If you dislike the aroma of an essential oil do you "need" it?

A question I get asked a lot is, if you dislike the aroma of an essential oil, does that mean that there's something in the oil you need?

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I don't think so. In fact, I think the opposite is true, I think that if you need an essential oil, you will like the aroma, even if you don't normally like it.

My client with severe PMT 

I'm going to explain that with a story. One of my first clients had the worst PMT I have ever come across. She had mood swings that could only be described as rages. They were so bad at times she had to leave the house because she was afraid she would hurt the children.

Her period pain was horrendous. She was laid up for about two days a month with awful cramps. She had skin outbreaks that were ridiculous. She had patches of really dry, flaky skin. You could actually see the skin flaking off and right beside it, she would have huge pimples. It was just unreal. She was so bloated that she looked like she was six months pregnant.

Her PMT symptoms were affecting her job, her marriage, her relationship with her children, her mental health. It was something that she worried about all the time, even when she didn't have her period.

I used a blend that I've used countless times since, and it is a blend that is absolutely outstanding for PMT.

She loved Geranium essential oil

I always let my clients smell each essential oil I'm considering for their treatment, then I let them smell the made up blend, because I believe they're drawn to the aromas of the essential oils they need at that time. 

My client loved all the essential oils I chose, she loved the blend and she particularly l loved Geranium essential oil. Geranium is amazing for balancing hormones, so it helped the cause of her PMT symptoms.  Geranium also reduces bloating, and it helps with both oily and dry skin types, whether or not they're caused by a hormone imbalance.

She came to me once a week to begin with. Two weeks after she started coming, she had her first period since the treatments began and the difference was amazing. She was irritable but not enraged. Her skin was a bit dry, but nothing like it was before, and the pain was manageable, she was even able to go to work. 

Even I was surprised! I knew the power of essential oils, but I didn't know how fast they were going to work, especially in a case as severe as this.  

Then she hated Geranium essential oil!

When she came back to me the following week, she wanted to use the same blend even though she didn't have a period and wasn't suffering from PMT. Again I let her smell each all in turn. I always do this, even if the client has already used the blend. Because your mood can change, and your preferences can change from week to week, even from day to day.

She smelled the Geranium essential oil, and she was repulsed. She said. "Oh, Jenny. What is that? It's horrible! I don't mean to be rude, but it actually smells like old socks. Like dirty old socks. I couldn't use that! Could you use the nice floral oil that you used last week?"

I said "That is the oil you smelled last week, it's Geranium"  It actually took a bit of persuading to convince her that the oil she had just smelled was the same as the oil she had used the previous two weeks that she absolutely loved. 

She came to me for several years until she moved away from the area. And in all that time, she loved Geranium while she had her period and hated it the rest of the time.

It's not uncommon to love and hate the same oil at different times

I've seen lots of other people disliking oils at certain times and loving them at others.

I had a student who was going through a very stressful time. I also knew that she really disliked Clary Sage and Chamomile essential oils. But I had a really strong hunch that she needed both of those oils. 

When working with essential oils, you need to know the properties of the essential oils, and the contraindications. But you also work with intuition. And quite often oils that seem to be illogical keep popping into your mind. As long as there is no contraindication to those oils I will use them.

So for this girl, I made her a blend of Clary Sage, Chamomile and Grapefruit. Grapefruit lifts the mood, and it enhances the aroma of heavier oils. I let her smell the blend without telling her what was in it. And she loved it. When I did tell her which oils were in it, she was very surprised!

She got enormous benefit from that blend. But after the situation she was in had resolved itself, she no longer liked it at all.

It's fairly common for people will like and dislike the same essential oil or essential oil blends at different times. Often the difference is quite dramatic.

Why you might like and dislike an essential oil at different times.

I think when the aroma arrives in the primitive, or instinctive brain, it picks up that we need something in the oil, and it triggers a positive response, even if we normally dislike it. Like my client with PMT thinking that Geranium had a beautiful floral aroma at some times but that it smelled like "dirty old socks" at others!

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I'm Jenny

From the time I started reading aromatherapy books I couldn't believe how essential oils changed my life. My family had fewer doctor's visits, my house smelled divine, I had quick fixes for stress and grumpy days, I could rustle up a remedy for PMT, chicken pox, headaches and lots more.

I've been an aromatherapist and an aromatherapy tutor for over 20 years. In 2017, I developed exclusive certified and insurable online holistic training courses. My unique system ensures my students are fully supported, so they learn to give outstanding treatments. My tag line for my online courses is “online but not alone”

I love developing resources and content for aromatherapy enthusiasts of all levels. As well as this blog, I've written a book called Aromatherapy for Common Ailments, I have a podcast called the Aromatherapy Business Podcast and I run a free membership on Facebook called Aromatherapy and Holistic Business Success which is a great place to network and get your questions answered about all things holistic.

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