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Best Scents for Meditation: Breathe and Relax


Isn’t it funny how a certain scent can transport you? The smell of cedarwood brings back that beach bonfire memory. A whiff of vanilla reminds you of baking cookies as a kid. Scents have the power to soothe your spirit and shift your space. It’s no wonder they can enhance your meditation practice as well. 


Bringing scents into meditation does more than set the mood. Scents enable you to stay in the moment. A scent draws your focus to the present so you can better connect to the peace of meditation. Combine that with the stress relieving properties of aromatherapy, and you have a simple yet powerful tool for aiding meditation.

What Are the Best Scents for Meditation?

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, scents are highly subjective. While some may find lavender aromas soothing, others will avoid the smell altogether. As we cover which scents have a reputation for being grounding, calming, and uplifting, just remember that your favorite scent for meditation will be whatever works for you!

  • Lavender: Known to facilitate sleep, this is a great meditation scent to enjoy during a late night practice when seeking to invite restful vibes. 
  • Frankincense: Thought to increase awareness, this rich, deep scent is perfect for longer, more reflective meditation sessions. 
  • Sandalwood: With an earthy, woody scent, sandalwood can help you to connect with nature as well as your inner self. It brings a sense of peace that is both soothing and invigorating during meditation.
  • Sage: A deep scent that works to settle, center, and uplift the spirit, sage creates an ideal environment for meditation.

Ways to Introduce Scent to Meditation Practice 

Ways to Introduce Scent to Meditation Practice

There are so many ways to enjoy scents during meditation. Establish the atmosphere that works for you, whether that’s one with a candle’s tranquil lumination or the full bodied aromatic experience of an essential oil diffuser.  


Even the act of lighting a candle can be a relaxing experience. Bringing a candle into your sacred space, or wherever you meditate, transforms the atmosphere both visually and through scent. It helps to mark the beginning of your meditation practice, as well as bring closure to it when you blow out the flame. If you like a multi-sensory experience to soothe and prepare you for meditation, candles are a reliable favorite. 

Candle Meditation Exercise

When you’re ready to meditate, bring a candle with you as you set out a pillow to sit on. Before lighting your candle, take a few deep breaths in and out. As you release all the tension or any anxious thoughts being held inside, think about what energy you would like to welcome—be it a sense of serenity or grounding strength. Once you have your focus in mind, light your candle. Let the flame and fragrance keep you present in that energy. 

Tip: Find a wide assortment of candles in our Moon Market that feature scented blends specifically mixed to help you get in sync with each new moon’s theme.


There’s something mesmerizing about incense. The amber glow of the lighted tip, the smoke twirling into the air, and the aroma that invites you to relax. One added benefit to meditating with incense? Each stick can be used as a measure of time. 

If you find that it’s hard to meditate without being concerned about time, light an incense stick at the beginning of your practice. Shorter sticks, as well as incense cones, will burn for between 10 to 30 minutes, while longer sticks last between 50 to 90 minutes. You can also use Stay Lit Meditation Sticks that are specifically made with meditation in mind. When the scent runs out, you’ll know it’s time to open your eyes and rouse from your meditation.    

Tip: Discover a range of incense sticks for meditation available in our Moon Market.

Incense Meditation Exercise

Select an incense stick that matches the length of time you’d like your meditation practice to last. Set an intention for your mediation—whether it’s to bring in strength, peace, or clarity—and write it down on a slip of paper. Place that slip of paper underneath your incense holder so it can serve as a reminder of your intention. Make sure the paper is tucked underneath the incense holder so ashes can’t fall onto it and catch fire. For as long as the incense burns, keep your intention in mind. You can keep your eyes closed, or focus on the incense to recall your intention.

Essential Oil

Essential oils are a great way to create your own scents for meditation. Using a diffuser, like this stylish Ceramic Oil Diffuser, you can mix different oils together to curate special blends. Diffusers disperse the scent within your space, and also allow you to use more or less drops to adjust the strength of the aroma.

Essential Oil Meditation Exercise

Decide what goal you want to achieve during your meditation. Blend together scents that will enhance the aim of your meditation. So if you want to perk up for the day ahead, consider mixing citrus scents or incorporating rich aromas like sandalwood. If you want to relax before bed, create a soothing blend with fragrances like sage and lavender.

Tip: Create a soothing, yet invigorating environment with the meditation essential oils in our Moon Market.