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It’s Not Just For Girls: Essential Oils For Men

Posted on June 10 2016

Essential Oils for Him

We all know what the men in our lives are like.  

They probably don’t go to the doctor as often as they should, they’re probably carrying a load of stress they may or may not share with you, and they’re usually much more stubborn about expressing their emotions than women.

This isn’t necessarily true for all men, but those are pretty common trends.  Right up there with “not going to cry during the opening scenes of the move Up”, men aren’t very likely to go for essential oils or aromatherapy as a potential source of support in their daily lives.

Many men don’t realize how many scientifically-backed benefits are behind essential oil use, or they simply don’t want to smell floral, “girly” scents all day.  They may have a lot of misconceptions about how to use essential oils, or they’ve simply never considered if they can benefit from them.

With Father’s day right around the corner, here’s how to incorporate essential oils into the lives of the men you love - in a way they’ll enjoy.


Every man is different, and what they like varies, just like every human being ever.  You’ll want to figure out what scents appeal to the dad you’re shopping for before you spend a bunch of money on his gift!

If you can, sneak a peek at his deodorant or cologne preferences to give you an idea of what types of scents he’s likely to enjoy.

Here’s a few scents commonly used to describe colognes (and sometimes, deodorants) that you can use to figure out what scents to give him.  

Exotic, amber, woodsy (like Gucci Guilty):  Patchouli and/or Sandalwood

Elegant, classic (like Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme): Lavender, Sage, Black Pepper, Atlas Cedarwood

Fresh, woodsy, sophisticated (like Homme by David Beckham): Sweet Orange, Pine, Atlas Cedarwood or Sandalwood

Light, adventurous, fresh (like Issey Miyake Sport): Bergamot, Grapefruit, Vetiver, and Atlas Cedarwood

Aquatic, water-themed colognes (like Nautica Aqua Rush): Peppermint, Spearmint, Amber blend, or Atlas Cedarwood

Clean, fresh, straightforward (like Ralph Lauren Polo Red): Grapefruit, Lemon, and Sage

Natural, “manly overtones” – generic, attractive smelling colognes (like Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio): Sweet Orange, Jasmine, Bergamot, Lemon, and Neroli.

You’ll notice some trends in the scents that are typically associated with manliness, as well as what the popular colognes listed with these scents have in common: woodsy scents, citrus scents, and the slightest hint of floral scents that aren’t overpowering.

Before you go getting any essential oils, though, there’s one more bit of research to do: Find out what he’s allergic to!

An easy, sneaky way to do this without him suspecting what you’re doing (and to gauge how he feels about essential oils) is to use some around him – get your diffuser going, or dab some on your wrists in front of him.  

Pause, and ask him if there’s anything he’s allergic to or really hates, because you don’t want to use an essential oil around him that might cause him discomfort.  

Not only will he feel special that you’re thinking of him and his comfort, but he should tell you exactly which things he’s allergic to, or straight up doesn’t like.

Easy Wins

Based on the trends we see in popular colognes, soaps, and deodorants for men, there’s some essential oils that are easy wins.

Pure oils:

Atlas Cedarwood:  Popular in many colognes, it’s also excellent for stress relief, encouraging a calm state of mind…and it’s great for skin and hair health!  It’s also helpful for coughs and breathing issues, and it’s a great insect repellant.

Pine:  Another manlier scent, this one is brisk and fresh, helping fight mental fatigue and physical tiredness.  It’s also great for breathing ailments, such as coughs, bronchitis, colds, or the flue.

Sandalwood: Exotic, rich, and sensual, these properties are a big part of why Sandalwood is often included in many sensual colognes.  Sensual properties aside, it’s also extremely nourishing for skin and hair care, healing damaged skin while also uplifting and soothing the soul.

Bergamot: A classic ingredient in cologne, it’s the fresh, citrusy scent in many of the colognes referred to as “bright”.  It helps to disperse anger, frustration, and stress, and helps balance the spirit.

Orange:  Citrus scents are often the subtle undertones in aquatic or sports themed colognes, and orange is one of the most loved and recognizable citrus scents out there.  Orange essential oil is a cheerful scent, one that soothes frayed nerves and can be helpful for a good night’s sleep.

Grapefruit: Less sweet than orange, this is an energizing scent that helps fight food cravings, stimulate the mind, and generally elevate the spirit.  It’s perfect for diffusing after a rough night out (read our blog here for more details on Grapefruit’s powers to fight hangovers), or for simply fighting mental exhaustion.

Clary Sage: Often a popular feminine scent for its abilities to help balance hormones, it’s still beneficial for men, too.  It’s a subtle undertone in some colognes thanks to the sensual properties from the scent.  It can help with sleep, calming the nervous system, or be applied topically to help with wrinkles or oily hair or skin.

Lavender: As we’ve noted in previous blog posts, Lavender essential oil acts like a boost for pretty much any oil it’s blended with.  It’s not powerfully feminine, but has an aroma that’s beloved by nearly everyone who smells it: floral, soft, and herbaceous.

