View Full Version : What Do Which Essential Oils Smell Like?

March 30th, 2007, 03:15 PM
I'm not sure if this is in the right section.

Does anyone know of a place where I can read a generalization of what different essential oils smell like? I'm ordering some through a coop and I can't figure out what some of these must smell like from their names. Rosewood? Geranium?


March 30th, 2007, 04:42 PM
I think rosewood has an sweet but earthy smell, while geranium is more flowery. It is truly difficult to describe a smell in words... :lol:

March 30th, 2007, 06:46 PM
It's really hard to describe, especially since EOs are single note scents. But I have geranium essential oil and it's sweet and flowery, with a slight spicy undertone.

March 31st, 2007, 12:59 AM
I agree - it's is almost impossible to describe a scent, especially as everybody perceives them differently. As for essential oils you can't even tell from the scent of the plant it stems from what scent the oil will have, basil or rosemary for example.
Geranium has a touch of rose and is often used in blends of essential oils to simulate a rose-like scent (as well as palmarosa).
But have a look at this site: Essentialoilsonline ( They have some descriptions, may be they will help.

March 31st, 2007, 08:44 AM
Whatever oil is in Natures Gate Herbal, I LOVE that one. Maybee its Myrr?


March 31st, 2007, 01:03 PM
I went to my local natural foods shoppe and they let me smell them. Thank goodness too, kept me from getting some really nasty oils. :lol:

March 31st, 2007, 01:50 PM
To me, geranium smells like a spicy lavender EO. But everywhere I've bought EOs from has had sampler bottles, so I recommend going in person and giving the oils a good sniff first, at least until you know what you want.

March 31st, 2007, 05:08 PM
If you have a Whole Foods, or some sort of similar store, they often sell EOs. You could go and sample the scents, and just not buy anything.

Just an idea.

March 31st, 2007, 06:27 PM
I'm not sure if this is in the right section.

Does anyone know of a place where I can read a generalization of what different essential oils smell like? I'm ordering some through a coop and I can't figure out what some of these must smell like from their names. Rosewood? Geranium?


I have a couple of books on aromatherapy, one book titled "The Fragrant Art of Aromatherapy" by Linda Doeser, says that Geranium (Pelargonium graveclens and Pelargonium odorantissium) is somtimes known as rose geranium, and the oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of a shrub native to Madagascar.
It has a sweet, floral scent and is an attractive green color. It is a mildly antiseptic oil that is useful for treating many skin conditions, either by adding a few drops to the bath, as a steam facial or a massage. It is an exceptionally good oil for women and has proved helpful in alleviating period pains and the misery of PMS.
Emotionally, it is a balancing oil that works both as a tonic and as a calming influence. Massage with Geranium oil is an excellent way of treating sudden changes of mood. Massaging the neck and shoulders or the face is also good for mature and dry skin. It may be safely used at home, Geranium oil mixes well with most other essential oils.
A recipe for relaxing massage: 2 drops geranium oil, 2 drops rose oil and 2 drops lavender oil in 20 ml carrier oil.
This book doesn't say anything about Rosewood, I will look in my other book for that one. Maybe that will help. I love aromatherapy.:flower:

March 31st, 2007, 06:32 PM
Rosewood Description from

The Rosewood tree is a member of the laurel family. It is native to the rain forests in South America. With the destruction of the rain forests as we know them, this tree’s future is unknown down there. But, the Rosewood Tree is now grown on plantations for commercial use - using their wood and their oils.

The scent of the Rosewood is fresh, somewhat flowery, and woodsy. Aromatherapists consider this to be calming and harmonizing for both the mood and the body. The oil is often used to provide gentle relief for menstrual pains or fatigued muscles. The oil also has an antibacterial property, which helps many skin conditions (USE DILUTED).

Therapeutic Effect of Rosewood Oil

Among the primary components are linalool and cineole. They are believed to give this oil its calming properties. Since the oil is antibacterial, it also very helpful in relieving skin irritations and blemishes. It is also effective in maintaining the skin's oil balance and elasticity, thus it is used in many massage oils and toners.

Rosewood Oil helps with certain conditions

Rosewood Oil will help relieve headaches accompanied by nausea and linked to nervousness and tension in the muscles. Just diffuse the rosewood essential oil into the air or, you could place a drop of oil in each corner of a pillow, and enjoy the aroma as you are lying down.

To help with stretch marks, use a regular massage of the stomach, thighs, and hips with a cream or oil containing rosewood essential oil. This has been known to tighten the skin and possibly prevent stretch marks.

For clear and balanced skin, use the following prescription. After showering, massage your skin with rosewood essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as safflower oil, to soothe sensitive skin, help prevent wrinkles, and treat blemishes. To get optimum results, massage upward from the feet in circular motions, and ensure the skin is still wet. With the skin being slightly wet, or damp, it ensures you are keeping most of the moisture in the skin.

If you find you are very stressed, even agitated by the hectic pace of life, use rosewood and lavender pure essential oils to relax and soothe you. Use eight drops of rosewood and 5 drops of lavender and diffuse into the air.

Rosewood essential oil can be used for many other ailments. The versatility of the oil can be seen in the properties of the oil. For the emotional and mental ailments, rosewood has been know to help with calming, uplifting, worry, frigidity, and used for fatigue. Then, for the physical aspects, it has been know to help with acne, dermatitis, scars, and dry and sensitive inflamed skin.

Safety Cautions

It is seriously advised to not take rosewood pure essential oil internally. It is actually considered to be very poisonous. There are few other known dangers when the oil is used externally, or on the skin. When rosewood oil is diluted with any carrier oil, such as safflower oil, it rarely irritates the skin.

March 31st, 2007, 06:48 PM

Here's another source of good information on essential oils, including descriptions:

I've ordered oils from them a lot and really like their products, as well.