The Complete List Of Essential Oil Substitutes (80+ Oils Listed!)

In this post, you will find a complete list of essential oils and for each oil, a list of potential substitutes for that oil based on aroma and therapeutic actions. I think you're going to find this post really useful!


To create this list of 88 oils and their substitutes and to make sure it was the best available, we consulted with Elizabeth Ashley (AKA The Secret Healer), NAHA UK Director, Qualified Clinical Aromatherapist and Best Selling Author.



Important: Due to restrictions around medicinal claims applicable to essential oil brands, we've had to edit the therapeutic essential oil substitutes that Liz originally listed and unfortunately we can't be too specific about certain properties or uses. Think of the property or therapeutic use of the oil you want to find a substitute for, match this as closely to the substitute oils as possible then conduct further reading to confirm the most appropriate substitute for your therapeutic needs.

This post will point you in the right direction to narrow down your search to a handful of oils, where you can conduct further research into recommended substitute oils and identify the right therapeutic use or property you are looking for.

ALWAYS check the safety precautions associated with any oil or substitute you plan to use. We do not promote internal use of essential oils and you should check with a qualified aromatherapist or medical professional for individual or specific advice.


Jump straight to the oil you are looking to substitute and see the potential alternative oils using the links below:


Introduction

When you are starting out in aromatherapy, it's exciting to learn about all the amazing things you can do with essential oils. From blends, DIY products, household use, therapeutic properties, diffusing to support your desired emotional or mental state and more.

You quickly learn that there's a LOT of different essential oils recommended by books, professionals and reputable websites, all with different aromas, properties, effects and safety concerns.

The frustrating thing is that oils are not cheap and you might not have them all to hand, which leaves you struggling to find approved recipes and uses that align with your specific collection of oils and desired effects.

To further complicate things, people tend to develop a “healing clique” of oils they trust time and time again, and love the effects they experience.

Also, fragrance is such an innately personal thing, it’s actually not that often that two people love and trust the same oils anyway!

Perhaps more importantly, in this world of over exploitation of the plant matter, it’s becoming more necessary to avoid certain oils completely, to give Mother Earth her chance to replenish.

For example: older texts often suggest Rosewood, but the planet simply cannot sustain us using it any longer. We must leave that plant alone. Ho Wood is an excellent essential oil alternative to Rosewood, for both fragrance and therapeutic actions.

So, learning how to choose the right essential oil substitutes for recipes, blends, diffusing or therapeutic use is an extremely valuable skill.

This essential oil substitute guide is designed to help you take into consideration three different factors, depending on your motivation at the time.

  1. Fragrance: For the most part we can pick a group of notes for this, or perhaps the same kind of oil. So for example, replacing a floral with a floral, a citrus with a citrus, or maybe a middle note with the same. It’s not a perfect science, since blends tend to have three or more oils in that can mess it up a bit, but often good enough will do.
  2. Action: The best example to help communicate this is imagine you have a cold. You'll probably immediately think of eucalyptus oil but what if you don't have any to hand? What are you going to use? Lots of oils have 'similar' properties so knowing which essential oils to try as a substitute could prove really useful.
  3. Safety: Unfortunately, using essential oil alternatives to the recipe or recommendation you are following, is where you are most likely to make a safety slip. You’re so focused on finding the oil that does the job best, you forget to double check the safety considerations. This is critically important.

OK, let's get you reformulating blends effortlessly and with confidence!


Angelica Seed Essential Oil Substitute

Angelica archangelica

Angelica is quite an expensive oil, but also it can be extremely stimulating to the nervous system.

If someone has quite a fragile personality, (as opposed to a fragile constitution, where angelica is then indicated – it’s very useful in hospice work) then angelica can be a little tough.

Fragrance Group
Herbals. Flowery, but clinical aroma

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Relaxing and stimulating. Masculine.

Aroma Substitutes for Angelica Seed Essential Oil
Fennel, Dill, Coriander, Chamomile Roman, Chamomile Maroc, Thyme.

Therapeutic Substitutions for Angelica Seed Essential Oil

  • Calming muscle rub – perhaps clary sage
  • Calming stomach – Dill or coriander
  • Support a specific bodily function – Cypress, Fennel or Juniper
  • Support a specific bodily function – Eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, helichrysum, or carrot seed
  • Supports menstruation – Sweet Basil
  • Breathe – Eucalyptus, frankincense or monarda
  • Cooling – Peppermint, spikenard (although it is ill advised to treat fevers with essential oils as the sudden change in temperature can be more dangerous than the fever itself. Fevers should be allowed to come down naturally)
  • Nervous system – Rosemary or rose
  • Stimulating/energising – Sweet Basil
  • Dull congested skin – Cypress
  • Support a specific skin issue – Helichrysum or Cajeput
  • Aches and pains - Juniper
  • Help pick you up when you are tired – Mandarin or geranium

Angelica Root Essential Oil Substitute

Angelica archangelica

You may want to find an alternative for angelica root essential oil of you are worried about phototoxicity, or if you suffer from diabetes.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, Green

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Revitalising and Comforting

Aroma Substitutes for Angelica Root Essential Oil
Lime, Lemongrass, Chamomile Roman, Dill, Fennel, Tarragon

Therapeutic Substitutions for Angelica Root Essential Oil

  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, Monarda, Elemi, Frankincense
  • Support the sinuses - Myrrh, Lemon, Ravensara, Myrrh
  • Aches and pains - Juniper, Ginger
  • Help pick you up when you are tired - Mardarin, and Ginger
  • Support a specific skin issue - Cajeput
  • Calming when you are worked up - Yarrow, Geranium, Melissa, Valerian and Bergamot
  • Help to keep you focused to avoid bad habits - Black Pepper

Basil, Holy Essential Oil Substitute

Ocimum sanctum (Synonym: Tulsi)

Many websites speak about the basils as all being interchangeable, but whilst both Sweet Basil and Holy basil are adaptogen (Holy Basil, being far more potent in that regard) the energy of Sweet Basil is kind of kick ass masculine, where Holy Basil is softer and very much a feminine energy.

You may decide that you want to find an alternative for Holy Basil essential oil if you have any kind of blood clotting issues or on blood thinning medications.

Fragrance Group
Sour, sharp, herbal, green note

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Adaptogen, tranquil and restorative. Soft and feminine

Aroma Substitutes for Basil Holy Essential Oil
Sweet Basil, Coriander, Patchouli, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Clary Sage, Lemon Grass

Therapeutic Substitutions for Basil Holy Essential Oil

  • Calming muscle rub - Clary Sage, chamomile and rosemary
  • Respiratory system - Eucalyptus, niaouli, Monarda, frankincense
  • Support you in times of menstruation - Clary sage, rose, jasmine, spikenard, sweet basil
  • Cooling and calming to the head - sweet basil, rosemary, peppermint and lavender

Basil, Sweet Essential Oil Substitute

Ocimum basilicum

You may want to find an alternative for sweet basil essential oil because it can overwhelm blends, or because you like being the alpha and you think there might be only room for one bossy one in the friendship!

Fragrance Group
Sharp, peppery, pungent, herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Kick ass stimulating

Aroma Substitutes for Basil Sweet Essential Oil
Rosemary, coriander, aniseed, black pepper, fennel, angelica, lovage or hyssop

Therapeutic Substitutions for Basil Sweet Essential Oil

  • Respiratory system - Eucalyptus, frankincense, elemi, ravensara, lemon, myrrh, tea tree
  • When you're under the weather - lemon, tea tree, manuka, kanuka, ginger, inula
  • Calming breathing - myrtle, frankincense, monarda, benzoin, thyme
  • Exhaustion - marjoram, mandarin, geranium, melissa
  • Stomach rub - dill, coriander, carrot seed
  • When you feel really under the weather - Tea tree, cinnamon, cloves, eucalyptus
  • Support joints - Juniper, ginger
  • Bug bites - eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile
  • Help to ward off unwanted guests when you're outside - citronella, catnip, vetiver
  • Tired, achy muscles - lavender, ginger, rosemary, black pepper, geranium, juniper, plai
  • Aches and pains - Juniper, plai

Benzoin Essential Oil Substitute

Benzoin styrax

Alternatives to benzoin essential oil are useful if you are dealing with someone who has very sensitive or reactive skin, and benzoin carries a mild risk of skin irritation.

Fragrance Group
Resinous, sweet, bitter, balsamic and earthy

Note
Base

Energetic
Soothing, calming and masculine

Aroma Substitutes for Benzoin Essential Oil
Jasmine, amyris, sandalwood, cedarwood, myrrh, vetiver, galbanum, labdanum or patchouli

Therapeutic Substitutions for Benzoin Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains - Juniper, ginger
  • Breathing & respiritory system - Frankincense, eucalyptus, ravensara, inula, niaouli, myrtle, myrrh, monarda
  • Skin - Chamomile, cardamom, rose, geranium, calendula, myrrh

Bergamot Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus reticulata

Alternatives to bergamot essential oil are useful if you are worried about the risk of photoxicity.

