Today we are going to explore a simple method you can follow to achieve really good essential oil blends!
Understanding Different Categories of Essential Oils
Essential oils are categorised using 8 different "aroma families" (Citrus, Floral, Camphoraceous/Minty, Resinous, Earthy, Woody, Spicy, and Herbaceous). To simplify essential oils blending, I like to group the different families as:
- Citrus - such as lemon, bergamot or sweet orange
- Flowers - such as lavender, ylang ylang or jasmine
- Herbs - like rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus
- Earth - in the earth category we have spices like cinnamon or black pepper, wood aromas like cedarwood or patchouli, and resinous aromas like benzoin or frankincense
What are notes?
The other important component when we blend essential oils, are the essential oils "notes", which refers to the rate at which the oil evaporates. Essential oils notes can be top, middle and base.
- Top notes tend to evaporate faster. Some examples of these are bergamot, lemon, spearmint
- Middle notes usually make up the main part of your aroma, they are the “heart” of your fragrance: some examples are geranium, lavender, rosemary
- Base notes have deeper, intense scents which take longer to fade: examples are cedarwood, frankincense, patchouli
How to Blend Essential Oils
So, how do we actually blend essential oils?
- First, write the type of aroma you want to achieve. Do you want a very flowery blend? Or perhaps a blend with fresh and woodsy notes.
- Next, take the time to do some more brainstorming on the type of mood and feeling you want your blend to evoke. Do you want your blend to be calming, uplifting, energizing, focusing and so on?
- Then it's time to pick your essential oils. Usually in a well-balanced blend we want a predominance of middle notes, because these are the heart of your blend which, in return, supports top, and finally base notes.
An Example of How to Blend Essential Oils
So here is an example of what I wrote: I want my scent to have citrus, flowers and woodsy notes I want it to be calming.
I will pick sandalwood as my base note. Then I will choose lavender as my middle note, as it will give a fresh and light touch to the blend. I will close my blend with lemon as my top note.
Keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to use all the notes, it's really up to you how you want to build your blend.
How to test Essential Oil Blends
The last step the most fun: testing! I am going to show you a method I have been using which I think is really effective.
- Grab an old upcycled paper scrap or cardboard or another porous material which you don't mind staining, and add a pinch of baking soda on top.
- Then, go ahead and add you essential oils to it: so in my case 2 drops of sandalwood, since it's my middle note I want more of it, 1 drop of lavender and 1 drop of lemon.
- Mix these gently with a finger and cover it with a beaker. You can also use a glass. Make sure to write the essential oils in your blend so you don't forget, this is especially helpful if you are testing many blends at the same time.
- Let the blend sit for about half an hour, and when I go back to it, simply lift the beaker and enjoy the incredible aroma you have just created.
Go ahead and smell the blend and let your mind navigate to the memories your blend might evoke. Now that you have your essential oils blend, the sky is the limit. You can make soaps, shampoo bars, liquid roll-on perfumes, solid perfumes, body salves and more.
To take the next step, and learn how to formulate your own products on a deeper level, make sure to check out the Bottega Zero Waste Online School!