What is the difference between edible cooking oils and the carrier oils used in aromatherapy?

Question by zerzy2000: What is the difference between edible cooking oils and the carrier oils used in aromatherapy?
I am very interested in experimenting with the carrier oils used in aromatherapy. However, where I come from (Singapore), aromatherapy is not such a big thing and thus their products are quite exorbitantly priced. I was wondering if I could substitute edible oils for the carrier oils (e.g. sunflower oil, sesame oil, olive oil etc.) Has anyone tried before?

Best answer:

Answer by indium
yes you can easily do that. olive oil and sesame oil are often used. Don’t used heavy sesame with a string nutty odour though as this will mask the essential oils. try grapeseed oil, if you can find it but any light odourless cooking oil will do.

What do you think? Answer below!


  1. I’ve used olive oil. Wouldn’t recommend sesame or sunflower though. Sesame is too aromatic and sunflower is too usually too processed.

  2. Theroretically yes. But most cooking oils are processed to give them a longer shelf life – this is not so good for aromatherapy. That’s partly why carrier oils sold for aromatherapy can seem more expensive.
    If looking in the cooking oils look for oils which say they are “cold pressed” and/or “virgin” which means the first pressing. Sunflower oil is often processed, so I would be wary of that. Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil would fit the bill, but can have a strong smell and some aromatherapists dislike it for that reason. If using sesame oil make sure it is not the toasted version often used in cooking. You might want to experiement with mixtures of different oils as they all behave differently and have different aromas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

If you agree to these terms, please click here.