Fragrance Group
Bright, green, citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Bright, reviving, optimistic, citrus

Aroma Substitutes for Bergamot Essential Oil
Lemon, lime, melissa, lemon verbena, monarda

Therapeutic Substitutions for Bergamot Essential Oil

  • Skin - jasmine, helichrysum, vetiver
  • Calming when you're worried or nervous - neroli, lavender, chamomile, valerian, varrow
  • Specific skin issue - Tea tree, melissa
  • Pick you up when you're feeling down - Yuzu, melissa, geranium, rose
  • Freshening - peppermint, spearmint
  • Calming for the skin - Lavender, chamomile, yarrow
  • Make you think about food - Tarragon
  • Oily Skin - Lavender, helichrysum, vetiver
  • Specific skin issue - Cajeput, angelica root
  • Calming when you are worked up - Neroli, lavender, melissa, clary sage, geranium

Birch (White) Essential Oil Substitute

Betula alba

Fragrance Group
Bitter, resinous, masculine, sour

Note
Base

Energetic
Stabilising, invigorating

Aroma Substitutes for Birch (White) Essential Oil
Benzoin, Jasmine, amyris, sandalwood, cedarwood, myrrh, vetiver, galbanum, labdanum or patchouli

Therapeutic Substitutions for Birch (White) Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains - Juniper, ginger, black pepper

  • Skin toning - cypress, bergamot, rose

  • Supports bodily function - Cypress, juniper, fennel


Cajeput Essential Oil Substitute

Melaleuca cajuputi

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous clinical

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Revitalising, sharp, uplifting

Aroma Substitutes for Cajeput Essential Oil
Tea tree, manuka, kanuka, ravensara, niaouli, cypress, eucalyptus

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cajeput Essential Oil

  • Breathing - Frankincense, melissa, spikenard, monarda, eucalyptus, bergamot, manuka, kanuka, tea tree, niaouli, inula
  • Calm breathing - myrtle, benzoin, ravensara, inula, benzoin
  • Muscle Aches - plai, lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger, clary sage, sweet basil, rosemary
  • Oily Skin - lavender, vetiver, bergamot
  • Aches and pains - plai, lavender, juniper, black pepper, davana
  • Support the sinuses - lemon, myrrh, tea tree, eucalyptus
  • Support the throat - eucalyptus, monarda
  • Skin - lavender, tea tree

Chamomile Roman Essential Oil Substitute

Anthemis nobilis

Fragrance Group
Herbal, sweet, floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Calming, sedative, soothing

Aroma Substitutes for Chamomile Roman Essential Oil
Lavender, chamomile maroc, fennel, carrot seed, melissa, lemon verbena, lemon grass, hyssop, catnip

Therapeutic Substitutions for Chamomile Roman Essential Oil

  • Specific skin issue - Galbanum, helichrysum, myrrh, benzoin
  • Pollen season - melissa, lavender, helichrysum
  • Aches and pains - Juniper, black pepper, ginger, davana, plai
  • Specific skin issue - calendula, geranium, myrrh, benzoin, helichrysum
  • Support you through menstrual times - geranium, clary sage, lavender, rose
  • Stomach rub - carrot seed, coriander, dill
  • Cooling and calming for the head - lavender, basil, rosemary
  • Skin - rose, lavender, patchouli, geranium
  • Bug Bites - lavender, eucalyptus
  • Good before you go to sleep - valerian, hops, lavender, vetiver, spikenard
  • If you're feeling nausious - peppermint, ginger, spearmint, mandarin
  • Specific pains - rosemary, clary sage, lavender
  • Aches and pains - black pepper, juniper, plai, lavender, ginger
  • Sporting aches and pains - lavender, fennel, frankincense
  • Calming when you are worked up - neroli, lavender, vetiver, geranium
  • Skin healing - helichrysum, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus

Chamomile Blue (German) Essential Oil Substitute

Chamomilla matricaria

If you are missing beautiful blue chamomile from your box, or if you are worried about drug interactions with medications here is our list of alternatives for German chamomile

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, sweet floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Soothing, reassuring, gentle

Aroma Substitutes for Chamomile Blue (German) Essential Oil
Chamomile Roman, yarrow, blue cypress, fragonia, neroli

Therapeutic Substitutions for Chamomile Blue (German) Essential Oil

  • As Chamomile Roman - See above

Chamomile Maroc Essential Oil Substitute

Ormenis multicaulis (Synonyms: Moroccan Chamomile)

Often misrepresented as Blue Tansy (and indeed as written as such in Schnaubelt) but the two oils are different, with different chemistry and actions.

For the most part the actions are interchangeable for Roman Chamomile, but paradoxically, since the azulene component in maroc is lower, the Moroccan chamomile is gentler than either Roman or blue. A wonderful choice for little children and less expensive than the other chamomile oils.

Fragrance Group
Herbal, sweet, floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Kind, gentle, feminine

Aroma Substitutes for Chamomile Maroc Essential Oil
Chamomile Roman, clary sage, dill, hyssop, melissa, lemon grass, bay, laurel.

Therapeutic Substitutions for Chamomile Maroc Essential Oil

  • As Chamomile Roman - See above

Camphor (White) Essential Oil Substitute

Cinnamomum camphora

Fragrance Group
Camphoraceous, herbal, clinical

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Opening, stimulating, aggressive

Aroma Substitutes for Camphor (White) Essential Oil
Eucalyptus, frankincense, tea tree, cajeput, pine, spruce fir


Cardamom Essential Oil Substitute

Elettaria cardamomum

Fragrance Group
Spicy, warm, woody

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Sensuous, calming and cosseting

Aroma Substitutes for Cardamom Essential Oil
Patchouli, petitgrain, cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, jasmine, mandarin

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cardamom Essential Oil

  • Make you hungry and think of food - Tarragon, chamomile maroc, black pepper
  • Dry skin - Patchouli, rose, jasmine, geranium
  • Fatigue - mandarin, geranium, rosemary, peppermint
  • Fresh - peppermint, bergamot
  • When you are worked up - lavender, chamomiles, vetiver, melissa, clary sage

Carrot Seed Essential Oil Substitute

Daucus carota

Fragrance Group
Floral, citrus

Note
Middle

Energetic
Light, amusing, masculine

Aroma Substitutes for Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Mandarin, sweet orange, petitgrain, ginger, neroli, cardamom, davana, cypress

Therapeutic Substitutions for Carrot Seed Essential Oil

  • Specific skin issue - chamomile, calendula, helichrysum, cardamom, patchouli
  • Mature Skin - Neroli, frankincense, vetiver
  • Detox massage - Juniper, cypress, fennel
  • Bloating massage - juniper cypress, fennel
  • Supports a specific bodily function - Helichrysum, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, chamomile maroc

Cassia Essential Oil Substitute

Cinnamomum cassia

Fragrance Group
Hot, spicy, woody, fierce

Note
Top

Energetic
Aggressive, invigorating, reassuring, masculine

Aroma Substitutes for Cassia Essential Oil
Cinnamon, ho wood, ho leaf, cedarwood, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cassia Essential Oil

  • Calming stomach rub - peppermint, cinnamon chamomile, mandarin, spearmint, ginger
  • Bloated stomach rub - cumin, coriander, chamomile
  • Calming for young ones - chamomile, mandarin, dill
  • Aches and pains - juniper, ginger, black pepper, lavender
  • Feeling under the weather - Eucalyptus, inula, monarda, frankincense, lemon, myrrh

Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil Substitute

Cedrus atlantica

While cedarwood atlas may be among the most amazing essential oils, human kind's desire for its glorious straight grain and incredibly long wood, as well as its capacity to calm negative thoughts, has sadly meant it now teeters on the brink of extinction.

For this reason, Himalayan cedarwood and Cedarwood Atlas essential oil are distilled from wood taken from members of the Pinacea family, while all other cedarwoods belong to the Cupressae family.

There is enough similarity between their properties and uses to use them more or less interchangeably. For that reason, I’ll list properties once here, but please know, anything cedarwood, is cedarwood as far as aromatherapy goes.

For that reason, please refer to the below substitutes for all Cedarwood essential oils.

Fragrance Group
Woody, reassuring, meditative, masculine

Note
Middle to top although vibrationally acts as a base

Energetic
Sensuous, thoughtful, calming, removed negatives thoughts

Aroma Substitutes for Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil
Sandalwood, Patchouli, Nutmeg, Coriander, Amyris, Vetiver, Cumin

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil

  • Skin - Jasmine, bergamot, tea tree, helichrysum, lavender, vetiver
  • Aches and pains - Juniper, black pepper, davana, ginger, lavender
  • Breathe- Eucalyptus, benzoin, myrrh, Monarda
  • Calm breathing- Myrtle, eucalyptus, inula
  • Hair and scalp - patchouli, cardomom
  • Specific skin issue - helichrysum, calendula, geranium, chamomile, helichrysm
  • When you are worked up - lavender, chamomile, geranium, vetiver

Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil Substitute

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Fragrance Group
Hot, spicy, woody, warm

Note
Middle to top

Energetic
Bright, sharp, aggressive, masculine

Aroma Substitutes for Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Cassia, ho wood, ho leaf, cedarwood, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

  • Stomach rub - Cardamon, coriander, cumin, dill
  • Feel under the weather - Eucalyptus, clove, eucalyptus, frankincense, niaouli, monarda
  • Scalp - Tea tree, nerolina
  • Warming - Black Pepper, geranium
  • Aches and pains - Lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper
  • When you are worked up - ginger, nutmeg, lavender, chamomile, geranium

Cistus Essential Oil Substitute

Cistus ladanifer L.

Fragrance Group
Fresh, balsamic, woody, herbaceous

Note
Base

Energetic
Comforting, cosseting, merry, masculine

Aroma Substitutes for Cistus Essential Oil
Myrtle, marjoram, hyssop, lavender, chamomile, tea tree, niaouli, cajeput, geranium

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cistus Essential Oil

  • Crisis and trauma - Rose, vetiver, amber, valerian
  • Fear - spikenard, yarrow
  • Nature's first aid - tea tree, lavender
  • Therapeutic - helichrysum, tea tree, cinnamon
  • Skin healing - rose, lavender, neroli, geranium
  • Support menstruation - Geranium, clary sage, sweet basil
  • Breathe - myrrh, benzoin, eucalyptus
  • Calming - lavender, chamomile, melissa, clary sage, valerian

Citronella Essential Oil Substitute

Cymbopogon nardus

Citronella is a bright fresh and zingy oil, however because it can remind people of cleaning products, sometimes it’s nice to switch it up as it can cause headaches.

Fragrance Group
Citrus, fruity

Note
Top

Energetic
Happy, bright, positive, uplifting

Aroma Substitutes for Citronella Essential Oil
Lemon, lemon verbena, Melissa, Monarda, Bergamot

Therapeutic Substitutions for Citronella Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains - lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper
  • Feeling under the weather - tea tree, eucalyptus, inula, ravensara, monarda
  • Excessive Perspiration – Ginger, patchouli
  • Fatigue - Mandarin, lemon, bergamot, helichrysum
  • Cooling - peppermint
  • Specific skin therapeutic use – thyme, tea tree, myrrh, melissa
  • Skin healing - lavender, peppermint
  • Bites – lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree
  • Ward off unwanted outdoor guests – lemongrass, vetiver, catnip
  • Nature's first aid – tea tree
  • Nerve related - roman chamomile, rosemary, Melissa, tuberose
  • Oily Skin – lavender, grapefruit, lemon

Clary Sage Essential Oil Substitute

Salvia sclarea

Clary sage has a gorgeous, soft fragrance reminiscent of cold tea. It is contraindicated until the last 37 weeks of pregnancy because of its stimulant action on the uterus. (Incidentally, research shows that if you use it before the onset of full labour it slows down contractions rather than increases them, so genuinely leave it alone until you are safely in active labour in the delivery suite).

