Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is well-known for its fresh, citrus scent. Lemon essential oil is also light in aroma. However, if you are seeking a slightly different lemon-like aroma, you might be interested to learn that there are several other essential oils with a lemon-like aroma. The following essential oils have been compared with regard to aroma – although you you will probably find that they have beneficial properties too, depending upon your purpose. This is part one of a two part post; part two will be published next week.
Remember to dilute all essential oils before dermal application; consult a certified aromatherapist for further information on safe use of essential oils.
Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) is a favorite summer aroma to keep mosquitoes, and other types of biting insects, at bay. Citronella essential oil has a fresh, and powerful, lemony aroma.
The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from citronella grass – a tall, perennial grass that is very aromatic. There are various types of aromatic grasses, including lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), which are related to citronella.
CAUTIONS: Do not use citronella during pregnancy. Possible skin sensitivity.
TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser to repel mosquitoes, add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for fatigue, colds, flu, and headaches.
May Chang Essential Oil
May chang (Litsea cubeba) is a plant that is native to Asia. The essential oil has a powerful, lemony aroma that is perhaps a little heavier than traditional lemon-like aromas – but similar to lemongrass.
May chang essential oil is steam distilled from the pepper-like fruits of the small, tropical tree. Although it is also known by the name of tropical verbana, it is not related to lemon verbana (Aloysia triphylla).
CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Do not use with children under two years of age.
TIPS FOR USE: Add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for skin care, stress, and high blood pressure. You can also use it in an aromatherapy diffuser to repel insects.
Melissa Essential Oil
Melissa (Melissa officinalis) is also known by the name lemon balm because of its light, fresh, lemony aroma. Melissa is actually a small herb that has highly aromatic leaves. It is recognizable from other herbs because of its bright-green, serrated leaves.
The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops of the plant. Melissa is one of the earliest known herbs that was used for medicinal purposes and, consequently, has a long history of use.
CAUTIONS: Possible skin sensitivity. Use in low dilution. Do not use with children under two years of age. This essential oil is sometimes adulterated with lemon, lemongrass, or citronella because of the similar aromas.
TIPS FOR USE: Use in an aromatherapy diffuser as a summertime repellent for mosquitoes, add to a custom perfume blend, use in aromatherapy practice for allergies, insect bites, nausea, respiratory problems, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, shock, and migraine.
Learn More About Essential Oils with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, and the plants from which they are extracted, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie home study aromatherapy courses. For further information, visit the courses home page.
Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
Tisserand, R., Young, R., 2014, Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition), UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier
Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.
Tags: citronella essential oil, lemon, lemon essential oil, lemon-like aromas, may chang essential oil, melissa essential oil