There are many different species of geranium and, although Pelargonium graveolens has always been regarded as the “original,” other species such as Pelargonium x asperum are now growing in popularity. The country of origin will affect the subtle differences in the aroma of the geranium essential oil, so do your homework before purchasing.
Regardless of the country of origin and growing conditions, geranium essential oil should hold a rosy scent; the green and/or herbaceous undertones will vary between species. Geranium has often been called “the poor man’s rose” because of its more moderate price tag than the expensive rose essential oil, and because of its rosy aroma; however, geranium essential oil is a valuable essential oil in its own right.
Geranium essential oil is a middle note oil and is a “jack-of-all-trades.” It is adaptable for many different situations and, when combined with other essential oils, has the ability to soothe both the body and the mind. It a favorite essential oil of women.
Common English Name: Geranium.
Botanical Name: Pelargonium graveolens; Pelargonium x asperum.
Plant Family: Geraniaceae.
Method of Extraction: Steam distillation of the highly fragrant leaves.
Origin: Indigenous to South Africa and the island of Reunion, but now found in many different countries with a similar climate.
Plant Description: An evergreen, perennial plant with large leaves and umbels of flowers. Pelargonium graveolens produces traditional pink flowers, but geranium species now produce flowers in a wide range of colors.
Main Chemical Components: Citronellol, geraniol (alcohols), and citronellyl formate (ester).
Uses: Soothing to the skin, soothing to the soul, mature skin, dry skin, moisturizes the skin, makes you feel or look younger, wrinkles appear reduced, helps to relax, promotes emotional well-being.
Fun Fact: Geranium oil is often used as a substitute for rose oil.
Cautions for Use: None noted for general use of the oil but may cause slight skin sensitization in some people.