15 Best Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration

Got kids who “zone out” during homework? Need help with staying on task for a project or deadline? Check out these 15 best essential oils for focus and concentration for both kids and adults.

Young boy daydreaming at desk in school

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Have trouble with focus and concentration? Got kids who “zone out” when it’s time to do homework? Want to know the best essential oils for studying and concentration?

Believe me, I understand. I used to get the 2 pm slump where I had a hard time focusing on work. And I noticed the same with my children. After an hour of homeschool or homework, I can see their focus fading. I can see that they struggle with concentration. We take lots of breaks with exercise to get them stimulated again, but I’ve also found that essential oils can be really effective in help with focus and concentration too.

How Do Essential Oils Help You Focus?

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that can be used in so many ways, from homemade beauty and skincare to natural cleaning products.  Many individuals (including myself) find them helpful in creating a conducive environment for concentration and there are a few ways they work their magic.

Here are a few ways in which essential oils may potentially aid in improving focus:


Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to stimulate the senses, often through inhalation via a diffuser or room spray. Certain scents can have a calming or invigorating effect on the mind, helping to improve focus and concentration. For example, essential oils such as peppermint, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus are commonly believed to have stimulating properties that can enhance mental alertness.

Boost Your Mood 

Essential oils can influence mood and emotions, which indirectly impact focus and concentration. In particular, oils like lavender or chamomile, have calming properties. This means they can help reduce stress and anxiety allowing you to concentrate better on tasks at hand. By creating a relaxed state of mind, these oils may contribute to improved focus.

Reduce Stress

Those days when you have so much to do and don’t know where to start are the worst. It’s no surprise then that high levels of stress can interfere with concentration and cognitive function. This is why essential oils like bergamot, frankincense, and ylang-ylang are often used to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. As your stress levels decrease, you may find it easier to think more clearly and tackle those tasks one at a time.

Personal Association 

This is probably my favorite tip and a great one for students in search of essential oils for studying. Another factor that can influence the effectiveness of essential oils for focus is personal association. This means, if you have developed a positive association between a particular scent and a focused state of mind, using that essential oil in your environment may help recreate that vibe. Obviously this is subjective and can vary person to person but a certain smell can help remind your brain it’s time to go into work mode/study mode/creative mode if you use this scent regularly during those times. 

It’s important to note that what works for one person may not have the same effect on another. However, with over 15 essential oils for focus and concentration to choose from I’m sure you’ll find the perfect match to help tackle your to do list. 

How to Use Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration

Now you’re more clued up on why they help, let’s discuss how. You can use essential oils for focus and concentration in a few different ways:


Firstly, you can use them aromatically. This means use them in a diffuser – which looks similar to a humidifier. Add around 10-12 drops of essential oils to the diffuser and the oils get dispersed into the air.

Smelling essential oils actually helps to deliver them to the limbic system of the brain, which affects mood and emotions. So you can see how essential oils can help to calm, relax, and help you focus.

Apply Topically

Secondly, you can apply essential oils topically. Instead of applying the essential oils directly, I recommend you dilute them slightly using a carrier oil. As carrier oils are lightweight, they are easily absorbed into the skin and help essential oils to absorb also.

My favorite carrier oils for beauty and skin care include coconut oil, almond oil or jojoba oil. As a bonus, carrier oils are typically rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and fatty acids so your skin gets a treat as well as your mind. I usually do a 1:5 ratio of essential oil to carrier oil and apply it on the skin (dilute more for kids between 5-10.) Alternatively you can make my >DIY carrier oil stick, apply it to the skin followed by essential oils. 

Diffuser Necklace

A diffuser necklace is one of my most recommended essential oil accessories. I  personally wear one daily so I can inhale my oils all day long, wherever I go. The lockets on the necklaces open to reveal a disc (usually made from leather or felt). Simply add a couple of drops of essential oils and you’re done – you’ll have essential oils to help focus wherever you go. As a tip, you can replace those discs (like these felt discs) every 3-4 months.

Mist Spray

While a diffuser is great for your lounge or home office, we can’t all keep diffusers in our purse. This is why I suggest making your own misting spray. That way you can use these essential oils for focus and concentration anywhere you need whether it’s the workplace, library, friends house or even on vacation.

