That’s a tough question because it depends on who you ask.
Some prefer floral aromas. Others like fruity or woodsy smell better.
In truth, the best-smelling essential oils for a diffuser are the ones that provide the benefits you desire.
You have to ask yourself what results you want.
Why Diffuse Essential Oils?
In the beginning, you might diffuse essential oils to make your home smell better.
Lemon, lavender, and orange are popular choices to freshen up the air.
Later, you might try aromatherapy to improve your mood, reduce stress, or fight germs during cold and flu season.
Which Is the Best Type of Diffuser to Use?
I recommend ultrasonic or nebulizing diffusers.
They don’t heat the oil or cause it to break down and lose its effectiveness.
Ultrasonic diffusers are convenient when you need to add moisture to the air. They come in different sizes to cover small to large spaces.
On the other hand, nebulizing diffusers disperse pure oil without increasing the humidity.
Then, reed diffusers are handy for small spaces.
If you want to explore the possibilities, take a look at my reviews of the best essential oil diffusers.
In the meantime, let’s discover essential oils with the best fragrances for diffusing.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
Without a doubt, sandalwood is one of the best smelling essential oils to diffuse.
It comes from the Santalum album tree that grows throughout Asia.
Sandalwood is frequently used as an incense for meditation. Its aroma invites harmony and clarity.
Also, sandalwood essential oil has anti-aging effects on the skin and may help reverse hair loss.
It’s popular for perfumes as it’s an aphrodisiac, too (1).
doTERRA – Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood isn’t just an insect repellent. It can clear up acne and tone the skin.
The fragrance of cedarwood encourages relaxation of the body and the mind. Therefore, it’s a frequent choice for massage oils.
doTERRA derives this oil from the Juniperus virginiana tree that grows in North America.
Plant Therapy Frankincense Carteri Organic Essential Oil
There’s more than one kind of frankincense. Each one has a slightly different scent.
You might find that the Frankincense carteri oil smells a little better than Frankincense serrata. It has hints of lemon and balsam.
Frankincense is a popular choice for use during prayer and meditation. It’s healing to the skin and the mind. When diffused, Frankincense carteri can boost the immune system.
Plant Therapy is one of my favorite essential oil providers. They have certified aromatherapists available to answer customer questions. Plus, they provide batch-specific purity reports for each oil.
Edens Garden Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Cinnamon bark essential oil is potent, and it smells delicious. It comes from the Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree native to Sri Lanka.
Diffuse cinnamon during the holidays to put you in a festive mood. Or enjoy it when you need to be alert and clear-minded.
Edens Garden is based in California and has been in business for a decade. They are a family-run business owned by women.
Each batch of their essential oils is tested for purity and quality. Any customer can request the test reports.
Rocky Mountain Oils – Cardamom
The aroma of cardamom arouses the mind. It helps with concentration and clear thinking.
It’s a spicy and sweet middle fragrance note when blended with other oils.
If you have sore muscles, use cardamom in a warm compress or diluted and massage it into your skin.
Rocky Mountain Oils double-checks the purity of their products with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
Ginger Essential Oil by SenseLAB
Ginger originally came from China, but now grows throughout Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. It’s a relative of cardamom and turmeric.
Zingiber officinale isn’t just for flavoring food. This spicy, clean aroma invites you to find your motivation. It promotes energy and diminishes fear and fatigue.
If your family’s dealing with the stomach flu, diffusing ginger can reduce nausea.
Some say that it’s also an aphrodisiac (2).
SenseLAB manufactures the soil in India and packages it in amber glass to protect it from degradation. They offer a full refund if you’re not satisfied with it.
Idaho Blue Spruce Essential Oil by Young Living Essential Oils
When you wish you could go for a walk in nature, diffuse blue spruce.
It calms nervousness and eliminates fear. It can also help clear up respiratory tract infections.
For men, it may increase testosterone and balance hormones.
Young Living manufactures the soil at St. Marie’s Lavender Farm. It comes from the branches and leaves of the Picea pungens tree.
Cliganic USDA Organic Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is the base of many of the best-smelling essential oil combinations.
Pretty much everything blends well with lavender. Or feel free to diffuse it by itself as its fragrance is calming and relaxing.
You can use lavender on your skin to clear up infections, take the sting out of bug bites, and slow down signs of aging.
Cliganic uses certified organic lavender plants to steam-distill this oil. Then, it’s bottled in the USA. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Edens Garden Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage, when used on the skin, alleviates cramps (3).
When diffused, it relieves stress and anxiety and seems to decrease labor pain (4).
It’s not the same as the sage flavoring you might rub on turkey. It comes from the Salvia sclarea plant, a close relative.
doTERRA – Spearmint Essential Oil
Peppermint’s aroma is so potent that it might make your eyes water when you diffuse it.
Try spearmint instead.
Diffuse spearmint instead of peppermint if you have children as it’s milder, yet still effective.
Spearmint helps with digestion, improves mood, and invites the mind to focus.
Aura Cacia Organic Essential Oil, Cypress
Don’t be surprised if you discover cypress incense. It was all the rage among the Greeks and Romans as it was considered to purify the air.
As an essential oil, cypress is excellent for tightening the skin and shrinking pores.
When diffused, cypress oil blends well with clary sage, lavender, and bergamot.
It comes from the leaves of the Cupressus sempervirens tree.
Plant Therapy Rose Absolute Essential Oil
What’s the difference between regular essential oil and absolute essential oil?
Most essential oils are steam-distilled or cold-pressed from leaves, flowers, peels, or bark.
