Essential oil blending basics

Scent is often described in terms of music. Like writing a beautiful symphony, mastering essential oil blending basics requires a spirit of creativity and understanding of the notes. Follow the tips and recipes below to craft your own perfectly proportioned blends and use them in your own signature body and home care creations.

Try Quick Tips

Record your recipes and experiments in a notebook and put labels on the bottles as you blend so you can easily replicate your successful blends and avoid any that you didn't care for. 

 For an uplifting, invigorating blend, try peppermint essential oil and tangerine essential oil. 

For a grounding, relaxing blend, try vetiver essential oil, lemon essential oil and patchouli essential oil. 

Note Type Characteristics Oil Examples
Top Notes

-- Quick to evaporate.
-- Strong, diffusive initial aroma.
-- Weak, transparent long term aroma.

Lemon, tea tree, lavandin, grapefruit, white camphor, peppermint, eucalyptus, Roman chamomile, neroli.
Middle Notes

-- Moderate rate of evaporation.
-- Often a weaker or less complex aroma at first and/or to finish.
-- Strong, radiant, cohesive aroma.

Rose, Mandarin orange, lavender, helichrysum, sweet marjoram, German chamomile.
Base Notes

-- Slow to evaporate.
Weak or transparent initial aroma.
-- Aroma grows stronger after some time.
-- Broad, heavy and tenacious aroma.

Sandalwood, patchouli, cedarwood, myrrh, frankincense, vetiver.

Think of the aromas found in nature -- the beguiling scents of roots, woods, leaves, flowers and fruits. These aromas can be grouped into families. To simplify blending, combine two or three families first, then select essential oils from those families. Hint: Adjacent families often have a natural aromatic affinity with one another.
1. Earthy: Carrot seed, clary sage, patchouli, vetiver
2. Woody: Texas cedarwood, blue cypress, sandalwood, myrrh, frankincense.
3. Evergreen: Balsam fir needle, cypress, juniper berry, pine
4. Spicy: Cardamom seed, nutmeg, tea tree, allspice, bay leaf, cassia bark, cinnamon leaf, clove bud
5. Licorice-like: Anise seed, fennel seed
6. Vanilla-like-Peru balsam, vanilla CO2
7. Fruity/Citrus: Grapefruit, lemon, lime, sweet orange, tangerine
8. Lemon-like: Ginger, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon tea tree, citronella, palmarosa
9. Rose/Rosy: Geranium, rose otto, rose absolute
10. Rosy/Woody: Bergamot orange, coriander seed, lime, lavender, lavender tea tree
11. Floral: Jasmine absolute, Mandarin orange, neroli, ylang ylang
12. Herbal/Sweet/Tobacco-like: Roman chamomile, wild chamomile, German chamomile, helichrysum, sweet marjoram
13. Herbal/Medicinal: Eucalyptus, lavandin, rosemary, spike lavender, thyme, white camphor, wild marjoram
14. Minty: Peppermint, spearmint, sweet basil, wintergreen
15. Sage-like: Hyssop, Dalmatian sage.


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