Aromatherapy Essential Oil Blending Tips
An essential oil blend can be created for therapeutic effect, the beauty of a fragrance - or both. A synergistic effect is possible when the essential oils work together harmoniously. You do not need to be an expert in the use of essential oils to create blends. We’ve outlined below some basic information that may be useful to you as you journey into the creativity of blending ...
When creating a blend you will want to consider
the purpose of the blend
the desired therapeutic effect
the type of fragrance desired
the concepts of a balanced blend
You will want to familiarize yourself with the fragrance and effect of essential oils
Breathe the aroma and
note how it makes you feel - calm, uplifted, focused, sensual, other
note the scent - is it light, fresh, strong, sweet, green, other
To test the aroma of the an individual essential oil you can
breathe directly from the bottle - swirl the essential oil in the bottle to stir up the molecules first or
place a drop on an unscented tissue, blotter paper or other porous type paper and breathe
You may experience olfactory overload if you are testing the aroma of different essential oils. You will no longer be able to smell them! This is common. You can restore your sense of smell by smelling coffee beans, or the simplest - your armpit. It’s true - it works and it’s always with you!
When blending for therapeutic effect
Determine essential oils that may be useful - see our therapeutic matrix for details
List essential oils in priority order when several effects are desired (this can be used to determine the number of drops of each essential oil you will use)
Test the fragrance as described above
Some pointers for creating a balanced blend
There is no limit on how many essential oils you can use in your blend. Many blends for therapeutic effect contain only 3 to 4 essential oils - yet Shalimar contains 13 and Aramis contains 14!
Essential oils blend harmoniously with essential oils in the same family. Here are some family classifications:
Labiatae: basil, clary sage, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary
Rutacea: bergamot, lemon, orange
Coniferae: cedarwood, juniper
Essential oils have different rates of volatility and evaporation and perfumiers have placed essential oils into these categories:
top note: fresh, light, fast evaporation - first scent you are aware of in a blend
middle note: evaporates slower - it is considered the body of the fragrance
base note: the fragrance is rich, emerges slowly and lingers
You can balance the fragrance of your blend by including top, middle and base notes. You may have experienced this layering effect in wearing a perfume or cologne - where the scent changed over time.
A table of essential oils that blend well together is provided for reference. In this table we’ve also listed the traditional note types. Whether an essential oil is top, middle or base can be subjective and is influenced by person, growing season, distilling method and more.
You may want to use essential oils with a strong fragrance sparingly - such as peppermint or basil. Lavender may be useful for toning down strong scented oils. You can add just a drop or two of any essential oil to create an appealing fragrance in your blend.
Blended essential oils will merge over time and the fragrance may change. You can leave the blend for a day, then return and test the fragrance .. it may be perfect!
As you experiment with your blend creations keep a log of
the number of drops you use of each essential oil in the blend
the fragrance - both your initial experience and the fragrance after time has passed
the therapeutic effect
You may be surprised to find that you’ve created a masterpiece - and you will be able to duplicate it!
To blend with a carrier oil or not to blend with a carrier oil .. some thoughts
Determine how you want to use your blend. See our page on ways to use essential oils for ideas.
Anytime you want to apply the blend directly to your skin - you will want to add a carrier oil. Due to the high concentration of pure essential oils you only need a few drops and a few drops won’t cover much territory when applying it to your skin :-)
It is also helpful to add essential oils to a carrier oil for use in a bath. Essential oils are not water soluble and some essential oils can irritate the skin in an undiluted form.
Nebulizer type diffusers may clog with carrier oils. This is a case for not using carrier oil.
The amount of carrier oil you add to the essential oils will be determined by how you will use the blend. See our page on ways to use essential oils for some dilution ratios.
There are a variety of oils suitable for use as carrier oils. These listed below contain vitamins, minerals and protein and are good for all skin types.
Sweet almond oil
Useful supplies for creating a blend include
A clean glass bottle - essential oils are volatile and evaporate on contact with air - it is best to mix them in a closed container rather than a cup or bowl
A separate dropper for each essential oil - and one for the blend (most droppers can be taken apart for cleaning if you would like to re-use them later)
Carrier oil - if that is desired
Now that you’ve got some basic information - you are ready to create a blend
Add the desired number of drops of each essential oil to the bottle
Start with equal amounts and increase them 1 at a time if you are unsure about quantity
Shake the bottle to mix the oils and test the fragrance and effect
Carrier oil is added last - when you are ready to use your blend
Have fun .. and remember - there is no bad blend!
We welcome your feedback on our Blending Tips page.
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