In the world of essential oils, there are so many good properties and uses that constitute any one single essential oil that it can be intimidating to think about blending multiple together. Rest assured, although blending essential oils is, at a basic level, chemistry, it is far less complicated once you get immersed into it. It is simply about experimentation and personal preference.
Tips for Blending Essential Oils
Before we go into the specifics of essential oil blending, there are a few general things to remember about the subtle art of perfumery or aromatherapy.
The reason why blending various essential oils can be a great thing, is because pure essential oils are “dynamic”. This means, that when blended, each of their beneficial compounds works together synergistically to create an even better, enhanced effect.
There are over 500 types of essential oils in the world. Of course, you don't need to catalog anywhere near this number. However, it is a necessity to get familiar with about 5 to 20 oils gradually. This is to learn which oils are your favorite and why. For example, one person may love orange oil, but another may find it too much and prefers sweet orange oil instead. This just means that the more refined orange smell of sweet orange oil is preferable to that indivual's olfactory system.
In order to know where to begin, it's a good idea to categorize your essential oils into groups that will make it easier to sort them by traits.
How to Categorize
1. Their Scent/Species Type:
All this means is whether an oil's scent is floral, spicy, citrus, herbal, or woodsy. Different types of scents go better together. For example, citrus essential oils tend to go great with floral oils, whereas spicy oils are a good pair for woodsy scents.
Just to get an idea of what I mean, some woodsy oils include cedarwood, myrrh, and sandalwood. Some citrus oils would include tangerine, lemon, bergamot, or grapefruit oil. Some oils can be placed into more than one scent category and oils of the same category will most likely go well together.
2. By your desired effect:
One simple method of organizing your oils prior to blending is by what you're looking to get from the blend. This is to say, placing the oils into categories based on their health effect, i.e, calming, energizing, romantic, anti-anxiety, etc. For example, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary would all be placed into the “energizing” group.
3. By the Oils' Notes:
In terms of perfumery, essential oils are referred to like notes in music. The oil in question is either a top note, middle note, or base note. A top note oil is the oil in your blend that evaporates the quickest (loses smell). This is usually within a 1 to 2 hour range. A middle note oil will last a little longer, at about 2 to 4 hours. The base note oil will take several hours, or even several days to evaporate and lose it's scent.
The typical rule is to use one base note oil, one middle note oil, and one top note oil in your mix. However, some people recommend using oils of the same notes so the scent will last longer.
What you will need:
- 3 to 5 choice essential oils
- Small, amber glass, corkscrew, rollerball, and/or dropper bottles; (Always store essential oil in dark blue or amber glass bottles in a cool shaded area). A good size bottle to test your blends out at first should be about 15 mL.
- Fragrance testing strips (optional)
- Carrier oils (coconut, almond, jojoba oil, etc.)
If you're making perfume blends, you should wait to invest in any fancy essential oil perfume bottles until you test and are satisfied with at least one blend.
The Process of Blending Essential Oils
First begin by filling one of your 15 mL bottles with your preferred carrier oil, almost to the top, leaving room for your essential oils.
Everyone has a different way of figuring out their ideal oil to oil ratios. Some people like to follow the 30-50-20 rule. This means you use 30% of your top note oil, 50% of your middle note, and 20% of the base note oil with about 10 drops or oil altogether. Another, simpler method is the 1:1 ratio. This involves simply adding one drop of each, adjusting for smell, until you reach 8 to 10 drop of essential oils total.
The art of essential oil blending is an individualized experience. Experiment and get comfortable with blending certain oils before adding other to the mix.