What Are The Most Fragrant Essential Oils?

by Erin Sweeney July 28, 2021

What Are The Most Fragrant Essential Oils?

Ever wondered what the most fragrant essential oils are? We often see this multifaceted question circulating throughout the world of aromatherapy. This question comes with many answers and opinions, and we’ve decided to dive right in and look at each answer.

From the strongest-smelling essential oils to the most-loved aromas, our team ranks our oils in a whole new way and shares their favorite facts and uses for these oils in today’s blog.

What Are The Most Fragrant Essential Oils?

Most often, people are looking to gain some perspective on the strongest-smelling essential oils when asking this question, but some ask this question when wondering about the most popular essential oils, the best-loved aromas and more. While these topics are mostly subjective, we’ll cover each category with our own rankings. 

Strongest Essential Oils

When it comes to the strongest-smelling essential oils, only a little is needed for its aroma to be pronounced in a blend. Whereas other oils may need many more drops for its aroma to be recognized in a blend. These oils are ideal when making products that you want to be strongly-scented such as candles, room sprays and other home aromatherapy products. 

  • Cassia Essential Oil: A relative of Cinnamon, Cassia’s warm, sweet and spicy aroma is an ideal choice for candles and soy wax melts. In body products, it has a maximum recommended dilution rate of .05%, so you could say a little goes a long way in topical applications as well. Be sure to add to a nourishing carrier oil such as Jojoba oil for topical use. 
  • Ylang Ylang Essential Oil: Incredibly strong, sweet and floral, Ylang Ylang has a way of stealing the show in essential oil blends. Its intoxicating aroma adds a wonderfully floral touch to any diffuser blend or DIY product. Obtained through steam distillation, Ylang Ylang is one pure essential oil that offers a beautiful aroma and a bevy of benefits.
  • Cinnamon (Bark and Leaf) Essential Oil: Both Cinnamon essential oils, like Cassia, tend to dominate blends with their potent aroma. Little is needed to add a warm, spicy aroma to blends. 
  • Catnip Essential Oil: One of the most effective essential oils for insects and outdoor defense, Catnip’s strong aroma helps to deter pests. A 2% dilution is recommended when outdoors. Catnip also makes an excellent addition to outdoor candles. 
  • Nootka Tree Essential Oil: The aroma of Nootka Tree is potently woodsy and often likened to pencil shavings. It’s deep, nuanced and adds a unique touch to essential oil blends. Just like Catnip, Nootka Tree is known as an outdoor defense. 

Most Popular 

Oftentimes, those asking about “the most fragrant essential oils” are simply looking for the most popular aromatherapy oils amongst oil users. Here are the oils that always come out on top in this regard. 

  • Lavender Essential Oil: Known for its plethora of benefits and uses, we would go so far as to say, Lavender oil is the most well-known essential oil in the world. It’s also one of the most studied and researched essential oils in the science community. What’s more, its gently sweet and calming floral aroma blends well with almost any oil. 
  • Peppermint Essential Oil: Coming in a close second, Peppermint oil is known far and wide for its benefits towards the respiratory system, cognitive function and for its ability to boost energy levels and even hair growth. And while it may not be in the top 5 strongest-smelling oils category, it’s incredibly potent when added to an essential oil blend.   
  • Lemon Essential Oil: A favorite amongst citrus-lovers, Lemon oil is a must-have in everyone’s aromatherapy arsenal. Its ability to soothe inflammation, nausea and respiratory problems while supporting the immune system are just a few of our favorite things about this beloved oil. 
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil: Antibacterial, antifungal and overall uniquely cleansing, Tea Tree oil has been used for generations for cuts, scrapes, dandruff, immune support, skincare, respiratory ailments and more. In other words, it’s no wonder why this oil is consistently at the top of the charts. 
  • Frankincense Essential Oil: An ancient healer, Frankincense oil has historically been used in rituals and religious ceremonies for its purifying and healing benefits. Today, Frankincense is most often used for its stress-relieving abilities and as an aid for inflammation and skincare. 

Best-Smelling Essential Oils

Not to be confused with our most popular category, these best smelling oils are those that are widely considered to be the most universally enjoyed. Can you guess what they are? If you guessed citrus essential oils, you’re absolutely correct!

Perhaps it’s their bright, citrusy and fruity aromas or their ability to boost one’s mood. But whatever the reason, there’s no denying that citrus oils offer incredible aromas. With that said, here are a few of our citrus favorites. 

