Palmarosa – Soft Skin and Happiness


Suzanne R Banks


Palmarosa – Soft Skin and Happiness

Palmarosa Lemongrass WikipediaPhoto stolen Wikipedia

I’ve used this lovely oil with clients a few times in the past couple of weeks. It blends well with so many oils and adds a green, fresh and slightly rosey scent to a formula. This is a relative newcomer to aromatherapy and doesn’t really have a rich colourful history like the spice oils, but is a wonderful addition to a collection. This gorgeous grass originally hails from India and is sometimes known as East Indian geranium. It’s also grown in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands. Although I can’t really find out a lot about this lovely oil I assume, like lemongrass, it has been used in India as a part of their Ayurvedic lifestyle and natural way of treating disorders in the body.

Palamarosa (Cymbopogon martini) is a grass like lemongrass and citronella, and belongs to the same family – Graminae (or Poaceae). This is the family of ‘true grasses”. There’s also a gingergrass plant that creates an essential too, and that is quite close to palmarosa as it is a variation of the plant – Cymbopogon martini var. sofia. One of my suppliers offers gingergrass oil and although I don’t use it therapeutically is has a beautiful soft scent. Maybe I’ll do a story on that oil soon.

Back to palmarosa – which is an oil often used in cosmetics and soaps to enhance the scent and add an inexpensive rose scent to the product.

I’ve always used palmarosa as a skin conditioning oil and one of it’s main components is geraniol so that may give you a hint too, as geranium is a great oil for the skin. However it’s interesting to note that geranium only contains about a third of the amount of geraniol than palmarosa! And while we are on the geraniol track, lemongrass has a high content of geranial – a different molecule with slightly different carbon bonds (with a similar function).

In aromatherapy today palmarosa is used for

* hydrating the skin and hair

* as a stimulant for skin cell growth therefore working well on scar tissue and the uneven appearance of skin

* as a tonic to the digestive system

* as an insect repellent – just like lemongrass and citronella

* I use it as an oil for happiness and for flexibility in the emotions and thoughts

Palmarossa Oil Burner Cinnamon Vogue FlickrPhoto Stolen Cinnamon Vogue  Flickr

Try these combo’s –

Scent your space

1. Scent Your Space

In a traditional oil burner with a candle or a diffuser add 25 drops of oil


Get your house in the mood for a lovely dinner

Palmarosa 10 drops

Mandarin 8 drops

Juniper 7 drops


“I’m Going to be Flexible on this Issue”

Palmarosa 8 drops

Rosemary 5 drops

Geranium 5 drops

Siberian Fir 7 drops


Palmarossa Oil RamshackleGlamPhoto Stolen RamshackleGlam

2. Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”

“Sweet and Soft”

Soften up your skin and add a little sweetness –

Palmarosa 3 drops

Peru Balsam 3 drops

Lavender 2 drops


“Gettin’ Vibed Up”

An oil blend to refresh and send you into the day with gusto –

Palmarosa 2 drops

Cinnamon 2 drops

Lemon 2 drops


Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

Suzanne R Banks

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9 thoughts on “Palmarosa – Soft Skin and Happiness

    • I love Suzanne R Banks.
      This is an excellent piece Suzanne and I think, like so many of your posts, that over time it will become one of the most viewed, so interesting how much you have worked with so many pieces of the fragrant puzzle.
      Portia xx


  1. I have been getting more and more interested in all the oils. Thanks for the post. I have a question – for the body oil blend, would palmarosa be the essential oil or the carrier oil?


    • Hi Maya! Palmarosa is an essential oil and a carrier oil is something like almond oil, olive oil, apricot oil sunflower oil, grapeseed oil etc.The carrier oil is the base then you would add the drops into that. Let me know if that’s not clear, thanks again


      • Thanks Suzanne. I wasn’t sure which type of oil palmarosa is. I love the idea of creating my own blend. Usually I just put some grapeseed oil in the bath and add a bit of perfume, but i like your ideas much better!


  2. Hello Suzanne,

    Thank you for this interesting post. Palmarosa is a favorite of mine and you are right, it is hard to find info about it. There are a few little tidbits in Steffan Arctander’s book and the fact that the book is somewhat dated makes for historical reading! Today I think I could use your “I’m Going to be Flexible on This Issue” blend.



    • Thanks Azar! I don’t think a lot of people use this oil but it can really make a difference in an oil blend. I haven’t heard of the book you mentioned but I’m going to check it out. Best wishes


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