In addition, whilst it can be extremely useful for alleviating menopausal symptoms, it can exacerbate peri-menopausal flushes etc.

Finally, clary sage is contraindicated if you have been drinking alcohol. It gets you drunk very fast but can the cause absolute worst hangover in the morning as well as hallucinations.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Relaxing, euphoric and delightful. Like lying on the grass on a summer’s day.

Aroma Substitutes for Clary Sage Essential Oil
Lavender, chamomile, hyssop, davana, juniper, pine

Therapeutic Substitutions for Clary Sage Essential Oil

  • Calming for the skin – lavender, grapefruit, jasmine
  • Breathe – frankincense, eucalyptus, hyssop, monarda
  • Calming for kids – mandarin, dill, chamomile
  • Chesty breathing - myrtle, ravensara, benzoin, frankincense
  • Scalp – Nerolina, patchouli
  • Dry Or Mature Skin – Rose, neroli, frankincense
  • Support you during times of menstruation – lavender, rose, geranium
  • Exhaustion – Helichrysum, mandarin, bergamot
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, peppermint
  • Hair – spikenard, rosemary, lavender,cedarwood
  • Could potentially affect blood pressure - ylang ylang, melissa
  • Muscular Aches and Pains - lavender, juniper, ginger, rosemary
  • Skin calming – lavender, chamomile
  • Therapeutic – lavender, hyssop, tea tree

Clove Bud Essential Oil Substitute

Syzygium aromaticum (L.)

The sharp spice of clove is delicious but hot and can be mildly irritating.

Fragrance Group
Spice

Note
Middle

Energetic
Fierce, pungent, stimulant

Aroma Substitutes for Clove Bud Essential Oil
Cinnamon, coriander, pine, fir, ginger, nutmeg

Therapeutic Substitutions for Clove Bud Essential Oil

  • Calming stomach rub - Chamomile, dill, coriander, mandarin, peppermint
  • Aches and pains – Lavender, Valerian, chamomile
  • Therapeutic – Cinnamon, tea tree, thyme
  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, bergamot, tea tree, monarda, frankincense
  • Stomach rub – Dill, peppermint, coriander, mandarin, chamomile
  • Feel under the weather - Inula, ravensara, tea tree, manuka, kanuka,
  • Specific skin therapeutic - Thyme, tea tree, geranium
  • Muscle soreness - Lavender, juniper, ginger
  • If you feel nauseous - Dill, peppermint, coriander, mandarin, chamomile

Copaiba Essential Oil Substitute

Copaifera langsdorffii

Copaiba is quickly becoming one of the most popular essential oils in the therapist’s box, but can sometimes be difficult to obtain.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, Herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Nurturing, relaxing, comforting

Aroma Substitutes for Copaiba Essential Oil
Pine, cypress

Therapeutic Substitutions for Copaiba Essential Oil

  • Breathe – Frankincense, eucalyptus, tea tree, monarda, bergamot
  • Aches and pains - Helichrysum, black pepper, hemp
  • Calm chesty breathing - Frankincense, eucalyptus, tea tree, monarda, bergamot, myrtle
  • Feel under the weather – Tea tree, lemon, myrrh
  • Perfumery Fixative – benzoin

Coriander Seed Essential Oil Substitute

Coriandrum sativum

The Earth fragrance of coriander is delicious and adds warmth to a blend, but can also be reminiscent of curry for some people.

Fragrance Group
Warm, earthy, woody spice

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Soothing, nurturing, familiar

Aroma Substitutes for Coriander Seed Essential Oil
Dill, coriander, angelica, cardamom, patchouli, cedarwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Coriander Seed Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains – Lavender, juniper, ginger
  • Relaxing muscle rub – clary sage, roman chamomile, dill
  • Therapeutic use – clove, cinnamon, tea tree
  • Stomach rub – mandarin, dill, roman chamomile, peppermint
  • Calming for kids - mandarin, dill lavender
  • Fatigue – Mandarin, helichrysum, melissa
  • When you feel nauseous - mandarin, dill, roman chamomile, peppermint
  • Stimulating - Peppermint, spearmint

Cumin Essential Oil Substitute

Cuminum cyminum

Like coriander, the lovely, warm fragrance of cumin can make a blend smell a bit like curry!

Fragrance Group
Spice

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Soothing, cosseting, rejuvenating

Aroma Substitutes for Cumin Essential Oil
Coriander, dill, cardamom, fenugreek, turmeric, fennel

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cumin Essential Oil

  • Detox massage – Cypress, juniper, fennel
  • Warming massage to improve circulation – Cypress, black pepper, geranium
  • Could potentially affect blood pressure - rosemary
  • Calming for kids – Mandarin, chamomile, spearmint, coriander
  • Stomach rub – peppermint, coriander, spearmint, carrot seed, dill, chamomile.
  • Fatigue - Mandarin, helichrysum, bergamot, Melissa

Cypress Essential Oil Substitute

Cupressus sempervirens

I can’t think of a single reason why someone might want to substitute cypress, I’m afraid! An inexpensive but incredibly useful oil with a deliciously refreshing fragrance.

Fragrance Group
Woody, floral

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Reflective, comforting, refreshing

Aroma Substitutes for Cypress Essential Oil
Pine, ginger, fir, juniper, geranium

Therapeutic Substitutions for Cypress Essential Oil

  • Skin healing – tea tree, lavender, grapefruit
  • Excessive Perspiration – Ginger, patchouli
  • Oily Skin – clary sage, lavender, grapefruit
  • Aches and pains – Lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, copaiba
  • Grief - Rose, Melissa

Cypress, Blue Essential Oil Substitute

Callitris intratropica RT

Native to Australia, blue cypress oil is good for breathing and great for blend.

Fragrance Group
Woody, smokey, slightly sweet

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Sedative, relaxing, happy

Aroma Substitutes for Blue Cypress Essential Oil
Chamomile matricaria, yarrow, lavender

Therapeutic Substitutions for Blue Cypress Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains - Lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper

  • Respiratory system – Vetiver, frankincense, monarda, eucalyptus

  • Fragrance Fixative – Benzoin, copaiba


Damiana Essential Oil Substitute

Turnera diffusa

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Saucy, romantic and just a little bit naughty!

Aroma Substitutes for Damiana Essential Oil
Rose, jasmine, geranium, zdravetz

Therapeutic Substitutions for Damiana Essential Oil

  • Support you during menstruation - lavender, rose, geranium,clary sage
  • Loss of libido – jasmine, zdravets, clary sage, blue lotus, rose
  • When you are worried or nervous - lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang, clary sage, neroli, valerian, spikenard, yarrow
  • When you are feeling down – Melissa, bergamot, yuzu
  • Warming stomach rub - rose, ginger

Davana Essential Oil Substitute

Artemisia pallens

Despite Davana coming from a silver leaved bushy herb it smells of a deep woody orange, sultry and gorgeous!

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, floral

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Comforting, seductive, delightful

Aroma Substitutes for Davana Essential Oil
Orange, neroli, petitgrain, cedarwood, Amyris, patchouli, jasmine

Therapeutic Substitutions for Davana Essential Oil

  • Nature's first aid therapeutics – Tea tree, sweet basil, ravensara, inula, manuka, kanuka
  • Breathing – frankincence, bergamot, tea tree, inula, monarda
  • Calm chesty breathing – myrtle, benzoin, myrrh
  • Feel under the weather – tea tree myrrh, lemon
  • Feel really under the weather - tea tree, copaiba, cinnamon, clove
  • Nervous Stomach – roman chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, mandarin, cardamom
  • Bloated stomach – spearmint, peppermint, chamomile
  • Feel nauseous - chamomile, dill, ginger
  • Support during menstruation - Lavender, rose, geranium, clary sgae
  • Support you through the Menopause – Vitex agnus castus, clary sage, rose
  • When you feel worried or nervous - Lavender, bergamot, rose, neroli, sweet orange
  • Irritability - Lavender, geranium, melissa
  • Skin Healing – helichrysum, myrrh, galbanum

Dill Essential Oil Substitute

anethum graveolens

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Happy, balanced, gentle

Aroma Substitutes for Dill Essential Oil
Lavender, hyssop, chamomile, tarragon, parsley, coriander

Therapeutic Substitutions for Dill Essential Oil

  • Calming for kids - Chamomile, mandarin, spearmint, coriander
  • Stomach rub - carrot seed, chamomile, peppermint, coriander, mandarin
  • Breathe – frankincense, monarda, hyssop
  • Support during menstruation – clary sage, rose geranium, lavender

Elemi Essential Oil Substitute

Canarium luzonicum (Blume)

Fragrance Group
Resinous, woody, spicy

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Deeply soothing and reassuring, priest-like.

Aroma Substitutes for Elemi Essential Oil
Frankincense, myrrh, pine, cinnamon

Therapeutic Substitutions for Elemi Essential Oil

  • Respiratory system – Monarda, frankincense, myrrh, hyssop
  • Calm chesty breathing – hyssop, myrtle, benzoin
  • Clear the airways – Eucalyptus, myrrh, hyssop
  • Muscular Fatigue – black pepper, juniper, ginger
  • Specific skin therapeutic use – tea tree, cinnamon
  • Skin healing – helichrysum, myrrh, galbanum, lavender, chamomile, tea tree
  • Fatigue – mandarin, bergamot, helichrysum

Eucalyptus (1,8-cineole species) Essential Oil Substitute

Eucalyptus globulus | Eucalyptus radiata | Eucalyptus polybractea

The familiar fragrance of eucalyptus essential oil is not to everyone’s taste and can be a little strong for little children’s delicate respiratory systems too.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbal

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Strident, punchy, like it means business!