On the other hand, absolute oils are distilled with a solvent like ethanol or hexane (5).
In the case of jasmine and rose, crushing the petals or heating them would cause the end product to have an undesirable fragrance. This is when it’s important to extract the essence with a solvent instead.
Plant Therapy uses the Rosa x Centifolia plant to produce this essential oil. It’s a small bottle, but every drop is packed with aroma.
Moreover, the aroma of rose oil serves as a natural perfume that invites relaxation and calm. It blends well with jasmine, Ylang Ylang, chamomile, and bergamot.
Besides diffusing it, you can also dilute it, and use rose oil on your skin to ease muscle cramps and diminish wrinkles.
Plant Therapy Ylang Ylang Complete Essential Oil
Ylang Ylang oil, in its complete form, is not distilled in discontinuous processes like it is for the perfume industry. It’s steam-distilled in one shot for 12 to 18 hours to get all the aromatic compounds at once.
The enticing tropical aroma of Ylang Ylang is one of the favorite floral scents used in aromatherapy. It’s calming and sensual at the same time.
Diffuse it with bergamot and sandalwood to set the mood for romance.
Plant Therapy derives this oil from the Cananga odorata plant.
Plant Therapy Jasmine Absolute Essential Oil
Jasmine absolute essential oil is solvent-extracted from the Jasminum sambac flower.
Since the petals are soaked in a solvent, they are not crushed or damaged. The pure essence left behind has the strongest and most perfect fragrance.
Jasmine has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, but that’s not all it’s good for. The happy fragrance can improve your mood and set a positive vibration in your home.
If you apply it to your skin, it’s good for treating acne and moisturizing dry skin.
GERANIUM 100% Pure, Undiluted Essential Oil by Fabulous Frannie
Geranium essential oil was proven to reduce symptoms of PMS (6). It’s also excellent for beautifying the skin.
When you diffuse geranium essential oil, it refreshes the air and inspires peacefulness.
Blend it with rose, lavender, or jasmine to enjoy additional benefits.
It comes from the Pelargonium graveolens plant.
Now Essential Oils, Patchouli Oil
Patchouli has an earthy, musky fragrance that smells better when combined with other oils like jasmine or geranium. The aroma is soothing yet stimulating to the mind.
Mystic Moments | Bergamot Calabrian Essential Oil
Bergamot has a citrusy fragrance that resembles grapefruit with hints of lavender. It’s cold-pressed from the peel of the citrus bergamia fruit grown in Italy.
The aroma of bergamot is cheerful and calming at the same time.
It may be useful for reducing anxiety for persons with autism or ADD.
When you diffuse bergamot, add a drop or two of other oils like sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, jasmine, or frankincense.
Handcraft Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass is antimicrobial. If you apply it to the skin, it can make wounds heal faster.
Lemongrass’s aroma can lift you out of a gray mood. It also freshens the air in a stuffy house.
Try diffusing lemongrass with cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, lemon, patchouli, rose, or sandalwood.
Handcraft Blends sources oils from around the world then transports them to the USA for final testing and bottling. They use an FDA-approved facility that follows good manufacturing processes.
Rocky Mountain Oils – 100% Pure Orange Essential Oil
Have you ever felt like smiling when you catch the scent of the orange you’re peeling?
Try diffusing orange oil when you need a pick-me-up. When combined with lavender, it can help relieve fear and invite relaxation.
Rocky Mountain Oils obtains this oil from the Citrus sinensis fruit grown in Brazil. It’s tested to be free of pesticides.
Majestic Pure Lemon Oil
No review of the best smelling oils would dare leave out lemon. Lemon essential oil has a delicious fragrance that restores energy and revitalizes the mind.
It’s purifying and uplifting.
Majestic Pure cold-pressed the rinds of the Citrus limon fruit to create this oil. It’s packaged with a glass dropper for easy dosing.
Here are some blends to try in your diffuser.
The amounts are the same, whether you use an ultrasonic or nebulizing diffuser.
This recipe also works well if you put it on a cotton ball and leave it in your gym bag.
- 2 drops lemon
- 2 drops sandalwood
Time to Unwind
The classic bedtime recipe of orange and lavender gets a new twist with this recipe.
- 2 drops bergamot
- 3 drops cedarwood
If you wish you had time to take a vacation to a tropical paradise, diffuse this and relax on the sofa for a few minutes.
- 3 drops orange
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 2 drops sandalwood
Have you had a stressful day? Calm down before bed with this blend.
- 2 drops geranium
- 3 drops lavender
Set the mood with these powerful aphrodisiac oils.
- 1 drop patchouli
- 2 drops Ylang Ylang
- 3 drops jasmine
The best way for you to find the essential oils you want to diffuse is to smell them yourself.
Round up a few of the ones that appeal to you. Then crack open the bottles and take a deep whiff.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Even the tiniest of bottles that contain just 5mL hold about 85 drops. That gives you plenty to play with.
I hope you discovered some new favorite fragrances today. Tell me about them in the comments below.
1. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/sandalwood-oil.asp accessed October 9, 2020
2. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/ginger-oil.asp accessed October 9, 2020
3. https://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/most-commonly-used-essential-oils accessed October 9, 2020
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721455/ by Yuriko Tadokoro, published December 8, 2017, accessed October 9, 2020
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_(perfumery) accessed October 9, 2020
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238350/ by Seyede Maryam Lotfipur-Rafsanjani, et al., published November 5, 2018, accessed October 9, 2020