Invigorating. Refreshing. Stimulating. These are the first three words that come to mind when I think of Rosemary Essential Oil. When I was first exploring aromatherapy back in the 1990s, Rosemary Oil took me by surprise. I was expecting it to smell closely to the freshly cut herb, but Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosmarinus officinalis var camphor) smells much more camphorous. As with other oils that contain camphor, Rosemary is helpful in massage and arthritis blends and can help improve circulation. It is useful for respiratory issues and makes a good expectorant/decongestant.
Rosemary has an excellent reputation for oily skin/acne, scalp and hair care, and I have repeatedly read that Rosemary Oil can be helpful with alopecia (hair loss).
Rosemary is quite stimulating and is heralded for help in memory retention and staying focused and alert. Rosemary is a good choice for blends for driving long distances and for long study sessions.
Several important Rosemary chemotypes are worth paying close attention to:
Rosemary Verbenone Essential Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis var verbenoneaka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. verbenone)
contains less camphor. The aroma is more herbaceous and is preferred by many.
Rosemary Cineole Essential Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis var cineoleaka Rosmarinus officinalis ct. cineole) is sometimes preferred for use in respiratory and circulatory issues.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Leaves and Flowers/Buds
Strength of Initial Aroma
Medium – Strong
Fresh, herbaceous, sweet, slightly medicinal.
Rosemary Essential Oil Uses
Aching muscles, arthritis, dandruff, dull skin, exhaustion, gout, hair care, muscle cramping, neuralgia, poor circulation, rheumatism.