Beating Body Odor with Essential Oils

Body odor is embarrassing and sometimes inescapable. Most of the time there is no serious physical concern associated with it, but there are occasions where it can be caused as a result of some hidden illness. For persistent body odor, please see your licensed health professional. 

But why do we even have body odor?

"Body odor usually occurs when skin bacteria combine with sweat. However, it can occur after the ingestion of pungent foods such as onions and garlic" (Aletha 87). 

You may also wish to take a look at our post on Candida as that can be, and often is, a root cause of body odor.  There is a more detailed layout of dietary improvements in that post. 

And how do I get rid of it?

When looking for oils to help with this sensitive subject, there can be quite a list of possibilities. Patricia Davis suggests that the most effective deodorizing essential oil is Bergamot, though Lavender, Neroli, JuniperCypressThyme, and Sage can be used (97).  When applying oils to the skin, always check the cautions for those oils before use.

Other potential deodorant oils include: EucalyptusLemongrass, and Patchouli (Purchon 25).

Essential Oil List for Body Odor:

Blends: Resting, Lili Beth, Dude

Singles: Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Peppermint, ThymeBergamotCitronellaCypressSpearmint

To use, select oils and blend together as in the recipe below. 


Fresh Field Deodorant

1 tsp (5mL) white wine or cider vinegar
1 tbs (15 mL) glycerin
5 drops Lavender essential oil
5 drops Coriander essential oil
5 drops Lemon essential oil
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
5 drops Grapefruit essential oil

1 pint spring water or hydrosol

Blend essential oils together.  Add them to the glycerin and shake for a good, long time. Let mixture settle then add vinegar.  Pour into the water or hydrosol and shake very well.  Strain through unbleached coffee filter.  

*Tip: the longer you wait to add the oils-vinegar-glycerin mix to the water/hydrosol, the stronger fragrance you will get. 


Geranium Deodorant

2/3 cup witch hazel hydrolat (alcohol free)
6 tsp aloe vera juice
2 tsp zinc oxide powder

30 drops geranium essential oil

In an 8 oz dark glass spray bottle, combine witch hazel, aloe vera juice, zinc oxide powder, and geranium essential oil. Shake vigorously to mix well. 

To use, apply to clean, dry armpits. Allow to dry completely before dressing, to avoid white marks on clothing  (Purchon 417).


Cooling Lavender-Mint Powder

1 cup baking soda
30 drops lavender essential oil

30 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil

Mix ingredients in a a glass bowl. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a glass or ceramic sugar shaker, and apply to problem areas (Aletha 88). You can also sprinkle this in shoes to help with foot odor. 


Aletha Press. Essential Oils, Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing. (2015). p. 87-8

Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy An A-Z. (2000). p. 97

Purchon, Nerys and Lora Cantele. The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook For Everyday Wellness. (2014) p. 25, 417