Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree, which is a tree that is native to the eastern part of Australia. In research settings, tea tree oil has shown the potential to treat conditions like acne, lice, scabies and fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, herpes, insect bites and dandruff, and it may have antimicrobial properties as well, according to WebMD.
This essential oil can be toxic if consumed orally, but it is a common ingredient in beauty products that are designed for topical use on the skin only. In addition to having skin-soothing and cleaning properties, tea tree oil has a camphoraceous odor, meaning it has a somewhat astringent smell and may not be preferable for use as a scent on its own.
Tea tree oil is not to be confused with tea oil, which is derived from a different plant entirely and has much different uses. Tea tree oil is potentially dangerous if ingested, and it is typically used for topical applications in a highly diluted concentration to avoid harming the user.