What happens when we smell essential oils?

Posted by Sinead Duffy on

What happens when we smell essential oils?

When we smell essential oils, the fragrant molecules hits our smell receptors which are actually inside the brain.

Essential oils stimulate the olfactory system, the part of the brain responsible for our sense of smell. Molecules that enter our nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body and into you bloodstream.

In response to stress, our body's nervous system is activated by the sudden release of hormones. The nervous system immediately stimulates the adrenal glands, and triggers the release of hormones. This is why you start feeling your heartbeat quicken, start breathing faster, and feel tension. 

Smelling the essential oils can even interrupt the Fight-or-Flight Response we get in when we are stressed, because the smell molecules actually become little chemical messengers that calm mind sues with us mentally and physically.

Our top 5 essential oils to reduce anxiety


Lavender is an all-time favourite essential oil. It is extremely balancing and calming and used for both body, mind and emotions. It’s definitely the top essential oil to have around when feelings of overwhelm or insomnia arise. Inhale it or apply it on the skin. When using it on the skin blend it with a carrier oil or use an already blended massage oil such as Yogandha Relax Body Oil.


Good old chamomile has always been used as a remedy to calm down. A tea infusion of chamomile flowers is used to calm down troubled digestion, reduce skin irritations and drunk to relax an overactive mind.

The essential oil has the same properties when applied on the skin or inhaled. The herbal and grounded aroma of blue chamomile, found in Yogandha Relax Body Oil, encourages stillness and reflection and eases sleep.


This grass has a very heavy almost smoky aroma. When inhaled it instantly grounds you. That’s why it is such an important part of Yogandha Ground Rollerball. If you feel anxious, stress or overwhelmed vetiver is your friend.


This aroma helps us to breathe. When we feel anxious or panicky we often find it difficult to breathe. Frankincense is a perfect essential oil in any anxiety blend as it slows and deepens the breath inducing a feeling of peace. We use it in several blends including Yogandha Relax Body Oil and Yogandha Ground Rollerball.


Along with frankincense, sandalwood has long been used for meditation and relaxation. It’s another woody, grounding essential oil that helps to relax an overactive mind.

It calms any irritation whether it's mental or physical. Sandalwood makes Yogandha Ground Rollerball an excellent choice when we need to still our minds.

You can apply our blended oils directly on the skin or inhale them. So go ahead. Try different aromas, different scents and different blends.