Buying Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Souvenirs in Turkey


There is certainly a long-standing history with aromatherapy and essential oils in Turkey. Aromatherapy is the practice of using extracted natural oils from the flowers, stems, leaves, and roots of plants. And their ability to affect well-being can be both psychological and physical. Therefore, it makes perfect “scents” to buy essential oils while on vacation.

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Aromatherapy and Essential Oils in Turkey
History of Essential Oils


First of all, the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were all known to have used aromatic oils. But in Turkey, aromatherapy and essential oils– using plants and their special properties have survived countless generations. And Turkey is a global producer for a wide range of essential oils including rose, lavender, citrus, laurel leaf, origanum, myrtle, fennel, anise, sage, rosemary, Melissa and juniper oils.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils distilled from plants whose aromas can be inhaled, its oil absorbed through the skin. However, all essential oils are not equal. And for the purpose of this article, I am not referring to therapeutic grade essential oils.


Essential Oils as Travel Souvenirs
Aromatherapy and Essential oils


Aroma and memory are closely related. Inhaling the aroma of essential oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function and memory. And shopping for essential oils as a souvenir of my travels has become a passion.

Because essential oils are an amazing way to transport me back to exotic places when I’m back home or not traveling. I’ve shopped for them in exotic places like Indonesia, Thailand, and Hawaii. But none of those experiences will ever compare to shopping for them in Mısır Carsısı, aka the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul.



Spice Bazaar in Istanbul


And the Spice Bazaar is undoubtedly the best place to shop for spices, aromatherapy and essential oils in the city. Consequently, you can while away the day smelling and testing the immense array of essential oils. And each one has its own properties.



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Where to Buy Aromatherapy and Essential Oils



Founded in 1886, is one of the oldest spice shops in the bazaar.



No. 59, Spice Bazaar. The guy’s name is Teslim. His email is


Ottoman Spice Center

No. 69, Spice Bazaar. Ask for Sabit Kaya. His email is



Due to the Turks’ long history of utilizing nature’s bounty in home remedies, Turkey has a specific type of shop referred to as “Aktar,” in other words “herbalist” or the seller of medicinal herbs, spices, and essential oils. Nearly every neighborhood in Turkey has one and they make for an excellent stop to learn all about which plant helps which ailment and from which region they are harvested in.



There are many natural foods, oil, and other product stores in this very lovely and lively local market. For example, Kirk Ambar is a well-known shop, Furkan is another. They sell foodstuff, bath products, oils, loofahs, etc all naturally produced. There are hundreds of shops in this lovely area, the other side of the road from the Besiktas ferry terminals, a maze of streets full of interesting shops and a fish market. No tourists = good prices.



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Which Buy Essential Oils Should You Buy


You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the essential oils in Turkey. However, I suggest you consider more exotic essential oils. Hence, oils you may not see back home will really boost the memory quotient. Here are my favorite Turkish essential oils:

Rose: This essential oil happens to be one of the most expensive essential oils in the world.

Lavender: Lavender makes the list because it takes on the characteristics of where it’s grown.

Almond: A natural sunscreen and an excellent moisturizer for nails, skin, and hair.

Rosemary: The scent improves brain function and memory. So sniffing this oil will help you remember your travels at work and school.


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  1. kumamonjeng

    When I was in Turkey few years ago, I didnt know about the Aromatherapy and Essential Oils so I didnt get any home. I didnt know they have great stuff like this. I usually use essential oils during my bath to have a better relaxation.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Start with something like an aromatic– lemon, peppermint, lavender, orange or grapefruit all smell delicious.

  2. Stacy Liz

    Oh wow! I have never been to Turkey, but would like to go someday. I also have never thought about buying essential oils as a souvenir. I think thats a great idea!

  3. blair villanueva

    I heard Turkey is another place to source genuine and expensive essential oils. Having them as souvenir would be a such a good delight.

  4. Sundeep

    I am regular user of essential oils I love to try new home made essential oils. Good to see your post about Turkey Homemade essential oils.

  5. Hannah Marie

    Essential oils have been flooding my facebook lately. I was even asked by someone to try its benefits. Well I would say there must be some truth to what they claim it does.

  6. Amanda

    I love learning about essential oils and aromatherapy. It’s so interesting yet not surprising to know Turkish people have been using oils for generations.

  7. Preet

    I’ve never heard of this essentials oil before, but it sounds like something I would use regularly due to the wonderful ingredients

  8. Sarah Bailey

    This is really interesting I have to admit I do like essential oils and try and diffuse them around the home. I need to look into them a little more though and all the ways they can be utilised.

  9. Joanna

    I had no idea that Turkey was such a big market of essential oils and aromatherapy. If I’ll go to Istanbul I will make sure to go to the Grand Bazaar and buy some. I do like exotic aromas.

  10. Cara Cozy

    I’ve wanted to start getting into essential oils! Also, the way the glass bottles of oil are arranged is so beautiful! They really showcase the variations beautifully

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Essential oils are little wonders– beneficial in just about every facet of life. The display is for decorative purposes. Most of the shop owners let me test oils they had stored away from view. You can only do this here because of the temperature and lack of direct sunlight. Otherwise essential oil are stored n dark, small glass bottles.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Joan. Eos are amazing, with multiple uses in every day life. Which essential oil uses are you most interested in– health, beauty, cleaning, aromatherapy, etc…

  11. Alexandra

    What a fascinating post! Firstly, I have always wanted to visit Turkey. I also have a real obsession with both essential oils and aromatherapy. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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