Aromatic Intent: Essential Oils for Success

by Jessica North-O’Connell

“…she knows there’s no success like failure and that failure’s no success at all…” Bob Dylan

We live in a culture which has an obsession with “success” but success comes in many forms, as defined and experienced by one individual to another. Most of the time, being successful is equated with having money, yet finance is only a small part of it. With our overgrown emphasis on finances, though, we often fail to realize that success also involves such concepts as satisfaction, fulfillment, and completion, the pursuit of a desire or goal, as well as the attainment of a goal, position or honor, leading to recognition by others which outwardly acknowledges and validates for us our place in our community.

As aromatherapists, we often measure our success by the effectiveness our essential oil remedies have for our clients. As we grow in our craft through repeated practice and by learning more skills, we discover that such success is more than simply a matter of treating the physical or obvious conditions our clients present to us; ultimately, we look for an overall sense of well-being in them as well, which includes psychological, emotional and even spiritual factors. Once we are able to discern our clients’ overall state, we can then address the subtle factors along with the obvious ones through synergistic blends utilizing essential oils that target the less obvious conditions.

Image by Gellinger

Scent has been used for millennia in its various forms, from the practice of anointing the body and lighting incense for religious and spiritual practice (“scented prayers”) to the attraction of romantic partners through wearing perfume; from removing noxious odours from our environment to refreshing or re-dedicating an area for use where we live or work; from lifting our spirits when they are lagging to helping us relax through an aromatic reprieve from the stresses of daily life.

Too, the scent is the most direct route to memory; specific scents can recall pleasurable events (as well as unpleasant ones!), helping us to activate the emotional body and successfully moving us toward satisfactory results. They can stimulate our intention to bring success into our lives.

The reverse then becomes possible as well: we can use scents with the intention to remind us of and propel us toward our success. Focussing on or visualizing a goal while diffusing a particular essential oil (or blend) in your meditation area helps to reinforce your intention, especially when you sniff that essential oil or blend later while you are actively in pursuit of your goal.

Here are some examples of essential oils that have been used to bring success in various forms.


Basil (Ocimum basilicum): With a long history of use to increase financial gain, Basil water is utilized by Caribbean merchants to attract customers and for good luck in business. If you are worried about financial issues, add a couple of drops of the essential oil to your blend or take a sniff before heading out to money-making endeavors. Avoid overuse, as it may result in a headache!


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): It’s becoming common knowledge that Rosemary can significantly improve memory, so this is natural for students and anyone learning new information or developing a new skill. Rosemary also has a long association with love so may even promote feelings of our being “cared for,” thus making it “safe” for us to learn new things.


Bergamot (Citrus bergamia): This uplifting essential oil promotes a sense of well-being, making it a natural choice for oneself or a client who is having a difficult time overcoming the doldrums. When we are uplifted, we are more easily inspired to move toward our goals. My personal “happiness” blend includes Bergamot, Geranium and Ylang ylang.

Overcoming obstacles:

Clove bud (Caryophyllus aromaticus): Said to heighten one’s sense of courage, this spicy essential oil can also remind us of the “hearth and home” days of childhood. When we feel that all is right with our own world, we are encouraged to move beyond our comfort zones and to confront whatever stands in our way. A drop in a blend is often enough, as this essential oil is highly fragrant.

To do:

Keep a record of how specific essential oil scents affect you. Then use some with intent to bring success into your life in your chosen area. This is a fun project for a group so you may want to get together with others to compare results.

Scented blessings.

Jessica North-O’Connell is founding Priestess of Faerie Mound Mystery School and Great Goddess Alive! Alchemical Arts & Services. She has been a practicing aromatherapist for 20 years, a Reiki and Soul Realignment practitioner, as well as a Tarot and Rune reader. She offers classes and programs and has aspirations of opening a Retreat center for creative recovery. Find her at and