Top 14 Aphrodisiac Essential Oils & Natural Scents

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Top 14 Aphrodisiac Essential OilsGraphic © Background image © AdobeStock #48120091 (under license)

Certain essential oils and aromatic scent ingredients have been considered aphrodisiacs since ancient times and have been included in the secret recipes of countless perfumes, essential oil massage blends, and other sensual aromatic products throughout the ages. They can rightly be considered the aromas of desire.

Are these scents really aphrodisiac? Sensible old Science will not dare to admit it for the most part – and therefore we cannot make actual “claims” for such substances… but consider this: If a natural scent has been in use in perfumery for hundreds or even thousands of years, it is because it has some quality which allures or stimulates desire and sensuality. That is the whole point of perfume! Therefore, it could easily be claimed that these scents must surely have some aphrodisiac quality – otherwise, why would they continue to be used as an attractant?

Aphrodisiac scents are generally considered “A Woman’s Secret”… their effects have not been verified by science but many a wise woman has tested the efficacy of these mysterious enchantments… The true laboratory, if there is one, has been the boudoir of the exotic female, her wrists, her neck – and the lab notes are the secret whispers passed from woman to woman, perfumer to perfumer, mother to daughter… adepts in the secret arts of seduction and allure, from century to century.

Here is the list, enjoy! Oh and for those who are shopping, I’ve sourced high quality essential oils for you on <3 Special tip - these could make perfect ingredients to use in making your own natural solid perfume.

1. Agarwood

aquilaria / agarwood Agarwood is the dark, resinous heartwood of certain species of Aquilaria trees. Agarwood trees are large evergreens that grow in various parts of Asia. Agarwood, also known as Oud / Oudh or Aloeswood is a perfume and incense ingredient which has been in use since the most ancient of days – and its essential oil is described as having a complex, unique and very pleasant aroma. Agarwood is super expensive – regarded as the world’s most expensive incense, and has a long history of use in spiritual contexts in Asia. It has also long been considered to be an aphrodisiac scent. Its essential oil is extracted by distillation and used in perfumery.

Full article: – Agarwood Essential Oil

Buy Agarwood Essential Oil on Amazon: (crazy expensive and rare to even find!!!)
Pure Agarwood Oil Essential Oil on Amazon.

2. Amber

amber-jewelleryAmber is the fossilized resin of ancient trees, which has been collected and used as a decorative and ornamental object since ancient times, owing to its attractive visual appeal. However what is not so well known is that oil of amber was once prepared from pure amber resin by distillation and was in ancient times used medicinally – as well as being considered an aphrodisiac scent. The real thing is rare, if it can even be obtained. You will often see amber perfumes on the market, however it’s important to realise that the term “amber” when used in the perfume industry, has drifted away in meaning somewhat from denoting the scent of pure amber and generally uses blends of earthy, musky fragrances from other sources, branded as amber but not necessarily containing amber. In modern times amber perfumes may have been created using combinations of any of Copal, Vanilla, Labdanum, Benzoin resin and Dammara resin, as well as synthetic materials.

Full article: – Amber Essential Oil

Buy Amber Essential Oil on Amazon: (this looks as though it may well be the real thing – they are claiming it was sourced through distillation of amber fossil resin!)
Amber Pure Essential Oil 15 ml

3. Ambergris

ambergrisAmbergris is (don’t be shocked) a waxy secretion of the digestive system of the sperm whale. When fresh it is reported to be foul smelling (as might be expected) however as it ages it acquires, surprisingly, a sweet, unusual and attractive scent – leading to both its reputation as an aphrodisiac and its use in perfumery as a fixative. Genuine ambergris is a very expensive commodity. It has a very long tradition of being thought an aphrodisiac, and has been included in many perfumes, including (it is said) the famous Chanel No. 5.

Buy Ambergris Oil on Amazon:
I looked on Amazon and not seeing anything that seems to be the authentic article – unsurprisingly!

4. Cedarwood

cedar-treeCedarwood is of course the name given to the essential oil (or other products) of the cedar tree. Where cedarwood essential oil’s aromatherapeutic qualities are listed, it is often stated that it is aphrodisiac. This correlates with the fact that it has been in use as an ingredient in perfumery since the most ancient times – particularly being associated with scented products for the males of the species.

Full article – Cedarwood Essential Oil

Buy Cedarwood Essential Oil on Amazon:
Here’s a highly rated organic Atlas Cedarwood from Plant Therapy on Amazon.

