The Basics of Blending with Essential Oils

November 30, 2012

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This week we have shared some easy to make gift ideas, but one question you might have is: how do I come up with my own aromatherapy essential oil blend? Citrus_auranti_neroli_W_640x480 (1)There are many ways to develop a blend, and here is one simple method to create custom essential oil blends for perfumery or making natural products. First, clarify your purpose. What is your blend for? If perfumery, what do you want to evoke? Do you want something exotic, uplifting, or something soft and floral? If you are creating a gift, do you want to choose oils for skin care, soothing stress, inspiring energy, or all of the above? Once you have a clear intent with your blend it is easier to narrow down the oils that you would like to use. Next, begin imagining different combinations - just like you would in the kitchen when selecting herbs for a sauce or ingredients for a meal. Write down the oils that come to mind when you think of your purpose for your blend. You can check out the online descriptions at or reference an essential oil manual like The Pharmacy of Flowers. Conjure up the experience you want to create with the blend, and one by one start selecting your oils for the first round of test blending. To test the blend, place a drop of the first oil you would like to use on blotter paper or a perfume strip. Do the same with the other oils you are considering, and hold the perfume strips in different combinations. If you don’t have perfume strips, you can just place open bottles of essential oil next to each other and smell them to get an idea of how they would combine. I recommend keeping your blend narrowed down to 3-5 essential oils when creating aromatherapy blends. It is also helpful to start with a middle note first, then add a base note, then the top note. ylang_ylang_flowers__26701_zoomMiddle notes are also called Heart Notes, and they are the core of your blend or perfume. They make up the highest percentage of your blend and last longer the then the top notes of your blend. Some middle notes are lavenderrose geraniumchamomileclary sageylang ylangjasminerose. Base notes are the deeper oils in your blend. Rooty oils like vetiver and jatamansi fall into this category as do the wood oils like cedarfrankincensepalo santopatchouli, and sandalwood. Start small with your base note and add more gradually as some of these oils can easily overpower a blend. Top notes are the lightest note of your blend: they catch your attention right away, and fade quickly. I like to use citrus oils or soft florals as top notes. Some fun top notes are bergamotlemonorange, and neroli. Once you have selected your middle note, you can imagine a base note that would support it. When you have a combination you like, you can top it off with a top note. This is a very basic idea to get you started with blending. Let your nose and your heart guide you and have fun dreaming up your own unique combinations! I look forward to hearing about your favorite blends. Feel free to share them below, and always follow our safety guidelines when working with essential oils.

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