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Magnolia Essential Oil

Magnolia essential oil is wonderfully scented aromatic and has numerous benefits and uses, from aromatherapy to home fragrance and skin care. If you want to learn more about this oil, get diffuser blends plus more recipe ideas, keep on reading!

magnolia essential oil.

Quick Facts

What is magnolia essential oil?

Magnolia essential oil is steam-distilled from the fragrant blossoms of the magnolia tree (michelia alba) and produced in China and Thailand. The oil features an elegant floral aroma reminiscent of magnolias in full bloom.

Chinese and East Asian cultures have used the offerings of the magnolia tree for centuries. Magnolia bark and magnolia extract are an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine and are used as active ingredients in cosmetics.


Here’s a quick overview highlighting the characteristics of magnolia oil:

Botanical NameMichelia alba
Botanical FamilyMagnoliaceae
Other NamesWhite champaca, white sandalwood, white jade orchid tree
Country of OriginChina, Thailand
Main ConstituentsLinalool, Beta-Pinene, Alpha-Pinene, 1,8-Cineole, Limonene
Extraction MethodSteam distillation
Plant PartFlowers
Fragrance GroupFloral
AromaFloral, sweet, slightly fruity
NoteMiddle note
Shelf Life2 to 3 years
BenefitsCalming effect
CautionsUse a 1% dilution for dermal use and topical applications.
Pregnancy SafeNo
Kid SafeNo
Pet SafeNo

Where can you buy magnolia essential oil?

Magnolia flower essential oil is relatively rare and more costly than other oils because the production process is quite elaborate, and each magnolia flower is hand-picked. Several essential oil companies offer the exquisite oil:

Magnolia scent

What does magnolia smell like?

Magnolia flowers are esteemed for their intoxicating fragrance. Magnolia essential oil smells elegantly floral, heady, and light with a fruity quality.

Beloved by perfume makers, the aroma is delicate yet complex. The scent delights with a sweet, honey-like aroma with spicy nuances and subtle green tea notes.

Being a flower, the scent is considered a middle or heart note. Since magnolia isn’t dominant, it pairs best with soft-smelling oils like sandalwood, copaiba oleoresin, or neroli that won’t overpower the gentle nature of the flower.

What oils does magnolia blend well with?

Magnolia essential oil blends well with a variety of oils and can add dimension and complexity to any blend you add it. The oil blends well with woody notes, other florals, and hints of spice oils. If you want the magnolia scent to shine, opt for a light-smelling oil and dose the other oils low.

  • Woody oils: cedarwood, blue cypress
  • Floral oils: chamomile, helichrysum, jasmine, geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, ylang ylang
  • Citrus oils: bergamot, orange, petitgrain, yuzu,
  • Spice & resinous oils: cardamom, cinnamon, copaiba, patchouli, sandalwood
bottle of magnolia essential oil in a small wooden bowl.

Magnolia Essential Oil Benefits

Aromatherapy benefits

From personal experience and research, I discovered the following aromatherapy benefits of magnolia essential oil:

  • Relaxing: Inhaling the soft scent induces feelings of relaxation and may even boost a more restful sleep.
  • Calmative: Magnolia oil is said to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and stress.
  • Uplifting: The oil promotes positivity and can nurture an overall feeling of well-being.

Skincare benefits

Magnolia oil has even more advantages when it comes to skincare. I hope the following benefits inspire you to incorporate the essential oil into your beauty routine.

  • Antioxidant: According to studies, magnolia essential oil possesses antioxidant activity, which may be helpful in scavenging skin-damaging free radicals. (source 1, source 2)
  • Antifungal: Another study states that the oil has antifungal properties and could help with fungal skin infections. (source)
  • Soothing: I also found a study that suggests the EO is anti-inflammatory and may reduce irritation and sensitivity. (source)
  • Insect deterrent: Applying a product scented with magnolia oil can protect your skin from pesky insect bites. (source)
diffuser on a wood plate dispersing magnolia diffuser blends.

Magnolia essential oil uses & recipes

Magnolia oil has many uses in aromatherapy and skin care. Whether you want to scent your home the natural way or pamper yourself with luxurious beauty treatments, magnolia might just be what you are looking for.

Magnolia diffuser blends

Diffusing is an excellent way to enjoy the soft, flowery scent of magnolias. I have put together 9 magnolia diffuser blends that are sophisticated yet relaxed and playful.

  1. Magnolia Orchard: 4 drops magnolia + 1 drop sandalwood + 1 drop jasmine absolute
  2. Calm & Clear: 3 drop magnolia + 2 drops clary sage + 1 drop lime
  3. Renewal: 5 drops magnolia + 2 drops grapefruit + 2 drops lavender
  4. Flower Garland: 4 drops magnolia + 2 drops rose + 1 drop vetiver + 1 drop nutmeg
  5. Heartful: 5 drops magnolia + 2 drops jasmine + 2 drops petitgrain + 1 drop chamomile
  6. Pretty Relaxed: 3 drops magnolia + 2 drops cypress + 1 drop ylang ylang
  7. Spring Pleasure: 3 drops magnolia + 2 drops bergamot + 1 drop sandalwood
  8. Sweet Slumber: 3 drops magnolia + 2 drops patchouli + 1 drop tonka bean + 1 drop lavender
  9. White Petals: 6 drops magnolia + 3 drops neroli + 1 drop jasmine + 1 drop copaiba oleoresin

How to use: You can place these blends in your diffuser with the recommended water, a nebulizer, or an aroma stone. You can also add a drop to an aromatherapy locket or diffuser bracelet, use them with crystals, and so much more.

magnolia oil.

