What would you say are the worst smelling essential oils? Is there an oil that you just really dislike? Come on, you know there is at least one that you just don't want to ever crack open again.
There are lots of good oil options to enjoy for aromatherapy but we wanted to know what essential oils are the least favorites. Find out what our Loving Essential Oil fans voted on and see if they surprise you at all.
In a giveaway survey, where many of our fans entered to win free essential oil supplies, we asked them an oily question and they answered. We asked:
What essential oil is your least favorite? Here is what we found out.
The answers to this question all seemed to relate to the smell of the essential oil or how the body reacted to the aroma. That makes since because each and ever essential oil offers so many positive benefits that what it really comes down to is the smell or your reaction. Maybe the smell even reminds you of an unpleasant memory.
Worst Smelling Essential Oils
OK, so the results REALLY SHOCKED ME!!
There were so many different answers that I can't just make this the top 10 worst smelling essential oils because I have a list of over 45 oils that were mentioned negatively. Oils from A-Y (Angelica Root to Ylang Ylang)
What do these finding suggest? To me it suggests that smell is such an individual preference that it is hard to say what the worst smelling essential oils are because everyone's list would be different.
There were 4 essential oils that really stood out as being unpleasant for several users, here they are:
1. Patchouli Essential Oil
"Patchouli, I know a lot of people that wear it as perfume/cologne (men and women) and they put on way too much, it is super overpowering and gives me a headache, almost makes me gag when I smell it on people." -Kristin F, CO
"Patchouli oil I do not care for because it reminds me of a hippy smell." -Karen R, CA
"Patchouli, I am a hippie from the 60s and it brings back not so good memories!!" -Deb W, TX
"Patchouli is too grassy smelling to me." -Heather E, FL
"Patchouli oil, I associate it with my dad’s divorce to my mom and have never enjoyed the smell." -Julie, VA
"Patchouli, just smelling it can bring on an asthmatic attack." -Lisa S, NJ
"Patchouli, I tried to like it. Mixed with orange the smell was OK. But to me it smells like cat pee." -Liz R, FL
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
"Tea tree because it is soo strong" -Amy V, NY
"I would have to say that the EO I dislike the smell of is also one of the most valuable and also one that I use most frequently and that is Tea Tree oil. I have used it successfully for so many things from topical for skin problems to use in my natural antibacterial multi-use cleaning products. I almost always use Tea Tree in conjunction with more pleasant smelling oils such as lavender and citrus which also have some of the same properties. " -Claudia S, CA
"Tea Tree oil. My brother spilled a bottle of it in my kitchen...took months to get the smell out. Am afraid to even order something that has it 'blended' in." -August S, MT
"Tea tree oil. Just don't like the smell." -Sherri F, CA
"Tea tree just because the smell is so overpowering to me." -Kristina C, TN
3. Oregano Essential Oil
"Oregano, don't like the stinky smell!" -Jen, CA OK, so this is me, this oil got my #1 vote. I really do not like the smell and once I get it in my nose, it is hard to get it out. I know there are amazing oregano benefits but it is a hard one for me to use and smell. I will add a drop or two into my blending blends.
"Oregano! I love the herb in foods, but the fragrance of the oil is so potent that once I smell it, I can’t get it out of my sinuses, and it isn’t pleasant .:-(" -Cynthia M, SC
"Oregano scent is too strong." -Mary Jo, NM
4. Lemongrass Essential Oil
"My least favorite essential oil is lemongrass, I try to avoid using it as much as possible because every time I get a whiff I start nonstop sneezing. These aren't good sneezes, these are the choking gagging sneezes. They can be quite painful too. I've given myself the benefit of the doubt and tried diffusing lemongrass in a blend using half the oil and I still suffer. It's safe to say that lemongrass is my least favorite oil. I look forward to learning from you about all the fun oils and how I can transition into have a whole stockpile of cleaning products." -Kim T, OR
I was shocked to read that some fans disliked orange essential oil (yes 2 people said orange), 3 people said peppermint, 1 said cypress...I LOVE each of these oils and I use them everyday.
Some fans wouldn't name names, others were new oil users and haven't found one they disliked yet. Katharine M from NY said "All essential oils deserve love!"
"I don't have a least favorite. They all do their work and are all powerful healing remedies" -Tannath J.
How to Use Essential Oils That Don't Smell Good
Thankfully essential oils still work, even if you dislike the smell. Here are some things to try:
Use Less Drops of the Oil:
- Try using less drops of the oil you dislike. Each drop of oil is so powerful and concentrated.
