Fragrances for Living Blog

Using Scents to Manipulate Mood and Behavior in the Classroom

Using Scents to Manipulate Mood and Behavior in the Classroom

Classrooms are unpredictable. One day, they’re full of chaos; the next, they are quiet, calm, and serene. Anytime you have a roomful of students and one or two teachers; there are bound to be mixed emotions – and, at times, behavior problems. Some kids need help being more focused and alert; others need to find ways to calm down and pay attention. Some days, students just seem a little antsy; you can hardly blame students for not wanting to sit still and listen indoors when it’s gorgeous out.

Whatever the case may be, essential oils can help. Essential oils can play a vital role in any learning environment. Many teachers have discovered their ability to promote a healthy classroom environment. That’s because essential oils have the power to encourage positive mood changes such as calming, boosting mood, and sharpening focus, depending on the oil and your particular needs on a given day.

Choose several scents so that you’ll have what you need on hand. Here are some great scents to start with for classroom applications.

  • Lavender: for reducing stress, calming, and relaxing
  • Lemon: for boosting mood as well as controlling germs and removing odors
  • Orange: for an uplifting atmosphere, better concentration, and germ control
  • Peppermint: for boosting mental focus and opening the door to natural energy (perfect before a test)
  • Grapefruit: for germ control and a happy mood
  • Bergamot: for times when your students (or you!) need emotional stress relief

How to disperse scent

A good diffuser is the best way to disperse your chosen scent throughout your classroom, allowing everyone in the room to benefit. Essential oils aren’t just great for students; they’re lifesavers for teachers, too. When you are feeling stressed, use a relaxing scent such as lavender or chamomile. If you have a headache, try peppermint, lavender, or rosemary Whatever you or your students are dealing with in the classroom, essential oils can help considerably. Diffusers are extremely easy to use because all you have to do is add your scent of choice and turn on the unit. Keep in mind that if you leave the diffuser running constantly, the nose becomes somewhat “immune” to the scent, so intermittent dispersal is your best bet in a classroom setting. There are many diffuser options available, including:

  • AroMini: The AroMini is a perfect choice for a classroom. Sleek, silent, and powerful, this cold-air diffuser releases nano-particles that provide a subtle, consistent scent while not leaving behind any residue. The AroMini is attractive and simple, so it looks right at home in any room and won’t be a distraction in the classroom. You can also adjust the scent intensity to suit the size of your classroom.
  • AromaPod: This diffuser is attractive and effective for a classroom or other small- to medium-sized room. It diffuses AromaTech essential oils into nano-particles that scent the area pleasantly without heat or water. Control hours of operation and scent intensity via Bluetooth.
  • AromaPro: The AromaPro is the ideal scent solution for offices or multiple rooms. Stand it up on its own or mount it to the wall; either way, this black or white diffuser will easily scent your entire space. You can also connect it to the HVAC system to scent multiple classrooms or offices at once – up to 4,000 square feet.

Essential oils can improve mood and help control behavior. Depending on the feel of your classroom, there are many different scents you can diffuse to achieve the desired results. For example, lavender can help calm restless students (and stressed-out teachers); lemon, ginger, or eucalyptus can help make students more alert and focused. You may also want to work toward other goals, such as keeping everyone healthy. Grapefruit or eucalyptus is great for boosting immune system function and surviving flu season.

You can even incorporate essential oils into your lesson plans. Besides your diffuser and scented oils, also gather a few other supplies including cotton balls and small glass spray bottles. Be sure to teach students essential oil safety – remind them not to taste the oils or put them on their skin. Then, try a few of the following ideas for using essential oils educationally.

  • Blind scent test: Immerse your students in the world of scent by placing a couple of drops of scented oils on different cotton balls and placing scented cotton balls inside small containers, then let students see if they can match the right oil with the right source plant based on scent alone.
  • Science lesson: Talk about the various parts of plants and how and from where essential oils are extracted. Cover familiar plants such as rose, lavender, basil, and citrus fruit to attract the most interest.
  • Math games: Talk about plant weights and how much essential oil can be extracted from each. See if students can categorize plants in order of their oil yield.
  • Engineering: Explain the distillation process.

These are just a few ideas for using essential oils as educational tools. There are endless ways to teach kids new things using nature, and essential oils are a fantastic topic to cover.


When you use essential oils in the classroom, remember that they are very potent. Learn about essential oil safety before using them around students. Inform parents that you’ll be using essential oils in the classroom and avoid oils from plants that any students are allergic to (for example, lavender). Keep the aroma oils secure and out of reach of students. Make sure the bottles cannot be accessed without supervision, knocked off of countertops, and so on; keep them in a locked desk drawer or high on a shelf instead. Never apply essential oils to your students’ skin, even when diluted. Diffusing scents is the safest and most effective way to use aromatherapy in the classroom. Finally, take extra care to do your research before using essential oils around children under the age of six; certain oils are not recommended for children this young.

At AromaTech, we offer a full range of diffusers and aroma oils to help you achieve the results you want, whether they include calmer students, a more engaged classroom, or better health and behavior.
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