More magnolia recipes

Including magnolia essential oil  in your skincare and to scent your home is a great way to utilize its many benefits. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Soap: To make beautifully scented soap, check out my magnolia soap recipe. It’s made with melt-and-pour soap and is very beginner-friendly.
  • Candle: Magnolia is a beguiling candle fragrance. I have created an easy candle-making tutorial that shows how to craft your own homemade magnolia candles.
  • Perfume: With its soft-spoken, feminine fragrance, magnolia flower oil is destined for natural perfumery. My sister Cyna has created a romantic DIY magnolia perfume, which allows you to wear the floral scent on your skin.
  • Sugar Scrub: Mix 15 drops of magnolia oil or a blend with 1/3 cup / 70 g / 2.5 oz liquid carrier oil (e.g., jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, or sweet almond oil). Combine with 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz granulated sugar. Use the magnolia body scrub to exfoliate your body (legs, arms, feet, upper body).
  • Air Freshener: Add 150 drops of magnolia essential oil or a blend to a 7 oz / 200 ml fine mist spray bottle and add 3.5 oz / 100 ml distilled water + 3.5 oz / 100 ml high-proof alcohol. Shake to blend everything. Spritz into the air to refresh any room.
  • Essential Oil Roller: Add a blend of your choice to a 0.3-oz / 10 ml roll-on bottle and fill with a carrier oil (e.g., jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, squalane).
  • Other skincare recipes: To enjoy the skincare benefits of magnolia, stir the essential oil or a blend into your favorite lotion, body butter, or cream. It will impart a lovely scent and boost the skincare benefits.


Are there different types of magnolia oil?

Yes, various types of magnolia oil exist. Throughout this post, I mostly talked about magnolia alba essential oil (magnolia flower essential oil), which is steam-distilled from the magnolia flower and petals.
Magnolia leaf and magnolia bark essential oils are made from the leaves or bark of the magnolia trees. I also found a magnolia heart oil, which is created by fractionation of the magnolia alba essential oil.
In addition to EOs from the white magnolia, oils, and absolutes are also produced from other Magnoliaceae species, such as red magnolias.

What is a good substitute for magnolia essential oil?

As far as the scent goes, the best substitute for magnolia essential oil is champaca C02 extract, also called magnolia absolute or red champaca. Rhododendron essential oil, violet leaf absolute, and tuberose absolute make good substitutes as well.
You can also achieve a magnolia-like smell by combining a few drops of jasmine absolute with hyssop essential oil or a mild camphoraceous aroma like niaouli, marjoram, or a drop of eucalyptus radiata.
And if you are looking for therapeutic substitutions, consider soothing oils such as chamomile, neroli, or blue tansy.

Is magnolia essential oil skin safe?

Yes, magnolia essential oil is safe to use in skin care. Like with all oils, be sure to dilute magnolia essential oil in a carrier oil. The recommended dilution rate for this oil is 1%. Pure, undiluted magnolia oil is too concentrated and may lead to irritation.

Is magnolia oil safe to use during pregnancy?

No. The effects of magnolia essential oil during pregnancy haven’t been studied enough to say if the oil is safe or not. To stay safe, do not apply the oil while pregnant. If you find the scent calming, you can diffuse the oil to reduce stress and anxiety.

Is magnolia oil safe for kids?

No. I couldn’t find any specific studies that would attest to the safety of magnolia essential oil for children. When in doubt, I will always choose caution above anything else and don’t recommend applying magnolia topically on children under 10.
When diffusing, only diffuse only 2 to 3 drops at a time and diffuse intermittently for 10 minutes with 20-minute breaks. Stop the diffuser if the smell is overwhelming your child.

Is magnolia oil for safe for pets?

No. Again, there are no specific studies on the safety of magnolia essential oil for pets. Therefore, the oil can’t be considered safe for pets, and you should never apply the oil to your pet’s fur or skin.
You may diffuse the oil around dogs and cats without respiratory issues for short periods. Be sure to leave a door open so your furry friend has a way to another room if the smell makes them feel uncomfortable.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, magnolia essential oil is a versatile, fragrant oil with many potential benefits for wellness and skin care. It offers a wide range of uses and is a great way to enhance aromatherapy.

Unfortunately, the oil can be expensive and isn’t as widely accessible as other oils. However, other oils can be employed as substitutes.

I hope you feel inspired to try this oil, and I encourage you to read through my safety recommendations before you try the oil.

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