Blend with Another Essential Oil:
- "I really do not dislike any essential oil. Each of them has a specific medicinal purpose. Some smell more "mediciny" or pungent. They can be diluted or blended with something else to be nicer to the nose. That's how perfumes are created ;) " -Sherry P.
Continue to Use Anyway:
- "My least favorite oil is Juniper because of the smell. It helps me with lessening vertigo so I will continue to use it but I don’t like the smell of it." -Kris M, MI. "I really don't like the smell of Helichrysum, but I use it because it's a super oil." -Lisa W, GA
Learn to Like It:
- "I find benefits in every single eo! Blend or single, every oil is beneficial to one person or another for various conditions. You may not accept the aroma at first but you and your body learn to accept and use them to their fullest potential" -Geralyn C.
Apply to Feet:
- Instead of applying close to your face, try applying to feet or behind ankles.
Find an Alternative:
- There are so many essential oils available to purchase, you can easily find an alternative oil that offers similar benefits.
- I do not like Oregano but thankfully Sweet Marjoram is in the same family and has similar benefits.
- "Other than not loving the smell of basil, I don't have any oils that I don't at least like. Whether I love the smell or the effect of a specific oil, they all make me happy!" -Bev J, AZ
Stop Using It:
- Buy new essential oils in small bottles that way if you don't like it, you aren't out a lot of cash.
- "The smell of Spikenard is one I haven't gotten used to. It has great benefits but I haven't used it much because of the scent." -Kimberley Z, WA
Trial & Error:
- Initially you may not love the smell of an essential oil, especially if just smelled out of the bottle.
- The aroma may change if applied to skin or mixed with other oils in a blend.
When I first got patchouli oil I didn't like it. I avoided it for about 2 years. Then I pulled it back out and tried it in different recipes and blends and now I love the oil, especially when used with orange essential oil. I even use it in an Essential Oil Solid Perfume Recipe!
More Essential Oils Our Fans Didn't Like:
- DC at Young Living. It is the smell I do not care for. I think it does what it says it is just the smell. Mary H, KS
- Citronella I would say smell wise but it is great for keeping bugs away. Heather O, MA
- Cinnamon. I know I'm weird but I can't stand the smell of cinnamon.... in any form. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the world who doesn't like it. I don't like eucalyptus either but I'm allergic to that. Gives me an asthma attack. Yes, going into to stores like Michael's, hobby lobby, ac Moore etc can be agonizing lol. Sara K, TX
- Frankincense...only because of the scent, otherwise it is very useful. Renee C.
- Fairly new to essential oils so I don't have a lot but so far it is one of the pine scented ones. Maria E, MN
- Arborvitae is my least favorite EO. I can not stand the smell, it makes me want to puke! lol. Jessica B, MT
- Probably Peppermint, and only because I have a slight allergic reaction to it. Holly B, WA
- Angelica root is too peppery for me. Susan, OH
- Vetiver, it's too thick so makes it hard to come out of container. Melinda H, MD
- I would say Cassia because for me it smells like hospital, but maybe I am wrong! Johanna C, FL
- I'm not sure which essential oil is my least favorite as I haven't experienced them all .... however for now I would have to say maybe clove as its so strong! Jamie, IA
- Manuka is my least favorite. The scent is off-putting to me. Kimberlee S, IL
- Nutmeg. I read somewhere that ancient Egyptians used Nutmeg oil in embalming practices. Now, that is what comes to mind when I smell Nutmeg oil. Chris S, MI
- I think Tumeric but only because of the scent. It's not very appealing. Otherwise I love the oils I have. Susan B, NY
- The hot oils cinnamon and clove bud, need to be careful how and what they are used for. Karen H, MN
- Valerian, the smell is just horrendous!! Barbara S, TX
- Surprisingly, I'm not fond of lemon. It reminds me of a public bathroom, ha ha! I also find tea tree pretty gross. Debbie C, AR
- Cedarwood - it just doesnt like sense of smell - usually get all sinus clogged after diffusing oils with Cedarwood in the mix.:( Marie F, TX
- Siberian fir, just don't like the smell although I'm sure it's great for health uses. Elizabeth H, FL
- I dislike cypress eo. The aroma is far too strong and makes me nauseous. Krista T.
- Orange. It reminds me of cleaning supplies. Jordyn D, WA
Where to Buy Essential Oils
Essential oils are great because not only do they make you feel good physically but mentally as well. I love having them around since they have so many benefits like clearing the air of bad odors, improving moods by releasing calming scents in your home or office for instance!
We are frequently asked what essential oil brand we like, here are some of our favorites: