5 Manly Essential Oils – and 5 Not So Manly Ones

5 Manly Essential Oils – and 5 Not So Manly Ones

January 23, 2019 24 By Paul

Hello again to all of you manly followers of all things essential oils and chemical free living. Today I am going to man it up real nice by outlining some very manly essential oils, in fact the manliest on the planet!  And then, just to balance it out I am going to give you a run down of what I have found to be the most unmanly oils I have come across.

You see, we had some friends come and visit over the weekend who are most avid believers in, and users of essential oils that I have ever seen. With them they brought what could only be described as a lifetime’s worth of essential oils which we spent a great deal of time on the Friday night sniffing and discussing – yep we live it up BIG night in the Man Versus Oils household these days.  Anyway, below is how the conversation ended up…

How did I choose the oils?

Three Perfume BottlesSimple… It was all about the smell. I went through and smelled them all – I mean, I smelled a LOT of oils. It was only when I smelled one called Joy and ranted in great detail how I thought it was the unmanliest oil in the world that the conversation turned to ranking the most manly and non-manly scents I could find.

And that is it – the smell! Only once I had my list of the most manly smelling oils I could find did I actually do any research into them and what they could do for us – after all, surely something that smells that manly has to be beneficial right? Turns out that there are some benefits so here we are. Oh, and in true man-fashion, I have given them some ratings as well…

5 manliest oils on the planet

Just before we start, many of the benefits outlined in the following lists centre on mood, hormone balance and body regeneration (skin, muscles etc.). I have often stayed away from the mood and hormone type benefits in my posts as it is very hard to prove them but have decided to include them here based on my research. As usual however, I never have, and never will promote the use of essential oils to provide cures for mental or other illness that should be dealt with by a medical professional.

That said, I own all of these oils now so I will try and keep this post updated with my findings.

Oil 1 – Idaho Blue Spruce

What is it? An essential oil made from the twigs, needles and leaves of the Idaho blue Spruce tree (Picea pungens). It contains high percentages of alpha-pinene and limonene.

YL Idaho Blue Spruce Essential Oil

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What does it smell like? In the bottle it has a definite lemon aroma that comes from the limonene. On the skin (I applied directly to the wrists) it softens and smells, in my opinion, like fresh air. No, you have not skipped to the unmanly section by mistake. The fresh air smell is definitely woodsy and not flowery.

What are its uses?

  • Male mood enhancer – Diffuse to take full advantage of the woodsy fresh air aroma – When used in this manner it is said to enhance relaxation, peacefulness and security. When applied to the top of the feet and at the hairline it is also said to work as a relaxant in times of trauma.
  • Muscle relaxant/relief – this oil is said to be very good for the muscles and is commonly used in massage. If you are also feeling confident enough after a long hard day you could also do worse than adding a few drops to a nice warm bath – maybe add some pink rock salt as well. Not too many drops of the oil though – limonene can make the man-areas a little uncomfortable in cases of over exposure.
  • Increase testosterone levels – This oil is spruiked in a number of places as a good one for increasing testosterone levels in men. I have read that studies on this area have shown up to 30% increase in these levels when this oil is applied to the skin daily. I have not been able to find any actual scientific reports of this however but where there is smoke…

Manliness ratings:

Smell – 8 – Just like being in the woods

Tangible benefits – I have used it on my muscle cramps (I get strong cramps in my calves if I stand for too long or drink too much – usually in tandem) and I definitely noticed some relief when I used this oil (Copaiba also works well for this).

Oil 2 – Sacred Mountain

What is it? – Sacred Mountain is an essential oil blend of Ylang Ylang, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Balsam Canada and Cedarwood.

YL Sacred MountainEssential Oil Blend

Click here to puchase

What does it smell like? Don’t let the name fool you, this one is very manly. Northern Lights Black Spruce is my absolute favourite (see Oil #5 – I saved the best till last) and Cedarwood has that real deep musky man smell that almost got it onto this list on its own so on those two alone it is worthy. It reminds me of a forest that has had a fire in it some time ago – you can’t quite pinpoint when it was, but you know it was there!

