Blending Essential Oils
Welcome to my World of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
Essential oils have amazing properties and benefits that can be used throughout the day. For example, you can diffuse Wild Orange oil to uplift mood and freshen the air. You can use Lemon oil in a spray bottle of water to clean tables and other surfaces. And you can apply Lavender oil with Fractionated Coconut Oil to your feet at night to help you unwind before bed.
While each of these oils is powerful and potent on its own, when combined with other essential oils the characteristics and benefits of these essential oils are increased as they work together to promote wellness. For instance, Lavender essential oil by itself is soothing, but in when combined with other calming essential oils, such as Cedarwood and Roman Chamomile, its soothing properties are increased and enhanced. This is called “synergy”.
Essential oil blends are created to build upon the qualities of individual essential oils and make them even better, kind of like a team working together to accomplish a goal. Scientists do a lot of research when creating essential oil blends. Some factors that they consider include the desired effect of the essential oil blend, how the essential oil blend will be used, the chemistry of different essential oils, and the aroma profile of each oil. By keeping all of this in mind, scientists are able to make essential oil blends that benefit your entire family
Determining the Purpose
The first question you need to ask yourself when creating an essential oil blend is what do I want this oil blend to do? If you don’t know the purpose of the oil blend, you won’t know which essential oils to include. You may want an essential oil blend that helps you focus or maybe you want a blend that helps you relax after a busy day. You may even just want an oil blend that smells good and is uplifting. Once you’ve decided what you want your oil blend to do, you can start selecting the oils you want to use.
How It’ll Be Used
As you start selecting your oils, keep in mind how you want the oil blend to be used. If you want a blend to use topically, you may want to avoid citrus oils because they can cause photosensitivity. If you want a blend to use aromatically, you probably don’t want to include Fractionated Coconut Oil because it isn’t designed to be diffused. You will also want to ask yourself who you want using your oil blend. If you’re making an oil blend for kids, you’ll want to use gentler oils because children’s skin can be more sensitive. If you’re making an oil blend as a scent for men, you may want to use more wood oils as most men don’t like smelling like flowers.
Once you’ve determined how you want to use your oil blend, you next need to consider the chemistry of the oils you want to use. The chemistry of an essential oil tells us which molecules an essential oil contains. Molecules are tiny particles or pieces found in essential oils that give the oil its characteristics. Molecules have been researched and tested by scientists to determine what they do and how they act in the body. Knowing what molecules an oil contains and the effects those molecules have helps you develop a blend that accomplishes what you want it to. For example, Lavender contains esters, a type of molecule that is known to be calming, making Lavender the perfect addition to a relaxing blend.
Now that you know which essential oils will help you accomplish the purpose of your blend, you can start blending essential oils. As you combine different essential oils, keep in mind the aroma or scent of the blend you’re creating. First, you want to make sure that the blend smells good. Most people don’t want to use something that smells funny. Next, make sure that the smell is balanced. When you make a blend, you want to make sure that you can’t smell too much of one oil. Instead, you want the oils to work together, creating a new scent.
The Song of Scent: Identifying Aromatic Notes
The first skill you’ll need to develop is identifying aromas. Perfumers and aromatherapists catalog aromas into components or “notes.” The language is very similar to the language of music, like the notes of a chord.
An individual essential oil can be categorized as a top, middle, or base note. It’s important to know that oils can have components of all three notes, so you’ll notice that each oil can have a top, middle, and base note. However, individual oils can be predominantly categorized as a single, dominant note. For example, bergamot Citrus aurantium (L.) var. bergamia is a top note. So when we blend, we choose oils from each category, essentially creating an aroma chord.
Each blend is composed of three main notes:
Top Note: This is the first noticeable impression in a blend, and is often the characteristic feature of the oil. It springs swiftly from the aroma, has a sharp tone, and does not last long.
Body or Middle Note: An essential oil that is a middle note will last for longer (about one to two hours) on a perfume testing strip. The middle note of a blend can also be referred to as the “heart” or “bouquet” of the aroma.
Base Note or Fixative: The base note within a blend appears much later than the first two notes. This is the note that gives a blend staying power. The base note can appear a few hours or even a whole day after the perfume testing strip is dry. Also called the dry out note, this note helps you discern the lasting ability of your essential oil blend. Effective blends with powerful base notes help soaps maintain their fragrance. (Reminder: don’t confuse base note with base oil. A base oil is a fixed oil used to dilute essential oils.)
Let’s Get Playing with Essential Oils (Exercise!)
To begin, choose essential oils that you believe will create a pleasant aromatherapy blend. Go ahead and get creative! Start inhaling! Don’t worry what category they fall into (top, middle, or base). Keep it simple: choose five essential oils to begin with.
Reflect on what fragrances you naturally enjoy. This will help you choose the right essential oils for your blend. Try asking yourself questions like:
Do I like the zest of any specific herbs and/or spices?
Do I yearn for the smell of any specific flowers?
Do I love crisp, green aromas (like freshly cut grass, a pine forest, or after a rainfall)?
Perform an organoleptic test on the oils you’ve chosen. Place one drop of each essential oil on a perfume testing strip. Slowly draw the strip to your nose, creating circles in the air about a foot away.
It’s helpful to note at what distance you begin to notice the aroma. Hold the testing strip to your nose, breathe in quickly at first, and then take a few slow, deep inhales.
This is where you may want to start taking notes. Use any words you can to describe the images, thoughts, feelings, and sensations you experience. These could be shapes, textures, colors, sounds, emotions. Is the aroma heavy, sharp, dark, woody, loud…?
Let the essential oil evaporate for 10 to 30 minutes. Take a moment to get some fresh air or sniff some coffee grounds to clear your olfactory senses. Next, smell your testing strip again. Notice if the aroma is heavy or light. Did the initial aroma last long? Use terms such as mossy, fruity, floral, and green to describe the fragrance. Try to identify the main trait of the note. Is it nutty, grassy, or musky?
Let your imagination run wild. Try envisioning the fragrance as a shape. Is it square, sharp, level, rough, round, boxy, large, or tiny?
Close your eyes and imagine the fragrance with a personality. Describe this. Is it friendly, spunky, seductive, shy, or charismatic?
Be cognizant of your body. How do you feel physically and emotionally? Is your essential oil volatile, darting quickly up your nose and into the space between your eyes? Or has the oil traveled straight to your chest? Concentrate and take notes on where you feel the essential oil in your body and spirit.
See if you can separate your five chosen oils into top, middle, and base notes. Ideally, you will have at least two top, two middle, and one base note.
Would you like to schedule a time to play or blend your own custom scent? I am happy to connect virtually to inspire your mixing at home!! Click the button below and schedule your FREE discovery call!