In a 4 oz spray bottle, add 10-15 drops of essential oil, 1 tbsp witch hazel (which helps to keep the water sanitized) and fill with water. Spritz the air when it’s time to get focused on a project or homework.

Closeup of a diffuser with bottles of essential oils

15 Best Essential Oils for Focus and Concentration

In general, citrus oils (like lemon), herbaceous oils (like basil and rosemary) and root or resin oils (like vetiver and frankincense) are the best essential oils for focus and concentration. They help to calm the mind so it can focus, and invigorate it to get things done. You can use these oils in combination – more on that below.

I only recommend essential oils that I’ve personally used. Hands down, these are the best essential oils that I trust, use and recommend. If you’re new to essential oils, I have so many tips to get you started at the end of this post including a free masterclass and email course.

1. Vetiver

Vetiver’s scent has been described as fresh cut grass but with slightly warmer undertones. I find this makes it the perfect essential oil for focus as its grounding, calming yet invigorating.

Apply 1-2 drops on the bottom of your feet or inhale for a few minutes in the morning and at bedtime. It may be used in combination with Lavender and Cedarwood (1-2 drops on the bottom of feet, especially the big toe – a Vita Flex point to the brain).

2. Lavender

There are so many uses for lavender essential oil including boosting concentration. It  is a great aid for relaxing and is often recommended as one of the best natural ways to get better sleep. I find that as lavender essential oil has a relaxing effect on the body and mind, this makes it easier to achieve focus and help clear any mental clutter. 

Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils to add to a bath as it helps support a restorative sleep that will leave you ready and refreshed for a busy day ahead. Alternatively, use it in a diffuser or as a room spray in combination with Vetiver and Cedarwood.

3. Cedarwood

Cedarwood has a warm, woodsy aroma and provides soothing and calming properties. It’s the star of the show in my calming essential oils blend for kids.

There are a few ways you can use it. Either, apply 1-2 drops with a carrier oil on the feet at morning and bedtime, inhale for a few minutes in the morning and night, add to a diffuser or use in combination with Vetiver and Lavender.

The combination of Vetiver, Lavender and Cedarwood is the trifecta of essential oils for focus and concentration.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary has an herbaceous scent with almost mint and woodsy tones. It’s one of the best essential oils for focus and concentration thanks to its soothing scent which helps to both reduce mental fatigue and uplift your mood. Perfect for those who struggle with the afternoon slump and need a boost. 

A recent study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience evaluated the cognitive performance of 144 participants when using rosemary oil for aromatherapy. It found that rosemary significantly improved the quality of memory and increased participant’s mental alertness. 

Furthermore, Dr Mark Moss and Victoria Earle of Northumbria University also tested a total of 40 children aged 10 to 11 in a class based test on different mental tasks. Children were randomly assigned to a room that had either rosemary oil diffused in it for ten minutes or a room with no scent. Analysis revealed that the children in the aroma room received significantly higher scores than the non-scented room. This means it may help improve memory, information retention, and overall cognitive performance, all of which contribute to better focus and concentration. Learn more about the study here.>

It is also believed Rosemary essential oil can help improve blood circulation. Better blood flow to the brain can increase oxygen and nutrient supply, which is essential for optimal brain function and concentration.

Apply 1-2 drops with a carrier oil on the back of the neck and hairline, add a few drops to your bath, or add to the diffuser.

hand adding essential oil to diffuser

5. Peppermint

I find that Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for concentration as it has a refreshing and uplifting scent that can help stimulate the mind and enhance focus. This is because it encourages a part of the limbic system called the hippocampus.

Imagine your brain is like a library, and the hippocampus is the librarian – it helps store memories and information in the right place as well as retrieve them when needed. It also helps to create mental maps, and process emotions.

As a tip, peppermint oil is commonly used to alleviate headaches and migraines. By reducing head pain, it can help reduce distractions and promote better concentration.

Add 6 drops each of Peppermint and Lemon together for the best diffuser blend when you need to get things done.

6. Basil

Basil has an herbaceous scent that’s so soothing. It’s actually really good for calming nervousness, like that feeling when you know you’re on deadline for a project and it’s overwhelming. 

The aroma of basil essential oil is also believed to have a clarifying effect on the mind. It may help reduce mental fog giving you that clarity to get things done.

Pair with a citrus oil like Lemongrass to help uplift and motivate – it’s one of my favorite essential oil combinations to start the day. Simply add 6 drops each of Basil and Lemongrass to a diffuser before you tackle your to do list.

