Bay Laurel Essential Oil (Laurel Leaf Essential Oil) (Laurus nobilis)


Bay Laurel may also be referred to as Bay laurel, Bay Tree, Sweet bay, True laurel. It is typically processed using steam or hydro distillation as a method for extracting oil from the leaves.


Bay Laurel Essential Oil is sometimes known as Laurel Leaf Essential Oil.

Bay Laurel Essential Oil and Bay Essential Oil (Pimenta racemosa) are sometimes confused for one another due to their similar common names. Though they share some broad aromatic similarities, both are very different essential oils.

Aromatically, Bay Laurel's camphorous and spicy notes marry nicely with its softer sweet, fruity/floral notes.

Emotionally, I've always considered Bay Laurel Essential Oil wonderful for promoting confidence and for helping me maintain my courage and focus when dealing with challenges or new ideas. Recently, I noticed that Valerie Ann Worwood also shares this about Bay Laurel Essential Oil: "To encourage confidence, fortitude, inspiration, protection, direction and creativity." [Valerie Ann Worwood, Aromatherapy for the Soul(Novato, CA: New World Library, 1999), 202.]

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Camphoraceous Fresh Fruity Herbaceous Slightly sweet

  • Common Name(s): Bay laurel, Bay Tree, Sweet bay, True laurel
  • Synonyms(s) for Laurus nobilis: Laurus angusta, Laurus nobilis f. lanceolata, Laurus nobilis f. latifolia, Laurus nobilis var. latifolia, Laurus nobilis var. rotundifolia, Laurus tenuifolia, Laurus undulata

  • Botanical Family: Lauraceae
  • Botanical Genus: Laurus
  • Chemical Family: Monoterpenes, Oxides
  • Major Compounds: 1,8-Cineole, a-Pinene, a-Terpinyl Acetate, Linalool, B-Pinene
  • Perfumery Note: Top
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium - Strong
  • Color: Clear
  • Indigenous Country: Croatia
  • Cultivation: Distiller is Certified Organic
  • Processing Methods: Steam or Hydro Distillation
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves
  • Shelf Life: 5 years
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced Ethically and sustainably sourced
  • Organic Organic
  • Vegan Vegan
  • Not Pregnancy Safe Not recommended or safe if pregnant or nursing
  • Not Child Safe Not recommend or safe for children

Essential Details

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Bay Laurel:

Tisserand and Young indicate that there is generally a low risk of sensitization though some Bay Laurel Essential Oils are more prone to skin sensitization. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.5% and advise to use with caution with skin that is hypersensitive or damaged/diseased. Tisserand and Young add that Bay Laurel Essential Oil is potentially carcinogenic and that oils high in 1,8 cineole may cause CNS and breathing problems in young children. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 323.]

This essential oil poses a higher risk of causing irritation and sensitization when used in the bath. Avoid using it in the bath, even if it is solubilized/diluted.

Safety Precautions for Bay Laurel:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.