Substitute for Lavender or Other EOs You Dislike
By Caryn Gehlmann
Do you dislike the smell of lavender? It’s interesting how some people feel embarrassed when they don’t like lavender or any other popular essential oil or blend for that matter. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you! And yes, it’s possible to find a substitute for lavender or other essential oils that you just plain don’t like!
Watch this short video where I answer a customer’s question:
“Caryn, what’s wrong with me? Why don’t I like this essential oil everyone else is raving about? Should I just go ahead and use it anyway?”
That’s right, you don’t need to worry about what everyone else likes. The answer is the one that feels best to you. Yes, there are “general” guidelines to narrow down choices….but the most important thing to remember is that the essential oil is not a one-size-fits-all. Just because one oil or blend works for someone else does not necessarily mean it is the best choice for you.
So let’s go back to our example of Lavender essential oil. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils in the world. But before you think well I have to use it then, consider WHY you’re choosing lavender.
Is it to help you calm anxiety, depression, or to help you sleep? If so, do NOT use it if you don’t find it a relaxing, calming scent! If you can’t stand the smell of lavender, that’s not going to help you relax! This is a perfect opportunity to find a good substitute for lavender. How should you go about that?
It helps to understand why lavender is thought to calm anxiety. According to 2017 research and other studies, lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions. The aromatic compound, Linalool, and its ester form, linalyl acetate 2, are lavender oil’s main constituents. Linalool affects the serotonin receptor. It helps treat conditions such as anxiety and depression and can help to combat insomnia.
As I mentioned in the video, Linalool is found in the essential oils of over 200 plant species so the good news is there are options besides lavender that are calming. Since your sense of smell is intricately linked to emotion and memory centers in the brain, you want to find a scent that you find pleasant!
Here are essential oils substitutes for lavender that many find to be calming and relaxing:
Bergamot, Chamomile Roman, Mandarin, Neroli, Melissa, Basil ct. linalol, Thyme ct. linalool, Coriander, Clary Sage, Cardamom, Petitgrain.
But what if you want to use lavender for another purpose? What if you want to use it to treat a bug bite or minor burn? Or maybe you want to use it for a household cleaning project or for your pet? The scent isn’t as big of a factor in these scenarios, so you may choose to go ahead and use Lavender. But again it’s up to you, other essential oils can work in these scenarios too.
The principles we’ve reviewed on Lavender apply to any essential oil. You may not like Peppermint, Geranium, or Jasmine… again it’s okay. We’re seeing that with essential oils, there is no one-size-fits-all! You have to do your homework and “listen to your nose” so you learn what works for you. Would you like to learn more about how aromatherapy and your sense of smell works? Grab a copy of our downloadable free ebook, Listen to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.