Combining Scents — The Fragrance Wheel

Ever feel a little lost when trying to combine your own scents for the perfect combination? You’re not alone. There are so many options when making your own products– essential oils, fragrance oils or even just naturally scenting with raw ingredients. I too have felt this way many times (and I’m sure a lot of you out there have felt this way too). There will always be staple scents that go together, ones that everyone can easily identify, but sometimes you need to experiment with a few different fragrances until you find exactly what you’re looking for- and that can be easier to do with a little direction.

Scent, like color, has categories that determine which fragrances will mesh well together. I didn’t even know this! The fragrance wheel (just like the color wheel- remember art class?) displays the four main categories along with their sub-categories and a center point called Fougere. The main categories include: Fresh, Woody, Oriental, Floral, & the center point, Fougere. Of these five, Fougere is the only one that is not sub-divided because it has universal appeal & generally blends well with all of the groups.

Here’s a little history for you: Perfumer Michael Edwards developed the fragrance wheel in 1983 to help simplify the relationship of each fragrance category. SO helpful, right?! I think so. Here are the basic rules for scent blending that will help you make selections that will blend and complement each other in wonderful ways.

Image Copyright: Black Diamond Design

Basic blending rules:

  1. Side by side fragrances on the chart blend well.
  2. Selecting opposites on the wheel are complimentary.
  3. Selecting 3 fragrances that create a triangle while looking at the wheel will usually complement each other nicely.

After selecting a few fragrances from the wheel, you can test out their blended scent by placing a dab of each on a q-tip and sealing the q-tips in a plastic baggie. Allow the baggie to sit for a while before opening to test the fragrances to give ample time for the fragrances to mesh together. You can do equal parts, or use more of one scent and less of another (and so on) if you’d like one scent to be more prevalent than the other.

Get creative! This is how you discover blends that are perfect for you and for what you’re creating! Have fun with it, you could stumble upon something amazing!

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