If you run a spa or wellness facility, you’ll understand the importance of scent. Aromatherapy has a powerful effect on mood and emotions, which is why it’s an integral part of the spa experience. It’s vital to choose the right scent for the treatment you’re offering, to ensure that your customer feels relaxed and revitalised afterwards.

The question is – which scents to select? Here’s a breakdown of the best essential oils to pick for your business.

A guide to the best essential oils for spas

Scent is so highly prized for its healing qualities, that it’s even recommended by health organisations.

  • Lavender essential oil should be top of every spa’s shopping list. This ultra-relaxing floral scent has been scientifically proven to create a sense of calm, and to reduce anxiety and stress. Lavender oil is the perfect scent to use if you’re offering clients an indolent massage, for example.


  • Ylang Ylang. Ylang ylang is another essential oil that’s great for assisting relaxation. It smells slightly more ‘exotic’ than lavender, with a hint of Eastern appeal; so if you’re looking for a scent that complements your Thai massage, this could work well.


  • Bergamot is a fragrance that’s often used in perfumes, as it has the unique ability to soothe and calm, while also lifting the spirits. It’s actually a citrus fruit (in appearance, it looks like a cross between an orange and a lime), and it’s great for more invigorating massages or exfoliation treatments.


  • Rosemary oil is not only great for the skin; it’s also got mild anti-depressant effects. If you want to make your customer feel more positive about the world, then consider burning some rosemary oil while they’re having their treatment.


  • If you’re looking to enliven and invigorate your clients, search for essential oils that contain peppermint. When mixed with citrus oils, it produces a wonderfully energetic fragrance, that serves to awaken the senses. Be warned, it is quite potent – as such, many spas choose to add small amounts to other essential oils, to add a bit of a ‘kick’.


  • There’s something irresistibly sweet about apple perfume. It’s an immediately recognisable, homely’ scent, which is why some wellness businesses choose to have it in their reception areas – it makes the customer feel immediately at home.


  • Eucalyptus is another quite potent scent, but is wonderful for the winter months, when lots of your clients will probably be suffering from colds and sniffles. This essential oil is wonderful for clearing blocked noses, and also for strengthening the immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.


  • Fir is great for mixing with carrier oils (e.g. Fractionated Coconut oil), and creates a wonderfully evocative scent in the treatment room. It’s powerfully reminiscent of being in a forest, which makes it ideal for ‘natural’ treatments, such as hot stone therapy. It’s also been proven to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, and support the respiratory system.


  • If you want to transport your customers to the Mediterranean, add a bit of lemon essential oil into the mix. It’s a powerfully evocative fragrance, and it’s also uplifting and exciting too. This makes it perfect for more energetic treatments, such as body scrubs and facial peels.


  • Jasmine is another essential oil that should definitely be a ‘must-have’ in your collection. It’s indolent and indulgent, not to mention exotic and exciting in personality. It’s been suggested that jasmine also inspires the brain to release serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone. This leaves your customers feeling more contented and positive about their experience in your spa.