Learning the art of blending essential oils is a great way to experiment with creating your own blends.
Imagine the possibilities once you learn how to blend essential oils. You will be able to experiment with developing unique blends that you can then use to create customized perfumes, room freshener sprays, and so much more!
Sure, you can get some fabulous premixed blends but creating your own signature aromas… that takes it to a whole new level!
Besides creating a scent that’s uniquely you, it also allows you to develop a blend that’s tailored to your unique needs. Every essential oil has its own distinctive therapeutic qualities. Some may help to wake you up, while others may help you stay focused, while still others will help you relax and get a good night’s rest. Using the right combination of oils will help you get the therapeutic benefits of more than one oil at a time.
Mastering the art of blending essential oils can take time, as you learn what oils complement each other and work for you and which ones don’t.
While I’ve strived to put together the basics of what you need to know about creating your own blends, I highly recommend reading ‘The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded’ by Valerie Ann Worwood. This book includes more than 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty, and Safe Home and Work Environments. It’s a great read for anyone wanting to get the maximum benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils. I’ve reviewed the book if you want to read some more before buying.
Basics of Blending Essential Oils
Practice and experience are key to creating new blends but before you start blending essential oils, you must understand two things – the basics of aromatic ‘notes’ and the different types of aroma families.
Understanding these two concepts will help you create blends that are harmonious, balanced and well rounded.
Essential Oils & Their Aroma Notes
The scent of each essential oil is split up into a category of aroma notes. Just like musical notes, aroma notes too have a top, mid and base note.
Top Note: A top note is the scent that we smell first. It is light and fresh and is also the first to evaporate. Top notes typically have an uplifting effect on our mood. Essential oils with top note include bergamot, orange, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, and tea tree.
Middle Note: A middle note is the heart of the fragrance. It lingers on for a little while longer than the top note. Middle notes are typically warm, powerful scents. Oils with middle notes are healing and relaxing and often used to ease respiratory or muscular problems. Some middle notes may not be safe to use during pregnancy, so make sure to check each oil before using them. Essential oils with middle notes include lavender, chamomile, geranium, clove, nutmeg, fennel, jasmine, and rose.
Base Note: The base note is usually rich and heavy. It lasts the longest and holds the blend together. Base notes tend to be the more earthy and intense oils. They have a strong effect on your mind and emotions, which makes make them excellent for relaxing purposes. Essential oils with base notes include cedarwood, patchouli, sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, rose, jasmine, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
Every blend should have a top, middle, and base note. They can have more than one of the top, middle or base notes, depending on the scent you are trying to create.
Essential Oils & Their Aroma Families
Before you start creating your own blends, get yourself acquainted with aroma families. Learning what group that each oil is in will help you when it is time to create your new blend.
Essential oils tend to fall into one of eight categories or families:
1. Citrus – Oils from the citrus aroma family have clean, refreshing and invigorating aromas. These oils have a stimulating effect and can be good natural skin toners. Citrus oils are very versatile and mix well with other aromas. They blend best with woody and floral aromas. Citronella, grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lemongrass are all citrus essential oils. Their refreshing aroma makes essential oils from the citrus aroma family perfect for creating summer diffuser blends.
2. Floral – Floral essential oils give off a lovely floral aroma that most people find pleasantly appealing. Oils in this family are also very versatile and blend well with most other oils. The floral aroma family includes chamomile, geranium, rose, juniper, and lavender. These oils are often used in skincare and beauty products. Most floral oils are good for depression and anxiety. The pleasant aroma of essential oils from the floral aroma family makes them a great addition to blends for all seasons.
3. Herbaceous – Herbaceous essential oils have a refreshing and have an uplifting effect. they are known for their powerful healing properties. Many are used for flavoring dishes. The herbaceous family of oils can also be blended with most other oils. The herbaceous family of oils includes basil, bay, clary sage, and fennel.
4. Spicy – Oils in the spicy aroma family have warming properties. They can heal respiratory infections, arthritis, and aching muscles. Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and ginger are all spicy essential oils. Oils from the spicy aroma family are used extensively in many fall and winter essential oil blends.
5. Woody – You guessed it, these oils from the woody aroma family are derived from trees. Oils that belong to the woody aroma family tend to have a scent that’s a little more masculine. Sandalwood, fir, cedarwood, frankincense, myrrh, and cypress are some of the oils from the woody aroma family.
6. Earthy – Oils from the early aroma family are strong scented. They have a peaceful and calming effect on the body. Earthy aromas can help reduce high blood pressure caused by stress. Patchouli, vetiver, valerian, and Angelica root all belong to the earthy aroma family.
7. Resinous – Frankincense and Myrrh are two of the more common essential oils from the resinous aroma family. These oils are created by using the resin of trees.
8. Camphoraceous – Oils from the camphoraceous aroma family have very strong aromas. They are known to have antiseptic properties and are natural disinfectants. Camphoraceous oils include eucalyptus, peppermint, and spearmint. This aroma family of oils can all be used for sinus issues and also digestive problems.
So now you know about aroma notes and aroma families of the various essential oils. When developing your own scents, your choice of oil will depend on what type of scent you are trying to create.
