For Science: We Tried Essential Oils to See if it Would Cure Our Loneliness

Written by Emery Schaffer & Danielle Elmers

Essential oils have fervent followings only comparable to those found in organized religion. According to YoungLiving, a popular essential oil company, using oils can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and generally enhance your life through diffusion and/or wearing them on your skin. They also supposedly could help with loneliness? Hypothesis accepted. The CJM girls, Emery and Danielle, launched an investigation to find out if using essential oils can make you feel less lonely on Valentine’s Day. For Science!

Could a few easy drops of oil in your diffuser or on your wrists replace the warm embrace of the person who makes your heart sing? That’s what we set out to test.

Emery:  I’m not gonna lie, this is something I completely believe in. Lets just say that that everyone needs a post break up hobby, and this may or may not have been mine. Relatable? No? Just me? Okay. Anyway, all you need to know is that I have a lot of essential oils, and I use them. A lot.

Danielle: I remember learning about how smell is linked to your memories, and thus can trigger recall of a certain experience, but I don’t think sniffing overpriced extracts of certain flowers and plants can actually boost my mood, improve my immune system, and make my life better overall.

Emery: Totally totally totally… but since Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, it’s about time for me to throw myself into my work. Is there an essential oil cure for loneliness? We need to ask for science, obviously.

Danielle: Fair.

Emery: I brought an assortment of EOs (that’s what pro’s call them) to work for us to choose from, including Bergamot (good for memory), Cedarwood and Lavender (good for calming), Idaho Blue Spruce (good for happiness) and Frankincense (good for grounding).

Danielle: I was personally extremely hyped for the lavender since it’s one of my favorite scents and I could always be calmer. Adult life has turned me into a human-sized knot of stress so if lavender was the answer to my problems, I was ready for it.

Emery: I put some cedarwood on my wrists and lavender on the back of my neck, and I smelled so freaking good. Like a forest and a garden had a human baby.

Danielle: Who would wear perfume when you could just use essential oils? They smell good and they are supposed to align your chakras or something, right?

Emery: Wrong. I mean…maybe? I don’t know.

Danielle: Maybe that’s just kombucha.

Emery: Maybe. But that night, I went rogue in our selection options and dropped some eucalyptus in my diffuser. I had a sniffly nose and know that eucalyptus is supposed to help with that. My room smelled like a spa, and I felt so relaxed. Although I still woke up the next morning with a little cold, I wasn’t mad. Was that the essential oil at work? Maybe. Nonetheless, I still took some DayQuil.

Danielle: Probably for the best. For me, I alternated between the three scents, reserving lavender for before bed. Overall, they all smelled great, but the scent would go away after a few minutes. Also, the frankincense made me smell like church, which brought up a lot of memories of being forced to sit through mass hungry and sleepy until after communion, but I guess I wasn’t lonely in those memories!

Emery: What a flashback.

Danielle: Truly. So, I’m not sure if the EO’s actually helped. Did they actually cure my loneliness? Am I even lonely? I will say that taking the time to put drops of the oils on my wrists, rub and then sniff slowly would ground me during moments of stress. Instead of spiraling into a stress attack, I did calm down — but as we all know correlation does not induce causation.

Emery: Exactly.

Danielle: Was it the scent of the oil that calmed me down or was it the act? Or was it simply a placebo?

Emery: Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds or the equipment to truly experiment with the scents, so the world will probably never know. But will I continue to bathe myself in these smelly bottles of goodness? Absolutely. @Kate, going forward I will require a work related EO library in the office.

Danielle: Same.


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