Using Essential Oil Diffusers for Moods or Situations that Stink

Essential Oils Can Improve Both Your Air Quality and Your Mood

Indoor air quality is a increasing concern. The presence of fungi and moulds in our indoor air are increasing. Essential oils can help to reduce, control or remove fungi, and can be a great, chemical free, alternative to synthetic chemical fungicides.

In a review of published research on essential oils as a method of fungal control in indoor environments, evidence supported the essential oils clove oil, tea tree oil, oregano, thyme and lemon as potential antifungal agents. Essential oils from heartwood, marjoram, cinnamon, lemon basil, caraway, bay tree, fir, peppermint, pine, cedar leaf and manuka were identified in at least one study as having antifungal potential.

Many of these oils also happen so smell ah-mazing, lifting your mood as they cleanse the air of your home or space. And how many times do we find ourselves in situations that just, well, stink.

Briefly, there are several situations that crop up in any lived-in home where you may find yourself in a cloud of stink.  

  • Cooking fish 
  • Wet dog
  • Bathrooms
  • Garbage
  • Cat litter

Most recently in our home, we were raising chicks in the spare bedroom/baby on the way’s room.  It’s a room that served as my office and housed my Peloton bike, but is being transitioned into a nursery for our second child.  Right now it’s a bit of a cluttered mess to be honest, with a mix of baby things and a residual filing cabinet with a printer on top, and until a few days ago, 2 baby chicks in a makeshift chick brooder.  

Now, the chicks are getting integrated into the flock and they have a cage type enclosure that is placed in the run of the coop so they can see each other, but be protected while everyone gets used to one another.  

Finally, the room can be aired out with an open window, but my Aria diffuser is a real hero here.  Some drops of Thieves and Lemon diffused into the air and we have a clean slate to work with again.  

The Young Living essential oils blend Thieves is a modern-day must-have with a fabled past. The story goes that four 15th century French thieves concocted and doused themselves in a blend of vinegar, clove, rosemary and other botanicals as they believed it protected them while they were stealing from both the living and the dead.

Eventually caught and captured, authorities were intrigued. Why had none of the four thieves become sick? They were robbing diseased corpses. The thieves disclosed the formula they wore, and striking a deal, divulged the ingredients in their secret formula.

Thieves essential oil blend features Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, Rosemary and Lemon essential oils. It has a delightful spicy, warm aroma and is one of Young Living’s most popular products.

Diffusing the Situation

Sometimes it’s your mood that stinks.

A number of essential oils are often used as aromatherapy agents to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. Popular oils for this purpose include lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, clary sage, Roman chamomile, and geranium.

In a study of nurses, significant improvements in stress, depression, distress, and mood were seen after diffusing citrus oil.

Next time you feel you are in a funk, try diffusing some oils to shift your mood and uplift the space. I must recommend Young Living essential oils, as I am familiar with this company’s practices and integrity regarding purity and quality of oils.

While essential oils have gained popularity in recent times, the majority of oils sold in stores and online are not pure and can actually cause harm when diffused. For peace of mind, I recommend choosing YL oils because of their manufacturing practices which really make them stand out in the industry.

In addition to using quality oils, try enhancing the following mindfulness meditation practices with diffused essential oils.

4 Mindful Meditation Practices to Sit With

Drop in to a mindful breathing session with Peace and Calming (or Peace and Calming II!), Sacred Mountain, or Envision to enhance that being present feeling in your sacred space.  Mindfulness is about being present with whatever is, but creating a sacred space somewhere in your home to set your intentions, say prayers and invocations, and take some focussed breaths is certainly enhanced when you throw a diffuser into the mix.

The Body Scan

Start by focussing on your breath, and then beginning at your feet and gradually move up each part of the body, to the head, noticing, having awareness, and feeling what comes up. Relax each part of the body. You can try tensing and releasing each part of the body as you go. Feel gratitude for each part of your body as you go.

4-7-8 Breathing

Breathe in for 4 counts, hold the breath for 7 counts (I like to count down from 7), and then out for 8 counts.

Mental Noting

As you sit and breath, you may notice thoughts, sounds, or sensations that come up. Gently label them as they arise, just observing what comes up.

Begin Again

As you breathe, observe your breath, In, Out, In, Out, notice how it feels. If your mind wanders, begin again, coming back to the observation of the breath and the sensation of it.

Not in the mood for mindfulness?  

Redirect your attention.

Diffusing some Citrus Fresh, Spearmint, or Peppermint with Patchouli to brighten and freshen your spirits as you clean up, do the dishes, or fold the laundry can help you feel the space being transformed, from disorder to order, from clutter to cleanliness.  Starting with just one thing, the first step, can make tasks feel less overwhelming.  Diffusing before getting started helps set an intention for creating order in your space.  

Or get your diffuser going in preparation to settle down with a good book and some tea.  If we are worried about something and there is nothing we can do to help resolve the situation, try shifting focus to your choice of fiction or nonfiction.  


Whiley H, Gaskin S, Schroder T, Ross K. Antifungal properties of essential oils for improvement of indoor air quality: a review. Rev Environ Health. 2018 Mar 28;33(1):63-76. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2017-0023. PMID: 29077554.

Kerr D, Hegg M, Mohebbi M. Effects of diffused essential oils for reducing stress and improving mood for clinical nurses: An interventional time series study. Nurs Forum. 2021 Apr;56(2):305-312. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12548. Epub 2021 Jan 19. PMID: 33463729.

Setzer WN. Essential oils and anxiolytic aromatherapy. Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Sep;4(9):1305-16. PMID: 19831048.

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Anne Marie Berggren RDN, MS, CDN, CNSC is a Registered Dietitian with a Master's Degree in Nutrition, training in integrative and functional nutrition, nutrition for mental health, obesity and weight management, is a board certified nutrition support clinician, and an adjunct professor for the Stony Brook Graduate Nutrition Program teaching advanced clinical nutrition.

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