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Essential Oils: The Art of Blending

Essential Oils: The Art of Blending | Mr Vitamins
Do you love essential oils and wish you knew how to blend them? With so many delicious scents to choose from, how do you know what goes with what? Some people like to know exact proportions of which oil to use in a blend, whilst others are happy to experiment. There are different ways to blend, brief descriptions are given below, together with some tips on how you can experiment for yourself.

Perfume Blending with Essential Oils

Essential oils, as with any aroma, can be described as having a top, middle or base note.  Simply put, perfumes are rarely simple, and are often layered with aromas that your nose detects at different times. Top notes are the aromas you smell first, they come and go quickly, citrus fruit oils are examples of top notes.  Base notes are the last you smell, and they linger.  Examples of base notes are the woody oils. If you love citrus oils and want the smell to linger, blend any combination of bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange, lime or mandarin with just a little petitgrain oil.  Petitgrain is from the leaves of the orange tree and is a base note, it will help ‘fix’ or extend the citrus smell of the top notes. Perfume blending is done by a ‘Nose’; a person who has trained their nose to detect and identify thousands of individual scents.  Here are some tips to help you blend your own perfumes:
  1. Use a cold pressed vegetable oil as a 'base' into which you can add your essential oils. Macadamia Nut or Jojoba are good. For a perfune use 5 mls (a teaspoon) of  base oil and blend the essential oils into it.
  2. Have a few oils on hand that you like and maybe one or 2 you don’t (they can smell different in a blend).
  3. Keep it simple to start and just blend 2 oils, then get more adventurous and try a blend of 3 oils.
  4. Use more top notes, fewer middle notes, and base notes the least.
  5. Add one drop at a time, and record what you add as you go.
  6. Take a break from the blend, and come back to it a few times before adding more drops.
  7. Aromas within scent groups will blend together better than blending across more than 2 scent groups.

Scent Groups in Essential Oils include:

  • Florals – rose, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang
  • Fruits – citrus fruits
  • Herbs – lavender, basil, sage, marjoram, clary sage, peppermint
  • Spices – ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon
  • Woods – cedarwood, sandalwood
  • Resins – frankincense, myrrh, benzoin
Have some fun with your blends and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Therapeutic blending with Essential Oils

When essential oils are being used to treat health conditions, they are blended on the basis of their therapeutic actions. Choosing oils with the actions you need and blending them can increase the desired action. Due to the focus on treating, these blends may not be pleasing to the nose.
  • With acute conditions, such as colds and flu, wounds, headaches, period pain and burns etc, it is important to treat quickly.
  • Due to short duration of treatment, unpleasant scents can be acceptable in order to alleviate pain.
  • Choose the oils you need, blend them in small amounts (use 2o mls of base oil to start) and use to ease your symptoms.
  • Use a good aromatherapy reference, such as the Aromatic Practitioners Reference, that lists the therapeutic actions of oils.
  • However, with chronic illnesses or treatment for stress, the aroma must be acceptable/smell pleasant for the treatment to be used, and so to succeed.
Therapists are trained to be able to select oils primarily on therapeutic actions, and to also to consider your preferred aromas when making up remedies.  Do consider consulting an Aromatherapist to help you in formulating a specific blend to relieve your symptoms.

Maria Mitchell - Aromatherapist and Herbalist

Maria Mitchell is a fully qualified Aromatherapist and Herbalist whose passion has led her into teaching, and writing about the healing power of Aromatherapy. You can learn more about Maria here