What are its uses?

Straight off the bat, as this blend contains Ylang Ylang, which is one of the most heavily blended oils around, it contains many benefits including to alleviate stress, reduce inflammation, improve mood, and enhance libido.

Although there are some anti-fungal and muscle relieving benefits to the products included, this blend appears to be created purely to provide benefit to men on a mood type level. It is recommended to use this oil in the diffuser to assist with (not cure) the following:

  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Frustration
  • Grief and sorrow
  • Jealousy
  • Obsessiveness
  • Personal change

Now, I can’t attest to these benefits but I can say that after having this in the diffuser whilst writing this, I did enjoy the aroma which I did sort of find to be quite relaxing.

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 7 – The cedarwood gives it a good heavy man-smell.

Tangible benefits: None that are outwardly reportable – I did find the aroma relaxing when used in the diffuser.

Oil 3 – Shutran

What is it? Shutran is another essential oil blend containing many manly oils including Idaho Blue Spruce, Ocotea, Ylang Ylang, Hinoki, Coriander, Davana, Lavender, Cedarwood, Lemon and Northern Lights Black Spruce.

YL Shutran Essential Oil Blend

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What does it smell like? This is a strange one. In the bottle, I will admit that I didn’t find the smell great – It actually seems to smell a lot like the lemon and cedarwood oils have been diluted. And my favourite Northern Lights Black Spruce is conspicuous in its absence. However (and I can actually feel my testosterone levels dropping whilst writing this), once it goes onto the skin it goes to a whole new level. All of the aromas click in and like a good bottle of wine, you can actually start to smell all of the different oils at different times. I really enjoyed the aromas when using it to shave.

What are its uses? This one is all about the man-scaping and odour management – in fact, you can not only buy the oils but a shutran soap, shaving cream, beard oil and aftershave lotion. If you only have the oil however, you can use it for the following:

  • Shaving cream – add to Coconut Oil (the hard type) for a very manly shaving cream.
  • Aftershave – add to fractionated coconut oil, witch hazel or vodka to create a very effective aftershave lotion – note: you can add this directly to the skin on the wrists and behind the ears however the aromas will not last as long.
  • Hormone leveling – It does have a lot of fir type oils in there which are good for testosterone and other hormone leveling in males. Add to the diffuser to level it up real nice!
  • Libido – Increases in testosterone lead to increases elsewhere. Shutran is mentioned many times within my research as being very helpful for those special mummy and daddy (or daddy and daddy) times when the little ones have gone to bed – And if I have to I will give this a real good test – watch this space.

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 6 in the bottle, 8 on the body

Tangible benefits: 5 – I have used it as an aftershave with witch hazel and in shaving cream – can’t complain with the outcomes!

Oil 4 – Egyptian Gold

What is it? Egyptian Gold is an essential oil blend based on ancient biblical oils including Frankincense, Balsam Canada, Lavender, Myrrh, Hyssop, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Rose and Cinnamon Bark.

YL Egyptian Gold Essential Oil Blend

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What does it smell like? This one is a little hard to describe – there are so many oils in there that whilst it can feel a little jumbled in its aroma – it definitely smells manly. My wife is not a fan and it probably doesn’t take your breath away so to speak when you first open the bottle. But as it is added to the skin, the manly spruce and cedarwood aromas kick in with the softer lavender and rose and it really does come into its own.

Note: Before we get into its uses, I must outline that the Young Living site does not recommend that this oil be applied topically I.e. to the skin due to the number of ‘hot’ oils in there such as cinnamon bark and myrrh. I have found many sites in my research that outline it as a very effective cologne for men (which I will talk about below). My advice, if you are going to use this on your skin, NEVER apply directly without a decent amount of carrier oil. Oh, and I would not recommend bathing in it!

