The Science Behind Essential Oils and Aromatherapy in Candles and Diffusers

The Science Behind Essential Oils and Aromatherapy in Candles and Diffusers

Aromatherapy, the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for therapeutic purposes, has been around for thousands of years. In recent times, the practice has gained popularity as people seek natural ways to improve their health and wellbeing. In this blog post, we will explore the science behind essential oils and aromatherapy, with a focus on candles and diffusers.

I. Essential Oils: Nature's Chemical Compounds

Essential oils are volatile, organic compounds derived from plants, including their flowers, leaves, stems, roots, and bark. They are created through various extraction methods, such as steam distillation or cold pressing. These oils contain a wide range of chemical compounds, like terpenes, alcohols, esters, and aldehydes, that give them their unique scents and therapeutic properties.


II. How Aromatherapy Works

Aromatherapy relies on the sense of smell to elicit certain physiological, psychological, and emotional responses. When you inhale an essential oil, the odor molecules travel to your olfactory receptors, located in the upper part of your nose. These receptors send signals to the limbic system, a region in the brain responsible for emotions, memory, and behavior.

This process can trigger various responses, such as relaxation, increased focus, or an uplifted mood. It is important to note that individual experiences may vary due to factors like personal preferences, associations with specific scents, and sensitivity to certain compounds.


III. Aromatherapy Candles and Diffusers: Two Popular Methods

Aromatherapy Candles
Aromatherapy candles are made from a blend of wax (usually soy, beeswax, or coconut) and essential oils. As the candle burns, the heat gently releases the essential oil's aroma into the air. The therapeutic benefits of the oils are then inhaled as you breathe in the scented air.
Advantages of Aromatherapy Candles:
  • Aesthetically pleasing and create a warm, calming atmosphere.
  • Easy to use and require minimal setup.


  • The heat can alter the chemical composition of the essential oils, potentially reducing their therapeutic effects.
  • Lower-quality candles may contain synthetic fragrances, which do not have the same therapeutic properties as essential oils.


Essential Oil Diffusers
Diffusers disperse essential oils into the air in the form of a fine mist. There are several types of diffusers, including ultrasonic, nebulizing, and evaporative diffusers. Ultrasonic diffusers, the most popular type, use water and ultrasonic vibrations to create the mist.
Advantages of Essential Oil Diffusers:
  • Maintain the integrity of the essential oils, as they do not rely on heat.
  • Allow for more precise control over the concentration of oils and duration of use.
  • Some diffusers can be noisy, which may not be suitable for all environments.
  • Require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and refilling.


Aromatherapy, through the use of essential oils in candles and diffusers, offers a natural and enjoyable way to enhance your health and wellbeing. While individual experiences may vary, understanding the science behind essential oils and their effects can help you make informed choices when selecting and using these products. Remember to always choose high-quality, pure essential oils and follow safety guidelines to ensure a positive and beneficial experience.