Have you ever wanted to make your own essential oil blend but feel totally lost on where to begin? Maybe you want to make a solid perfume with an appealing scent. Perhaps you want to make a nourishing beard oil for your husband. Or, maybe you’re looking to make a relaxing linen spray to spritz on your toddler’s sheets before bed.
You’re not new to using essential oils. In fact, you’ve used them for a while now, but you’ve been following other people’s recommendations and copying their blends. Now, you’re ready for something different… something a bit more challenging.
You’re ready to craft your very own customized essential oil blends.
Today, I’m going to show you how to get started creating your own essential oil blends even if you’re a complete beginner.
I’m going to walk you through creating simple aromatic and therapeutic essential oil blends, step-by-step, so you can confidently blend essential oils that smell great, give you the results you’re looking for, and save you money!
And yes, this post is a BEAST so be sure to pin it or bookmark it in some way so you can come back to it again and again.
I’ve also created a free PDF download of 24 essential oils and their properties to help simplify this step for you! You can find this FREE PDF at the bottom of this post. (Psst… I also have a surprise for you from Plant Therapy as well when you sign up!)
Creating Signature Scents
Back in the early days of Growing Up Herbal, I made herbal skincare products for children and sold them on Etsy. Those days were full of hurdles… learning about setting up shop, getting comfortable marketing my business, and refining my product line. Business was slow, and I felt like I’d never get ahead and have a successful shop. Sales trickled in sporadically. Customers would make small purchases, but they rarely came back to buy again. My products were never featured anywhere, and traffic to my shop was pitiful.
I knew if I was going to make money and have a successful shop, I needed to make some changes. I needed to find a way to set my products apart from all the other natural skincare products for children on Etsy. I needed a way to stand out in the crowd.
So, I decided to create signature scents for my products using essential oils. I would create a blend that was energizing, a blend that was relaxing, a blend that was grounding, and a blend with a minty, medicinal smell. The problem was that I knew very little about essential oils and had no clue how to start creating my own essential oil blends.
I was going to have to start from scratch and learn how to blend essential oils from start to finish. At that point, I spent a considerable amount of time researching essential oils, learning from aromatherapists, and of course, practicing this new craft.
Now, before I tell you whether this helped my shop or not, let me get right to the point of this post and share what I’ve learned about blending essential oils with you so you can start making your own essential oil blends as soon as possible.
9 Steps To Blending Essential Oils For Beginners
1. It Starts With What You Want
The first thing you need to do when you start the process of creating an essential oil blend is to ask yourself a few questions.
- Who is this essential oil blend for?
- What effect do I want it to have?
- When will it be used?
- Where will it be used?
- Why is this blend needed?
- How will it be applied?
These are all questions to ask yourself before you buy a single essential oil or start blending anything.
Now, I want to make this process easier for you to understand and follow so let’s have an example, shall we? I’ll be referring back to this example each step of the way so you can see exactly how it’s done. It’s like we’re hiking buddies, and I’ve got the compass. Let’s go![info_box type=”note_box”]Meet Leslie. Leslie is a busy mom. She works outside the home and mornings are almost always rushed! She has to get up, get ready for work, get breakfast for the kids, get them dressed, and then get everyone out the door by 7 AM so everyone can make it to school and work on time. Whew!
Okay, so mornings are tough. That’s pretty clear. What Leslie needs is some help getting going in the mornings. She needs to wake up, have some energy, and feel uplifted and ready for the day. Now, in order to do that, she wants to create an energizing essential oil blend that she can use in a diffuser when she’s taking her morning shower.[/info_box]
Okay, friend, do you see how I painted a picture there for you, and in that picture, I answered all of the above questions.
Leslie wants to create an energizing essential oil blend for herself. She plans on diffusing it during her morning shower, and her goal is to feel more awake, energized, and uplifted. She wants her essential oil blend to be a combination of aromatic blending (blended primarily for fragrance) and therapeutic blending (blended primarily for an emotional or physical effect).
2. What Do Your Essential Oils Have To Offer: Essential Oil Properties
Once you’ve answered the above questions, it’s time to hit the books or the World Wide Web and do some essential oil research. What you want to do here is to come up with a list of essential oils that have the properties you’re looking for in your blend.
This is a crude list… a rough draft of sorts. You will not be using all of the essential oils you put on this list, and you are not concerning yourself with essential oil brands at this point. You’re basically gathering a lot of ideas and information here. The idea is to come up with a list of 10-20 essential oils to get you started, and as you progress through the steps for blending essential oils, you’ll begin to simplify this big list.