Aroma Substitutes for Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Pine, frankincense, tea tree, manuka, kanuka, inula, ravensara

Therapeutic Substitutions for Eucalyptus Essential Oil

  • Respiratory system – Tea tree, monarda, ravensara,manuka, kanuka, cajuput
  • Breathe – Frankincense, inula, ravensara, monarda, myrrh, hyssop
  • Nature's first aid – tea tree, cinnamon, clove, thyme
  • Cooling – Tea tree, peppermint, spikenard, spearmint
  • Support the sinuses – Lemon, myrrh, tea tree
  • Muscular Aches and Pains – Lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, copaiba

Fir, Silver Essential Oil Substitute

Abies alba

Glorious fir brings us the fragrance of the mountains but is often not a great draw when you see it on the shelf. It tends not to be an oil that beginners will buy.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbal, resinous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Opening, refreshing, releasing

Aroma Substitutes for Fir (Silver) Essential Oil
Frankincense, pine, eucalyptus, lemon, myrrh

Therapeutic Substitutions for Fir (Silver) Essential Oil

  • Clear the airways – Lemon, myrrh, tea tree, hyssop
  • Support the sinuses - myrrh, tea tree
  • Breathe – Frankincense, monarda, eucalyptus, ravensara, thyme, inula
  • Chest respiratory system – myrtle, myrrh, benzoin
  • Muscular Aches And Pains – lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, copaiba
  • Cooling – Peppermint, rose
  • When you are worried or nervous - lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang, yarrow, valerian, neroli
  • Winter/holiday blues - bergamot, lemon, lemon verbena, Melissa, marjoram

Frankincense Essential Oil Substitute

Boswellia carterii | Boswellia serrata

Wonderful frankincense essential oil renews our connection with the world, opening our lungs, minds and consciousness. However intensive harvesting of the resin now means it stands on the brink of being endangered. It’s imperative we try to protect it for the future generations to come. Before leaping to grab your frankincense every time you want to relax, perhaps consider if other oils will do the trick first.

Fragrance Group
Resinous, woody

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Comforting, serene, opening, expanding

Aroma Substitutes for Frankincense Essential Oil
Pine, fir, elemi, eucalyptus

Therapeutic Substitutions for Frankincense Essential Oil

  • When you are worried or nervous – valerian, spikenard, yarrow, lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, neroli, rose
  • Breathe – monarda, elemi, eucalyptus, hyssop, myrtle, bergamot, tea tree
  • Calm chesty breathing – benzoin, myrtle
  • Skin support and healing – helichrysum, jasmine, myrrh
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed - lavender, chamomile, bergamot

Galbanum Essential Oil Substitute

Ferula galbaniflua

Deep, sultry and almost priest-like, galbanum often turns up in skin care preparations, but not in people’s boxes!

Fragrance Group
Resin

Note
Base

Energetic
Cathartic, sedative, arcane

Aroma Substitutes for Galbanum Essential Oil
Myrrh, labdanum, spikenard, oppoponax

Therapeutic Substitutions for Galbanum Essential Oil

  • Therapeutic skin uses – Geranium, myrrh, roman chamomile, helichrysum
  • Skin healing & support - lavender, jasmine, bergamot, helichrysum, tea tree, myrrh
  • Breathe – hyssop, eucalyptus, inula,monarda, frankincense
  • Clear chesty airways - myrtle, benzoin, tea tree, frankincense
  • Muscular Aches and Pains - Lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, clary sage
  • Bloated stomach rub – Mandarin, chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, dill
  • Nerve-related conditions - lavender, chamomile, Melissa, angelica root, ylang ylang, neroli, valerian, yarrow.

Geranium Essential Oil Substitute

Pelargonium graveolens

Often considered the poor man’s rose, but that sells geranium essential oil short. It is possibly one of the most useful and important essential oils available on the market today. However, since you can use it for pretty much anything, and it does not carry a particularly hefty price tag, it’s so easy to use it all up and not realise you’ve run out!

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Happy, relaxing, reassuring, wise

Aroma Substitutes for Geranium Essential Oil
Rose, cistus, davana, lavender, chamomile, petitgrain, cardamon

Therapeutic Substitutions for Geranium Essential Oil

  • Support during menstruation - rose, lavender, clary sage, ylang ylang
  • Support during menopause – clary sage, rose, vitex agnus castus, ylang ylang
  • Circulatory System – Cypress, black pepper
  • Warming – ginger, cypress, black pepper
  • Nerve-related conditions – rosemary, roman chamomile, copaiba
  • Skin healing and calming - lavender, chamomile, helichrysum, myrrh, galbanum
  • When you feel down – bergamot, rose, Melissa, yuzu
  • Fatigue - mandarin, helichrysum, bergamot
  • Emotional Crisis – Rose, ylang ylang, cistus, spikenard
  • Skin balancing – jasmine, bergamot, tea tree, helichrysum, lavender
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – calendula, helichrysum, chamomile, myrrh, tea tree
  • Scalp - tea tree, nerolina
  • Sebum Balancing - Lavender, cypress, ylang ylang
  • Specific therapeuitc uses – Eucalyptus, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary, carrot seed

Ginger Essential Oil Substitute

Zingiber officinale

Ginger’s energy is smoking hot if you’d like a rather aggressive action, (either on your thermal warming, your digestion or your disposition). You might also like some of these lovely alternative essential oils.

Fragrance Group
Spice

Note
Middle to top

Energetic
Invigorating, warming, motivating

Aroma Substitutes for Ginger Essential Oil
Nutmeg, cinnamon, davana, orange

Therapeutic Substitutions for Ginger Essential Oil

  • Aching Muscles - Lavender, juniper, clary sage
  • Feeling nauseous – Peppermint, chamomile, spearmint
  • Bloated stomach rub – peppermint, mandarin, chamomile,spearmint
  • Warming to the circulatory system – Black pepper, geranium, cypress
  • Nervous exhaustion - bergamot, mandarin, helichrysum

Grapefruit Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus x paradisi

The fresh zingy note of grapefruit is usually in a therapist’s box, but since you should not use old oils because of its high monoterpene content, it can often be out of date, which in turn can lead to a risk of skin sensitisation.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Bright, happy, go-getter

Aroma Substitutes for Grapefruit Essential Oil
Lemon, lemon verbena, Melissa, petitgrain, bergamot, yuzu

Therapeutic Substitutions for Grapefruit Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing – lavender, cypress, jasmine, bergamot, cypress, tea tree
  • Oily Skin – bergamot, lavender, cypress
  • Cellulite – fennel, juniper, black pepper
  • Dull Skin – angelica root, geranium, carot seed
  • Detoxifying massage – fennel, angelica seed, hyssop, juniper
  • Bloating massage – fennel, juniper, cpress
  • Nervous Exhaustion - mandarin, helichrysum, bergamot

Helichrysum Essential Oil Substitute

Helichrysum italicum

The strange early, aniseed-y, curry-like fragrance is both delightful yet disconcerting all at once! This is an important oil but can often carry a hefty price tag.

Fragrance Group
Floral, spicy, woody

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Steady, robust, reliable

Aroma Substitutes for Helichrysum Essential Oil
Cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, calendula

Therapeutic Substitutions for Helichrysum Essential Oil

  • Muscular Aches And Pains – Lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger, copaiba
  • Skin balancing – Lavender, tea tree, bergamot, jasmine
  • Skin healing - Lavender, tea tree, myrrh
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – Calendula, geranium, myrrh, calendula, chamomile, cajeput,
  • Skin calming – Roman chamomile, German (blue) chamomile, vetiver
  • Nervous Exhaustion – Mandarin, bergamot, vetiver

Hyssop Essential Oil Substitute

Hyssopus officinalis

Beautiful hyssop is chock full of ketones which make it so gorgeous for breaking stuff down. However, ketones can make it a difficult oil to use if you have epilepsy or any problems with psychosis. The level of ketones actually drops after the plant has flowered but the majority of commercial oils are distilled from the plant before it has come into flower.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Invigorating and clearing

Aroma Substitutes for Hyssop Essential Oil
Clary sage, camphor, rosemary, Roman chamomile

Therapeutic Substitutions for Hyssop Essential Oil

  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree, eucalyptus, myrtle, ravensara, inula, monarda
  • Feeling very under the weather - tea tree, helichrysum, manuka, kanuka, cinnamon, oregano, thyme – oregano, eucalyptus
  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, niaouli, tea tree, frankincense, bergamot, ravensara, niaouli
  • Clear the airways – eucalyptus, thyme, bergamot, frankincense, monarda
  • Skin healing – Geranium, helichrysum, tea tree, lavender, myrrh
  • Aches and pains – Lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger, davana, plai
  • Stomach rub – coriander, dill, fennel, carrot seed, chamomile

Jasmine Essential Oil Substitute

Jasminum grandiflorum

A heady sensuous and delicious fragrance, jasmine is taken from dainty white flowers which exude their fragrance to attract moths in the evening. However, the number of flowers required to make the oil is high, and the oil needs to be extracted by one of the costliest methods too (it's an absolute rather than an essential oil). For that reason, jasmine can be very expensive.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Seductive and soothing

Aroma Substitutes for Jasmine Essential Oil (absolute)
Patchouli, ylang ylang, tuberose, vetiver, sandalwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Jasmine Essential Oil (absolute)

  • When you are worried or nervous – lavender, chamomile, valerian, yarrow, geranium, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose
  • When you feel down – Melissa, bergamot, rose, geranium, yuzu,
  • Potentially affect blood pressure - clary sage, Melissa, ylang ylang
  • Calming – ylang ylang, lavender
  • Skin healing – Helichrysum

Juniper Essential Oil Substitute

Juniperus communis

Delicious juniper has a sharp fresh fragrance, but it is a very powerful oil, used mainly for flushing out toxins. For this reason, it is an oil best avoided by anyone with kidney issues.

Fragrance Group
Evergreen, herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Stimulating, invigorating, lifting

Aroma Substitutes for Juniper Essential Oil 
Pine, fir, cypress, spruce

Therapeutic Substitutions for Juniper Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – tea tree, fennel, clary sage, geranium, cypress
  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree – Lavender, tea tree, myrrh, ravensara
  • Feeling very under the weather – oregano, cinnamon, tea tree, manuka, kanuka, niaouli, eucalyptus
  • Detox massage – Fennel

Lavender, Spike Essential Oil Substitute

Lavandula latifolia

Lavender spike has a sharp camphoraceous fragrance, more lavender-y than other lavender, if that makes sense? Like hyssop though, it has high levels of ketones which can be problematic for people with epilepsy, high blood pressure and psychosis.