What are its uses? Many of its uses are based around the ancient and current uses for frankincense, myrrh and lavender in terms of use in spiritual and ritualistic type activities such as meditation, yoga and religious ceremonies. It is also commonly used as a manly aftershave/cologne – add a few (and only a few) drops to a good carrier oil for a nice aftershave/cologne. This oil may also work as a nice skin rejuvenator due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities of the myrrh and rose oils.

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 9

Tangible benefits: 5 – I don’t mind it as an aftershave but have not used it in a spiritual sense as yet – I will have to bring it down to our yoga studio and report back.

Oil 5 – Northern Lights Black Spruce

What is it? Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil comes from the leaves of the Northern Lights Black Spruce trees (Picea mariana) in British Columbia, Canada. This oil includes the naturally occurring constituents alpha-pinene, camphene, and beta-pinene. It smells so good that it is also mixed with other oils to make a number of blends including Valor, Peace & Calming, Light the Fire, Shutran, Sacred Mountain and Egyptian Gold.

YL Northern Lights Black Spruce Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

What does it smell like? I have saved the best for last here! This is my favourite oil of all and in my opinion, king of the manly list! It has a sweet, piney smell that just seems to run right through you – wow, I have never described an oil like that before – better go back and read my skeptical mantra!

What are its uses? I add it to a carrier oil and rub it on my wrists about 2 or three times a day as manly aftershave. Other uses for the manliest oil in the universe include:

  • Skin care: Add to you favourite carrier oil to assist with improvement of dry skin or just for a healthier look.
  • Massage: Add to the bottoms of feet, along the spine or back of neck during a massage or simply as a mood calmer.
  • Shaving Cream: Mix with coconut oil for a relaxing, skin rejuvenating man-shave
  • Muscle rejuvenator : Rub your shaving cream mix into tired muscle after a hard day of being a man.
  • Mood Calmer: Add 5 drops to the diffuser to calm a cranky man-mood

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 15 out of 10 – I LOVE this one

Tangible benefits: 8 I use it as shaving cream and have definitely found it to reduce my instances of shaving rash (there are others that do this too but in case I haven’t mentioned this, it is my favourite aroma). I also use it on my ankles and feet after sport or a lot of standing (I use panaway and peppermint before and this after).

5 non-manliest oils on the planet

Why have I added these? Two reasons really. Firstly, just to balance the ledger for any of you ladies that might have snuck on to read about all the secret man-business that this site contains. And secondly, because every time I found an oil that was even less manly than the one before, the girls would carry on about the benefits that these oils could actually provide to the male of the species. So here we go…

Oil 1 – Joy

What is it? Joy is an essential oil blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa and Rose.

YL Joy Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

What does it smell like? I have said this before and I stand by it – It smells like the Country Womens Association threw up all over the house!

Why is it on this page? It has numerous uses in the female world such as for perfumes, relaxing children and skin care. I have included it here however as it is extremely good for ultra sensitive skin so if shaving rash is a major problem for you, try it with coconut oil for a nice soothing shave. It is also commonly referred to on the lady pages as a strong aphrodisiac so it couldn’t hurt to throw a bit in the ole diffuser on date night especially as Rose and Ylang Ylang are also heavily linked to assisting the little oiler come out and play.

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 1 0 see CWA reference above.

Tangible benefits: 6 – on the shaving front alone it deserves a mention.

Oil 2 – Lady Sclareol

What is it? Lady Sclareol is an essential oil blend of Geranium, Coriander, Vetiver, Orange, Clary Sage, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Sage, Jasmine, Idaho Blue Spruce, Spearmint and Hinoki.

YL Lady Sclareol Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

What does it smell like? This one is not too bad and almost manly (I am wondering now if I included it here for purely misogynistic reasons such as it has ‘lady’ in its name). It does have a floral scent to it however these are diluted a little by the sandalwood and spruce.

Why is it on this page? It makes sense that it made it here due to the many manly oils included in its blend. Female uses are mainly aromatic for peace, love, positivity, hormone balancing and removing emotional blocks. For us men, use it for:

  • Man-moisturiser – Add 5 drops to your favourite chemical and odour free moisturiser (or coconut oil) to keep your face fresh and moist.
  • Libido – this one is a good libido enhancer in both males and females. As with Joy, add it to the diffuser to give you both a little love jolt!

