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Aromatherapy Guide - 

The Ultimate Guide To Buying and Enjoying Essential Oils In New Zealand

Essential Oil NZ

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils for the body, mind and spirit.

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts which have scientifically proven physical and mental health benefits.

These oils are very potent so they must be diluted with another oil, known as a carrier oil, before being used on the body.

The practice of aromatherapy is not new but the word 'aromatherapy' is only about 100 years old.

Plants have been used as a form of medicine for thousands of years and were consistently used by ancient civilizations for their healing properties.

Modern aromatherapy combines the internal and external use of essential oils on the body.

They can be applied to the skin, inhaled through the nose and absorbed through a warm bath to take advantage of their benefits.

5 benefits of essential oils

The benefits of essential oils are endless


  • Reduce stress and anxiety 
  • Improve concentration and sleep 
  • Lift your mood 
  • Detoxify the body from bacteria, fungi and viruses 
  •  Reduce inflammation and relieve ailments

How to enjoy aromatherapy in your NZ home


Essential Oil Diffuser


The easiest way to experience the soothing effects of aromatherapy is by using a diffuser.

Diffusers break down your essential oils into tiny molecules that release a calming aroma into the air. You only need a few drops to fill your room with the wonderful scent of your favourite oil!

When you smell the oils released by the diffuser, they quickly reach the parts of the body where you derive the benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy Bath


There is nothing more relaxing for the body and mind than a bath infused with essential oils. 

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil first (such as jojoba oil). 

A good ratio is 3 - 6 drops of essential oil for every 15mL of carrier oil

Applying essential oils to the skin


You can apply diluted essential oils to the skin or perform an aroma massage. Use a carrier oil or add the essential oil to soap or salt.

A safe dilution is 1%. Use one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.

Never put the pure essential oil directly on your skin. Always do a patch test!

What to look at when choosing essential oils in New Zealand

100% pure essential oils

100% Pure

When choosing essential oils, it's important to read the bottle label. Look for the words '100% pure essential oil'.

If the label says 'fragrance oil' or 'essence oil', it is not a 100% pure essential oil.

Latin name & country of origin

The Latin name and the country of origin must be listed on either the bottle label or product description of the essential oil.

If the Latin name is not listed, don't buy it.

For example, a label or description should not just say Frankincense. It should specify the species of Frankincense that it actually comes from i.e. Boswellia sacra, Boswellia serrata or Boswellia frereana. They are all different!

Essential oils should be in dark glass bottle

Dark glass bottle

Look for essential oils that are sold in dark glass bottles.

Dark glass such as amber or cobalt protects from damaging UV light which can deterioriate the quality of pure essential oils.

How to blend oils

4 Key Points

1. Benefits of blending oils

Essential oils can be enjoyed alone but by blending different oils together, you can multiply the effect of an oil or add depth to the scent to make it last longer.

Experience the fun of aromatherapy by customizing the scent or effect you would like to have according to the mood and purpose of the day.

Now, let's go over the characteristics of scents and notes.

2. Fragrance Categories

A fragrance wheel is a useful tool to understand the different scents of essential oils.

If you're not sure about the blend, it's a good idea to match the scents of the same and/or adjacent groups.

Fragrance wheel

3. Note (Top, middle, base)

Essential oils are made up of 3 aromatic notes called top, middle and base notes.

The note has to do with how quickly the essential oil evaporates and it plays an important role in blending oils.

A good rule of thumb when blending is to start with one essential oil from a different note.

Top notes tend to be lighter like citrus and herbal. Middle notes are also called the 'heart' of the blend and popular choices are florals.

Base notes linger on after the others have evaporated. Woody or resinous scents make excellent base notes.

Fragrance notes

4. Blend for benefits or scents

There are no absolute rules when it comes to blending essential oils.

However, many people blend for the benefits that a synergy of oils can provide or for the scents they would like to enjoy.

Effects of a blend might be energizing, grounding, cleansing or relaxing. Scents could be herbal, woody, floral, spicy or citrus.

Essential oils and their uses in New Zealand


You can use essential oils for specific purposes such as relieving symptoms, treating allergies and improving concentration. 

But first a bit of science... 

Each essential oil has its own unique scent. Just like everything else in our world, scents are made up of tiny molecules. 

When these molecules are absorbed into the body, they travel directly to the brain where specialized nerves recognize the scent molecule and signal the brain's limbic system to release specific hormones and neurochemicals depending on the scent. 

Let's go over the common issues that essential oils can work on and the best oils for treating them. 

