What Does It Mean If You Dislike the Aroma of an Essential Oil?

by Jenna Jones October 26, 2021

What Does It Mean If You Dislike the Aroma of an Essential Oil?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – aroma is subjective. What one person loves, another person loathes. However, time spent amongst essential oil users has uncovered a different theory on why one might dislike an essential oil’s aroma, and it’s much deeper than simply liking or disliking a scent.  

The theory in question? Disliking an essential oil’s aroma means that your body needs it. This piqued the interest of EG’s experts, so we got to digging. Where did this theory originate? Is there any truth to it? What does disliking an aroma say about you? Read on to learn more. 

True Or False

Ask essential oil users what it means if you dislike an oil’s aroma and you’re likely to spark a debate. On one hand, people believe that disliking an oil’s aroma means your body is lacking something that the oil in question can provide. And on the other hand, you’ll find people who believe that there is no scientific evidence supporting this theory and that there are several reasons one may not like an essential oil’s aroma. 

At Edens Garden, we fall into the latter camp and agree that disliking an essential oil doesn’t inherently indicate that your body needs it. 

So where did this myth originate? The evidence points to independent essential oil distributors attempting to market oils people may not otherwise want to purchase, and many continue to believe this theory to this day. 

What Does It Mean If You Dislike The Aroma Of An Essential Oil?

While disliking an essential oil’s aroma may not mean your body needs it, it can reveal a few mysteries about you. 

You’re Not Used To It

Unfamiliar scents can elicit a pleasant or negative response. The good news is that consistent exposure to an aroma you initially dislike can lead to a conversion in opinion. The hard part is smelling something you dislike enough times to end up enjoying it unless you’re a motivated individual. 

You Associate It With Something Negative

Memories and aromas are very intertwined. You might know this from experience if you’ve ever smelled something that triggered a vivid memory. This is because smells travel to the brain’s olfactory bulb which is directly connected to the amygdala and hippocampus–the parts of the brain that process emotions and memories. 

So if you ever lost a favorite toy in a field of lavender or knew a rude person who wore Lavender oil, you may negatively associate the smell of Lavender essential oil with these two events and end up disliking the aroma altogether. 

You can also dislike an aroma due to a recent negative association with the scent and not just a distant memory. 

Your Body Doesn’t Need It

If you dislike an aroma as a result of adverse reactions, such as headaches, nausea, adverse reactions, irritation or other side effects, there’s a possibility that this is your body’s way of letting you know that that essential oil is doing more harm than good. This could be because the essential oil you’re using contains harmful additives or is impure. On the flip side, the essential oil could be pure and high quality, but you may have a health condition or are taking medication that doesn’t interact well with the oil. 

If you have a health condition or are taking medications, it’s good to check specific safety information on using essential oils with your condition. You can also always check with an aromatherapist if you’re unsure. 

You Don’t Prefer The Aroma

At the end of the day, disliking an aroma can simply indicate that you don’t prefer it and that’s fine. It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes us love some things and loathe others, but it’s part of what makes us all unique. Plus, ruling out aromas that you dislike can help you choose oils that you do like and expand your enjoyment of pure essential oils. 

Can You Still Use Essential Oils If You Dislike Them? 

Depending on why you dislike an essential oil’s aroma and what you’re using it for, it’s still possible to benefit from the essential oils you dislike.

For example, in most cases, aromatherapy oils that support sleep, pain relief, fatigue, inflammation and skincare aren’t less beneficial in these areas towards people who dislike their aromas. 

However, it is important to note that essential oils that are meant to benefit one’s mental health may not be as effective if you dislike the aroma of the essential oil. For example, if you dislike the uplifting aroma of Orange oil, you may not experience the same mood-boosting effects as someone who does enjoy Orange essential oil. 

Need Help Finding The Oil That’s Right For You?

At Edens Garden, we offer several ways to find the product that’s right from you. Try our “Shop by Use or Aroma” tool to narrow down the single oil or synergy blend you need. Explore our carrier oils with our “Carrier Oil Comparison Chart.” Or compare our blends against other brands with our “Compare Essential Oil Blends Chart.” And if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, talk to an expert from our customer care team or lineup of aromatherapists. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Essential Oil Myth #11. https://m.facebook.com/nt/screen/?params=%7B%22note_id%22%3A2679828018938761%7D&path=%2Fnotes%2Fnote%2F&_rdr

  2. Can you train yourself to like foods you hate? https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/taste_flavour

  3. Here's Why Smells Trigger Such Vivid Memories. https://www.discovery.com/science/Why-Smells-Trigger-Such-Vivid-Memories

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October 29, 2021 at 9:53 am

Thank you for this article. There are a couple of oils that I detest. One of them gives me a migraine and I’ve had people say that oh my body needs it.

Virginia Lamb

October 28, 2021 at 10:35 am

Lavender oil gives me headaches, I do not like it’s stench.


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I loathe the aroma of coconut, plain and simple. I eat coconut, I use fractionated coconut oil but the ghastly aroma makes me nauseous. I’ve tried and tried.


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Thank you for this. I have heard the same myth and was always skeptical. Great article!


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Love this balanced piece! Smell is very individual and just because I don’t prefer a scent doesn’t mean it’s going to smell awful to others. We like what we like!


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I really enjoyed trying the sampler pack. I have taken the labels off the top of the bottles and created a personal ‘rating’ chart so I know which ones to repurchase. Could you creat sampler packs that cover all the oils, and put the little labels on the top of every bottle. They are perfect for adding to a reference table.


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I find what I love the smell of changes from week to week.


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Love your blog!
Thank you!

Kolyssa Teal Frisque

October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

What about if you like an oil so much that you’re CRAVING it? When I was pregnant I loved tea tree so much I could have eaten it (don’t worry I didn’t lol). Normally it’s just “a smell” I have no preference about but I couldn’t get enough of it when I was pregnant!


October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Yes! Saying that you NEED an oil you don’t like has always felt like a crappy MLM sales tactic! I love that Edens garden doesn’t agree with that myth!

Rebecca Adams

October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

I appreciate this article. As a bodywork and massage therapist EO’s are essential to my work. I’ve always took a dislike to mean that for some reason it isn’t resonating with your body and/or nervous system and we will move on! I love EG essential oils. Many of my clients ask for your blends! I just used Be Still on a client who was grieving and she went to your site and ordered a roll on. Thanks to your amazing chemists for their gifts!

Terri Herman

October 27, 2021 at 4:51 pm

Good points! Same with any scents, mostly comes down to preferences. I do not enjoy food scents, especially vanilla but I love eating desserts flavored with it. My favorites have always been flower scents. My sister is the opposite. Thanks for the article.