More people tend to complain of headaches and achy legs from using latifolia, so it isn't a common choice these days. I think it’s fair to say that you can always substitute angustifolia if you do not have latifolia, but not necessarily the other way round

Fragrance Group
Floral, herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Relaxing and soothing

Aroma Substitutes for Spike Lavender Essential Oil 
Lavender angustifolia, hyssop, rosemary

Therapeutic Substitutions for Spike Lavender Essential Oil

  • When you are worried or nervous – rose, ylang ylang, sandalwood, camomile, geranium, yarrow, valerian, spikenard, clary sage
  • Skin healing - Helichrysum
  • When you feel down – bergamot, rose, ylang ylang, Melissa, yuzu
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – Calendula, geranium, helichrysum, myrrh
  • Support during menstruation – clary sage, rose, geranium
  • Cooling to the head – chamomile, basil, rosemary
  • Calming – clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang
  • Bites – eucalyptus, chamomile
  • Ward off unwanted outdoor guests - vetiver, eucalyptus, tea tree
  • Itching - chamomile
  • Oily skin – ylang ylang, melissa
  • Aches and pains – juniper, black pepper, ginger
  • Sporting aches - helichrysum

Lavender, True Essential Oil Substitute

Lavandula angustifolia

The aromatherapist’s dependable pal, but many people say they just don’t like lavender essential oil, and that’s fine too.

Fragrance Group
Floral, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Relaxing and soothing

Aroma Substitutes for Lavender Essential Oil 
Hyssop, rosemary, clary sage

Therapeutic Substitutions for Lavender Essential Oil

  • Similar to spike lavender

Lemon Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus limonum

Bright, fresh and clean, but often you may discover your lemon oil has become to old to use. Remember oils high in monoterpenes oxidise quickly and can cause skin sensitisation.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Joyful, carefree

Aroma Substitutes for Lemon Essential Oil 
Lemongrass, citronella, lemon verbena, melissa

Therapeutic Substitutions for Lemon Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses - tea tree, helichrysum, cinnamon, geranium
  • Warming - black pepper
  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree
  • Dull Skin – angelica root, Melissa, carrot seed, neroli
  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, cinnamon, oregano, manuka, kanuka
  • Oily Skin – lavender
  • Skin support - lavender, geranium, helichrysum

Lemongrass Essential Oil Substitute

Cymbopogon flexuosus

Lovely, strong and confident, lemongrass can be a tad bossy for some people.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Victorious, confident

Aroma Substitutes for Lemongrass Essential Oil 
Lemon, citronella, lemon verbena, melissa

Therapeutic Substitutions for Lemongrass Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree
  • Stomach rub – Coriander, dill, carrot seed cardamom, jasmine, peppermint
  • Bloated stomach rub – peppermint, chamomile, dill
  • Ward off unwanted outdoor guests - vetiver, eucalyptus, tea tree – eucalyptus, vetiver
  • Muscular Aches And Pains – lavender, juniper, ginger, geranium, rosemary, black pepper
  • Physical & mental fatigue or burn out - Mandarin, melissa, lemon, lemon verbena

Lemon Verbena Essential Oil Substitute

Aloysia citrodora

Poor old lemon verbena gets a bad rap. She has become known for being a skin irritant and an adulterant for Melissa, but in fact verbena is so romantic and rejuvenating, I’d encourage you to take another look.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Dreamy, sensuous

Aroma Substitutes for Lemon Verbena Essential Oil 
Lemon, citronella, melissa, lemon myrtle, lemon scented eucalyptus

Therapeutic Substitutions for Lemon Verbena Essential Oil

  • Aphrodisiac – Jasmine, patchouli, neroli
  • When you feel down – bergamot, yuzu, neroli
  • Dull skin – angelica root, myrtle, lemon, melissa

Lime Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus × aurantifolia

Zesty, positive and strident, lime is reasonably inexpensive and easily accessible to most people’s pockets. However, watch your bottle does not go out of date as the oil can oxidise quickly due to the monoterpenes meaning it becomes irritable to the skin. This oil has a relatively short shelf life.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Dynamic, playful

Aroma Substitutes for Lime Essential Oil 
Lemongrass, yuzu, bergamot, monarda

Therapeutic Substitutions for Lime Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree
  • Breathe - frankincense
  • Warming – lemon, ginger
  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree ravensara, monarda
  • Dull Skin – angelica root, lemon
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – geranium, helichrysum, black pepper, cypress

Mandarin Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus reticulata

Another citrus with a short shelf life, but potentially one you will use plenty of and run out of well before the expiry date!

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Re-energising, relaxed, upbeat

Aroma Substitutes for Mandarin Essential Oil 
Lemongrass, yuzu, bergamot, monarda

Therapeutic Substitutions for Mandarin Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree, lemon, myrrh
  • Dull Skin – Angelica root, lime, lemon, neroli, petitgrain
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, yarrow, marjoram, valerian
  • Oily Skin – lavender, helichrysum, ylang ylang
  • Skin healing – helichrysum, jasmine
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – ylang ylang, nutmeg, vetiver, geranium
  • Aging skin - frankincense

Manuka Essential Oil Substitute

Leptospermum scoparium

One of the lesser known oils outside of Australasia, and broadly speaking, with pretty much the same applications as tea tree.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Fortifying, methodical, trustworthy

Aroma Substitutes for Manuka Essential Oil 
Tea tree, myrtle, kanuka, niaouli, inula, ravensara, cajeput

Therapeutic Substitutions for Manuka Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses - tea tree, kanuka, niaouli, lemon, helichrysum, cajeput
  • Breathe – eucalyptus, tea tree, bergamot
  • Clear airways – hyssop, eucalyptus, ravensara, inula, monarda
  • Scalp – tea tree, nerolina
  • Nature's first aid therapeutics – parsley seed, thyme, tea tree
  • Skin healing – lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, calendula, myrrh

Marjoram Essential Oil Substitute

Origanum majorana

Such a comforting essential oil, but for some reason not one people choose as a starter oil.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Comforting, consoling, hopeful

Aroma Substitutes for Marjoram Essential Oil 
Thyme, lavender, hyssop, clary sage, fennel, lovage, angelica seed

Therapeutic Substitutions for Marjoram Essential Oil

  • When you are worried or nervous - Lavender, vetiver, patchouli, chamomile, geranium, rose, neroli, yarrow, valerian
  • Skin healing – helichrysum, hyssop, fennel, geranium
  • Warming stomach rub – rose, fennel, hyssop
  • Stomach rub – jasmine, peppermint, chamomile, spikenard, carrot seed, dill, cardamom
  • Cooling to the head - lavender, basil, rosemary, peppermint
  • Bloated stomach rub – chamomile, dill, peppermint
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, valerian, hop
  • Support during menstruation and menopause – clary sage, rose, neroli, chasteberry
  • Muscle relaxant – clary sage, lavender
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – mandarin, ylang ylang, lavender, geranium, neroli, rose, sandalwood, nutmeg

Melaleuca Essential Oil Substitute

Melaleuca quinquenervia

See tea tree for substitutes for melaleuca essential oil.


Melissa Essential Oil Substitute

Melissa officinalis

A stunning oil, potentially with even more applications than lavender, but since its yield of essential oil is so low it carries an exorbitant price tag.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Joyful, accepting, hopeful, sacred, arcane

Aroma Substitutes for Melissa Essential Oil 
Lemon grass, lemon verbena, lemon, citronella

Therapeutic Substitutions for Melissa Essential Oil

  • When you are worried or nervous – rose, lavender, geranium, mandarin, sandalwood, chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, vetiver, valerian
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – thyme, geranium, tea tree
  • When you feel down – Bergamot, lemon, yuzu
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – Thyme, tea tree, cinnamon, oregano, mandarin, tea tree, helichrysum, manuka, kanuka
  • Bloated stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, peppermint
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, marjoram, valerian, hop, vetiver, rose
  • Support during menopause – clary sage, chasteberry, ylang ylang, rose
  • Feeling nauseous – chamomile, mandarin, ginger, peppermint

Monarda Essential Oil Substitute

Monarda fistulosa

A lesser known oil, which is second to none for respiratory complaints.

Fragrance Group
Floral, citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Light, airy, trusting, delightful

Aroma Substitutes for Monarda Essential Oil 
Bergamot, melissa, clary sage, lemon verbena

Therapeutic Substitutions for Monarda Essential Oil

  • Calm chesty breathing - eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, niaouli, ravensara, myrrh, benzoin
  • Feeling under the weather – tea tree myrrh, lemon
  • Breathe – eucalyptus, frankincense, niaouli, inula, myrrh
  • When you feel down – yuzu, bergamot, neroli

Myrrh Essential Oil Substitute

Commiphora myrrha

A rich and important oil that sometimes gets overlooked by marketeers and so does not make its way into novice users’ boxes.

Fragrance Group
Resins, woody

Note
Base

Energetic
Grounding, sensuous, sacred, taboo

Aroma Substitutes for Myrrh Essential Oil 
Benzoin, vetiver, Amyris, patchouli, frankincense, sandalwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Myrrh Essential Oil

  • Support during menstruation – Sweet basil, geranium, ylang ylang, lavender, clary sage, rose
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – tea tree, lemon, manuka, kanuka, niaouli, cajeput
  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, niaouli, tea tree, frankincense, bergamot
  • Chapped Skin – calendula, helichrysum, vetiver, geranium, benzoin
  • Fresh – peppermint, parsley seed
  • Itching – lavender, chamomile
  • Specific therapeutic use – cloves

Myrtle Essential Oil Substitute

Myrtus communis

A quiet and gentle oil that packs a huge punch. You don’t see it shouted about much and yet it is tremendous for children, in particular.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Nurturing, trusting, sanctuary

Aroma Substitutes for Myrtle Essential Oil 
Nerolina, cajeput, hyssop, lemon verbena, tea tree

Therapeutic Substitutions for Myrtle Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree
  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, niaouli, tea tree, frankincense, bergamot, elemi, ravensara, manuka, kanuka
  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree
  • Calm chesty breathing - Tea tree, thyme, monarda, ravensara, eucalyptus
  • Exhaustion - Mandarin, melissa, lemon, lemon verbena
  • Before going to sleep – Lavender, chamomile, marjoram, vetiver, valerian, hop
  • Specific therapeutic uses – cypress, tea tree, lavender, geranium

Niaouli Essential Oil Substitute

Melaleuca quinquenervia

Again, not as well used outside Australasia as it should be, niaouli is gentle yet fierce.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Reassuring, focused, steady

Aroma Substitutes for Niaouli Essential Oil 
Tea tree, cajeput, manuka, kanuka, ravensara, inula

Therapeutic Substitutions for Niaouli Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses - helichrysum, lavender, jasmine, tea tree

  • Breathe - Eucalyptus, tea tree, frankincense, bergamot

  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree

  • Calm chesty breathing - Tea tree, thyme, monarda, ravensara, eucalyptus

  • Specific therapeutic uses - Mandarin, tea tree, helichrysum, manuka, kanuka

  • Feeling very under the weather - tea tree, helichrysum, manuka, kanuka, cinnamon, oregano, thyme

  • Ward off unwanted outdoor guests - vetiver, eucalyptus, tea tree

  • Aches and pains - Lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger, rosemary, davana, plai

  • Support the sinuses - tea tree, myrrh, frankincense, eucalyptus


Neroli Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus aurantium

The sensuous orange blossom carries the romance of a thousand wedding bouquets and a deep sense of calm. It also carries a hefty price tag, I’m afraid.