Stress & anxiety relief

Pink flower

Mental stress from juggling the demands of daily life can start to manifest physically in the way of headaches, body aches and internal problems.

Aromatherapy offers immediate calming effects and can reduce the level of the stress hormone known as 'cortisol' in the body.

Recommended essential oils: lavender, bergamot, ylang ylang, frankincense, geranium, mandarin, sweet orange, cedarwood, patchouli

How to: aroma bath, diffuser, topical application

Insomnia & improved sleep

Purple Flower

Insomnia is becoming more common with the rise of technology. It's no surprise that mother nature has a solution.

Diffusing essential oils in your bedroom or having a warm aroma bath can greatly improve your sleep quality.

Recommended essential oils: lavender, sweet orange, clary sage, ylang ylang, bergamot, mandarin, frankincense, patchouli

How to: aroma bath, diffuser, topical application

Immune boost

Green Flower

The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of certain essentials oils can alleviate the symptoms of the common cold & flu, allergies and even prevent the likelihood of getting sick.

Recommended essential oils: tea tree, eucalyptus, oreganocinnamon, lemon

How to: diffuser, aroma massage

Focus & concentration

Green Flower

Diffusing essential oils in your work space or applying them to the body can strengthen mental clarity and memory.

Recommended essential oils: lemon, rosemary, peppermint, grapefruit, eucalyptus, lemongrass, tea tree, clary sage, cedarwood

How to: diffuser, topical application

Energy and mood

Green Flower

One of the fastest ways to improve your mood and increase energy levels is by using an aroma diffuser to fill your space with the scent of energizing essential oils.

You can also apply diluted essential oil to your body such as on the wrists, chest and back.

Recommended essential oils: sweet orange, peppermint, lemon, mandarin, frankincense, bergamot, cinnamon, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemongrass, ginger, cedarwood, black pepper

How to: diffuser, topical application


Green Flower

Aromatherapy can help relieve congestion caused by common and seasonal allergies.

The following essential oils act as an antihistamine so that they can break down excess mucous, reduce inflammation and improve respiratory health.

Recommended essential oils: lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, frankincense, rosemary

How to: aroma bath (except for peppermint), aroma massage, topical application, diffuser

Digestion & constipation

Green Flower

Got stomach issues or need help to facilitate bowel movements?

Spicy and citrus essential oils are especially useful for this.

Recommended essential oils: ginger, lemon, peppermint, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper

How to: topical application, aroma bath (except for peppermint, oregano and cinnamon)

Muscles & joints

Green Flower

Are you guilty of sitting all day or not stretching after an intense workout? Perhaps you have an injury that never healed properly or a condition affecting movement.

An aroma massage can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with the muscles and joints.

Recommended essential oils: peppermint, lemongrass, ylang ylang, black pepper

How to: aroma massage, aroma bath (except for peppermint), topical application

Poor circulation

Green Flower

A regular aroma massage with essential oils can also help improve blood flow.

Blood circulation is important for making sure that the body's organs are receiving enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

Recommended essential oils: ginger, cinnamon, lemon, lemongrass, clary sage, grapefruit, sweet orange, black pepper

How to: aroma massage, topical application

Swelling & fluid retention

Green Flower

Essential oils can help reduce puffiness and swelling by stimulating the draining of excess water from the body's tissues (known as edema).

The following oils are said to be diuretic and help maintain a healthy lymphatic system.

Recommended essential oils: lemon, lemongrass, geranium, grapefruit

How to: topical application, aroma massage

Skin care

Green Flower

You can calm, hydrate and balance all kinds of skin types from dry to oily with aromatherapy.

Essential oils contain antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which can help reduce scarring and irritation and serve as a natural treatment for conditions such as acne.

Recommended essential oils: lavender, rosemary, tea tree, geranium, ylang ylang, cedarwood, patchouli

How to: aroma bath, topical application

Women's health

Green Flower

Aromatherapy can ease symptoms associated with hormonal changes in women such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause.

Simply add a few drops of essential oil to a bath to instantly soothe the body and mind.

Recommended essential oils: lavender, clary sage, ylang ylang, bergamot, geranium

How to: aroma bath, aroma massage, diffuser


Green Flower

It's easy for the body to accumulate unwanted toxins from exposure to impurities in the air we breathe, food we eat and water we drink.

Essential oils can be applied to the hands and feet to stimulate the removal of such waste as well as support healthy liver and kidney function to purify and detoxify the body.

Recommended essential oils: lavender, lemon, rosemary, grapefruit, peppermint, oregano, sweet orange, bergamot, mandarin, ginger

How to: aroma bath (except for peppermint and oregano), aroma massage, diffuser


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