5. Cinnamon

cinnamon-sticksCinnamon is the name given to an evergreen shrub native to Sri Lanka, and to the spice which is derived from its bark. Cinnamon is famous throughout the world as a spice, and has been considered aphrodisiac since ancient times. Our first indication that Cinnamon fragrance might have some aphrodisiac quality comes from the book of Proverbs in the Bible, where together with myrrh and aloe, it was used to “perfume the lovers’ bed”. Also, an attar (essential oil or oil blend) of Cinnamon was said to have been used by the Queen of Sheba in her seduction of King Solomon, at around 950 B.C.
Modern study has indicated that there may be something in it: Alan R. Hirsch, Neurologist and Psychiatrist, Director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, in a renowned 1994 study of the effect of aromas, found that men became “measurably” sexually aroused by the scent of Cinnamon – and by many other aromas, including (wait for it)… pizza.

Full article – Cinnamon Essential Oil

Buy Cinnamon Essential Oil on Amazon:
Here’s a organic Cinnamomum zeylanicum (True Cinnamon) from Plant Therapy on Amazon. Note that if you see a product with the word “Cassia” – it is not true cinnamon! Anything that says Cinnamomum cassia is CASSIA. There are numerous reasons why Cassia is best avoided.

6. Gardenia

gardenia-thunbergiaAnother essential oil fragrance that has for a long time been used in perfumery, the exotic, sweet scent of Gardenia has long been said to have aphrodisiac qualities. Gardenia flowers are sometimes used in bridal bouquets, and are generally considered to have a “feminine” scent, however in some places they are traditionally worn as buttonhole flowers by men.

Full article – Gardenia Essential Oil

Buy Gardenia Essential Oil on Amazon:
NOTE When buying Gardenia and other floral essential oils, look for the word ABSOLUTE. Scams are absolutely rampant in this space. It’s totally outrageous. If you see ANYONE offering 1oz of Gardenia Absolute, Jasmine Absolute or Rose Absolute for $10 – run! The real thing is simply not that cheap! If you see anything saying “fragrance oil” instead of “pure essential oil” – it’s heavily diluted. Honestly, its very difficult to find an authentic Gardenia Absolute on Amazon. I am not seeing anything except bogus products right now.

7. Jasmine

jasmineThe scent of Jasmine has long been considered to be one of the most significant aphrodisiac scents and it is widely used in perfumes and incense manufacture. It’s even said that owners of elephants put jasmine oil (or jasmine flowers) on them in order to arouse them when they wish to assist them in reproducing! Women all over the world use Jasmine oil as an alluring scent and wear Jasmine flowers for their beauty and fragrance. Care must be taken to obtain 100% pure Jasmine flower essential oil (especially for aromatherapy) as, owing to the high cost of the real thing, there are many jasmine products that are made with synthetic or other scent ingredients.

Full article – Jasmine Essential Oil

Buy Jasmine Essential Oil on Amazon:
Well, I found one. 100% Pure Jasmine Absolute from Eden’s Garden on Amazon. Watch out for their marketing term “Therapeutic grade”, though. There is no such thing as therapeutic grade. There is no official grading process, or standard, or testing body, or certification for “therapeutic grade”. ANYONE can use those words on any oil – they are utterly meaningless and misleading!

8. Neroli

neroliNeroli is an essential oil made from the flowers of the Bitter Orange Tree (Citrus Aurantium). It has a similar scent to bergamot, another citrus used in food flavoring. Neroli essential oil, made only from the orange flowers, should not be confused with Petitgrain, which is made from the leaves of the same tree. The scent of Neroli is said to be an aphrodisiac and it is one of the most widely used floral oils in perfume manufacture, often being used as a primary ingredient. It is also used in aromatherapy – being indicated to ease tension and increase circulation, and as a beverage flavoring. Neroli has a fascinating history of use spanning many centuries.

Full article – Neroli Essential Oil

Buy Neroli Essential Oil on Amazon:
Again, another floral oil that is really expensive when pure. We’re talking $80 for 5ml. It’s labour intensive and requires a large amount of raw material. Plant Therapy Neroli Essential Oil 5 mL Once again – just ignore the “therapeutic grade” nonsense. Shocking that leading brands use this marketing drivel. They should know better. I think it’s probably a good oil, though: They provide batch-specific certification, which is how things are supposed to be.

9. Rose

red-roseOf all the many things that have been considered to be aphrodisiacs, roses are perhaps the most famous and most enduring and are considered the romantic gift par excellence in many countries around the world. The red colour has a symbolic association with the heart and is also said to be a colour which excites desire. The scent of rose has been considered to be aphrodisiac since ancient times – and the essential oil of crushed rose petals is a quintessential component for the perfume industry. It takes around a ton of rose petals to make a pound of essential oil – so, as you can imagine, the process is labour-intensive and the product expensive. Great claims are made for the rose as an aphrodisiac. It’s even said that roses trigger chemical reactions in a woman’s brain which lower inhibitions. Rose oil that is made using steam distillation is known as rose otto while solvent extracted rose oil is known as rose absolute.

