If you’ve heard of essential oils then you’ve probably heard of aromatherapy, where the smells from the oils impart therapeutic effects to the mind and body. Perhaps you’ve even used essential oils for aromatherapeutic purposes already. There are so many essential oils out there, and virtually all of them have aromatherapeutic benefits. But if there’s so many, how do you know which ones to use? Or, if you’re just starting out, which oils are the best to begin with?

Lavender: Lavender essential oil is a fantastic essential oil for beginners and advanced users alike. It’s very gentle and using it on children is great for helping them to calm down during temper tantrums and to fall asleep when they’re too wired for anything else. It’s aroma is pleasant and grounding, and is great for helping with headaches, feelings of anxiety and tension. Just make sure that the lavender you’re buying is real lavender, not the popular lavender adulterant, lavandin.

Lemon: Lemon essential oil is great for children in school and adults with busy schedules. It significantly enhances mental focus and concentration and helps bring feelings of lightness and joy to all who smell it. Because it’s so beneficial for the mind, using it in the diffuser is especially helpful and convenient.

Frankincense: Frankincense essential oil comes to us with a sacred history filled with ritual and travel across the middle east. Coincidentally (or perhaps not so coincidentally) it is a fantastic aromatherapeutic aid for meditation. It imparts a calm, concentrated focus to the mind and helps to dissolve tension. It goes fantastic blended with other oils, including lemon, and is equally wonderful on its own.

Rose: Rose essential oil is an oil fit for a queen, and indeed rose is often nicknamed “Queen of the flowers”. Its aroma is as ethereal as it is strong and a little goes a very long way with this potent plant essence distilled from the delicate petals of the rose flower. Heralded as an aphrodisiac, rose can help to induce feelings of joy and lightheartedness and has even been said to bring a sense of confidence to the mind and heart of whoever smells it.

Though there are many more essential oils to choose from, these four are a great place to start your aromatherapeutic journey. Use them one by one, experiment with making your own blends and enjoy the many benefits of the wondrous plant nectars known as essential oils.