With life getting busier and busier as the world seems to be getting more and more complicated, it is more important than ever to take the time out to look after our bodies and minds. Unfortunately, these days there seems to be less time than ever to dedicate to focusing on our wellness.
Essential oils are one way to chill the vibe and take that time to care for yourself, without costly care treatments, or even having to leave the house! Plenty of studies have shown time and again that quality essential oils can have incredible emotional and physical benefits that even hard science can’t explain. From soothing headaches and cramps, to aiding focus and preparedness, even curing colds and insomnia, essential oils have long been known as a non-intrusive alternative to support wellness.
The standard way to get the most out of your oils is to simply add a few drops to an aroma diffuser, and leave the mist to spread across your room, usually with a peaceful visual effect to enhance the ambience created by the oil. See our list of this year’s best diffusers for aromatherapy for our top recommendations!
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can also add a few drops to a spray mister full of water, to create an instant ambience. This is especially great on hot days when sprayed in front of a fan to disperse the scent, while rehydrating and cooling down the hot dry air.
For a more direct application, essential oils can also be mixed with a carrier to make your own soothing blends of massage oil to apply to your skin at lower concentration. If you don’t have carrier oil, you can also add a few drops to a hot bath, for the ultimate in therapeutic relaxation.
If you’re feeling creative, you could even use these potent fragrances to create your own homemade candles and soaps, which make beautiful heartfelt gifts for friends and loved ones.
However you use them, there’s no denying a good quality oil smells lush and can tip your day from “surviving” to “thriving”. And when it comes to quality, some brands are just that tier above. Here is our list of the best essential oils and brands that are giving us good vibes and the best energies for 2021.
1. In Essence
A reputable Aussie brand with the best lavender
In Essence has earned its reputation as the best Australian essential oil brand, with over 30 years of delivering the best and purest essential oils. These oils are extracted from the highest quality sources and crops across the world for a natural and high quality oil, perfect for vaporisation or massage.
Their two most impressive oils have to be their premium lavender taken from the lavender fields in Provence, the world’s leading producer of lavender; and their signature rose oil, refined from the Damask rose of the Valley of Roses in Bulgaria.
The blends made by In Essence produce a clean and natural scent that is vegan, cruelty-free, and is never made with synthetics. Neither too strong nor too mild, these fragrant blends are the best essential oils for hair, skin and nails when diluted.
Our top pick: Balance Blend 25mL
Our favourite bottle from their range is the
Balance Blend (check price and availability), a supportive and stimulating blend of pure orange, lavender, geranium, jasmine and rose. This blend has a great grounding energy to keep you focused through fatigue, anxiety, and hormonal changes. For continued use, this blend is ideal for women going through menopause, perinatal changes, and PMS.
Soap makers that have been making beautiful fragrances since 1865
Australia’s longest running soap makers Tilley Soaps expanded their range in 1997 to perfumery and essential oils, proudly studying the therapeutic benefits of aroma from their Melbourne headquarters.
Their triple-milled soaps create a silky soft lather that is deliciously relaxing, eclipsed only by their quality fragrances that transport you to a world of peace. Those are the high quality fragrances that Tilley specialise in, and if you’re not a fan of bar soap, their range of 100% pure essential oils are the ultimate way to experience them.
Our top pick: Sandalwood & Bergamot Triple Scented Reed Diffuser
Tilley’s best strength is in potent essential oils, and what better way to highlight that than with a reed diffuser that will be both long lasting, and make a noticeable difference to your room? Elegant and earthy, the sandalwood (you can get it at Amazon) brings a relaxing natural harmony to your space, while the bergamot brings a hit of fruity citrus to bring your awareness back to the present. Tilley’s reed diffusers can last up to half a year, with weekly turning to keep the scent at its peak.
3. ECO Modern Essentials
An eco friendly company with a passion for ongoing research
Based on the Gold Coast, ECO Modern Essentials is a newer, modern company that takes a simplified approach to wellness. With pure essential oils and therapeutic oil blends, their passion is to focus on proven effective aromatherapy that can be incorporated into your daily life.
The success that ECO has found in their short ten years is thanks in large part to their rigorous ongoing research, using traditional ancient knowledge supported by recent studies to back their education. Their aromatherapy education base has inspired a policy to include aromatherapists, botanists and chemists in their close knit team, to develop effective oil blends that make a difference.
But one thing we love is their commitment to the environment, limiting plastic wherever possible, avoiding solvents, and using recycled and recyclable materials for all shipping and packaging. Every online order will see desperately needed native trees planted in the Yarra Yarra biodiversity corridor, so you can feel your connection to our Earth in more ways than one as you relax.
Our top pick: ECO. Favourites Collection
Okay, maybe it’s cheating to pick ten different oils as our top pick, but this is a huge variety of only the best of their range, for a heavily reduced price. For people new to aromatherapy, this is a great value starter kit to experiment with a massive range of the classics and some of the most popular newer blends, without the risk of buying a large amount of something that isn’t working for you.
