How Does Aromatherapy Work?

How do essential oils make us feel better? We talk about the science of aromatherapy, commonly used essential oils, and their benefits.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, which are the oils extracted from plants that give them their pleasant (or sometimes not so pleasant) smell, to alleviate a variety of ailments from anxiety to sore muscles. Essential oils are typically either inhaled or applied topically in diluted form, usually a 0.5% to 10% dilution. They are diluted in some form of a base—water if using a diffuser or wax if via a candle; a carrier oil if used on the skin (almond, olive, and jojoba are common carrier oils). According to Medical News Today:

“As the molecules reach the brain, they affect the limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the body.”


Here are some common essential oils used in aromatherapy and our corresponding candles that are infused with that respective essential oil. We should note that while most of our candles are essential oil infused, none of them are scented solely with essential oils. Most essential oils, in pure form, are not ideal for burning in candles—they are prohibitively expensive and not so great for the environment. For example, it would cost nearly $1000 and require 60,000 roses to scent just one 8oz candle with pure rose essential oil! 


Lavender, also known as Lavendula, is a bluish-purple flowering plant that has a pleasant, herbaceous, and calming floral scent. Lavender essential oil is used to reduce stress, relax the nervous system, and promote restful sleep, among other things.

Lavender Flowers

Lavender Minimalist Candle: Infused with lavender essential oils as well as orange and cedarwood. This candle is the perfect companion for relaxing with a good book before bed or taking a long, soothing bubble bath.


Grapefruit, besides being a tangy and delicious breakfast (and cocktail) staple, has some amazing aromatherapeutic properties. Its essential oil is bright, uplifting, energizing, and helps lift depression, making it a perfect oil to diffuse in the morning and throughout the day.

Grapefruit for breakfast

Japanese Citrus Minimalist Candle: Infused with grapefruit essential oils complemented by notes of satsuma, yuzu, bergamot, and a hint of jasmine to form an energizing and exotic citrus.


Cedar essential oil is extracted from the cedar tree scientifically known as Cedrus atlantica. There are a variety of different types of cedar trees that grow all over the world, so each oil has a uniquely different scent, similar to wines or olive oils. Cedar is used to reduce anxiety and treat insomnia among other benefits, similarly to lavender. It is a great aromatherapeutic option for those who aren’t fans of floral scents and prefer woody, masculine notes.

Cedar chips

Montana Forest Minimalist Candle: Inspired by the fresh evergreens that grow in the airy mountains of Montana, we created a scent reminiscent of nature in a far-off place, this candle is infused with cedarwood and pine essential oils. 

NOTE: Aromatherapy should not be substituted for treatment prescribed by a licensed medical professional, but can be helpful in relieving various ailments. Always make sure to speak with your doctor before trying aromatherapy—certain essential oils may be harmful or poisonous. Others should not be consumed by pregnant women or people with certain allergies. Essential oils should never be ingested orally. 

Never leave a burning candle unattended and always extinguish candles before going to sleep. 


NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy): https://naha.org/
Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10884.php
WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/aromatherapy-overview#1

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