Understanding essential oil scent categories

Creating your own essential oil blend is an excellent way to lift your spirits or add a personal touch to your home. There are tons of different essential oils to choose from, and each category can be used for something different, such as helping yourself relax or inspiring a burst of energy. 

Eager to put together your own essential oil blend? It’s easier to start making unique scents when you start to familiarise yourself with essential oil scent categories. To help you create beautiful scents at home, check out our list of scent categories for guidance. 


Examples: Lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, and grapefruit.

Citrus scents are generally associated with bright and energising qualities. Including a citrus essential oil in your blend can make it feel uplifting and rejuvenating. Citrus is also classified as a top note, meaning that you’ll probably notice it first when you smell a citrus blend. However, it does fade quickly as you wear it, so you’ll want to balance it with longer-lasting notes, such as something from the spicy category.


Examples: Ylang-ylang, lavender, rose, jasmine, and geranium.

The floral category is another set of essential oils that blends well with spicy oils, as floral scents tend to balance out other aromas with their sweet, delicate notes. Floral scents are great for blends that need a touch of beauty or romance, and they tend to be very relaxing as well. Florals usually qualify as middle notes, balancing more potent scents nicely and preventing them from feeling too heavy.


Examples: Melissa, marjoram, basil, hyssop, and clary sage.

As the name might suggest, essential oils from the herbaceous category tend to smell very green and vibrant. Like florals, herbaceous scents are usually middle notes and can bring an undertone of clarity and lift to your blend. Many people say that herbaceous essential oils help to improve their moods and make them feel more positive as a result of their natural, fresh scents and their association with the outdoors.


Examples: Eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, cajuput, and rosemary.

Camphor essential oil, the namesake of this scent group, is a great option to use alongside any of the other examples listed above in order to give your blend a sharp, purifying scent. The penetrating scent of camphor can do wonders to grant a feeling of clarity and help make your custom scent much more noticeable and bright. Many people find camphoraceous scents to be refreshing and helpful in terms of sharpening their focus.


Examples: Black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Essential oils from the spicy category are often associated with warmth, comfort, and passion. People often turn to these scents for an element of potency and a rousing, focus-enhancing boost of energy. Oils in the spicy category are also generally classified as middle or base notes, making them long-lasting and useful for stretching out the longevity of your blend’s aroma.


Examples: Frankincense, myrrh, elemi, benzoin, and citronella.

Another great option for your blend’s middle or base notes is a good pick from the resinous/musky category. These scents are rich, leathery, woodsy, and warm. They are usually associated with a calm, secure mood and are often used in romantic or spiritual settings as a result. Any of the oils from this category are a good choice for something that will last a long time and promote a feeling of relaxation, peacefulness, and grounding.


Examples: Patchouli, cedarwood, pine, sandalwood, and vetiver.

Deep, rich, and mysterious qualities are often associated with scents from the woody/earthy category. These essential oils are bound to conjure thoughts of damp tree bark and forest moss and are frequently used to add an element of masculinity and allure to a scent blend. These scents are generally very grounding and comforting and are often viewed as aphrodisiacs as well. Woody scents are also usually middle or base notes, giving a long-lasting warmth to your blend.

Visit N-Essentials to order essential oils online and find helpful tips and resources for making your own skincare and beauty products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.