Patchouli: Almost sharp smelling, this oil works best in combination with others – it’s sensual, grounding, and calming, but can be a bit overwhelming on its own.  Patchouli is particularly beneficial when applied topically for dry, aging, or blemished skin.  This is often what is behind a scent described as “musky”.

Carrier Oils:

Argan Oil:  If you’re giving your dad a hair care kit, Argan Oil is a must.  Extremely beneficial for hair, it’s also extremely mild on the skin, meaning that it won’t irritate even sensitive skin.  Sustainably harvested and deeply moisturizing, it’s pretty much perfect for topical applications.

Jojoba Oil:  When dry skin is a concern, jojoba is wonderful.  You can use it as a part of lip balm, or to moisturize deeply dry or chapped skin, particularly on hands, elbows, knees, or feet.  Due to the deep moisturizing abilities, it’s great for men with longer hair, or for guys with beards.


Amber: Make it easy on the dad getting these oils, and give him a carrier oil plus an oil blend that he’s practically guaranteed to love.  This oil blend is resinous, warm, and smoky, with floral citrus thanks to the blend of citrus with Amber oil.  Extremely popular with perfumers and soap makers, this is one of the scents that’s found in colognes featuring smoky or warm notes.

Courage: Combining several of the easy wins listed above, Courage blend includes Bergamot, Lavender, Tea Tree, Palmarosa, Clary Sage, and Ho Wood for a grounding, warm blend that will help to brace against a tough day.  Does the father you’re shopping for have a stressful job?  This blend might help him have an easier time starting his day!

Relief: A simple blend of Lavender and Peppermint, this blend is one we’ve often recommend to help stop headaches in their tracks.  It can be diffused to help with painful headaches, or applied topically with a little bit of a carrier oil to provide cooling relief to temples.

Sleep:  For the guy just getting used to essential oils, the Sleep blend is a fantastic “gateway” blend that’ll help him fall in love with their aromatherapy benefits.  He can diffuse it as he gets ready for bed, within the bedroom to help him fall asleep, or it can be applied to a tissue and placed into the pillowcase for a more personal bit of aromatherapy.

How to Present Your Gift

If you’re trying to get a guy into aromatherapy who’s not big on that kind of stuff, you’re probably better off presenting the oils as something more obviously practical.  Hair care, skin care, or a kit of sorts that makes it easy, are all ideal ways to get him to dip his toe into what essential oils have to offer.

For example, guys with beards often need beard oil to help condition and tame their beards.  Much like girls use oil conditioning treatments to moisturize hair that gets styled frequently, guys should be using products for their facial hair to keep it healthy.

You know the father you’re shopping for best, so how you present a hair care kit depends on the man.  You might want to include some gentle shampoo, a beard comb, or other care accessories that make it clear it’s a gift for him and his needs, not your sneaky way of getting the benefits of essential oils in his life.

Many beard oil manufacturers combine carrier oils, but for guys with acne-prone or sensitive skin, this can be problematic.  Offering argan oil as a simple carrier oil is a good way for him to start off with a bit of oil on his skin.  It takes time to learn how to apply just the right amount of oil to the beard and face, and overdoing it with argan oil is much less likely to result in breakouts.

If the father you’re shopping for wants things simple and easy, you’ll probably want to give him just a carrier oil and probably the Amber essential oil blend, or just one of the easy-win oils from above.  I’d suggest the oils that are beneficial to hair and skin over one with citrus or floral scents.

If the father this is for likes to choose, and gets interested in what different oils can do, you can give him a small selection to choose from as he starts his day.  A woody scent, a citrus scent, and a floral scent are three types of oils that will let him experiment to his heart’s content.

Beard oil is the most common way men are learning about essential oils lately, but guys benefit from oils in their hair, too.  Due to how short most men’s hairstyles are, they likely don’t need the same deep conditioning women’s hair often does.  However, guys with longer hair would probably appreciate some oils that will help moisturize and detangle.

If he’s already diffusing or interested in diffusers, particularly for his office, you can give him blends that are less about “masculine” scents, and more about specific benefits.  Clarity, Alert, Achieve, Inspire, or Joy are all scents that are uplifting and helpful, making them great blends for offices or working spaces.   

Other ways that men might appreciate some essential oil help is to dab a few drops of a citrusy or peppermint blend onto a tissue paper, and add it to areas that often pick up less than pleasant scents.  A bit of Zest blend in a gym bag, sock drawer, or just a drop in the inside of each shoe can help prevent odors!

For the father who’s also a husband, you can give him a deep, relaxing massage with a massage blend, or create your own blend just for him using the easy win scents above with a moisturizing carrier oil.  Grapeseed, Jojoba, or sweet almond all work well as massage base oils!  He’ll feel loved, cared for, relaxed – and still smell manly at the end.

How do the men in your life use essential oils?  Share in the comments below!

-Jen, your friendly essential oil enthusiast  


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