Your brain's limbic system is why the use of aromatherapy for the emotions can be an effective way to relieve unwanted emotions and promote desired ones.
As soon as the molecules of a scent bind to the olfactory receptors in your nose, stimuli travel from the receptors to the olfactory bulb in the limbic system. That system is largely responsible for your emotional responses.
The molecular structure of an essential oil is important in how that oil affects emotions. For example, the aldehydes and esters in some essential oils are calming and sedating, while other oils contain invigorating components. The emotional effects of aromatherapy also vary from person to person based on a person's physiology and emotional connections to specific scents.
Because people respond differently, the following suggestions are just a place to start. The most effective use of aromatherapy for emotions comes through tailoring the use of essential oils to each individual.
Balancing Emotions With Essential Oils
Here are some suggestions for essential oils to balance emotions from Healing With Aromatherapy by clinical aromatherapist Marlene Ericksen:
Anxiety, stress, or insomnia: marjoram, neroli, lavender, Roman chamomile
Boredom or need for stimulation: juniper, cardamom, rosemary, lemongrass
Depression or mood swings: clary sage, grapefruit, rose, jasmine
Fear: frankincense, cedarwood
Lack of confidence or sexual problems: ylang ylang, jasmine, clary sage
Poor memory, difficulty concentrating, or fatigue: basil, rosemary, peppermint, lemon