Let me quickly say, you’ll want to be careful about where you get your information online. Everyone seems to be an essential oil expert these days so it can be a good idea to ask yourself the following questions for any piece of content you come across.
- Who is the author of this information?
- What is their experience with essential oils and aromatherapy? Do they have any education on the subject?
- Do they reference their sources in the information they provide?
- Am I finding this same information across multiple sites?
Asking these questions can help you to know whether you’re finding accurate information that you can trust or not. There are plenty of websites out there dedicated to teaching others about essential oils and aromatherapy whether it’s a school for essential oil studies, a company that sells essential oils, or a blogger who loves to share what she’s learning about them (and references her sources!).
Back to our example.[info_box type=”note_box”]Seeing how Leslie is a complete beginner to essential oils, she doesn’t have any books and she’s never taken any classes on essential oils so she heads to Google to do some research there.
She types “energizing essential oils” into the search bar and hits enter. She browses through the search results looking for sites that list specific essential oils known to help with energy, wakefulness, or give you an uplifting feeling.
As she looks through some sites, she takes note of the author’s experience with aromatherapy and pays attention to which oils are repeated across various sites as she wants to make sure the info she’s gathering is trustworthy.
She pulls out a piece of paper and starts creating a list of 10-20 energizing essential oils (botanical names included!) to get her started.
- Lemon (Citrus limon)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
- Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
- Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) (Boswellia frereana)
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
- Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
- Rose (Rosa damascena)
- Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
Now look at the oils on Leslie’s list. Do you recognize any similarities among these oils?
To me, they all seem very distinct with stimulating and clarifying properties. You have strong, medicinal or minty type oils like rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, you have some woodsy oils such as pine and cypress, and then you have some citrus oils such as grapefruit, lemon, bergamot, neroli. You even have some floral oils like rose, geranium, and ylang ylang and some spicier oils such as black pepper, nutmeg, and ginger.
There’s a lot to work with in this one little list.
3. Under The Microscope: Evaluating Essential Oils
At this point, you’ve curated your list of essential oils based off of a couple of things.
- You’ve either chosen essential oils based on their therapeutic actions. In Leslie’s case, her list of oils center around energy.
- Or, you’ve chosen oils based on their scent. In Leslie’s case, this would be bright, crisp, fresh scented oils.
And, you may have chosen your essential oils with both of the above in mind.
No matter, you now have a list of essential oils to work with. However, before you move ahead in your blending process, it’s important to do some digging into the essential oils on your list to make sure they’re the right fit for your budget, the environment, and your safety.
Essential Oil Cost
Here you’ll want to go back through your list of essential oils and look up the price for each oil. Essential oil prices will vary depending on who you purchase your oils from, but it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when creating your blend, especially if you’re on a budget or you’re not ready to invest in expensive essential oils just yet.
[info_box type=”note_box”]In Leslie’s list, angelica, neroli, and rose are the most expensive essential oils. The angelica and neroli are not out of Leslie’s price range so she leaves them on her list. Rose, on the other hand, is simply too expensive for her right now so she switches from rose essential oil to rose absolute.[/info_box]
Essential Oil Sustainability
Another thing you’ll want to check for is any sustainability issues with the essential oils on your list.
Essential oils are very popular these days and that means there’s money to be made from them. This sometimes leads to sustainability issues surrounding the harvesting practices of certain plants. If one variety of oil is in danger, you can often substitute a different variety instead.[info_box type=”note_box”]In Leslie’s list, frankincense (Boswellia carterii) is endangered so she switched to a different variety of frankincense that wasn’t endangered—Boswellia frereana. You can see how she updated her list above.[/info_box]
Essential Oil Safety
You’ll also want to go back through your list and evaluate your essential oils for safety. The safety of an essential oil will largely be determined based on how it is used (inhalation, topical, internal), and this can be a complex topic that will require more research on your part. Most essential oil suppliers will have safety information in their product descriptions so this can be a good place to look as can other websites and books dedicated to essential oil safety.[info_box type=”note_box”]Using Leslie’s list as an example, several of the oils on her list are known to be phototoxic, but since she’s not applying her blend to her skin in any way, she doesn’t have to worry about that so much. Instead, she’s more concerned with some of the oils being irritating the the mucous membranes as she will be diffusing this recipe so she decides to diffuse her blend for short periods of time only to minimize this possibility.[/info_box]
Once you’ve reviewed your list of essential oils a bit more thoroughly, it’s time to move on to see which oils will blend well with the others to create a pleasing scent.
4. The Law Of Attraction: Essential Oil Categories
When it comes to blending essential oils for aromatic purposes (that means you’re blending based on scent rather than a therapeutic action), it’s important to make sure you find essential oil combinations that go together or attract so they smell nice once they’re blended together. I personally find this to be important when blending essential oils for therapeutic purposes as well, but that’s just a personal preference.