Fragrance Group
Floral, citrus

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Romantic, dreamy, soft

Aroma Substitutes for Neroli Essential Oil 
Petigrain, orange, davana

Therapeutic Substitutions for Neroli Essential Oil

  • When you feel down – Yuzu, bergamot, melissa

  • Aphrodisiac - Jasmine, patchouli, cedarwood

  • Before going to sleep – lavender, marjoram, chamomile, ylang ylang, rose, valerian, hop

  • Mature Skin - Frankincense

  • Skin healing – Jasmin, helichrysum, myrrh

  • Emotional Shock – helichrysum, vetiver, valerian

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang


Nutmeg Essential Oil Substitute

Myristica fragrans

A strong masculine oil, which is robust and elegant, but often over looked on shopping lists

Fragrance Group
Spice

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Invigorating, decisive, aggressive

Aroma Substitutes for Nutmeg Essential Oil 
Cinnamon, clove, ginger

Therapeutic Substitutions for Nutmeg Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger

  • Calming stomach rub – peppermint, chamomile, carrot seed, dill, fennel

  • Support during menstruation – lavender, clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang, rose

  • Muscle aches – lavender, juniper, black pepper, clary sage, rosemary

  • Feeling nauseous – mandarin, chamomile, ginger, peppermint

  • Nervousness – lavender, chamomile, geranium, sweet basil, vetiver


Orange (Bitter) Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus aurantium

The lesser reported orange, but just as delightful. Like other citrus oils, it can be prone to oxidisation, so watch your oil is in date to avoid skin sensitisation.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Inspired, creative, positive

Aroma Substitutes for Bitter Orange Essential Oil 
Sweet orange, davana, petitgrain

Therapeutic Substitutions for Bitter Orange Essential Oil

  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree

  • Stomach/digestive system various therapeutic uses – rose, chamomile, dill, carrot seed, aniseed, cardamom, coriander, fennel, cumin, turmeric

  • Dull Skin – angelica root, myrtle, lemon

  • Feeling very under the weather – cinnamon, clove, tea tree, oregano, kanuka, manuka, niaouli

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – neroli, lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, geranium


Orange (Sweet) Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus sinensis

Beautiful, positive and popular, but as with bitter orange, mind your monoterpenes are still intact to avoid hurting anyone’s skin.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Bright, shining, refreshed, confident

Aroma Substitutes for Sweet Orange Essential Oil 
Bitter orange, neroli, petitgrain, mandarin, tangerine

Therapeutic Substitutions for Sweet Orange Essential Oil

  • Feeling under the weather - lemon, myrrh, tea tree

  • Stomach/digestive system various therapeutic uses – rose, carrot, cumin, turmeric, ginger, dill, carrot seed, aniseed, cardamom, coriander, fennel, chamomile

  • Dull Skin – angelica root, neroli, lemon, myrtle

  • Feeling very under the weather - cinnamon, clove, tea tree, oregano, kanuka, manuka, niaouli


Oregano Essential Oil Substitute

Origanum vulgare

Terrifyingly fierce, the Doberman to cinnamon’s Rottweiler. Brilliant oils, but very, very strong. You may want to start off with some subtler oils first.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, clinical

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Brash, sharp, aggressive

Aroma Substitutes for Oregano Essential Oil 
Marjoram, hyssop, tarragon, tea tree, cajeput

Therapeutic Substitutions for Oregano Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – lemon, tea tree, myrrh

  • Calm chesty breathing – tea tree, myrtle, eucalyptus, niaouli, monarda

  • Feeling under the weather – tea tree, eucalyptus, frankincense, monarda, manuka, kanuka

  • Breathe – eucalyptus, myrtle, inula, manuka, kanuka


Peppermint Essential Oil Substitute

Mentha piperita

Bright, sharp peppermint essential oil is a blitz through the senses to awaken and focus the mind. But what if you already feel jittery, do you want that extra boost? Likewise, its high levels of menthol make it a difficult oil to use on young children because it can slow respiration if used too close to their faces.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, , minty, clinical

Note
Top

Energetic
Harsh, awakening, brightening, cooling, focusing

Aroma Substitutes for Peppermint Essential Oil 
Spearmint, eucalyptus, tea tree

Therapeutic Substitutions for Peppermint Essential Oil

  • Breathe – frankincense, monarda, eucalyptus myrrh

  • Calming for kids – mandarin, dill, spearmint

  • Exhaustion – mandarin, nutmeg, melissa, lemon verbena

  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, tea tree, manuka, kanuka, monarda

  • Stomach rub - mandarin, dill, spearmint, cardamom, coriander, chamomile, ginger, carrot seed

  • Cooling and calming to the head – lavender, sweet basil, rosemary

  • Feeling nauseous - ginger, chamomile, mandarin, spearmint

  • Supports the sinuses – lemon, myrrh, tea tree, frankincense, eucalyptus

  • Feeling dizzy or light headed - vetiver


Pine Essential Oil Substitute

Pinus sylvestris

A beautiful liberating sense of fresh air, pine helps us relax when we feel the walls closing in. Its needles are perfectly designed to withstand wind and cold, and the oil too can help us withstand the cold, winter season. However, somehow pine does not have the energetic of spring or summer and if you are run down out of the winter seasons.

Fragrance Group
Evergreen, clinical

Note
Top

Energetic
Clearing, spacious, opening refreshing, freeing

Aroma Substitutes for Pine Essential Oil 
Silver fir, black spruce

Therapeutic Substitutions for Pine Essential Oil

  • Feeling under the weather – Frankincense, monarda, tea tree, eucalyptus

  • Calm chesty breathing – Myrtle, monarda, chamomile

  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, cloves, ravensara

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper

  • Support the sinuses - lemon, myrrh, tea tree, frankincense

  • Breathe and support respiratory system – eucalyptus, thyme, monarda, tea tree, silver fir


Plai Essential Oil Substitute

Zingiber cassumunar

Aromatically plai is very similar to ginger, and has some of the same applications, especially when it comes to aches and pains, so plai can be overlooked as a duplicate oil. Not so, plai has very strong properties that only serve to deepen the prowess of ginger, copaiba and black pepper.

Fragrance Group
Root, spice

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Invigorating, warming, decisive, rejuvenating

Aroma Substitutes for Plai Essential Oil 
Ginger, turmeric, lemon verbena, cardamom

Therapeutic Substitutions for Plai Essential Oil

  • Support respiratory system - eucalyptus, frankincense, inula, ravensara, tea tree

  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, tea tree, ravensara

  • Calming stomach rub – ginger, peppermint, chamomile, coriander, cardamom, dill, spearmint, carrot seed

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, copaiba

  • Support ligaments – frankincense, Roman chamomile

  • Calming muscle rub - clary sage, rosemary

  • Swelling – juniper, fennel, roman chamomile

  • Support during menstruation - lavender, geranium, rose, clary sage, ylang ylang

  • Calming abdominal muscle rub – chamomile, dill, clary sage


Petitgrain Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus aurantium

Potentially the only reason you might want to substitute this lovely oil is if you have run out! Beautifully fragranced it adds a light romantic feel to a blend and is so benign, can be used on even the most delicate of people.

Fragrance Group
Floral, Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Light, soft, romantic, uplifting and content

Aroma Substitutes for Petitgrain Essential Oil 
Bitter orange, neroli, sweet orange, mandarin, tangerine

Therapeutic Substitutions for Petitgrain Essential Oil

  • Skin balancing or specific therapeutic use – lavender, tea tree, jasmine, helichrysum

  • Fatigue – mandarin, geranium

  • Before going to sleep – lavender, marjoram, hop, vetiver, valerian, rose, chamomile

  • Oily Skin – lavender, helichrysum, geranium, ylang ylang, clary sage

  • Perspiration - patchouli

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – lavender, geranium, vetiver, clary sage


Patchouli Essential Oil Substitute

Pogostemon cablin

Patchouli essential oil sometimes gets a bad press being linked with 1970’s bikers, however patchouli oil smells very different to the synthetic version people associate it with. Such a strange plant, it smells nothing like the mint leaves it comes from smelling more like freshly sawed exotic wood. Its deep, rich aroma draws energy down from the head and into the body making it a superb oil for alleviating stress related conditions or sexual anxiety.

Unlike other oils which may oxidise over time, patchouli is like a fine wine becoming more delicious with every year that passes.

