Essential Oils Usage Tips

Essential oils are natural compounds derived from plants and fruits, through pressing or distillation. They contain high levels of the compounds that give the plants and fruits their aroma, therefore, the oils are highly fragranced and can be used sparingly.

With a wide range of uses, from aromatherapy, to massage and topical application to room fragrancing, essential oils are fantastically versatile. Below, we give some ideas and tips for using our essential oils in a variety of ways. As always, please follow the safety advice and never apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin.

Simple Home Fragrance Uses

Essential oils are fantastic to use purely for their fragrance, with an incredibly wide range of fragrance types, from bright citrus scents, to more earthy aromas such as patchouli and the herbaceous hit of rosemary, there is an oil for every scent you could wish for.

Perhaps the most common ways to use essential oils for fragrance are to diffuse them or use them in an oil burner, both of which release the essential oil as a vapour, but by different methods.

A diffuser works by using ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine vapour that will spread easily around a room taking the scent with it. To use a diffuser, you need only add 5-6 drops of your chosen oil or oils to the appropriate volume of water for your machine and then simply switch it on. It is good practice to wipe out your diffuser after each use and to clean it properly after every 5-6 uses. This helps to prevent an accumulation of oil residue that can affect the functioning of the device.

An oil burner works by using a tealight candle to heat a small volume of water and essential oil, which is then released as steam vapour, carrying the scent with it. To use an oil burner, simply add the appropriate volume of water to the bowl of your oil burner and add 5-6 drops of your chosen oil or oils, then place a lit tealight candle beneath the bowl and wait for the fragrance to fill your room.

Whilst diffusers and oil burners are the most common ways to release the fragrance of essential oils, one tip for easy use during winter, is to place a few drops of your chosen oil onto a tissue and place it on top of a hot radiator, which will release the fragrance and spread it on the heat currents.

You can also make a room mist spray using essential oils, which can be used to spritz wherever you need a hit of freshness or scent. The best homemade essential oil room sprays contain perfumers alcohol, but you can use vodka as a substitute – both act as a preservative and help the scent disperse in the air. Ideally you should use distilled water, but filtered water is a suitable alternative. At a pinch, you could use boiled and cooled tap water, though this contains a number of chemicals that can affect the overall scent.

Below are a couple of simple room spray recipes that you can make quickly and cheaply.

You will need the following:

Spray Bottle / Alcohol (perfumers or vodka) / Distilled or Filtered Water / Essential Oils

Bright & Citrusy Room Spray 125ml

15 Drops Grapefruit Pure Essential Oil

10 Drops Lemon Pure Essential Oil

10 Drops Sweet Orange Pure Essential Oil

5 Drops Lavender Pure Essential Oil

60ml Perfumers Alcohol or 60ml Vodka

60ml Distilled or Filtered Water

Add the alcohol and essential oils to an appropriately sized spray bottle, affix the lid and shake well. Top up with distilled or filtered water and shake again. The spray is now ready to use, but the aroma will improve if left to infuse fully for 24 hours.

Ocean Breeze Room Spray 125ml

15 Drops Cedarwood Pure Essential Oil

10 Drops Lime Pure Essential Oil

5 Drops Spearmint Pure Essential Oil

3 Drops Eucalyptus Pure Essential Oil

3 Drops Frankincense Pure Essential Oil

60ml Perfumers Alcohol or 60ml Vodka

60ml Distilled or Filtered Water

Add the alcohol and essential oils to an appropriately sized spray bottle, affix the lid and shake well. Top up with distilled or filtered water and shake again. The spray is now ready to use, but the aroma will improve if left to infuse fully for 24 hours.

Topical Skin Application

Many essential oils have therapeutic benefits when diluted in a carrier oil and rubbed into the skin. Start with a low level of dilution, say 1-2% essential oil to 99-98% carrier oil and then work upwards if you require a stronger blend. You can use carrier oils such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil, as they are absorbed well into the skin. Both are also ideal for making massage oils when mixed with one or more essential oils.

When using any essential oil on the skin, it is essential to understand whether the oil causes phototoxicity. This is a process whereby an oil becomes toxic when exposed to direct sunlight. You must take care to prevent direct sunlight hitting any part of the body that has had a phototoxic oil applied to it.

Please use the phototoxic oils below with appropriate care:

  • Angelica root
  • Bergamot (unless it’s specified as “bergaptene-free”)
  • Cassia
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Lemon
  • Lime (only cold expressed oil, not steam distilled)
  • Lovage
  • Mandarin (possibly)
  • Orange
  • Verbena