Manliness ratings:

Smell: 4 – not bad for a non-manly smell.

Tangible benefits: 5 – it really is good for the skin and face.

Oil 3 – Sensation

What is it? Sensation is an essential oil blend of Coriander, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Jasmine and Geranium

What does it smell like? Like flowers – that have been cut and left in the sun for a day – not long enough to rot, but just long enough to get a stronger aroma. My wife LOVES this one as a perfume!

YL Sensation Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

Why is it on this page? This one made the cut mainly due to its apparent enhancements in the bedroom. Like many of the other non manly ones here, it is used mainly as an uplifting, stimulating, energising and calming mood enhancer in the female world as well as in aromatherapy to break down emotional blocks (whatever that means). For the man of the house, sprinkle some on the bed sheets to assist in setting the mood. In fact, the main reason I have included it in this list is that any research into the use of essential oils for the enhancement of that special one on one time lists this oil at the top – I bet you like the smell then hey!!

Manliness ratings:

Smell – 3 – a bit too florally for me.

Tangible benefits: 4 – I have given it this score in anticipation – might keep you posted (or might not – depends on the whether I get approval or not).

Oil 4 – Highest Potential

What is it? Highest Potential is an essential oil blend consisting of Blue Cypress, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Geranium, Lavender, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, White Fir, Vetiver, Cinnamon Bark, Davana, Lime, Rose, Matricaria, Blue Tansy, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Spearmint, Lemon and Ocotea.

Wow – it would have been easier to list the oils not in the bottle – how do they fit it all in?

YL Highest Potential Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

Note: The Young Living site does not recommend that this oil blend be applied topically I.e. to the skin due. Just so you know.

What does it smell like? It just smells like girl! Which is really strange considering all of the manly oils that are in there – in fact many that are also included in a couple of the manly blends. Maybe it is the fact that there are so many in there but I really got a feminine aroma from it – If I had to put my finger on it I would say it is the citrus inclusions.

Why is it on this page? Another oil blend that is used for aromatherapy purposes including to enhance self purpose and connect with the positive. For men, it is commonly referred to as a mood enhancer to deal with anger and stress – I have included it for that reason as I am a constant stresser so will give this a try. My wife also recommends it to me to assist with improved focus but I haven’t been game (and I actually find Rosemary quite good for that – if you can get used to that aroma – but that is a discussion for another day)

Manliness ratings:

Smell: Either 1 or 10 – when I can pinpoint it amongst all those ingredients I will let you know

Tangible benefits: 1 – I will keep you posted on the stress aspects of it in the diffuser.

Oil 5 – Purification

What is it? Purification is another essential oil blend consisting of Citronella, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Eucalyptus), Lavandin and Myrtle.

What does it smell like? You know what, this one could probably argue for a seat in the manly oils list. It is almost there but just goes to the dark side at the last minute. I am thinking it is the floral scents of the lavandin and myrtle that push it that way. But then the lemongrass sneaks in… It is a tightrope.

YL Purification Essential Oil Blend

Click here to purchase

Why is it on this page? Simply because it is the best odour eating oil I have found. It may not smell the manliest but let me tell you it will over power almost any odour you can throw at it. Put this in the diffuser and no longer will you be banned from cleaning fish, cooking chilli, degreasing car engine pieces or not showering directly after sport ever again. Not to mention after you have snuck that extra hamburger in the car!! Trust me, it is good.

Manliness ratings:

Smell 5 – just something about it that is not as manly as you would expect

Tangible benefits 7 – the highest rating in this section for sure. We have used it to remove damp smells from the garage (insert wet camping gear) and been very pleasantly surprised.


Phew… that was a long one. I really don’t have anything further to add here except of course if I find one manlier or, god forbid, one even unmanlier I will be sure to let you know. Alternatively post a comment below if you have one that you think should make the list.

Until then

Have fun


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