Fragrance Group
Woody, Earthy

Note
Deep, sensuous base

Energetic
Soothing, sensuous, reviving, pacifying

Aroma Substitutes for Patchouli Essential Oil 
Vetiver, Myrrh, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Patchouli Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – helichrysum, jasmine, petitgrain, lavender, tea tree, palma rosa, calendula, geranium, myrrh, rose, vetiver, chamomile

  • Fatigue – mandarin, geranium

  • Frigidity – jasmine, myrrh, vetiver

  • Ward off unwanted outdoor guests – tea tree, citronella, vetiver

  • Mature Skin – vetiver, helichrysum, neroli

  • Oily Skin – lavender, helichrysum, ylang ylang, clary sage

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – vetiver, valerian, lavender, chamomile, geranium


Palmarosa Essential Oil Substitute

Cymbopogon martini

This is an oil that is often overlooked, but has the remarkable quality of being highly therapeutic but smelling delicious. Rather than the overwhelmingly clinical note of your eucalyptuses and tea trees, palmarosa cajoles you into feeling better as you drift off into rejuvenating sleep.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Soothing, uplifting, happy

Aroma Substitutes for Palmarosa Essential Oil 
Rose, geranium, neroli, zdrevetz

Therapeutic Substitutions for Palmarosa Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – helichrysum, lavender, tea tree, clary sage, jasmine, galbanum, geranium, myrrh

  • Clear the airways – ginger, eucalyptus

  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, cardamom, coriander

  • General Fatigue – mandarin, geranium

  • Bug bites - lavender

  • Irritability – chamomile, geranium, mandarin

  • Muscular aches – lavender, juniper, rosemary, black pepper, clary sage

  • Restlessness – lavender, clary sage, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, opoponax, frankincense, myrrh

  • Support the sinuses – lemon, myrrh, tea tree, eucalyptus

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – lavender, chamomile, geranium, vetiver, patchouli


Ravensara Essential Oil Substitute

Ravensara aromatica

Be careful of confusing ravensara with ravintsara, this beauty is much more benign and is a powerhouse of healing.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Top

Energetic
Invigorating, sharp, penetrating

Aroma Substitutes for Ravensara Essential Oil 
Rosemary, inula, eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree

Therapeutic Substitutions for Ravensara Essential Oil

  • Breathe – eucalyptus, bergamot, monarda

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – tea tree, helichrysum

  • Feeling under the weather – tea tree, eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon

  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, tea tree

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, eucalyptus, black pepper, ginger

  • Specific therapeutic use – mandarin, helichrysum


Ravintsara (Ho Leaf Oil) Essential Oil Substitute

Ravensara aromatica

Not as well known as ravensara, this is a slightly more complex oil to get used to. Try not to mix up ravintsara (Ho Leaf) with Ho Wood and ravensara. They are all different. I know, it can get a little confusing!

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Top

Energetic
Invigorating, driving, motivating, aggressive

Aroma Substitutes for Ravintsara (Ho Leaf) Essential Oil 
Ravensara, eucalyptus, thyme, cajeput

Therapeutic Substitutions for Ravintsara (Ho Leaf) Essential Oil

  • Calming – lavender, chamomile, geranium, vetiver

  • When you feel down – bergamot, Melissa, yuzu

  • Feeling very under the weather – Eucalyptus, ravensara, thyme, tea tree, clove, cinnamon

  • Muscular aches and pains - Lavender, juniper, black pepper, clary sage, ginger,

  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, rose, geranium, valerian, vetiver

  • Specific therapeutic use - mandarin, helichrysum

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed - lavender, chamomile, geranium, nutmeg, mandarin, frankincense, myrrh

  • Supports a healthy immune system – tea tree, ravensara, inula, eucalyptus, helichrysum


Rose Essential Oil Substitute

Rosa damascena

These Rose substitutions might help for the days where the pay packet won’t quite stretch to rose…although no oil could ever really come close to aromatherapy’s most treasured elixir.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Soothing, romantic, aphrodisiac, calming, restoring

Aroma Substitutes for Rose Essential Oil (absolute)
Geranium, zdravetz, palmarosa

Therapeutic Substitutions for Rose Essential Oil (absolute)

  • When you feel down – yuzu, bergamot, melissa

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – chamomile, helichrysum, myrrh, calendula, geranium

  • Frigidity – patchouli, vetiver, jasmine, sandalwood

  • Grief - geranium

  • Mature skin – frankincense, neroli, vetiver, helichrysm

  • Support during menopause – Chasteberry, geranium, clary sage, bergamot

  • Support during menstruation – geranium, lavender, clary sage

  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, geranium, vetiver, valerian, hop

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – lavender, geranium, vetiver, myrrh, frankincense, mandarin, nutmeg


Rosemary Essential Oil Substitute

Salvia rosmarinus (Synonym : Rosmarinus officinalis)

A powerful but difficult oil to use, rosemary essential oil can be unpredictable for high blood pressure and because it is high in ketones, can be problematic for epilepsy and psychotic conditions.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, clinical

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Refreshing, motivating, focusing, direct

Aroma Substitutes for Rosemary Essential Oil
Eucalyptus, tarragon, hyssop

Therapeutic Substitutions for Rosemary Essential Oil

  • Aching Muscles - Lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, ginger

  • Scalp - patchouli

  • Dull Skin – angelica root, myrtle, geranium, rose, neroli

  • Exhaustion - mandarin, geranium, grapefruit

  • Calming muscle rub – clary sage

  • Calming massage for nerves – tuberose, chamomile, melissa

  • Warming for the circulatory system – geranium, black pepper


Rosewood Essential Oil Substitute

Aniba rosaeodora

Beautiful rosewood stands on the edge of extinction because of exhaustive deforestation to use the wood for furniture and for the essential oil. Please NEVER buy this if you see it and always find an alternative essential oil substitute.

Fragrance Group
Floral, wood

Note
Middle

Energetic
Soothing, romantic

Aroma Substitutes for Rosewood Essential Oil
Rose, geranium, Ho Wood (probably the best substitute for Rosewood)

Therapeutic Substitutions for Rosewood Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, clary sage, jasmine, geranium, chamomile, calendula, myrrh, cajeput

  • When you are worried or nervous – lavender, vetiver, valerian, sandalwood, patchouli

  • Breathe and therapeutic respiratory support – eucalyptus, monarda

  • Calm chesty breathing – tea tree, myrtle

  • When you feel down – yuzu, Melissa, bergamot

  • Bug bites – lavender, eucalyptus

  • Nervousness – lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang, valerian, vanilla

  • Skin healing – helichrysum, jasmine, galbanum


Sage – Sage Dalmatian / Common Sage Essential Oil Substitute

Salvia officinalis

Lovely sage can cause heavy bleeding in women, so although it as a tremendous oil for men, especially for muscular aches, it can be too aggressive for feminine blends.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbal

Note
Middle

Energetic
Masculine, fortifying, robust, shouty!

Aroma Substitutes for Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, ravensara, juniper

Therapeutic Substitutions for Sage Essential Oil

  • Muscular aches – lavender, juniper, rosemary, black pepper, ginger
  • Cooling and calming for the head– lavender, basil, rosemary
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, peppermint, cardamom, coriander, dill
  • Nervousness – vanilla, lavender, geranium, jasmine
  • Mental fatigue – mandarin, nutmeg
  • Emotional exhaustion – geranium, rose
  • Memory – rosemary, Melissa, rose
  • Skin balancing and therapeutic use - lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, clary sage, bergamot, jasmine

Sandalwood Essential Oil Substitute

Salvia officinalis

Indian Sandalwood is now critically endangered, please opt for beautiful Australian.

Fragrance Group
Wood

Note
Base

Energetic
Soothing, grounding, pacifying, serene

Aroma Substitutes for Sandalwood Essential Oil
Amyris, patchouli, myrrh, vetiver

Therapeutic Substitutions for Sandalwood Essential Oil

  • Breathe – eucalyptus, thyme, monarda, frankincense
  • Chapped skin – calendula, helichrysum, patchouli, cardamom
  • When you feel down – yuzu, bergamot, Melissa, rose, geranium
  • Dry skin – rose, ylang ylang, vetiver
  • Oily skin – clary sage, lavender, jasmine, Melissa, bergamot, ylang ylang
  • Skin healing and support – jasmine, myrrh, helichrysum, galbanum, vetiver
  • Sensitive skin – violet leaf, lavender, chamomile
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – lavender, chamomile, vetiver, frankincense, myrrh, palo santo

Spearmint Essential Oil Substitute

Mentha spicata

Lovely gentle spearmint, is subtler than peppermint and makes a great oil for use on children. That said, it’s not an oil everyone has in their box.

Fragrance Group
Mint, herbaceous

Note
Middle to Top

Energetic
Uplifting and gentle, focusing, nurturing, soothing

Aroma Substitutes for Spearmint Essential Oil
Lavender, hyssop, Melissa, chamomile

Therapeutic Substitutions for Spearmint Essential Oil

  • Breathe – frankincense, monarda, eucalyptus, sandalwood
  • Exhaustion – mandarin, nutmeg, geranium
  • Cooling – peppermint, melissa
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, peppermint
  • Cooling and calming to the head– lavender, basil, peppermint
  • Feeling nauseous – chamomile, mandarin, peppermint, ginger
  • Dizzyness and light headed - vetiver

Spikenard Essential Oil Substitute

Nardostachys jatamansi

The people of Nepal are incentivised to collect their myriad medicinal flora to be exported out of the country. Many children live in orphanages for long periods while their parents are away foraging. The cultural and societal cost of this essential oil is very high, add that to the fact that spikenard is now critically endangered and it becomes very important to opt to substitute for other essential oils when you can.

Fragrance Group
Roots

Note
Base

Energetic
Grounding, pacifying, tranquilising

Aroma Substitutes for Spikenard Essential Oil
Vetiver, myrrh, palo santo

Therapeutic Substitutions for Spikenard Essential Oil

  • Ageing Skin – frankincense, vertiver, rose, myrrh
  • When you are worried or nervous – valerian, vetiver, frankincense
  • Before going to sleep - Valerian
  • Support during menstruation - lavender, rose, geranium, clary sage, ylang ylang
  • Calming muscle rub – clary sage, lavender, rosemary
  • Nervous tension – lavender, chamomile, neroli, rose, melissa, clary sage
  • Massage for the nerves - rosemary, tuberose
  • Back massage for the nerves – lavender, black pepper, tuberose

Tarragon Essential Oil Substitute

Artemisia dracunculus

This is a harmful oil to use in therapy as it is thought to be carcinogenic and toxic to the liver. Being high in ketones it is also neurotoxic. That said, its use as an oil for inhalation to help stimulate the appetite cannot be understated. For topical use however, it's best to substitute this oil.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbal

Note
Middle

Energetic
Machiavellian (cunning/scheming), sly, sharp, dark

Aroma Substitutes for Tarragon Essential Oil
Hyssop, sage, clary sage, lovage

Therapeutic Substitutions for Tarragon Essential Oil

  • Stimulates appetite - Melissa

Tea Tree Essential Oil Substitute

Melaleuca alternifolia

I can’t imagine anyone would ever be without tea tree oil, but perhaps you might not like the smell.

