How to Start Essential Oils With a Scent Avoider

Wondering how to start essential oils with your child who is hypersensitive to scent? This is how this mom did it!

My son has a super sniffer. Seriously.

As a child, we would walk into a room and one of the first things he would say was “What’s the smell?”

It didn’t matter if it was good or bad. For him, the scent was overwhelming.

I kept hearing about essential oils but thought that there was no way my scent avoider was going to put up with any type of smell in his room.

But I decided to try it anyway.

Here’s what happened.

How to Start Essential Oils with a Child Hypersensitive to Scent

How to Start Essential Oils With a Scent Avoider | Mommy Evolution

What is a Scent Avoider?

For my family, a scent avoider is someone who smells everything. And because they can smell everything, they try to avoid a lot of scents.

Last summer, we went to an outdoor party.

My boys were ecstatic.

There was a jumpy! But then my oldest came to me with a huge look of distress.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Vman said.

“The bathroom’s right inside, sweetie,” I replied. But he didn’t budge.

“Mom, the house smells,” Vman said. Huh. I don’t remember the house having a bad smell at all.

I walked into the house and took a long deep breath through my nose.

The only thing I could smell was a scented candle, and that was exactly what Vman was referring to.

This floral candle was so overpowering that he actually didn’t want to have to go into the house to use the bathroom.

I came back outside and told him I would help him get to the bathroom directly so he didn’t have to be in the house any longer than he needed to be.

He let out a big sigh and we booked it for the bathroom. In less than two minutes, he was back outside.

He still talks about the house that smelled. (Sigh.)

Honestly, if I didn’t have a kiddo who was hypersensitive to smell, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the scented candle.

How to Start Essential Oils with a Scent Avoider

How to Start Essential Oils With a Scent Avoider | Mommy Evolution

Bedtime has always been tough for my kiddo.

Turning off his brain and settling down are challenging many nights.

We have books for him to read and nighttime songs to calm him.

I kept hearing about essential oils through our sensory and mommy communities, but I thought that there was no way my scent avoider was going to put up with any type of smell in his room.

However, after him not falling asleep for many nights in a row, I decided to try it anyway. (The products I mention do include affiliate links.) 

The worst that could happen is he leaves his room and sleeps in my bed because he can’t handle the scent.

Start with Lavender

Lavender is the perfect essential oil to begin with (and a personal favorite of mine).

It’s a perfect introductory one and also is commonly used to create a calm atmosphere at bedtime.

First, I talked to Vman about this new approach in advance so there were no surprises.

Then I opened the bottle and had him take a small whiff about 6 inches away from the bottle top so he wouldn’t over inhale.

Then I set up the essential oils diffuser I had gotten through Young Living.

With this Home Diffuser, you fill it with water and then add in 8-10 drops of lavender oil.

The first night, I added only 6 drops. Better to err on the side of not adding too much, right?

Vman walked right up to the Home Diffuser and smelled. “Hmmm,” he mumbled. “Not bad.”

However, within 15 minutes, he was ready to turn off the diffuser.

The next night, I turned it on.

Again, within minutes the room smelled lightly of lavender.

This time, he didn’t ask for me to turn off the diffuser.

Some time between when I said goodnight and when I went to check in on him before I went to bed, he had turned it off.

The third night, I turned it on again.

A half hour later, Vman quietly came downstairs.

“Mom, there’s no more water in the diffuser and it turned off,” he said.

Ah! He had actually gotten used to and was enjoying the scent!

We still haven’t gone above 6 drops of oil in the diffuser. For him, there’s absolutely no need to. That super sniffer of his doesn’t require anything more.

It’s actually quite lovely to snuggle in bed with him, reading books and smelling lavender.

But I’m kind of kicking myself in the pants as well.

I’m thrilled he likes the soothing scent in his room, but am I ever going to get my Home Diffuser back?!?


  1. Sounds lovely!
    I’ve found that NATURAL scents (like real essential oils) can be soothing and pleasant. Artificial scents (such as those horrible candles)? Instant migraine.

    1. I agree! We haven’t done scented candles or those plug-in things for years. But we do the essential oils and it’s a completely different experience!

  2. Thank you for this post! I love that you prepared your son for the change, then allowed him to take the change at his own pace. What a wonderful way to add something new and beneficial to your son’s life! I agree that the more a parent can involve a child in any decision, the better that outcome will be. Thank you for this reminder!

    1. Absolutely. His diffuser ran out last night and he told me that his room just didn’t feel fresh without it. Tells me we’re on the right track!

  3. love it! If my son would leave the diffuser alone, we’d be doing this too!

    1. Ah… I know how that goes! Sometimes talking to your little one about the privilege of having it can get them to stop messing with the diffuser.

  4. Love it! My son is a seeker for smells. Wants to smell everything! He’ll out more oils on than he needs if he gets a hold of them. I haven’t diffused yet but sounds like I should.

    1. Erin — The diffuser has been wonderful. I didn’t realize how much we would use it and now I’m actually going to have to buy another diffuser for ourselves 😀

  5. My son also has a super sniffer, SPD, ADHD, etc. and doTerra sells a blend called Balance that is very grounding. Very helpful especially when my son struggles to settle down so he can do homework. I find Young Living and doTerra oils to be very comparable quality. So glad you’ve found something helpful!

  6. I love our essential oils, too. We have created a blend just for my spectrum kiddo. And, he doesn’t mind it. Hooray!

  7. I really agree with you that lavender is one of the perfect essential oil. I love it. By the way, thank you for sharing about scent avoider. I have never heard about this word before. Thank you so much!

  8. Nice post, and thanks for sharing this incident, in my case, I am the super sensitive one and I used to feel nauseated by any kind of smell, but now I kind of got used to with it.

  9. “Hi,
    What a lovely story! Lavender is one of my favorite flavours either. One of my family members is extremely sensitive to smells just like your son. I may try the essential oil some day. I hope that it will work like your case. Thank you very much for sharing.”

  10. Well this is brilliant! Thanks for sharing use essential oils with child! Will definitely be saving this in my to do list.Great!!!

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