Geranium is a common plant to find in our gardens, especially since it is pretty easy to grow! I never particularly liked the smell of the plant, so when I was about to sniff the essential oil of geranium for the first time, I was already screwing my nose up in anticipation! But instead I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did enjoy the aroma. It has a lovely calming nature – gentle and soothing. Perhaps I enjoy it because the oil is distilled from the leaves and not the necessary the flowers, like other 'floral' scents used in aromatherapy, which are often actually 'absolutes' rather than essential oils and this results in powerful odours. I still find geranium essential oil a strong smell and only a drop or two is needed in most blends for its aroma to complement the other essential oils in the blend. Geranium is a middle note oil.
While there are over 200 different varieties of geranium plant, Pelargonium spp, only a couple are used for essential oil production, such as P. asperum or P. graveolens. The scent of the essential oil depends on where the plant has been grown. Rose Geranium sourced from Réunion is fresh, sweet and rosy, with a hint of mint, the Egyptian oil is more herbaceous, and the essential oil from China has a lemony tone. Its main chemical components, the alcohols citronellol and geraniol, lead to that classical 'geranium' scent. They also provide the anti-inflammatory action of this essential oil. The oil contains monoterpenols which are great for toning and sesquiterpenes, excellent for skin healing – so geranium essential oil is a perfect addition to skin and hair care products.
Geranium has a gentle stimulating effect on the lymphatic system, so it can be added to massage blends to ease puffiness and firm sagging skin. It is also known to provide relief for feminine issues such as the discomforts associated with the menstrual cycle. The oil can assist with bloating and oedema as well as the emotional irregularities that can be experienced in the lead up to menstruation. Why not add geranium essential oil to your bath soak at this time of your cycle to find some relief and for a peaceful break.
The rosiness of geranium comes from the chemical components it has is common with rose absolute, which is why geranium can sometimes be called 'poor man's rose'. It combines well rose as well as with the herbaceous, woody and citrus oils.