Aromatherapy 101: Lemon

Aromatherapy is nothing new. For thousands of years, aromatic plants have been used in resins, balms and oils, for their physical and psychological benefits. Since scents are what we do best, we’re collecting everything you need to know about aromatherapy in one place - to help you make the right choice when it comes to the aroma you use in your fragrance and skincare.


For thousands of years, lemons have been used in medicine to treat all sorts of different health issues. Native to Asia, they’re believed to have been brought to Europe around 200 A.D, and Ancient Indians, Egyptians and Romans used ‘the fruit of health’ to treat infectious diseases. In the 14th century, English sailors learned that drinking a little lemon juice every day helped with scurvy, sore joints and other seafaring ailments. 

Today, you’re more likely to find lemon in perfumes and puddings, but in recent years, medical literature has begun to pay attention to the claims that lemon oil can help conquer exhaustion, ease depression, and reduce inflammation. 

Benefits of Lemon

1. Lemon is uplifting

Lemon essential oil is probably best known for creating a better mood in people who are feeling stressed. Inhaling the scent of ‘liquid sunshine’ has been shown to help your brain produce more serotonin and dopamine, which can help calm anxiety. There’s a lot of research into this, but the most convincing studies found evidence that the scent of lemon reduced anxiety for people who were undergoing orthopedic surgery, and that lemon might actually be more effective at reducing stress than other scents like lavender and rose. So, if you’re feeling anxious, try massaging a lemon-scented lotion into stress-collecting muscle groups like your neck and shoulders, and see if your mood improves. We recommend Scottish Fine Soaps’ Citrus Verbena Moisturiser for just this.

2. Lemon is cleansing

There’s a reason why lemon is found in so many household products - and it’s not just the bright, uplifting scent. Lemon has been found to be effective against strains of bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and E. Coli - so it’s a really good choice for people suffering from skin inflammation, according to recent studies. Thanks to its nourishing and hydrating properties, lemon oil can be used for all sorts of skin conditions, and can be particularly good for acne because of the antioxidants and Vitamin C found naturally in the oil. Search for a lemon-based cleanser or face wash, and you might find yourself with a brighter, calmer skin tone, with the added benefit of faster healing if you’re prone to breakouts. It can also work wonders for hair, too– try Bramley’s Shampoo with lemon and rosemary.

3. Lemon boosts your focus

As well as lifting your mood when you’re feeling worried, lemon has been found to help boost your brainpower. In Japan, lemon essential oil is diffused in the workplace to help reduce worker error, because the scent has been shown to improve concentration and alertness. There’s medical data to support this - not only has aromatherapy with lemon been found to improve the cognitive function of people with Alzheimers, but research into a group of students found evidence that the scent helped to boost memory and focus. To start your day in the right headspace, try bringing a lemon-scented shower gel like L’Occitane’s Verbena Shower Gel into your morning routine, and you might find yourself tackling the challenges of your day with sharp focus. 

4. Lemon helps nausea

When aromatherapy with lemon oil was prescribed to 100 pregnant women who were struggling with morning sickness, they found it significantly reduced their feelings of nausea and vomiting, two of the most common symptoms experienced in early pregnancy. There’s no recorded danger to infants, children of pregnant women, so if you’re struggling with morning sickness, it couldn’t hurt to try bringing the scent of lemon into your morning skincare regime. We’d also say that Seascape’s Refresh Hand & Nail Cream is a great staple to have nearby.


Lemon has been a popular healthy-living ingredient for centuries, but it’s popular in aromatherapy because it’s so versatile for modern life. Studies have found that liquid sunshine can nourish your skin, boost your mood and help you focus when you need it most. Discover new ways to bring lemon oil into your skincare and fragrance, and discover the benefits of this invigorating, fruity scent for yourself.