How to Mix Essential Oils for Therapeutic and Aesthetic Benefits
“Like the improvised riffs carried from a jazz trumpet, touching notes high and low, blended essential oils have an affinity to science and a passion for creativity.”
An essential oil blend is prepared for various therapeutic and aesthetic benefits. The blending process isn’t easy, but with creativity, along with a sense of the purpose of the blend, you can tumble upon some unique blends for you and your family. Successful blends require knowledge about the properties of essential oils and experience in balancing the different aromas to achieve the desired result.
When therapeutic blending of essential oils are used for health applications, the blends are often more effective than using any single oil alone. Blends usually consist of two or more essential oils. Some oils, when combined, complement and enhance each other to create a “synergy.” A “synergy” as used in aromatherapy is the working together of two essential oils that result in an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.
Conversely, improperly chosen oils can work against each other when blended, so it is best to thoroughly research each oil before making therapeutic blends. When blending for fragrance or perfume, keep in mind the qualities of the blend in order to create a pleasing aromatic mixture.
Top, Middle, Base
In the fragrance industry, scents are referred to as top, middle, or base notes, depending on their aromatic nature.
*Top notes tend to be lighter and more volatile. In general, top notes are considered stimulating and refreshing. *Grapefruit, eucalyptus, lemon, bergamot, pine
*Middle notes are soft and balanced and usually make up the majority of a blend.
*Roman chamomile, lavender, geranium, juniper
*Base notes are considered deep and heavy and have the lowest evaporation rate. They are generally used in blends as the natural adhesive agent.
*Patchouli, myrrh and frankincense
Citrus (i.e. lemon, orange)
Floral (i.e. lavender, geranium)
Earthy (i.e. clary sage, patchouli)
Herbaceous (i.e. rosemary, basil)
Minty (i.e. peppermint, spearmint)
Camphorous (i.e. eucalyptus, tea tree)
Spicy (i.e. clove, cinnamon, )
Woodsy (i.e. blue cypress, pine)
When dropped onto a blotter or test strip, the oil’s top note is the initial aromatic impression created by the most volatile components in the oil.
Its middle note emerges soon after, once the most volatile top note components have evaporated and faded. The base note becomes detectable once the oil has dried on the test strip and all of the most volatile components have evaporated.
Allow blends to age a week or more before adding them to carrier oils. Usually, a 10% -15% dilution of essential oil into a carrier oil is appropriate. You should note that blends change as they age, especially in the case of perfume blends. Pour your finished blend in a small bottle (glass bottles are best).
My Favorite Blends
½ ounce carrier oil, add 22 drops of essential oil
Basil Ocimum basilicum (L.) (top note) 7 drops
Geranium Pelargonium graveolens (middle note) 7 drops
Frankincense Boswellia carter (base note) 8 drops
Lime Citrus aurantifolia (top note) 11 drops
Geranium Pelargonium graveolens (middle note) 8 drops
Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum also known as
C. verum and Laurus cinnamomum) (base note) 3 drops
Grapefruit Citrus paradisii (top note) 10 drops
Lavender angustifolia (middle note) 7 drops
Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioide (base note) 5 drops
– Do not take any essential oils internally.
– Do not use essential oils undiluted on skin.
– Test diluted essential oils on skin area before general use.
– Use photosensitizing essential oils cautiously (i.e. lemon, lime, grapefruit).
– Consult with a health practitioner before use if pregnant, nursing, suffering
from any medical condition, or taking medication.
– Keep essential oils out of reach of children
– Do not use essential oils internally.
– Less is more – don’t overuse essential oils.
1. Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 1991
2. Battaglia S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd edition,
The International Centre
of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
3. Keville, K. Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, The Crossing press,
4. Mojay G. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Henry Holt and Company Inc.,
5. Tisserand R. The Art of Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, USA, 1977