The next step in blending essential oils is to figure out what categories your essential oils fall into. Essential oils are often grouped together based on their aromas, and these groups are called “categories.” You can see an example of specific essential oils and the categories they fall into below.
Essential Oil Categories
- Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime
- Earthy – Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
- Floral – Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine
- Herby – Marjoram, Clary Sage, Basil
- Medicinal – Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tea Tree
- Minty – Peppermint, Spearmint, Catnip (mildly)
- Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon
- Woodsy – Pine, Cedar, Wintergreen
(Aromatic Blending of Essential Oils, n.d.)
At this point, you’ll want to list out the categories that each of the oils on your list fall into. Some essential oils fall into one category while others may fall into two or even three so you may need an extra sheet of paper!
There are a couple different ways to figure out which categories your essential oils fall into. You can purchase a book that contains essential oil profiles like The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Worwood or you can search websites that sell essential oils such as Edens Garden, Mountain Rose Herbs, and Plant Therapy.
Keep in mind that there are not absolute rights and wrongs when it comes to essential oil categories. Information can sometimes vary from site to site and book to book, and you may need to check in more than one place. The more you use essential oils and become familiar with them, the easier it will be for you to categorize them based off how they smell to you.
Let’s look at our example.
[info_box type=”note_box”]Leslie goes to the Edens Garden website to find information on essential oil categories. She looks up each essential oil and lists its category next to the oil on her list.
- Lemon – citrus
- Ginger – spicy
- Eucalyptus – medicinal
- Peppermint – minty
- Rosemary – herbaceous, medicinal
- Pine – earthy, woodsy
- Geranium – floral, herbaceous
- Basil – herbaceous
- Angelica – herbaceous, woodsy
- Lavender – floral
- Grapefruit – citrus
- Orange – citrus
- Black pepper – spicy
- Bergamot – citrus
- Cypress – herbaceous, woodsy
- Frankincense – earthy, herbaceous
- Lemongrass – citrus
- Cinnamon bark – spicy
- Nutmeg – spicy
- Thyme – herbaceous
- Neroli – citrus, floral
- Rose – floral
- Ylang ylang – floral
Once you have your essential oils categorized, it’s time to see which oils will possibly combine well with each other. And, just as categorizing essential oils is subjective, so is combining categories. Ultimately, there are no absolutes when it comes to blending essential oils. That’s the art of essential oil blending! It’s totally based on your preferences and how the oil smells to you. Now with that being said, there are a couple of guidelines that are good for beginners to follow.
- Essential oils from the same category tend to combine well together.
- Essential oils in one category can be mixed and matched with other complementary categories.
Below is a list of potential category combinations for you to look at. (Thanks go out to Stan, who took my original chart and simplified it for me into what you see below.)
Possible Category Combinations
- Floral blends with floral, woodsy, spicy, and citrus
- Woodsy blends with woodsy, floral, earthy, herby, minty, medicinal, spicy, and citrus
- Earthy blends with earthy, woodsy, and minty
- Herbaceous blends with herby, woodsy, and minty
- Minty blends with minty, woodsy, earthy, herby, and citrus
- Medicinal blends with medicinal and woodsy
- Spicy blends with spicy, floral, woodsy, and citrus
- Citrus blends with citrus, floral, woodsy, minty, and spicy
At this point, you’ll want to return to your list and chart out which oils will go together. Again, this process can take some time. I bet now you’re seeing why I recommend starting with no more than 10-20 essential oils, right?!
Take a look at Leslie’s example below to see this in action.[info_box type=”note_box”]Leslie has come up with several different essential oil combinations to possibly choose from.
She started with the first essential oil on her list and listed out all the other oils on her list that could combine with it.
To keep things neat and organized, she’s listed all the oils in the same category next to each other. If an essential oil is listed in two categories (eg., neroli fits in the citrus and floral categories) and both categories are potential combinations, the oil is listed twice.
- Lemon (citrus): blends with citrus, floral, woodsy, minty, and spicy
– (citrus) bergamot + lemongrass + grapefruit + orange + neroli
– (floral) geranium + lavender + neroli + rose + ylang ylang
– (woodsy) pine + angelica + cypress
– (minty) peppermint
– (spicy) ginger + black pepper + cinnamon bark + nutmeg
- Ginger (spicy): blends with spicy, floral, woodsy, and citrus
– (spicy) black pepper + cinnamon bark + nutmeg
– (floral) lavender + geranium + neroli + rose + ylang ylang
– (woodsy) pine + angelica + cypress
– (citrus) grapefruit + orange + bergamot + lemongrass + neroli
She continues this process for each oil on her list.[/info_box]
As you can see, for each essential oil on Leslie’s list, she lists out all the different categories that can blend with it, and then she lists out all the oils on her original list that fall into each category. Now, she will have an easier time choosing oils to combine when creating her blends.