7. Lemongrass

Lemongrass has a refreshing, clean scent that helps to motivate you when you’re on deadline for a project. One study in particular shared that lemongrass essential oil can help improve cognitive performance thanks to longer attention span and better quality of memory. 

It is also believed to have energizing effects, which can help combat fatigue and increase alertness. By boosting energy levels, lemongrass essential oil can contribute to improved focus and concentration.

Use in combination with Basil or Rosemary for an uplifting aroma. Use 6 drops each of Lemongrass and Basil/Rosemary in the diffuser.

8. Frankincense

You know those days where you feel scatterbrained and stressed out? Frankincense is one of the best essential oils for focus and grounding. It can help you feel calm in order to think more clearly.

While there are many uses for Frankincense essential oil, it’s one of my favorites to use during yoga. For those days when you know your body would benefit from time on the mat, but your brain won’t keep quiet this is the perfect solution. It helps you focus while staying calm and grounded. 

Put 1-2 drops behind the neck and on the temples. It’s really gentle so you don’t have to dilute it but you can with a carrier oil if you prefer.

woman concentrating on book with pencil in hand

9. Lemon

Lemon essential oil has an uplifting scent that prompts you into action. I actually love using it in my DIY household cleaner, not only because it cleans literally any surface in my home but the invigorating smell keeps me motivated to get the housework done. 

Use it alone or pair with Peppermint for an invigorating aroma in the diffuser. Add 6 drops each in the diffuser.

10. Cypress

Cypress is an herbaceous oil that’s great for grounding and calming.  By creating a grounded and centered state of mind, it can help reduce distractions and support better focus.  Perfect for when you’re feeling overwhelmed about a project or deadline.

Cypress essential oil is also great for relieving tension headaches and migraines to help you concentrate. You can use it topically or you can diffuse it. Pair it with a citrus oil like Bergamot or Lemon in the diffuser. Use 6 drops of each in the diffuser.

11. Bergamot

Bergamot is a citrus oil that’s uplifting and invigorating like lemon. However, it has also been used for centuries for its relaxing properties.  

A study in 2015 found that bergamot essential oil helps improve mental wellbeing as it lowers cortisol, known as the stress hormone. The study also shared that participants reported reduced negative emotions and fatigue. 

It works great in my DIY perfume recipe or use it in a diffuser either on its own or paired with Patchouli. Add 6 drops of each to the diffuser.

12. Patchouli

I find patchouli has a rich, earthy scent which makes it a popular oil for calming and relaxing. It’s ideal for those days where you feel irritated, or you’ve been putting off an assignment or project.

According to extensive research, patchouli essential oil can be used to sharpen intelligence and improve concentration. Pair it with a citrus oil like Bergamot to get motivated to get tasks done.

essential oil diffuser with books and glasses

13. Clarity

Clarity is an oil blend (Basil, Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium, Coriander, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Lemon, Jasmine and Roman Chamomile) with both citrus and herbaceous oils that help with mental alertness and gives clarity.

It’s the perfect oil blend to stay on task and get things done. Put 10 drops in the diffuser, or mix 1-2 drops with carrier oil and apply to the temples.

14. Peace and Calming

Peace and Calming is an oil blend (Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Blue Tansy) helps uplift the spirit, promoting relaxation and a deep sense of peace.

Apply 1-2 drops with a carrier oil on the feet morning and at bedtime, inhale for a few minutes in the morning and night or add to a diffuser at bedtime.

15. Brain Power

Brain Poweris an oil blend (Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Melissa, Frankincense, Blue Cypress, Lavender and Helichrysum) can be used to clarify thoughts and develop greater focus.

Apply 1-2 drops with a carrier oil on the back of the neck in the morning and at bedtime, inhale for a few minutes in the morning and night or add to a diffuser at bedtime.

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  1. I was wondering if there was pocket sized nose inhaler sort of like a type of Vicks vapor nose inhaler. Something I could refill with the essential oils.

  2. How much brain power drops do I need to make for 10 ml roller bottle for my children and can I use fractionated coconut oil as the carrier oil.

  3. for the brain power do i need all of the oils that you have listed?i have a son that is depressed and having problems in school .natural pills he has trouble swallowing so these oils sound something i could do .your advice would help me a lot .Thank You