Read more about Essential Oils & Their Aroma Families
Blending Essential Oils by Notes, Aroma or Effect
Blending by Notes
The first way to blend your essential oils is by notes. These are the same scent notes used in any type of fragrance. While many times you are using essential oils for the health benefits, you want to blend scents that complement each other. Traditionally, essential oil blends will contain a top note scent, middle note scent, and base note scent.
However, it is really up to you and based on how you like your oils. Experiment with different combinations until you figure out what is right for you.
For example, peppermint and lime are top notes, chamomile, rose, and clary sage are middle notes, and ginger and sandalwood are base notes.
Blending by Type of Aroma
It is also good to understand more about the types of aromas, also called aroma families. This allows you to stick with oils in the same aroma family if you are just starting out. This is the safest and easiest way to start blending for beginners, as you know scents in the same family will complement each other.
Blending by Effect
Lastly, consider what you are using the essential oil blend for. This is helpful because then you can think about the type of effect you are going for. Use this information to create a blend, but also keep in mind the notes and what will complement each other best.
For example, if you are looking for relaxation and to reduce anxiety, some oils that might be good together include jasmine, lavender, geranium, and bergamot.
Remember to use testing strips and blend just small amounts of oil at a time so that you can experiment and come up with the perfect combination of scents.
How to Blend Essential Oils – Getting Started
Blending essential oils can be great fun! In its simplest form, a blend is essentially a combination of 2 or more essential oil scents mixed together.
You can use any essential oil blend recipes as a starting point and then add or take away certain scents to customize the aroma and truly make it your own.
The trick to getting it right is to gather the scents you want to use.
Start by adding just one drop of each into a dark-colored glass bottle.
With this starting off point, you can then begin adding different quantities of each scent, one at a time, until you are happy with the scent.
Once you’ve created a scent you love, add a few more drops in the same proportion so you have enough .
Supplies You’ll Need For Blending Essential Oils
When creating your own blend, you want to have everything that you may need on hand.
Things you’ll need when blending essential oils to use in your diffuser:
- Essential oils – Buying a set of essential oils will give you a variety of oils to experiment with and it costs less than buying oils individually. This set of 14 essential oils by Plant Therapy particularly good value for the purpose.
- Small empty essential oil bottles – These glass dark colored bottles are great for storing your newly created blends
- Labels and permanent marker – You will want to label your creations. This set of labels comes with a pen for smudge-free writing on the labels and a tool for opening the bottles.
- Recipe book – You will need this to make notes of the oils used in each blend so you can repeat the results when you create a blend you love
- Mixing stick- Use a small bamboo or glass stick to mix your oils. Do not use any type of plastic stirrer.
- Funnel- Use a funnel or a cup with a spout to help you pour your oil into storage bottles
- Towels – Keep towels on hand to clean up any spills
- An old table cloth – Oils can stain and ruin a new cloth
Additional things you’ll need if you are creating blends for topical applications:
- Carrier oil- You need a carrier oil if you are blending essential oils for soaps, body lotions or perfumes. My top picks – Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. Both are equally good. Which one you choose is a matter of personal preference.
- Glass measuring cup with spout – Use this to help measure out the right amount of carrier oil
- Glass or ceramic mixing bowl – Use only a glass or ceramic bowl to mix your blend in. Plastic will react with the essential oils and destroy their therapeutic properties
Tips & Precautions When Blending Essential Oils
However, these experiments can go wrong if you do not learn the basics of how to blend essential oils.
The first thing you want to remember is that you should not touch your essential oils directly with your hands.
Always use a dropper when handling essential oils.
Always use a carrier oil when using blends for products that you will use topically. Without a carrier oil, pure essential oils are much too strong for the human skin.
Blending Essential Oil Recipes
Remember, you can use any recipe as a starting point and tweak it to suit your preference and purpose. You don’t have to go far to look for starter recipes. Below I’ve added links to various recipes for diffuser blends and other products that you can use as your starting point.
Summer Diffuser Recipes
Money-Saving TipsWhen Blending Essential Oils
Buy a large bottle of carrier oil. If you know that you plan to make a lot of skincare products and perfumes using your customized essential oil blends, it is a good idea to stock up on your choice of carrier oil, whether it is coconut, almond or jojoba oil. A few drops of essential oil goes a long way, but a carrier oil, because it acts as a product base, depletes much faster.
Save empty dark glass bottles. Save the bottles that your purchased essential oils arrive in. The little plastic stoppers are easily removable. Just remove the plastic stopper and clean the empty bottle. The bottle is ready to use when it is completely dried out.
Save plastic spray pump bottles. If you buy essential oil-based colognes, then every time you finish the contents, you have a handy reusable cologne dispenser to fill up with your own, homemade cologne blend.
Save aluminum oil bottles. You can also save the aluminum bottles that hold body and massage oils, to be used again and again when you mix up your own essential oil blends.
Stash extra supplies. Keep labels and a permanent marker on hand. Each time you mix up a new blend, you can label the bottle so that later on you’ll know what’s in it. For example, try a combo of citronella oil, clove oil, and peppermint oil to help ward off bugs in the summertime.
Have you tried blending essential oils at home? Did you create your own customized blends or did you try out recipes that you came across? How did you use your homemade blends? Share your experience in the comments below 🙂
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.