4. Perfect Potion
Essential oil products designed by a renowned aromatherapist focused on chakra alignment
Among Australian essential oil brands, this Queensland company has held strong to their passions for environmental conservation through 3 decades of delivering the best organic essential oils that are vegan, palm oil free, and cruelty free. The potions are locally manufactured in a solar powered facility, proudly overseen by renowned teaching aromatherapist Salvatore Battaglia.
Sal is an innovative educator and advocate for natural therapies, with qualifications in aromatherapy, herbal medicine, and acupuncture. He holds classes online and speaks about aromatherapy and ethical business practices at conferences around the world.
The therapeutic focus really shows in the themes of the range. From aromatherapy to skincare, bathing, perfumes, hair care, even herbal teas, careful thought has been put into blends designed to aid meditation practice and centre your awareness on each chakra.
Our top pick: Aromatherapy Hand Sanitiser Spray
This hand sanitiser spray (you can buy it online here) has been a true blessing, for being a calming and grounding therapeutic response to anxious and stressful times. With pure essential oils of tea tree, lemon and lavender, this is a beautiful hand sanitiser that is as relaxing as it is certified effective to kill germs in accordance with CDC guidelines.
5. Oil Garden
A brand that focuses on natural healing for soothing anxiety and calming sleep
Oil Garden started out 30 years ago with a simple belief in the healing properties of nature. Starting with an organic tea tree plant, harvested by hand to be distilled and bottled, Oil Garden has continued their passion to deliver 100% pure and natural essential oils, sourced sustainably from plants from superior growing conditions.
From body lotions and scrubs to essential oils and massage, Oil Garden’s specialty is relaxing scents that reduce anxiety and aid sleep. This couldn’t be made clearer with their diverse, safe to use range of blends for babies! This huge variety of soothing products will be of particular interest to new parents, from massage oils for bonding, to roller balls that draw across bub’s forehead for a good night’s rest.
Our top pick: Stress Relief Essential Oil Blend 25mL
Oil Garden boasts the best essential oils for anxiety, and this one is the best of the best (check price and availability here). The citrusy scents are refreshing without any of that astringent punch that can come with citrus oils. With sweet orange, mandarin, lavender, bergamot, and virginian cedarwood, this oil gives off a round and calming atmosphere that’s perfect to soothe your family, babies, and the elderly alike.
A Melbourne company with global partners to produce quality ingredients
This company based in Melbourne is a truly local, 100% Aussie owned and operated distributer of therapeutic grade oils. The only thing in these essential oils that is not entirely from Australia is the source raw ingredients themselves.
Villarosa is partnered with manufacturers who prioritise quality over quantity to provide the highest quality ingredients for the classics: peppermint from Canada, lavender from France, frankincense from Oman, sweet orange from the Caribbean, and eucalyptus and tea tree from our own backyard in Australia.
We love their wellness gift sets, not just because of their quality essential oils, but also because they come very attractively presented in a designer box with magnetic closing tab, wrapped both as a set and individually to prevent scuffs and guarantee zero leakage. With fair prices, they’re a great thank you gift for any acquaintance.
Our top pick: Villarosa Deluxe Series Essential Oil Gift Set
Villarosa has the best essential oils for diffusers, and this is a set of classics to prove it (available at Amazon AU). These oils are classics for a reason, covering all bases from soothing lavender or peppermint, to grounding frankincense or sweet orange, to invigorating eucalyptus or tea tree. It’s also the perfect choice for an inexpensive gift, because these are the tried and true scents that are never offensive to anyone.
7. Plant Therapy
A company that champions ethics, transparency, and organic essential oils
This highly ethical company has shown that a “people first” philosophy can have a positive impact on staff, communities, and customers, without trading away quality of product. Plant Therapy has a wide range of oils, body care, hemp extract oils, and other calming wellness products.
We love their transparency, publishing their third party test reports for all essential oils and carrier oils, accessible so you can see for yourself the ingredients and quality of the oils you put your trust in. Plant Therapy is certified cruelty-free, certified organic, and certified compliant with Cosmetic Good Manufacturing Practices.
Our top pick: Plant Therapy Breathe Easy Set
This is a great set of Plant Therapy’s top sellers (see price here), the combo kit that will start off any new diffuser with a great classic kick. While it’s not the cheapest half dozen set out there, it’s the most reliable in terms of six bottles that will cover all bases at the highest quality. This selection is also so versatile, with lavender in your hair, tea tree on blemishes, lemongrass for oily skin, and eucalyptus and sweet orange in your homemade surface spray, this is definitely the ideal way to start your aromatherapy journey.
A Japanese company that strives for a refreshing atmosphere through affordable products
Asakūki is a Japanese phrase meaning “morning atmosphere”, and as with many Japanese companies, this phrase is intended to inspire the design, quality, and tone of every product they produce. While most famous for their highly recommended essential oil diffusers, it wasn’t long before they were selling oils that would best show off their sweet little machines.