Now it’s your turn! Once you’ve gone through all possible category combinations and you have these written out, it’s time to move on to the next step where we’ll add some balance to the essential oils on your list.
5. Bringing Your Blend Into Balance: Essential Oil Notes
When creating essential oil blends you want your final blend to feel very balanced and harmonized. Once you know which oils can be combined together based on their categories, you can then create balance by paying attention to the notes each of the essential oils on your list have.
Essential oil notes are based on the musical scale and are referred to as top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The “note” of an essential oil is determined by how quickly the scent of the essential oil fades after being exposed to oxygen.
Have you ever applied a blend of oils to your skin and noticed how it smells right away only to find that 3 hours later it smells a bit different than when you first put it on? This is because one or more of the notes in your blend have evaporated.
Essential Oil Notes
- Top notes are the lightest of the all the notes. They’re the first ones you smell, and they’re the first ones to evaporate. This is because they have the smallest molecules. You can often distinguish top note essential oils because they’re often thin in consistency and are usually derived from flowers, leaves, and flowering herbs.
- Base notes are are deep, heavy, and often earthy in scent. These are the oils that ground your blend and help its aroma last the longest due to the large molecule size. Base notes are often derived from trees, roots, and barks, and their oils tend to be thick and viscous.
- Middle notes are like the “ties that bind” only they are binding your other essential oils together into a harmonized blend. These are the oils that complete your blend by balancing the light top notes with the deep base notes. The aroma of middle notes lasts longer than those of top notes, but not as long as base notes. These oils can vary in consistency and are often derived from whole herbs and spices.
(Natural Perfumery Basics, n.d.; Bovenizer, n.d.)
Like essential oil categories, identifying essential oil notes is completely subjective, and like I said earlier, the more you use essential oils and become familiar with them, the easier it will be for you to identify their notes based on smell and appearance.
For now, you can look to books with essential oil profiles or online websites of essential oil suppliers for information on notes. And just like essential oil categories, the information you find on essential oils notes will vary. Some essential oils have one note while others are thought to have a combination of two with one of the two being more dominant than the other.
Let’s take a look at Leslie’s example.[info_box type=”note_box”]Leslie has done some research on essential oil notes and marked each essential oils note next each oil on her new list.
- Lemon (citrus): blends with floral, woodsy, minty, and spicy
– (citrus) bergamot (T) + lemongrass (T) + grapefruit (T) + orange (T) + neroli (M)
– (floral) geranium (T) + lavender (M,T) + neroli (M) + rose (M,B) + ylang ylang (M,B)
– (woodsy) pine (M) + angelica (M,B) + cypress (M)
– (minty) peppermint (T)
– (spicy) ginger (B) + black pepper (M) + cinnamon bark (M) + nutmeg (M)
She has continued this for all the oils on her list.[/info_box]
Now that Leslie has identified the notes for each oil in her potential blends, it’s time to create some combinations.
When it comes to blending essential oils, it’s recommended to start with three essential oils in a blend until you’re familiar and comfortable with the blending process. From there you can go up to five essential oils in a blend and then up to nine. Rarely will you find more than nine aromas in one blend as that is typically reserved for perfumists!
Let’s take a look at some combinations Leslie has created from what she knows about lemon essential oil.[info_box type=”note_box”]
- Blend #1 (citrus, floral, spicy): lemon (T) + neroli (M) + ginger (B)
- Blend #2 (floral): geranium (T) + lavender (M,T) + ylang ylang (M,B)
- Blend #3 (minty, woodsy): peppermint (T) + pine (M) + angelica (M,B)
As you can see from the three blends above, Leslie has tried a pure combination which contains all essential oils from the same category as well as mixed combinations, pulling essential oils from various categories that she thinks would go well together.
Looking at her potential blends, what do you notice about each blend?
To me, blend #1 sounds amazing! I imagine it to be fresh and sweet smelling with a touch of spice to ground it. Blend #2 feels like spring to me because it’s a pure floral blend. I can’t imagine preferring this blend over blend #1 because I tend to not like heavy floral scents, but you never know. Blend #3 sounds interesting, but I can’t say for sure what I think about it because I’m not familiar with angelica essential oil. The peppermint and pine sound like a great combination, but I’d have to test this to see what I thought of them alongside the angelica.
