Natural Love Potions? Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

Nov 30, 2015 11:16:03 AM | recipes Natural Love Potions? Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

Botanical aromas have been associated with love since antiquity. Orange blossoms (neroli) and jasmine in particular have deep roots in romantic history.

Natural Love Potions? Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

Natural Love Potions? Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

As humans, our sense of smell is a crucial element of attraction. 

Smell has a strong bond with memory—it’s why romance films show the forlorn hero smelling the sweater or pillowcase of a long lost lover. Aromas elicit emotional responses.

But are there aromas that stimulate initial, physical attraction in the brain? In other words, is it possible to create a love potion through scent?

Scientists and psychologists are still exploring how our sense of smell affects initial attraction. According to Psychology Today:

“Some researchers think scent could be the hidden cosmological constant in the sexual universe, the missing factor that explains who we end up with. It may even explain why we feel ‘chemistry’—or ‘sparks’ or ‘electricity’—with one person and not with another.”[1]

While we may not know why or how aromas affect attraction just yet, there’s certainly historical evidence for aromas of love or “love potions.” Botanical aromas have been associated with love since antiquity. Orange blossoms (neroli) and jasmine in particular have deep roots in romantic history.

Let’s take a closer look…

Neroli Essential Oil

"The sun has left the lea,

The orange flower perfumes the bower,

The breeze is on the sea"

—Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), “Quentin Durward”

Neroli essential oil is created by steam distilling the blossoms of the bitter orange Citrus aurantium (L.) var. amara, and its aroma has been associated with royalty and beauty for centuries.

 Italian princess of NeroleIt is said that the word neroli is derived from the name of the Italian princess of Nerole, Anna Maria de La Tremoille (pictured right). Neroli was her favorite oil, and it soon became her “signature” scent.

Additionally, orange flowers have long been associated with fertility and weddings. Brides have traditionally worn headdresses adorned with orange blossoms. 

It’s also possible that neroli C. aurantium may promote emotions of love and passion because it naturally encourages a healthy, peaceful mood and can help manage stress.[2] On the simplest level, a calm, peaceful mood is naturally more open to attraction and new relationships.

The aroma: Neroli C. aurantium essential oil’s aroma is deeply floral and citrusy, with a hint of wildness. Neroli blends well with:

  • All citrus oils
  • Jasmine Jasminum sambac
  • Ylang ylang Cananga odorata var. genuina
  • Rose Rosa damascena

Check out the Apothecary Shoppe’s Organic Neroli Essential Oil featured on a popular lifestyle website here!

Jasmine Sambac Absolute

Jasmine Jasminum sambac (L.) has long been associated with love. Even it’s name, derived from the Persian word yasmin, or “moonshine in the garden,” drips of romance.

Legends tell that Cleopatra (pictured below) wooed Marc Antony with its heady, floral aroma.

Cleopatra and Marc Antony

In India, jasmine flowers are traditionally used in wedding garlands, decorations, and scattered across marriage beds. 

As a floral scent often used in perfumery, there may be reasons why jasmine elicits feelings of romance—jasmine is a known stimulant and can possibly stimulate memory.

One study examined the effects of jasmine J. sambac inhalation on brain wave activity and emotions. The study concluded that jasmine had an effect on the nervous system and could affect brain wave activities and mood states.[3]

An older but relevant 1992 study examined whether ambient odor could serve as a cue for retrieval of verbal stimuli. Forty-seven subjects memorized words while simultaneously inhaling jasmine, or a perfume. After two days, the researchers found that the recall of the subjects exposed to the aroma was better than those not exposed.[4]

With memory so closely related to emotion, there may be something within jasmine that triggers nostalgia and memory—two possible ingredients for attraction. This is speculation of course, but it’s fascinating to see how aromas affect our brains and bodies.

Jasmine J. sambac is also widely known to support a happy, healthy mood and emotional balance. A 2010 study investigated the stimulating effects of J. sambac on the mood. When applied to the abdomen, the researchers noted that J. sambac increased “breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation … which indicated an increase of autonomic arousal.”

Again, a healthy, happy, and emotionally balanced spirit will emit energy that attracts equally positive energy[5]… a desired advantage when looking for love.

The aroma: Jasmine sambac J. sambac absolute emits a floral, warm, exotic, and heady aroma. Jasmine J. sambac blends well with:

  • All citrus oils (including neroli)
  • Clary sage Salvia sclarea
  • Sandalwood Santalum album

Check out the Apothecary Shoppe’s Jasmine Sambac Absolute featured on a popular lifestyle website here!

Love Potions in Action

Whether or not neroli C. aurantium and jasmine J. sambac essential oils prompt attraction, they remain wonderful oils for perfumery and mood support. Next time you want to feel a little more flirty and fresh, give this blend a go:


Neroli Citrus aurantium var. amara oil: 9 drops

Jasmine Jasminum sambac absolute: 7 drops

Pink peppercorn Schinus terebinthifolia oil: 4 drops

Rose Rosa damascena oil: 2 drops

Camellia oil Camellia sinensis: 1 ounce

Blend the essential oils and apply externally as frequently as required. Note: J. sambac can be substituted with J. grandiflorum.

Neroli and Jasmine Essential Oils

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the President and Founder of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.  

[1] Svoboda, E. (2008, January 1). Scents and sensibility. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from

[2] Choi, S., Kang, P., Lee, H., & Seol, G. (2014). Effects of inhalation of essential oil of citrus aurantium L. Var. Amara on Menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in Postmenopausal women: A Randomized controlled trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM.. Retrieved from

[3] Sayowan, W., Siripornpanich, V., Ruangrungsi, N., Hongratanaworakit, T., & Kotchabhakdi, N. (2013). The effects of jasmine oil inhalation on brain wave activities and emotions. Journal of Health Research27(2), 73–77. Retrieved from

[4] Smith, D.G., Standing, L., & De Man, A. (1992). Verbal Memory elicited by ambient odor. Percep Motor Skill, 74:339-343.

[5] Paul, M. (2013, September 2). 5 keys to attracting the love of your life.Huffington Post. Retrieved from

Image credits: 

Marie Anne de La Trémoille, Princess of Nerole. Public Domain. 

Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Public Domain. 

Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Written By: Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Dorene is the Founding President of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 45 years of clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene is a founding member of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) and served as its chair until 2023. Dorene is also involved in the distance education community and has served as a volunteer, committee member, and standards evaluator for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and has led ACHS Study Abroad programs to India, Indonesia, Greece, and Hawaii!