I think Geranium essential oil is great for a number of reasons. It smells lovely and has a long list of benefits for your skin, your body, and your psyche. We will go into those later on, but first, let’s talk a bit about the plant itself.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens)
The geranium family is a large one. The plant that is cultivated to produce the oil is pelargonium graveolens. What is growing in that basket on your porch is most likely Pelargonium × hortorum. They are not the same thing.
The pelargonium graveolens is native to the Cape Provinces, and the northern provinces of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. It is an erect, multi-branched shrub, that grows up to 1.5 m and has a spread of 1 m. The leaves are deeply incised, velvety and soft to the touch (due to glandular hairs). The flowers vary from pale pink to almost white and the plant flowers from August to January. The leaves may be strongly rose-scented, although the leaf shape and scent vary. Some plants are very strongly scented and others have little or no scent.
What does Geranium smell like?
So what does this “other” geranium smell like? Most describe it as a softer, rose-floral scent with a herbaceous hint or have a fresh, green scent with floral notes. We deliberately did not call our soap geranium because too many people would have associated with the scent from the plant they have on their front porch.
This is one of the few floral scents that is reasonably priced enough to use in soaps. From an aromatherapy standpoint, the scent of geranium is very emotionally balancing and uplifting. It is also very useful for many medical and skincare applications.
Is Geranium Scent Similar to Rose Scents?
Geranium is a somewhat floral scent but it is nothing like Rose Absolute. Geranium has a floral smell but with green notes. Even essential oils that are called rose geranium still will not have the depth of a true rose smell.
Benefits of Geranium Essential Oil
We use geranium in our Egyptian Rose & Sweet Orange Soap as shown in the opening photo. Geranium seems to particularly resonate with women and aids in dealing with our hormonal issues whether expressed through the skin, the body, or the nerves. This, along with the fact that it helps bring a radiant glow to your skin is why I include it in Susan’s Own Face Serum. If you have adult acne that appears to be hormonally triggered, then give this product a try. I developed it for myself and used it with great success!
Here is a partial list of the conditions that geranium essential oil can benefit as detailed by Julia Lawless in her book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.
- Acne – particularly adult acne related to women’s hormonal ups and downs (see above note)
- Broken Capillaries
- Congested Skin
- Mature Skin
- Oily Complexion
CIRCULATION, MUSCLES, AND JOINTS:
- Engorgement of Breasts
- Poor Circulation
- Sore Throat
GENITO-URINARY AND ENDOCRINE SYSTEMS
- Menopausal problems
- Stress-related conditions
Geranium Smells in Nature
Most of us don’t have scented geraniums in our garden, but there are quite a few scented varieties with a wide range of fragrances. To name a few: rose, nutmeg, lemon, lime, pineapple, and even chocolate.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the same options with essential oils but we can blend the geranium smells with others to create different scent blends. Geranium is considered to blend well with lavender, clove, rose, orange blossom, jasmine, bergamot, and other citrusy scents.
If you are looking for more masculine fragrances then consider blending it with patchouli, clove, sandalwood, or juniper. Don’t be afraid to create a masculine rose scent. It could turn out to be someone’s favorite composition.
The world of perfumery and aromatherapy is a fascinating one. Depending on your preferences let your nose be your guide to creating scent blends that range from sweet and spicy to lemony and earthy. By mixing and blending we can still keep the geranium notes within the overall fragrance we are trying to create.
FAQ – Wrapping It Up!
The geranium scent is considered to be slightly sweet and rosy with herbaceous notes. It is not a cloying rose scent but lightly floral with definite herbal overtones. It typically does not smell like the geranium in your garden.
This is a very emotionally uplifting oil. It just makes you feel good and is particularly useful for helping to balance out women’s hormonal ups and downs. It can be beneficial for everything from stress-related conditions to PMS.
Geranium essential oil can be very beneficial for skin conditions such as oily complexions, eczema, and broken capillaries. I have used it myself to get rid of my adult acne.
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NOTE: I am not dispensing medical advice. If you have one of these conditions and would like to utilize geranium essential oil you need to do your own research and make your own decisions regarding this.
Works referenced in preparing this article: