What is Palmarosa oil? The surprisingly affordable substitute for rose otto essential oil - Palmarosa essential oil benefits, uses, and recipes

What is Palmarosa oil?  The surprisingly affordable substitute for rose otto essential oil - Palmarosa essential oil benefits, uses, and recipes

Palmarosa essential oil is a lovely oil extracted from the tropical Palmarosa or Indian Geranium plant.   It is called Palmarosa due to the similarity between its sweet floral fragrance and rose oil.  The scent may surprise you, though, since the sweet aroma comes simply from blades of the grass rather than from a blossom.

What is palmarosa essential oil and palmarosa oil benefits, an eco friendly substitute for rose otto essential oil in aromatherapy recipes


Palmarosa grass grows wild in the wetlands of India and Nepal, and the essential oil is steam distilled from the dried grass.  The best aroma-quality oils begin with grass grown in the highlands.  As with many essential oils the growing region, including altitude, affects the final product.

This pretty-smelling oil is far more potent than it might seem.  It packs a therapeutic punch that will make it invaluable in your aromatherapy arsenal.

The main chemical constituents found in palmarosa essential oil are:




Geranyl acetate



Palmarosa oil owes its rosy note to Geraniol.


This herbaceous tropical grass shares similarities with lemongrass.  The oil is clear and mobile.  It pours and blends very easily.  Palmarosa essential oil blends very well with the following essential oils plus many others:

Rosemary, Egyptian Geranium, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Atlas Cedarwood, Pink Grapefruit, and Lavender


In ancient times, Palmarosa was used to lower fever and prevent infection.  Modern cosmetic and skin care creators use it in products to balance oil production in the skin and encourage healthy, resilient skin.  

Palmarosa is also an inexpensive way to add a rose-like aroma to your DIY natural beauty recipes at home.  Rose otto essential oil has increased considerably in price in recent years due to global climate change. Environmental stress in traditional growing regions in Bulgaria and Turkey can reduce yields of rose otto, while demand has increased due to the growing popularity of natural oils.  Palmarosa is an economical substitute for rose otto essential oil and is also eco-friendly since it is a crop that is capable of even growing wild. 

Palmarosa contains a high percentage of geraniol, which is one of the same primary aroma constituents as in rose otto essential oil.  The emotional aromatherapy benefits of palmarosa essential oil also mimic rose oil since it is useful for easing tension and supporting the heart.


There are several ways to use Palmarosa essential oil.  It may be diffused in burners and vaporizers, added to bath water and applied topically.  Be sure to use a carrier oil and do a patch test before using directly on the skin. 

The rosy fragrance of Palmarosa comforts mind and body.  Palmarosa is traditionally valued for strengthening the heart and relaxing the nervous system.  Take deep, slow breaths and savor the pleasant aroma to assist its action.

Palmarosa has documented antifungal properties and is able to fight Aspergillus niger (black mold).  Diffusion in sick rooms will help clear and cleanse the air.  Add a few drops of this essential oil to your DIY home cleaning solutions for counters and floors to give them a boost as well. 

Add 6-12 drops of Palmarosa essential oil per 1 oz of a base oil such as Argan oil to create a luxurious body and hair moisturizer.  Use Palmarosa in our whipped shea butter recipe for a treat for dry hands and skin suffering from redness, flaking, and cracking.

Palmarosa essential oil bath salts recipe - an aromatherapy skin care recipe to experience palmarosa oil benefits for skin health and relaxation

Palmarosa Essential Oil Aromatherapy Bath Recipe

To make a rosy, relaxing bath add 10-15 drops of Palmarosa essential oil and 2 tsp rose petals to 1 cup of coarse salts (Dead Sea Salt, Epsom Salts, or regular Sea Salt).  Add to lukewarm bath water and soak for 20 minutes to improve the hydration and condition of skin.

Using Palmarosa essential oil in skincare can be beneficial for overall skin health. It helps balance oil production and can encourage a healthy microbiome on the skin. Facial cleansers, herbal toners, natural moisturizers and masks using palmarosa essential oil have beauty benefits for people of all ages.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program. Cosmetic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.