Fragrance Group
Clinical, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Bracing, strict, no messing, sharp

Aroma Substitutes for Tea Tree Essential Oil
Eucalyptus, cajeput, manuka, kanuka, myrtle, niaouli

Therapeutic Substitutions for Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – lavender, jasmine, manuka, kanuka, helichrysum, ravensara, thyme, geranium, mandarin, melissa, bergamot, vetiver, lemon
  • Feeling under the weather – eucalyptus, niaouli, inula, monarda
  • Skin healing – lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, chamomile
  • Feeling very under the weather – eucalyptus, oregano, cinnamon
  • Bug bites – lavender, eucalyptus
  • Itching - chamomile
  • Cooling/calming to the head – lavender, basil, rosemary
  • Oily skin - lavender, clary sage, bergamot, Melissa, helichrysum, ylang ylang
  • Support the sinuses – lemon, myrrh
  • Calm chesty breathing and support respiratory system – manuka, kanuka, niaouli, myrtle, lemon myrtle

Turmeric Essential Oil Substitute

Curcuma longa

A lesser known essential oil that's good for warming aching muscles and joints. It can stain clothing easily so be careful when using it.

Fragrance Group
Spice

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Wise, solemn, calming, reassuring, warming

Aroma Substitutes for Turmeric Essential Oil
Sandalwood, coriander, cumin, ginger, helichrysum

Therapeutic Substitutions for Turmeric Essential Oil

  • Specific therapeutic uses – Roman Chamomile, lavender, basil, black pepper
  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, black pepper, rosemary, ginger
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, spearmint, peppermint, cardamom
  • Support circulatory system – wintergreen, holy basil

Thyme Essential Oil Substitute

Thymus vulgaris

This is a hot and strong oil that can be to aggressive for some people. It’s an odd energetic because some people sail it with ease where others immediately flinch at its energy.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Uplifting, strict, hot, fierce

Aroma Substitutes for Thyme Essential Oil
Hyssop, marjoram, oregano, rosemary

Therapeutic Substitutions for Thyme Essential Oil

  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, black pepper, rosemary
  • Feeling under the weather – lemon, myrrh, tea tree, ravensara, inula, niaouli
  • Skin healing – tea tree, lavender
  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – calendula, geranium, myrrh, helichrysum
  • Feeling very under the weather – tea tree, eucalyptus, niaouli, clove, cinnamon, ravensara
  • Bug bites – lemon, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus
  • Scalp – tea tree, nerolina
  • Muscle aches – lavender, juniper, clary sage, rosemary
  • Oily skin – lemon, ylang ylang, clary sage, lavender,
  • Warming and support circulatory sustem – geranium, black pepper, ginger

Valerian Essential Oil Substitute

Valeriana officinalis

This one is bit like taking the foulest medication. It smells like the Foreign Legion have just taken their shoes off after traipsing across the desert. Dirty feet doesn’t even come close to describing, and yet nothing comes close to its ability to sledgehammer you into peace. It’s like the heaviest blanket forcing you to lie down and close your eyes.

It's up to you to decide… sleep or seduction…you can’t have both, I’m afraid.

Fragrance Group
Root

Note
Base

Energetic
Smothering, restricting, pacifying, tranquillising, heavy, dominating

Aroma Substitutes for Valerian Essential Oil
Vetiver, palo santo, amyris, sandalwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Valerian Essential Oil

  • Before going to sleep - vetiver, hop, lavender, chamomile, geranium
  • Cooling and calming for the head – lavender, basil, rosemary
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, cardamom, spearmint, peppermint
  • Nervous tension – vetiver, geranium, rose, frankincense, sandalwood

Vanilla Essential Oil Substitute

Valeriana officinalis

Not strictly and essential oil, vanilla will either be an absolute or a CO2. It’s not an oil many people decide to buy because it’s costly, and frankly vanilla kind of needs re-branding. There is nothing bland about this rich and sensual darling. It calms, entices and flicks the off switch so you have to give in and relax.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle to Base

Energetic
Soothing, seductive, languid

Aroma Substitutes for Vanilla Essential Oil
Vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, myrrh, amyris

Therapeutic Substitutions for Vanilla Essential Oil

  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – Vetiver, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang
  • When you are worried or nervous – valerian, neroli, jasmine
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, mandarin
  • Aches and pains – clary sage, lavender, geranium, patchouli
  • Nervous stomach rub – lavender, chamomile, dill, spearmint, coriander, cumin, cardamom
  • Feeling nauseous – chamomile, mandarin, ginger, spearmint

Vetiver Essential Oil Substitute

Vetiveria zizanioides

Gorgeously heavy, masculine and grounding, really I can’t think of a single reason why you’d want to substitute this one other than if you've ran out!

Fragrance Group
Root

Note
Base

Energetic
Slowing, anchoring, calming, pacifying, grounding

Aroma Substitutes for Vetiver Essential Oil
Myrrh, patchouli, vanilla, palo santo, amyris, sandalwood

Therapeutic Substitutions for Vetiver Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, bergamot, jasmine
  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, ginger, black pepper, sweet basil, clary sage
  • Skin healing – lavender, tea tree, niaouli, myrtle
  • When you feel down – bergamot, yuzu, rose, melissa
  • Exhaustion – mandarin, geranium, nutmeg
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, valerian, vetiver
  • Support during menstruation – lavender, clary sage, geranium, rose, ylang ylang
  • Calming muscle rub – clary sage, rosemary
  • Nervous tension – rosemary, sweet basil, lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, jasmine
  • Oily skin – lavender, lemon, grapefruit, clary sage, vetiver, helichrsum

Wintergreen Essential Oil Substitute

Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen has had a change of status over the last few years from hazardous oil to mainstream. High in salicylic acid, it has powerful therapeutic properties, great for aches and pains, but it also thins the blood. Avoid if you have platelet issues or are using any liniments that already thin the blood.

Fragrance Group
Herbaceous, clinical

Note
Middle to top

Energetic
Clearing, revitalising, strengthening, rejuvenating, simultaneously warming and cooling

Aroma Substitutes for Wintergreen Essential Oil
Eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, clove

Therapeutic Substitutions for Wintergreen Essential Oil

  • Support circulatory system – Holy basil, turmeric
  • Specific therapeutic use – roman chamomile, sweet basil, black pepper, copaiba
  • Aches and pains – copaiba, lavender, chamomile, ginger, black pepper, yarrow, German chamomile, blue cypress, juniper, rosemary

Yarrow Essential Oil Substitute

Achillea millefolium

An important oil, but yarrow can be prohibitively expensive.

Fragrance Group
Floral, herbaceous

Note
Middle

Energetic
Soothing, cossetting, calming, sensible

Aroma Substitutes for Yarrow Essential Oil
Blue chamomile, lavender, hyssop

Therapeutic Substitutions for Yarrow Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – lavender, tea tree, helichrysum, jasmine, clary sage, calendula, geranium, chamomile, myrrh
  • Aches and pains – lavender, juniper, black pepper, ginger
  • Sports muscle aches massage – lavender, black pepper
  • Support during menstruation - lavender, clary sage, geranium, rose, ylang ylang
  • Calming for the skin – lavender, chamomile
  • Skin healing – jasmine, myrrh, helichrysum, chamomile, galbanum

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil Substitute

Cananga odorata

Ylang ylang oil is one of the best balancing oils and suitable for people with blood pressure problems. If you already enjoy low blood pressure, ylang ylang could potentially help you to relax a little too much and we don't want you passing out!

It is however, heady, cloying and can give you a headache after a while if you overdo it. It’s always useful to have a back-up plan to refer to when you have had enough of the glorious flower of flowers.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Base to Middle

Energetic
Languid, sedate, romantic, enticing

Aroma Substitutes for Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Rose, jasmine, honeysuckle, neroli, geranium, monarda

Therapeutic Substitutions for Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

  • When you are worried or nervous – lavender, geranium, jasmine
  • When you feel down – Melissa, bergamot, yuzu
  • Frigidity – jasmine, sandalwood, vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, cedarwood
  • Calming – lavender, clary sage
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed – geranium, vetiver, sandalwood

Yuzu Essential Oil Substitute

Citrus junos

Not yet well known enough to be in everyone’s boxes but incredibly empowering and uplifting.

Fragrance Group
Citrus

Note
Top

Energetic
Flirtatious, explosive, fizzy, delectable

Aroma Substitutes for Yuzu Essential Oil
Mandarin, grapefruit, lime, tangerine, orange, lemon

Therapeutic Substitutions for Yuzu Essential Oil

  • Specific skin therapeutic uses – cypress, grapefruit, fennel
  • Fatigue – mandarin, nutmeg, geranium
  • Feeling under the weather – tea tree, eucalyptus, monarda
  • Support recovery - nutmeg, bergamot, helichrysum
  • Energise the skin – angelica root, grapefruit, lemon
  • Feeling very under the weather – clove, cinnamon, oregano, lemon
  • Nervous exhaustion – geranium, ylang ylang, melissa
  • Stomach rub – chamomile, dill, coriander, cardamom, peppermint, spearmint
  • Nervous tension – vetiver, neroli, geranium
  • Massage for the nerves – rosemary, tuberose, sweet basil
  • Calming for the skin – geranium, myrrh, chamomile

Zdravetz Essential Oil Substitute

Geranium macrorrhizum

A newcomer to the industry and only really exported in small amounts from Bulgaria yet growing in popularity.

Fragrance Group
Floral

Note
Middle

Energetic
Romantic, excited, exotic, playful, loving

Aroma Substitutes for Zdravetz Essential Oil
Geranium, ylang ylang, rose, palma rosa

Therapeutic Substitutions for Zdravetz Essential Oil

  • Stomach rub - rose, chamomile
  • Frigidity – vetiver, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli
  • Calming – clary sage, ylang ylang
  • Before going to sleep – lavender, chamomile, geranium, ylang ylang, valerian, hop
  • Support during menstruation – lavender, chamomile, geranium, rose, clary sage, ylang ylang
  • When you are worked up or overwhelmed - lavender, chamomile, geranium, vetiver, clary sage

This page is a great starting point for helping you to find essential oil substitutes... but it can't cover every possible combination of substitutes.

Often, substitutes can be subjective or unique to you as an individual. So with that in mind... over to you!

If there's an oil that you think should be added to this list, please comment the oil below along with your recommended substitutes.

Likewise, if you have any recommended substitute oils to add to the existing list, please also comment below.

Thanks for visiting the page and enjoy your day. :)

P.S You can grab a copy of Liz's book free on Kindle: The Complete Guide To Clinical Aromatherapy and The Essential Oils of The Physical Body


The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by medical practitioners. Neither Sacred Soul Holistics nor its products are intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products. Although every attempt has been made to gather accurate information about the oils, you will still find different claims and variations of the benefits/properties associated with each oil around the web. Please feel free to make suggestions to improve this page for the benefit everyone. Essential oils are for external use only and under no circumstances should they be ingested.  All content on this page is for information only.