Friday, February 13, 2015

Blending Essential Oils

Basic Principles of Blending Essential Oils
There are no hard and fast rules in blending essential oils for Aromatherapy, however, you may want to stick to no more than 3 or 4 essential oils at a time, and make sure that you and the person(s) you will be using the blend on are not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Selecting essential oils
Many Aromatherapists’ use a traditional concept of top, middle and base notes when preparing aromatherapy blends.  Essential oils can be categorized into one of these following categories:
  • Top Notes including, but not limited to: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Clove, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Petitgrain, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, and Thyme
  • Middle Notes including, but not limited to: German Chamomile, Cardamom, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Palmarosa, Pine, Rosemary, Rosewood, and Ylang Ylang
  • Base Notes including, but not limited to: Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary sage, Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Vetiver
Essential oils that are classified as top notes normally evaporate very fast and normally also have anti-viral properties.   They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature and are generally not very expensive. Top notes are generally highly volatile, fast acting, give the first impression of the blend and are not very long lasting.

Middle notes (or heart notes) last longer, imparting the warmth and fullness of the blend. They give body to a blend and are mostly found in essential oils distilled from leaves and herbs.

Base notes are the heavy smelling, deeply resonating and have a profound influence on the blend. These essential oils have a long lasting scent and act as fixtures. Base notes have a strong influence on our mental, emotional and spiritual plane.

As a rule of thumb, the combination between top, middle and base notes should be in harmony and the following formula is normally used. Select oils from all three categories but use less of the top and middle notes than that of the base note.  The following ration is recommended:
  • Top notes 15 – 25 %
  • Middle notes 30 – 40 %
  • Base notes 45 – 55 %
It is recommended that for every 100ml of carrier oil you can add up to 50 drops of essential oil.  The following table provides a conversion ratio.

Measurements/conversions (volume)
3016002 table spoons
151/23001 table spoon
51/61001 teaspoon
11/30201/5 teaspoon

To preserve the life of your blended essential oils, make sure you keep them in a dark and cool place. Try to use dark storage containers and bottles (like the amber glasses), as this will reduce the amount of light, which can penetrate into the oil.

Blending oil is fun, and the end result should be to your liking, so it is fine that if you don’t follow the guidelines and be creative and explore your own.  We also post some of the recipes on our website, and everyone is welcome to try.