Make smelling stuff work for you: a beginner's guide to essential oils.

Make smelling stuff work for you: a beginner's guide to essential oils.

I am not, like, a witch or a dirty hippie, but I use essential oils. They smell nice, they calm me down, and unlike perfume they don't seem to assault the nostrils of people around me. Here's how you too can use essential oils in cool, sophisticated, only slightly witchy ways.

Use peppermint essential oil to get rid of headaches.

Peppermint essential oil was my gateway essential oil, because it is actually extremely useful! Peppermint contains large quantities of menthol, a strong analgesic, and applied topically it's great for temporarily getting rid of headaches. As a migraine sufferer, I always carry this one around.

Peppermint essential oil is really strong, so you'll need something to dilute it before applying it to your skin—I usually use regular body lotion, but you can even use oil. Coconut oil and almond oil smell great and are trendy, but if you just have olive oil around, that works too. Add one or two drops of peppermint essential oil to your lotion or oil and apply the mixture to your forehead and the back of your neck; you'll feel a pleasant, cool, tingly feeling.


It's also naturally antimicrobial, so as a side effect, it might help get rid of any acne you have on that forehead. Truly, peppermint essential oil is the f*cking best. And as another example of its usefulness, you can...

Use peppermint essential oil to get rid of pests.

Seriously—bugs and mice hate peppermint for some reason. Apply a few drops to your floor cleaner and watch those cockroaches go to your neighbor's house instead.

With that gateway oil out of the way, let's move on to other, non-peppermint oils:

Use tea tree oil to get rid of acne.

Dabbing tea tree oil onto my spots works better than any pimple cream I've used. For cleanliness, use a cotton ball to apply, or add a few drops to your face wash.


Use lavender essential oil to calm the f*ck down.

Popularly, lavender essential oil is thought to be very calming. Maybe it's a placebo effect, but, as a comedian, I like applying a few drops to my wrists before I perform to get rid of nerves. If nothing else, it makes me smell pretty. You can also diffuse lavender with water in a spray bottle and spray it on any furniture you like to relax in—it's a nice thing to do to your bed before you pass out in it.

Use lemon essential oil to make people think your home is clean.

Many home cleaners use lemon scents because it's something humans associate with freshness. You can add it to any cleaning agent or mix it with olive oil to make a furniture polish, but if you're really lazy, you can just diffuse it with water and spray it around your home before people come over. "Ah, yes, this smells like a house that has been cleaned lately," your idiot guests will think.


Use eucalyptus essential oil to ease your coughs.

Vicks VapoRub is almost literally just eucalyptus, camphor, and peppermint essential oils that have been diluted in Vaseline and applied to your chest. So, yeah, just make your own for cheap, or put a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in water and boil it to make a steam decongestant.

Use any other essential oil as perfume or to cheer you up.

I don't know anything about the actual scientific validity of aromatherapy, but damn, smelling nice things is nice! If you like a scent of essential oil, buy it! Smell it! Apply it as perfume, or add a few drops to a heated diffuser! Why the f*ck not, if it makes you happy!