Full article – Rose Essential Oil

Buy Rose Essential Oil on Amazon:
100% Pure, Certified Organic Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil 2.3ml

10. Sandalwood

sandalwoodSandalwood is the wood of trees from the Santalum genus. Called the world’s most valuable tree, it is aromatic and prized for its essential oil – which has been used since ancient times in the making of incense, perfumes and other scented products. Sandalwood’s unique, rich fragrance is always in demand and this has led to over-harvesting of Santalum album, Indian sandalwood. Sandalwood also finds itself on the list of fragrances considered aphrodisiac and is commonly included in fragrance products designed for men.

Full article – Sandalwood Essential Oil

Buy Sandalwood Essential Oil on Amazon: (note – choosing a good Sandalwood can be difficult, many are diluted also there are several varieties. I have selected an Australian one – therefore as far as I know plantation-grown and not endangered – and chose one that got almost all 5 star rave reviews)
Sandalwood Essential Oil 100% Pure 10 Ml 0.34 Fl. Oz. 365 Drops Therapeutic Grade By Nature’s Kiss

11. Tuberose

tuberoseThe Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a night-blooming garden plant. The creamy-white, waxy tuberose flower is renowned for its sweet fragrance and has been used in perfumery for centuries. Tuberose has had a tradition of being aphrodisiac in India since old times, and it is even said that unmarried girls should not breathe its scent after dark! It is written all over the modern internet, particularly in marketing materials for tuberose products, that tuberose is an aphrodisiac – however science appears not to have investigated these claims.

Full article – Tuberose Essential Oil

Buy Tuberose Essential Oil on Amazon:
Oshadhi Essential Oil Singles – Tuberose Absolute 1 mL by Oshadhi

12. Vanilla

vanillaVanilla is a flavoring and scent widely used both as a food flavoring and by the perfume industry. Described as the world’s most labor-intensive crop, vanilla is expensive – and of the spices it is second only to saffron in price. Vanilla was considered aphrodisiac by the ancient Totonacos, who had the plant before the Aztecs – and in modern times vanilla essential oil finds itself listed among the fragrances commonly considered to be aphrodisiac. There is some support from science: It has been reported that the molecular structure of certain components of vanilla essential oil is similar to that of human pheromones. The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago has found that vanilla can both promote sexual arousal and aid falling asleep.

Full article – Vanilla

Buy Vanilla Essential Oil on Amazon:
Vanilla 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml

13. Vetiver

vetiverVetiver / Vetivert is a perennial grass native to India and now grown in many tropical countries around the world including Haiti and Java. It is one of the essential oils commonly used as a fixative in the perfume industry. Said to improve with age, essential oil of vetiver is made from the roots of the grass. Its woody, deep scent is considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is reported to be used as a main ingredient in an amazing 36% of high end perfumes in the west – including Chanel No. 5, Opium, Dioressence, Caleche and the Indian perfume Majmua. Another piece of good news – Growing vetivert can be good for the environment! This is a welcome contrast to some of the other claimed aphrodisiacs we have investigated: Vetivert is used for erosion control in the warm, tropical countries that it is grown in.

Full article: Vetiver Essential Oil

Buy Vetivert Essential Oil on Amazon:
Vetiver 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml

14. Ylang Ylang

ylang-ylangYlang Ylang essential oil has a unique, strong, exotic, floral scent and has long been considered an aphrodisiac and enhancer of sensuality.
Ylang Ylang is listed as one of the “cornerstone materials” in the famous perfume Chanel No. 5. In the areas of the pacific in which it grows, Ylang Ylang is associated with marriage: Ylang Ylang flowers are spread on the beds of newlyweds.

Full article – Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Buy Ylang Ylang Essential Oil on Amazon:
Oshadhi Essential Oil Singles – Ylang Ylang, Wild Extra Super 10 mL by Oshadhi


There it is! Congratulations if you read it all, you may now consider yourself to know more than most people alive about aphrodisiac scents!

Note – the full “traditional” list of aphrodisiac scents also includes some animal-based scent components such as musk and civet, however the use of such substances has come under justified criticism and even restrictions in some cases, so they have been omitted from our list for animal rights reasons.

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6 thoughts on “Top 14 Aphrodisiac Essential Oils & Natural Scents

  1. Thank you! I can attest that cinnamon has that effect on men. When I was experimenting with making my aphrodisiac perfumes, I had a phase where I was a bit heavy on the cinnamon & men often said, things like, “I love the perfume you’re wearing, “you smell so good,” “please continue making perfumes…” & with a strange enthusiasm!

  2. Okay….I have to disagree with the use of Ambergris!!!!! It is I humane and disgusting to kill whales (who are endangered) for a might be aphrodisiac.!!!! I am actually appalled that a wholistic spite would promote such a thing as whale hunting!!!!! RHINO HORN is also a known aphrodisiac and now they are almost extinct!!!!!!

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