Revered as an aroma that has purification power, tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is one of the prominent essential oils used in cleansing applications. From counter sprays to toilet cleaners, tea tree essential oil is a must-have in the home. In aromatherapy, tea tree essential oil is employed for its physical nature, rather than its æsthetic qualities. However, many appreciate its underlying warm, nutmeg-like aroma.
Tea tree essential oil is generally considered a middle note.
The key to tea tree essential oil’s effectiveness is the ratio of two constituents: cineole and terpinen. Although these constituents are bactericidal and germicidal, cineole can be a powerful skin irritant. Therefore, tea tree oils with low cineole and high terpinen contents are preferred.
Clary sage, geranium, and marjoram essential oils sweeten tea tree’s aroma, and spice oils like nutmeg and cinnamon increase its warm, woody notes.
In addition to home care products, tea tree essential oil is also used in a variety of body care products such as salves, balms, and skin-protecting oils, gels and sprays. It’s also used in scalp and hair recipes.