Since the olfactory nerves (the nerves in the nose) are directly connected to the limbic system of the brain, their stimulation by the aroma of essential oils causes immediate, although perhaps subconscious, physical and emotional responses.

The limbic system of the brain not only controls our drives of hunger, thirst, and sex, but more subtle responses of emotion, memory, creativity, and intuition as well as reproductive cycles. Olfactory membranes contain millions of nerve endings causing the sense of smell to be the most acute of all senses.

Inhaling oils triggers a chain of internal reactions with a wide range of results from the release of endorphins (powerful mood elevating substances) to boosting the immune system. Within the limbic system resides the regulatory mechanism of our highly sensitive inner life, the core of our being. Here is the origin of our sexuality, the impulse of attraction and aversion, motivation and our moods, our memory, and creativity.

Smells work in the limbic system to release neurotransmitters. Encephaline reduces pain, produces pleasant, euphoric sensations, and creates a feeling of well-being. Endorphins also reduce pain, stimulate sexual feelings, and produce a sense of well-being. Serotonin helps relax and calm. PEA (phenylethylamine) the chemical believed to be responsible for the “rush” felt when falling in love is found in both rose water and chocolate.

The pituitary, also known as the master gland of the endocrine system, is responsible for controlling hormone production of other glands. There is an association between an underactive pituitary gland and a decreased interest in sex. Essential oils have the ability to stimulate the pituitary gland. Oils that stimulate the pituitary and, therefore, are considered an aphrodisiac are clary sage, jasmine, patchouli, and ylang ylang.

Aphrodisiacs are substances that are capable of enhancing sexual pleasure or sexual desire. Certain essential oils can be considered aphrodisiacs since they have the potential to affect the circulatory, hormonal, and the nervous systems. The best aphrodisiac will make use of the brain, since this is where the sexual center is located.

A blend of the erogenous, stimulating or calming, and euphoric essential oils would make a well-rounded aphrodisiac synergy. Jasmine is the most sought after fragrance in the perfume industry because it has a very erogenous effect on humans. Other oils that have been considered as having aphrodisiac properties are clary sage, black pepper, ginger, fennel, frankincense, geranium, hyssop, juniper, myrrh, patchouli, pine, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

Our erotic life is much influenced by odor. Pheromones, hormone-like substances in one’s personal odor, influence partner choice in humans as well as in animals. Since many essential oils contain pheromones, they affect our sensuality.

Personal attraction and aversion are always influenced by odor. Without the ability to smell there would be little attraction. We may be attracted or repulsed by people we meet while being completely unaware that this is partially because of the way they smell to us in a subconscious way. A scent can be bonding or used in identification in both people or animals. Did you ever see a Black Angus cow pick out her calf among a hundred little black calves? As many as 25% of the people who experience smell disorders also lose interest in sex. Therefore, keeping your sinuses healthy could be the hidden key in creating a healthy sex life.

Fragrances can bewitch the most sober people. With a few essential oils you can create your own very personal, natural perfume that may not only improve your health, but attract that special person. To create a special perfume use jojoba which is a nondrying skin-care oil that allows a fragrance to linger longer. Fill a small bottle nearly to the top with jojoba oil, and add the essential oil of your choice (15 to 20 drops).

Use the natural gifts supplied by nature for their sensual and seductive proprieties. Create your own love potions that stimulate your senses and enhance a romantic atmosphere. Whether you use essential oils in a loving massage or in a diffuser to project their fragrant invitation to love and romance, they are a most enjoyable way to increase your sexual energies and arouse your most intimate feelings. To boost libido try 2 drops black pepper, 3 drops ginger and 2 drops sandalwood in your diffuser. For sexual dysfunction put in the diffuser 4 drops rose and 3 drops ylang ylang. For a fantastic massage, increase the number of drops of essential oil and add to 4 tsp. of a mix of sweet almond and grapeseed oil. Experiment and enjoy!

© 2004 by Peggy Carey. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Author.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy Carey, The "Zest Lady" is an Aromatherapy Instructor, Wellness Expert, and designer of Zest Lady Aroma Pendants™. Since 1997 she has taken courses in aromatherapy from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, American Institute of Holistic Theology, Young Living Essential Oils, and continues independent study as new research emerges.

Peggy acquired the name "Zest Lady" by teaching anti-aging and total wellness using essential oils through presentations, classes, and articles such as Pursuing Postmenopausal Zest. Visit her main site here:

Her unique aromatherapy diffuser pendant design which provides “aromatherapy-on-the-go” is featured on the jewelry section of and can be purchased at