  • Orange Essential Oil: Possessing a citrusy and tart scent, Sweet Orange essential oil uplifts emotions while sweeping away stress. Often used in aromatherapy, Sweet Orange oil stirs up both calming and joyful sensations because of its antidepressant and stimulating properties. This citrus oil can also work as a secret weapon in the kitchen against stubborn grease stains.
  • Mandarin Essential Oil: Mandarin’s sweet, green and citrusy aroma can inspire pure relaxation. Majestic in its ability to intoxicate the senses, Mandarin can calm anxious minds. Cold pressed to keep healing benefits intact, Mandarin blends exquisitely well with Ginger as well as other citruses.  
  • Yuzu Essential Oil: Yuzu is a citrus fruit native to East Asia and a hybrid of sour mandarin and other citrus fruits. The aroma of this Edens Garden essential oil is tangy with a sweet-warmth, typical of citrus. Inhaled through an essential oil diffuser or when mixed with other oils it is purifying, inspiring and energizing.
  • Lime Essential Oil: Cold pressed from the peel of fresh limes, the essential oil offers a wave of therapeutic benefits. It contains high levels of limonene, making it an effective and natural surface cleanser. Lime oil is frequently used in facial and body cleansers and simple diffusion is the perfect way to purify the air and provide an uplifting fresh aroma.
  • Clementine Essential Oil: Over time, our crowded spaces can feel a bit musty. To restore freshness, Clementine essential oil’s citrusy-sweet aroma is a powerful agent in any space. While softly breathing in Clementine’s lovely aroma, the oil’s natural properties can uplift the spirit and jumpstart emotions.    

The answers in this guide may be a matter of opinion, so we’re curious...What are the most fragrant essential oils in your opinion? Let us know in the comments!

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Julie Kelsey

March 13, 2023 at 10:25 am

This was so well written and very informative. I can’t explain how much this helped me. I lost my sense of smell with Covid and I am trying different angels to get it back. Again thank you.

Katherine Fulk

July 30, 2021 at 8:29 am

What a good and thought provoking article. I love any of the citrus smells and though they are smells for energy and productivity I love to sleep with a mix of lime that has a touch of clove added. My neighbor and I are “oil partners”. We love to try the monthly specials and our nose are total opposites so I always have a recipient for smells that I don’t care for and then I get good surprises from her!


July 30, 2021 at 8:29 am

I particularly like rose geranium oil. A drop in a palmful of body lotion is lovely. Sometimes I mix with lavender. Other favorite uses are a drop on the tags of my bath towels before storing and on the cardboard toilet paper tube


July 29, 2021 at 8:07 am

I find that distilled lime oil is super strong and can easily overtake a blend. But mixed with Ylang Ylang they seem to mellow each other out in the best way.
I also find Prtitgrain takes over in blends. May Chang and Lemon Myrtle are also really strong but are so lovely when you use a little.


July 29, 2021 at 8:07 am

I would think each and every essential oil has its own unique aroma, thus making it extremely difficult to choose a handful of oils to top the list. I think, the aromas of Jasmine, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver and Rose oils are intoxicating and unmatchable.

Coletta Barnes

July 29, 2021 at 8:07 am

To break it down like the article above, I would have to say the strongest scents in my opinion would be ylang ylang and lemongrass. The most popular in my household is grapefruit, lavender, bergamot, peppermint, and ylang ylang. Lastly, to me the best smelling essential oils are bergamot, neroli, rose, fir needle, and sandalwood.

jolee kwallek

July 29, 2021 at 8:07 am

what about blue tansy, rose, jasmine , vetiver, patchouli ?


July 28, 2021 at 8:33 am

It’s difficult to pick when they’re all so unique! I may be a bit odd be cause my stand outs are bergamot, chamomile, davana, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver. There’s more but these really jump out at me. What does that say about me?? 🤔🙂


July 28, 2021 at 8:33 am

I can’t choose which are most fragrant because there are so many! I’m surprised Eucalyptus Globulus was left out. This one is a go to for me. Fresh, crisp, and bright, it cleans the air, supports the respiratory system, and smells wonderful!


July 28, 2021 at 8:33 am

I’m surprised rose wasn’t mentioned as a favorite – it is one of mine! Also, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, and plai.