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Why essential oil blends?

Aromas have incredible-super powers when it comes to the human brain. They can be intoxicating, relaxing, energizing, and mood enhancing (just to name a few). Each of us knows exactly what Christmas smells like, or how grandma’s house consistently has a fresh-baked cookie scent, and everyone’s all-time favorite… the smell of rain when it falls on the hot-summer asphalt. The reason this happens is due to the olfactory lobe within the brain, about the size of a postage stamp, but packs a mean punch when it comes to memories and emotions.

Because our sense of smell has such an amazing effect on our wellbeing, we enjoy scented candles, stop to smell the roses, and best of all, have the tantalizing world of essential oils to explore and bring happiness to our lives. Everyone knows what they like and dislike when it comes to the world of sent. Some may love the rejuvenating aroma of peppermint, but others long for the calming scent of lavender. However, you don’t always have to stick with just one scent. Blending different essential oils will revolutionize the way you fragrance your life.

Each and every person is unique and especially when it comes to our sense of smell, but in the world of blending there are some guidelines. Even though there technically are no rules to blending (feel free to mix eucalyptus with cinnamon, that is your prerogative), but there certainly are combinations that complement each other in a magical way.

Let’s get started with some mixing 101:

Think of it as a dance. If one partner is doing the spicy steps of the samba and the other is gracefully waltzing it is going to be a pretty rough performance. And what is a perfectly choreographed dance without the right music? Blending scents is composed of three main notes:

  • Top Note – This is called “top” for a reason. It is the first impression within a blend and will be the aroma that catches your senses right away. Although it is the frontrunner of your blend, and has a sharp tone, it generally does not last long
  • Middle or Body Note – The “middle child” of your mix will usually last for a few hours and is referred to as the “bouquet” or “heart” of the aroma
  • Base Note – This scent will be the long-distance runner of your blend. This powerful addition is what helps soap maintain its fragrance

Now it’s time to get creative.

Choose 5 essential oils to begin with. Ask yourself: Do you like aromas that have zest or spices? Perhaps you are more of a floral lover? Or maybe you prefer the crisp scents of fresh-cut grass and pine trees? Out of your 5 chosen scents you should be able to identify two as top notes, two middle, and one base.

Before you go all in with your choices try a few drops on perfume testing strips. Give the scent time to reach its full potential, this will help you understand its full strength. Allow it to evaporate for about a half an hour. While you wait get some fresh air or sniff some coffee grounds. This will clear your senses, so you’ll be able to smell it in all its purity.

Imagining Time!

Once you have identified which scents are to your liking it’s time to dig deep into your imagination. Think about the personality of your blend. Is it seductive, shy, calm, or spirited? How do you want it to make you feel emotionally and physically?

If you are still unsure as to which scents will complement each other to create your perfect scent, here are a couple basics that will give you a better understanding of which notes will work well with each other:

Floral Blends

  • Sandalwood (base note)
  • Bergamot (top note)
  • Geranium (middle note)
  • Jasmine (middle/base note)
  • Anise (top note)

Green or Earthy Blends

  • Pine (middle note)
  • Peppermint (top note)
  • Basil (top note)
  • Vetiver (base note)
  • Rosemary (middle note)

To learn more about the strength of oils, it is useful to experiment. This can help educate you on the characteristics and strengths of each essential oil at various dilution ratios. After you’ve created your blend, allow it to sit for a few days. This will allow the oils to get cozy with each and round out your end scent. For more ideas on which essential oils mix well together, check out some of our favorites to kick start your blending.

Let us know if you make any essential oil blends from these recipes or any others from our blog!

Looking for the best essential oils? Check out our website for the best essential oils and organic essential oils for crafting, soap making, candle making, and more! 

Bulk Apothecary makes no claims of “expert status” and the company will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the use of the information found on this website.

As with all products, users should test a small amount prior to normal extended use. If pregnant or suffering from illness, consult a doctor before use. 

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    1. My Aunt used DoTerra Frankensence oil to help rid my Grandma of Shingles. It was the only thing that worked. You should be able to find a DoTerra rep nearby you to help with exact instructions.

    1. My name is Amy. I have Chronic Pain in my back, and just had a rice sure called Radial Frequency Abilation. The short version is: they burned the root’s in my lower back, and when it FINALY HEAL’s: I hope to feel better! Anyway I made a Pain Balm, that is really strong, and really helps! Besides coconut oil (butter),I add Kokum butter, beeswax, or emulsifying wax, I add: melted Menthol cyrstal’s, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon leaf, wintergreen, or Birch, blue Tansey, chammamille, clove Leaf and Camphor Essential Theraputic grade oil’s. The trick is to make sure your base is hard enough, so that when the E.O. are added, it is the right consistency. You just have to play around with it! If there is left over oil, I put it in rollerball tube. It is really strong this way, and you probably need to add carrier oil 3/4 to 1/4 . If you choose to use it straight)a patch test should be done first. If it is to strong then add the carrier oil. After I put the cream (or oil) on. It feel’s great to lay down with a warm, (not to hot) towel, over the area’s affected. Let them melt into your skin and, relax

      1. Any possible you share the details of this recipe. I have chronic back pain and am trying to find holistic treatments. I have most of what is needed except the Blue Tansey.

        1. Instead of Blue Tansy, get Deep Blue from DoTerra, it contains Wintergreen, Camphor, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, Helichrysum and Osmanthus, all of these provide cooling relief to aching joints and chronic pain. I use it for my backpain, combined with peppermint and Wild Orange.

          1. I totally agree with the above statement about deep blue!!!! I put into a sugar scrub for my body and it is exhilerating and relieving

      2. I too have had this procedure done many times, Ir gor to the point where my feet, and legs were numb after each procedure,, Have you tried a Chiropractor?? he has done more for me in 2 months than my pain Dr did for me in the last 8 years, I’m starting to cut out my meds now, and using oils to help with my pain,, using most of what you have mentioned, but have gor to the point where i don’t even need them as much now…

  1. I would suggest Lavender and Peppermint for the itch and PanAway for the pain. You can mix all 3 and put in carrier oil and apply topically.

    1. What is PanAway and where do you get it. Looking for something for horrid cronic pain so I can get off my pain meds after a horendious accident where my back and neck were fractured in 18 places.

    1. I apologize, we do not have food grade certification on our oils and cannot recommend that they be used in your mouth. They are sold for external therapeutic uses.

    1. Take a warm (not HOT) colloidal oatmeal and goat milk powder bath. After bath, use straight, unrefined Shea Butter. Works like a dream!

    2. I am currently trying a blend of Turmeric, and black pepper essential oil and the carrier oil is Black Cumin seed applied to psoriasis once a day, twice if I remember to do it. I am beginning to see great results.

  2. What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? I’m new to scenting lotions and shampoo bases and not sure which one to use.

  3. I am experiencing exzema on my neck and dry flaky skin around eyes/forehead…dermatologists says to stay away from perfumes. Any ideas for a natural control with essential oils? I am new to this world!

  4. Doterra does not have the market on pain relief. You can make this yourself and not pay for another company’s experience. Essential oils belong to all of us and there are many good pain blends you can make yourself, including ginger for inflammation, heliumcyrsum for nerve healing & clove or wintergreen for pain.

  5. Please can You help me get a perfect fragrances for my floor cleaning detergent. Have been trying to get a nice blend for my product but to no avail. Thanks

    1. Based on the explanation of three scent notes under the “Let’s get started with some mixing 101:” section in the article, what are your desired top, middle, and bottom notes?

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