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5 November 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Geranium Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Geranium oil is a highly therapeutic oil with strong stress-relieving properties.

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Zoomed in picture of geranium after light rain.

With its gentle, floral scent, geranium oil is popular for its ability to soothe both the skin and the soul. 

Traditionally used in South Africa by the Hottentots and Zulus for its anti-septic and therapeutic properties, geranium is known for being one of the gentlest essential oils on the skin – although it should still never be applied undiluted.

These days, geranium oil is most commonly cultivated in Egypt and China. Chinese geranium oil typically has a slightly higher concentration of citronellol, whereas Egyptian geranium oil is usually slightly higher in geraniol.

This can lead to a very slight variation in scent, but most of the time the two nationalities are virtually indistinguishable.

What is Geranium Essential Oil?

Also known by the botanical name Pelargonium Garveolens, geranium is a gentle but fragrant oil derived from the stems, leaves, and flowers of the Pelargonium plant, native to South Africa. Geranium is also known to grow in many other regions including Europe and Asia.

Extracted via steam distillation, this gentle oil is used widely to scent perfumes and cosmetics, particularly skincare products and deodorants due to geranium oil’s naturally powerful abilities for the skin and its easy absorption.

Geranium essential oil is an almost colourless pale shade of green and has a soft, flowery scent with a fresh sweetness. Because of the gentle floral notes it possesses, geranium essential oil benefits the mind in a powerful way, and is often associated with evoking feelings of calm and relaxation.

What do geraniums smell like? 

Geranium oil is often confused with rose geranium oil, as the two both come from variations of the Pelargonium plant.

The two oils have fairly identical properties, and whether one is used over the other usually comes down to a preference in smell – with rose geranium having a slightly more floral scent profile.

What is geranium oil good for?

Geranium oil has been renowned for centuries due to its ability to help treat a wide variety of health conditions, and more geranium essential oil benefits are being discovered every year as a result.

While some are more well researched than others, geranium essential oil has been known to help with conditions including:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Acne and other skin ailments
  • Body odour
  • Stress and restlessness
  • Urination

Burning frankincense in a metal goblet.

    How do you use geranium essential oil for pain?

    Used as a pain reliever for a number of different regions in the body, geranium oil is a unique remedy as it can absorb easily and directly into the skin.

    This means it is able to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain to a significant degree compared to other essential oils.

    Since inflammation is linked to a huge number of health conditions, a tested geranium’s effectiveness at combatting inflammation compared to common cholesterol and joint pain medications.

    The research suggests that geranium oil could be a safer and more effective ingredient for anti-inflammatory medications, with fewer side effects.

    also suggests that geranium oil has the power to fight nerve pain when applied to the skin.

    Research showed that applying rose geranium oil to the skin significantly reduced the pain that followed shingles, a condition caused by the herpes virus.

    What does geranium oil do for your skin?

    Aside from its naturally calming properties, geranium essential oil is possibly most revered for its strong restorative effects on the skin.

    Its soothing, tightening properties can help to reduce signs of ageing as well as create a more even skin tone.

    Since acne and other skin conditions are often marked by inflamed areas on the face, the use of diluted geranium oil can reduce the appearance of these conditions due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

    Geranium oil’s antimicrobial properties also make it very beneficial for the skin, with a finding that geranium essential oil was effective against a number of different skin diseases.

    Using geranium essential oil as a natural deodorant

    Geranium is a natural circulatory oil, which means that it absorbs easily through the skin and into the bloodstream, and then exits the body through perspiration.

    When diluted geranium oil is applied to the skin, it can act as a natural deodorant or perfume. The geranium scent absorbs, and then the flowery smell gradually releases through the skin to create a subtle natural fragrance.

    Learn more about the best essential oils to use instead of deodorant or perfume here.

    Is geranium oil good for your mental health?

    Recent research has also shown that geranium can help to calm the mind as well as the skin and the body.  

    demonstrated that geranium oil helped pregnant women to decrease their anxieties during labour, while another suggests the effectiveness of geranium oil against low mood and stress.

    This suggests that smelling or inhaling geranium oil through a diffuser or oil burner can have a positive effect on common mental health struggles.

    Geranium essential oil can promote healthy urination.

    As a natural diuretic, geranium oil encourages a healthy amount of urination in the body, which usually means that it causes a person to urinate more frequently.

    Frequent urination has many benefits. It releases toxic chemicals, heavy metals, sugar, sodium, and pollutants from the body. It can also help to remove excess bile and acids from the stomach.

    How to use Geranium Essential Oil


    Since it is such a naturally fragrant oil, one of the most popular geranium essential oil uses is in aromatherapy.

    Its calming, floral aroma makes it a great choice for diffusing before bed, or for winding down at the end of the day. It also works great as a natural air freshener.

    Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or for a soft, sweet and floral scent.

    Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of geranium essential oil to your nose and inhale.

    Add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball for on-the-go aromatherapy and stress relief.


    Geranium oil’s naturally powerful anti-inflammatory, pain relieving qualities make it a great choice for an at-home, restorative muscle massage.

    Dilute 5 drops to 10ml of carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba oil) and massage evenly into the skin.

    Geranium essential oil can be effective against a number of different inflammatory pains, including shingles leg, and foot swelling.

    We always advise performing a patch test before using applying geranium essential oil on the skin.


    Add 6-8 drops to warm bathwater for a calming and stress-relieving experience for the mind and body.

    Adding geranium essential oil to your bath can carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as aromatherapy, as the scent will carry through and fill the air with a sweet and floral aroma.


    Add a couple of drops of geranium essential oil to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba oil) or your chosen lotion and spread evenly, or on to affected areas.

    Geranium oil makes for a highly effective acne treatment and can be used to spot treat these areas as well as create an effective skin-tightening cleanser.

    Using geranium oil for wrinkles is common as a result of these properties.

    We always advise performing a patch test before using geranium essential oil on the skin.

    Soap & Candles 

    Suitable for soap making and candle making. We recommend following a tested recipe.

    Looking for creative ways to use your geranium essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section.

    History of Geranium Essential Oil

    Geranium essential oil’s sweet and floral notes have been utilised as far back as ancient Egypt but were brought explicitly into Europe in the 17th century.

    The smell of the plant then became extremely popular in the Victorian era, with potted versions of the plant populating parlours as well as windowsills to provide a fresh scent and vibrant colour to many homes. 


    Geranium oil remains a popular essential oil because it not only has powerful benefits, but very few side effects.

    It is gentle on our bodies whilst improving our health, reducing our stress, and even helping us to smell better.

    Whether you prefer the milder scent of geranium oil or the more overtly floral tones of rose geranium, this soothing oil makes for a great addition to any self-care collection. 

    Shop our geranium essential oil here.

    Product Name

    100% Pure Geranium Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Pelargonium Graveolens
    Scent Type Floral
    Benefits & Uses Skin, Calming, Natural Deodorant
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this geranium essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this geranium essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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