oils gain more attention than others for a number of reasons; they’re easier to harvest, can be used in lots of different ways, or have an irresistible fragrance. But what about if you need a substitute essential oil? Or maybe you’re interested in exploring the uncommon essential oils, with unique properties.
Earthy and relaxing, vetiver is a great choice if you need a little help drifting off to sleep. This is one of the reasons why you can swap it with lavender oil, but if you’re looking for an unusual summer blend, you can combine it with patchouli oil. Some users find vetiver can help with feelings of anxiety and stress, which makes it the perfect addition to a rollerball blend
Also known as lemon balm, this essential oil has shown antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, so you can pop it in your homemade cleaning products for a burst of fragrance. It has a fresh, lemony scent, and as part of the mint family, makes an excellent alternative to peppermint or spearmint. Due to global shortages, melissa is a particularly expensive oil. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, try our blended oil.
If you have sensitive skin and are considering topical application, spearmint is much gentler than peppermint oil; it doesn’t have the same tingly hot/cold sensation, and gives off a soothing fragrance in the diffuser. Spearmint also has a slightly sweeter fragrance so it feels soothing and refreshing as part of a diffuser blend.
The sweet, herbaceous scent of narcissus oil is ideal for use in perfumery. An intense, heady fragrance, narcissus should always be used in small doses. This makes it super cost-effective for DIY beauty products, because a small amount goes a really long way. If you’re looking for a sophisticated fragrance to work with, narcissus is the perfect choice.
You might have overlooked celery seed oil when scouting out the next addition to your collection, but this essential oil is incredibly versatile. Spicy and warming, celery seed oil makes for an excellent massage oil, particularly after exercise. It blends really well with some of the more popular oils, such as lavender and tea tree, a handy addition to your favourite essential oils recipes.
Don’t be put off by the name, it won’t make you sneeze. Black pepper oil has green, earthy tones, and smells wonderful when its diffused. Like celery seed oil, black pepper can help to reduce muscle tension and soothe aches and pains when used topically. For an alternative summer diffuser blend, try combining black pepper and sweet orange oil for a fresh, calming fragrance.
Part of the tea tree and eucalyptus family, myrtle oil offers a slightly sweeter aroma. The uplifting fragrance is refreshing if you feel groggy, and some users find it helps to clarify the mind. A recent study also showed that myrtle oil is an effective acne treatment, clearing dead skin cells and rebalancing oil production. If you’re planning to use this essential oil topically, be sure to dilute it to at least 5% concentration.
The warm and woody fragrance of sweet marjoram makes it a soothing addition to any aromatherapy collection. If you’re a fan of wearing your essential oils on your skin or clothing, some aromatherapists use it to promote calmness, and aid in a restful night’s sleep. Pop a little on your pillow before bed time, or diffuse this oil in your bedroom before turning in for the night.
It might not be the cold season, but if you’re feeling sneezy, diffusing lemon verbena might help you ease some of those symptoms. The stimulating fragrance is an excellent addition to your morning routine, particularly when it's added to bath and cosmetic products. Or if you like a fresh, lemony scent in your cleaning products, lemon verbena can be added to homemade scrubs and sprays.
With its fresh and woody fragrance, hyssop essential oil is a clarifying essential oil which can be used to create atmosphere in daily meditation practices. It makes an excellent massage oil when diluted, and can be used with a range of different essential oils in a diffuser. If you’re going to try one new oil, hyssop makes a lovely fragrant ingredient for homemade beauty and domestic products.
Which alternative essential oils have you tried? Let us know your favourites in the comments below! If you want to hear more of our recommendations, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.