There are hundreds of oils to choose from, they are diverse in that they are a mixture of flowers, herbs, grasses, bushes and trees. You can create your own personal scent, a room fragrance and therapeutic aromas.
What is important to keep in mind is that there are no hard and fast rules for blending you can have fun being creative.
Your sense of smell is powerful and it has the ability to conjure up emotions and memories whether good or bad.
Blending oils can be very rewarding it is both a science and an art form with endless possibilities.
Supplies You’ll Need
To get started blending, you should have these items on hand:
Blending bottles or any small (think ½ or ¼ ounce) glass container with a lid
Glass dropper or reducer cap
Fragrance test strips or cotton balls to compare your creations and see how the scents hold up over time
Gloves to protect your skin
Paper and pen to track your experiments and record your changes
A collection of essential oils with your favorite scents
Understanding Scent Notes
Scent notes are a composition of top, middle and base. Each note can influence the other, so to make a well-rounded fragrance you need to combine all three.
These are the first impression of the fragrance, they last for an hour or two then they evaporate. Examples of top notes are lemon, lime, bergamot, eucalyptus, peppermint, and basil.
Once the top notes evaporates the middle notes make their presence known. They are often referred to as the heart of the fragrance, they last between two to four hours and influence the base note. Examples of middle notes are chamomile, jasmine, rose, tea tree, ylang-ylang, nutmeg, cinnamon, and clary sage.
Once the top and middle notes have completely evaporated the base note is what gives the longest aroma of the blend. They can take several days to dissolve and are rich and heavy. Examples of based notes are patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, ginger, angelica root, and oakmoss are examples of base notes.
Each person has their own perception of what is a top note and middle note as this is down to your own sense of smell.
Grouping Aromas by Type
Another way to begin mixing and matching different oils is to first group them into aroma categories. Here are some examples:
Floral – Lavender, geranium, jasmine, vanilla, ylang-ylang, rose, neroli
Citrus – Grapefruit, lemon, orange, bergamot, tangerine, lemongrass
Woody – Fir, cedarwood, cypress, sandalwood, juniper, frankincense, myrrh
Earthy – Oakmoss, patchouli, valerian, angelica root, vetiver
Herbaceous – Basil, marjoram, rosemary, clary sage, oregano, thyme, tea tree
Spicy – Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cardamom, aniseed
As a general rule of thumb, oils from the same category blend well together.
Examples of this are:
Floral oils typically jive with woody, citrus, or spicy scents.
Citrus blends nicely with spicy and herbaceous oils.
Woody oils usually get along with every fragrance category.
The best way to find what suits you best is to experiment with your own cross-category blends.
Trust Your Senses
Some oils will fit into more than one profile, it is advisable to give yourself the opportunity to smell each bottle and write down your impressions, this will help you later when you start to blend.
The way to do this is place one drop of essential oil that you plan to use as your own blend onto a testing strip or cotton wool ball.
Holding close to your nose, but not on it remember this is pure oil, take a long deep inhale, let your feelings, images, colors, memories flood your mind.
To see how the scent will change over time, leave the testing strip to dry for at least 30 minutes and then smell it again, has the scent changed at all?
Make further notes and then perform this test on all the essentials oils in your collection.
When you are ready to start blending always start small. Using only three oils that consist of a top note, middle note and base note. Once you get the hang of it you can experiment with more complex combinations.
Use 10 Drops in Total
When making your first blend use a total of 10 drops, using a small amount prevents wasting your oils if the end result isn’t to your liking, as let’s be honest good essential oils are not cheap. If your formula is to your liking then you can make a bigger batch.
Try the 30-50-20 Rule
When blending oils, the rule of thumb for beginners is the 30-50-20 rule. This is 30% top note, 50% middle note and 20% bade note. When doing your initial test blends that equates to 3 drops top note, 5 drops middle note and 2 drops base notes.
Let it Be
Once you have mixed your blend, you need to allow it to rest for at least two days. This gives the oils time to combine and harmonize with each other.
The Sniff Test
Once your blend has rested for a few days you can now redo the sniff test. Put some of the blend on a testing strip and breathe in with a good few deep breathes. Again, make notes on what it smells like, then leave to rest for a few hours to dry and smell again, has the scent changed now it has dried? Again, make notes.
Next, you will need to try diluting your blend with some carrier oil such as the mild-smelling jojoba or sweet almond oil. Smell it again and if it smells right to you then label your bottle and store in a cool dark cupboard until you are ready to use.
Making Therapeutic Blends
Making and mixing up oils for fragrance is one thing, creating oils to heal is another.
It is necessary to identify which essential oils have the medicinal properties you’re after, it is just as important to find a combination of oils that smell pleasant.
Combining several analgesic oils to help with migraine headaches, for instance, would not do you any good if you can’t stand the smell the blend gives off.
Here are some tips to help strike a balance between aroma and therapy:
Do Your Research
The first step is to determine which essential oils have medicinal qualities for the condition you wish to treat.
Once you have found the essentials oils for the condition you wish to treat, organize them into categories such as citrus, spicy, floral etc. This will enable you to blend the oils well with others. You can also add in non-medicinal oils to help improve the fragrance.
Blend and Test
Once you have your chosen formula follow the guidelines above for blending and testing, you may not like the fragrance, so keep going until you do.
Once you have the right scent, you can then start testing the therapeutic qualities.
Some oils work well added to a bath, some as a soothing salve or massage oil and some inhaled.
Basic Aromatherapy Recipes
Here are a few basic recipes to start you off, but please do experiment until you find what suits your needs.
Boost Your Mood – 6 drops of bergamot + 2 drops of grapefruit + 2 drops of ylang-ylang
Relieve Stress – 4 drops of lavender + 2 drops of vetiver + 4 drops of Roman chamomile
Stay Energized – 4 drops of peppermint + 2 drops of frankincense + 4 drops of lemon
Let us know how your experiments with essential oils work out.