The Best Essential Oils for a Sizzling Sex Life
Scents make sense when it comes to the boudoir—after all, science has found your nose can lead you to the right mate. It can also enhance your sex life when you add essential oils to the mix.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Essential rhymes with sensual
You probably have some idea of what essential oils are and what they can do for your health, your beauty, and your mood. But did you know that essential oils can jump-start your sex life? In fact, they’ve been in use as an aphrodisiac, albeit primarily under the radar, for centuries. New Jersey-based essential oils expert, Margaret Szura, a certified holistic health counselor, gets right to the point: “When there’s a problem with sexual desire or arousal, it is usually a physical or emotional issue, and healing is a process that essential oils can aid with. When stress levels are high, essential oils can help with calming. When energy is lacking, the right oils can be uplifting or stimulating. And aphrodisiac oils increase arousal because they increase circulation and blood flow.”
Speaking of arousal, do you know about foods that spark sexual desire?
This spice delivers a lot of benefits—read about cinnamon’s powers here—including being a sexual stimulant, says Szura. The scent not only stimulates the immune system, she claims, but it’s also the oil of sexual harmony. (Szura relies on the guide Emotions and Essential Oils—it’s her bible, she says.) Cinnamon supports the reproductive system and helps heal sexual issues, Szura explains. It’s also warming, which increases blood flow and circulation, and that is obviously important to achieving a full and satisfactory state of arousal. “It’s a major libido enhancer,” she says. Dilute it with a carrier oil at a 1 to 4 ratio, she suggests.
Clary sage is the oil of “clarity and vision,” according to Szura’s book, but as an aphrodisiac, it works by affecting the hormonal system, she says. If the hormones aren’t balanced, the result can be low libido. There are other natural ways to boost a low libido, but clary sage may help by elevating mood, according to a study in Phytotherapy Research, and depression can wreck your libido.
Clary sage oil has a deep, sweet, nutty flavor. It also helps calm and soothe stress and anxiety to lessen inhibitions and boost sexual desire.
Jasmine oil affects emotional balance and hormonal systems, Szura explains. It’s the oil of “sexual purity and balance,” and is particularly excellent for use by women. It brings out positivity while reducing anxiety, apathy, depression, and feelings of indifference. (Watch for these signs that you may have high-functioning depression.) In fact, jasmine essential oil has been scientifically demonstrated to stimulate feelings of well-being, ease depression, and boost mood levels, according to a study in Natural Products Communications. In doing so, it could safely encourage partners to explore the intimacy they may have lost.
This is known as the oil of “physicality,” Szura explains. Patchouli has an earthy, woodsy aroma, and reduces anxiety, increases energy, and stimulates desire while decreasing inhibitions. That means it can be grounding and stabilizing; it also compliments yoga, tai chi, or any practice that connects the spirit with the body and the earth. For normal skin, patchouli can also be used with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) to help balance the needs of the skin. Other essential oils do a better job on dry and oily skin types.
With roses as the Valentine’s Day flowers of choice, is it any surprise that rose essential oil is the oil of “divine love?” asks Szura. (By the way, here’s why roses are so popular on Valentine’s Day.)
Essential rose oil supports the circulatory system, and blood flow to the nether regions is crucial for sex. At the same time, it’s a very sensual and romantic scent that science indicates is emotionally uplifting.
Sandalwood essential oil is connected to “sacred devotion,” Szura says, supporting emotional balance, muscles, bones, and the nervous system. It is calming and harmonizing, and it’s used in meditation to quiet the heart. This oil promotes emotional openness and increases physical sensuality. Best of all? It encourages unprompted interactions, Szura claims, and that helps lovers get out of a sexual slump.
As for these sexually enlightened couples, there’s no slump in sight: Find out how they manage to have such steamy sex lives.
This is the oil of the “inner child,” Szura says. It affects emotional balance, and the cardiovascular and hormonal systems. Even better, says Szura: Ylang ylang is known as one of the most powerful essential oil aphrodisiacs because it influences sexual energy and enhances relationships. She says that ylang ylang can encourage a more sensual and erotic experience during lovemaking. Ylang ylang can also help with impotence and a low libido because, like rose oil, it supports the circulatory system.
And here’s yet another use that could help improve your sex life: Szura has discovered that it helps her with her hot flashes: “I apply it in the morning on my ankles,” Szura explains, “which is a reflexology point for ovaries.”
Bergamot is the oil of “self acceptance,” says Szura. It is stimulating, according to German researchers, and opens up the energy system, creating a feeling of self-acceptance that spills over to others. The research suggests that when diffused in water, bergamot may help reduce negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, and tension.
Szura finds it helpful in this respect. She diffuses it at night with an oil called “Copiaba,” and it helps her sleep soundly. “I find it calming, and yet uplifting.” (Speaking of sleep, discover what your dreams say about you.)
The “whisper” blend
Szura likes this recipe from Emotions and Essential Oils: “It’s the oil of femininity, and it works with an individual’s unique chemistry as a non-toxic perfume. Whisper is a blend of patchouli, bergamot, sandalwood, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, ylang-ylang, vetiver, geranium, vanilla bean extract, and cocoa bean extract. The combination is designed to promote female sensuality and sexuality. And here are 10 more mood-lifting essential oils.
- Margaret Szura, CHHC, AADP, certified integrative nutrition health coach and essential oil expert, Red Bank, NJ.
- Emotions and Essential Oils, Enlighten, 2016
- Phytotherapy Research: "Changes in 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol plasma levels in menopausal women after inhalation of clary sage oil."
- Natural Product Communications: "Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil."
- Forsch Komplementmed: "Effects of bergamot essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females."