The Asakuki oils are the best essential oils for diffusers that are running constantly, because the oils are quite strong and decent quality at a remarkably low price point. They’re easy to blend together and dilute because they have none of the fillers or additives that you might find in other budget brands. These oils are perfectly safe for DIY soaps and on your skin, so if you’re hesitant to break the bank with a new hobby, this is your perfect entry point.
Our top pick: Asakuki Aromatherapy Essential Oils Top 6 Gift Set
This set of classic favourites (you can get them here) is the ultimate starting stone to your new essential oil diffuser. The oils are strong, but do not overpower or become acrid when water starts running low. We love the packaging design, which even comes with a manual to tell you how to combine the included oils for your own tailored blends! The simple cuteness and affordability of Asakuki’s diffusers, complemented by this set, makes a beautiful bundle gift that your sister, or spirit sister, will love.
9. Gya Labs
The essential oil company that has a specific blend for every problem
Mind, wellness, and beauty. These are the three areas of self care that Gya Labs is passionate about supporting, taking a customer-centric approach to individualised self help.
The philosophical roots of this company came from a concern that the world of self care can be so overwhelming, that it is ironically anxiety-inducing to attempt to reduce your anxiety! For this reason, Gya Labs has taken a solutions focused approach to create quality blends that target specific concerns you have, rather than force you to find what works through trial and error.
Not only can their easy to use website help direct you instantly to the best essential oil tailored for you, they can tell you what other oils are the best complements, what carrier oils to blend with, and how best to apply your fragrance. They really could not have made this simpler!
Our top pick: Sleep Blend Essential Oil
These guys are the masters of blend work, and have shown great success in picking out blends that target specific issues. Case in point, Gya Labs Sleep Blend (see it on Amazon Australia) is one of the best essential oils for sleep ever made. Clary sage, ylang ylang, and lavender combine to bring the most peaceful energy to your bedroom, diffused liberally to improve sleep, relieve muscle aches and rest deeply to bring peace to your mind and body. You won’t want to sleep without it again.
The highest quality essential oils that money can buy
Known for their super high quality, doTERRA is a trusted brand of a wide variety of essential oil products. We do love these fantastic oils for their wonderful, soul-transporting fragrances, but the high cost can mean a risky purchase for newcomers to aromatherapy.
On the other hand, this brand really proves that you get what you pay for. A mere two drops in a small diffuser is more than enough to lift and ease all your tensions for the day, with scents that never become stale or drift into obscurity. This is the real stuff. For those of you that have practised with aromatherapy before, you want the premium version.
Our top pick: doTERRA Introductory Kit
This was a tough choice between the introductory kit and either their frankincense or their wild orange; both extremely well executed essential oils of a scent that can be hard to get just right. In the end, we’re picking the introductory kit (link to online store) because we know that three vials of this quality are normally prohibitively expensive, and while frankincense and wild orange have a niche and passionate fanbase, the included lavender, lemon and peppermint of this kit are daily fragrances with a wide variety of applications for everyone.
How to choose an essential oil for aromatherapy
When you are choosing essential oils, you are likely looking for aromas that can help bring relief from minor symptoms of overwork, emotional times, or unbalanced energies. Every aromatherapist has a slightly different guide to how to approach these issues, but there are some more generally agreed on uses for the more traditional oils.
Eucalyptus - An Aussie favourite, eucalyptus is a global sensation due to its invigorating yet pleasant scent, that is noticeable instantly as you walk into the room. Eucalyptus is used as a strengthener, to boost immunity and quicken the natural healing of the body. It’s used as an anti-inflammatory aid helping to soothe and heal muscular pain, so it’s perfect for arthritis and fitness fanatics alike.
Tea Tree - Tea tree is a great multi purpose natural remedy for the plant’s antiseptic and cleansing properties. A little tea tree essential oil, with some bicarb and vinegar in clean water, makes a great household cleaner without detergent. In a diffuser, tea tree is the best essential oil for skin, leaving it hydrated and glowing, or rub a tiny amount in problem areas to aid healing.
Peppermint - A sweet and soothing scent, there’s nothing so refreshing as walking into a room with the gentle smell of peppermint wafting through. This is a great essential oil to try on impatient kids and stale office environments, as the fragrance is soothing without being sleepy, keeping you refreshed and focused.
Lavender - Surely the most popular fragrance, lavender is a scent loved by all ages thanks to its beautiful calming aroma. Lavender is the best essential oil for sleep, and has been used as such for centuries. Ancient apothecaries prescribed it regularly for all kinds of ailments, and this is because a good night of sleep helps your body heal and your mind overcome anxiety. For those who have never touched aromatherapy, it’s hard to go wrong with lavender.
Lemongrass - While the scent is great to soothe anxiety and relieve stress, lemongrass has also been found to have anti inflammatory, anti fungal, and antioxidant properties. Best of all, lemongrass is an astringent, making it the best essential oil for oily skin. Add a few drops to your usual cleanser to reduce oiliness and control shine.