Personal odour can be an unpleasant thing to deal with, but certain essential oils can help.
We all need a little help masking odour now and then and so deodorant is a staple of everyone’s morning routine.
However, if you’re running low – or if you’d simply prefer a natural alternative – there are essential oils that can actually help you mask this odour, and sometimes eliminate the cause altogether.
We’ve gathered a list of our favourite essential oils with natural deodorising effects to keep you smelling fresh all day long.
Bay leaf is a key ingredient in bay rum, one of the world’s most popular aftershaves.
It was invented after sailors noticed that rubbing bay leaves on themselves could help to mask the often unpleasant smell that intensive physical labour on the deck of the ship could produce.
The scent of bay leaf is strong and long lasting, and it can be an effective way of masking unpleasant odours.
Benzoin oil has strong aromatic properties – this is thought to be due to the fact that it contains derivates of the benzoin ring.
This is a hexagonal arrangement of six carbon atoms that is a key component of aromatic hydrocarbons. These aromatic properties are what give benzoin is strong, rich scent and help it to dispel unpleasant odours.
Benzoin also has strong antibacterial abilities which can help it to kill the microbes responsible for the bad smell.
Coriander oil can be highly effective at attacking the cause of personal odour. This is due to its ability to inhibit the growth of odour-causing bacteria around the sweat glands.
By attacking these bacteria, coriander oil neutralises the odour at the source.
Fir needle has a fresh, aromatic scent known to mask bad odours, and the oil is often used as a natural air freshener for this very reason.
Fir needle is also a highly antibacterial oil, which helps it to attack the cause of odours.
A natural circulatory oil, geranium absorbs easily through the skin and into the bloodstream, exiting the body through perspiration.
In this way it helps our skin to absorb and gradually release the flowery scent, allowing for a much longer protection against odours thanks to its cyclical method of release.
The aromatic properties of lemon tea tree oil help it to combat and disperse unpleasant odours, and it is often used as either a natural deodorant or air freshener.
Many people consider lemon tea tree oil to have a stronger, more fragrant lemon scent that lemon oil, making it the oil of choice in natural perfumes.
The fresh, woodsy scent of maritime pine is known to purify air and dispel unpleasant smells. Maritime pine oil attacks the responsible bacteria and neutralises any bad odours at the same time.
May chang can help to prevent unpleasant personal odour from ever being produced in the first place. It is said to reduce excess perspiration, helping us to avoid the sweaty armpits that can often be the cause of bad smells.
A study in 2019 found that myrtle oil has strong antifungal properties. This allows it to attack the fungi on skin that can often be the source of odours. Its natural aromatic, deodorising properties can also help to mask existing odours on the person.
Pine needle is a powerful natural deodoriser, able to disperse unpleasant odours efficiently. It also has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, offering a comprehensive defence against the causes of these odours.
One of the most famous scents in perfumery, ylang ylang (complete) is so named because it can act as a ‘complete’ perfume all on its own. It is able to mask unpleasant odours and lend us a delicate, floral scent.
The best way to use these oils is to add them to a carrier oil and dab under the armpits or onto areas that you want to protect from odour.
You should then repeat this process throughout the day as needed. You might even want to try a combination of your favourite oils to make your perfect natural deodorant.
Remember – one of the most important factors in choosing deodorising oils is that you need to like the scents that you’re using. You’re the one that will be smelling them on yourself all day.