At this point, you’ll want to identify the notes for each of the oils on your list. Now, go ahead and—on paper only—write down 3 essential oils from categories that combine well together (each combination should contain a top, middle, and base note oil). Do this a few times to create some different potential bends to test.
6. Ready, Set, Go: Gathering Your Blending Supplies
Hallelujah! We are nearing the end of the steps for blending essential oils! All the hard work is over and now comes the fun part!
At this point, you’ll want to gather your blending supplies together so you can get to work.
Here’s a list of things you’ll need:
- Essential oils
- Fragrance testing strips
- 2 ml glass bottles
- 10 ml glass bottles with dropper orifice
- Carrier oils
- A notebook
Purchasing Essential Oils
This is the point where the actual essential oils are needed, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, essential oils vary in price depending on the company you purchase your oils from. Some people prefer big MLM companies with higher priced oils, others prefer family-owned suppliers with mid-range prices, and some prefer well-known small businesses with lower priced essential oils. I say, to each his own. Just do your research and know how to choose high-quality essential oils before you purchase any.
Because purchasing essential oils can be a financial investment, when it comes to testing the blends you’ve created in the above four steps, I recommended that you start by making small blends for testing. These blends should consist of only 10-15 drops of essential oil total.
Starting out with a small blend is a good idea because it allows you to test your blend before committing yourself to a large batch. That way, if you hate the blend, you can use it in some other way (like a scent for a homemade cleaner) without it being too much of a financial loss.
And, let me also point out that at this point in the blending process, you’re only working with essential oils. You are not diluting them with carrier oils yet.
Okay, so let’s begin.
7. A Little Of This, A Little Of That: Essential Oil Blending Ratios
Now that you have your blends written out on paper, you know which essential oils you need to use, but you may be wondering how much of each oil to use. This is where essential oil blending ratios come into play.
I know I’ve said it quite a few times already, but when it comes to blending essential oils there is no “one right way” to do it. The same is true when it comes to essential oil blending ratios. Like most essential oil blending concepts, it comes down to what you like. With that said, I’m going to share a few of the simplest blending ratios I’ve personally used to help give you a place to start.
Essential Oil Blending Ratios
- The 30-50-20 Rule
- The Perfect Balance
- Bottoms Up
The 30-50-20 Rule
When creating essential oil blends, the ratio I almost always follow is what I call the “30-50-20 Rule.” This is an essential oil blending ratio where you use 30% of your top note oil, 50% of your middle note oil, and 20% of your base note oil in your blend. This blending ratio consists of 10 total drops of essential oils, totaling 100% once combined.
I like this blending ratio because it provides an even distribution of essential oil notes, and I’ve personally had the most luck with it, especially when creating blends that are a mix of essential oil categories.
Let’s use one of Leslie’s blends as an example for this blending ratio.[info_box type=”note_box”]
- Blend #1 (citrus, floral, spicy): lemon (T) + neroli (M) + ginger (B)
- 30, 50, 20 Rule: 30% lemon (3 drops) + 50% neroli (5 drops) + 20% ginger (2 drops)
Since Leslie is starting out making small test blends that total 10 drops, it’s easy to figure out how many drops she needs of each oil.
The Perfect Balance
Another simple essential oil blending ratio to follow is what I call “The Perfect Balance,” and I like to use this one when combining essential oils from the same category. Of course, it can definitely be used for oils from mixed categories as well, but it works really well with similar oils.
In this blending ratio, you will use equal percentages for each of your essential oils. This blending ratio consists of 15 total drops of essential oils, totaling 100% once combined.
Let’s take a look at it in one of Leslie’s blends.[info_box type=”note_box”]
- Blend #2 (floral): geranium (T) + lavender (M,T) + ylang ylang (M,B)
- The Perfect Balance: 33.333% geranium (5 drops) + 33.333% lavender (5 drops) + 33.333% ylang ylang (5 drops)
This last blending ratio is a fun one, and it’s the closest you’ll get to intermediate or advanced blending so I’ve saved it for last. I call it “Bottoms Up” because it’s exactly as it sounds. You’re going to turn your blend over and build it from the bottom up, starting with the base note, then the middle note, then the top note.
This blending ratio doesn’t have a drop limit, but keep in mind that you want your blend to stay small so you don’t waste your oils (in case you don’t like it). You’ll be keeping track of your essential oils and drops on paper. This blending ratio works well with pure combinations (essential oils from one category) and mixed combinations (essential oils from complementary categories).
Here’s how it works.
You’re going to start off by combining one drop of each base and middle note oils, swirl and smell your blend, then add another drop or two of whichever oil (base or middle note) you like best. Don’t forget to keep track of everything on paper, including your thoughts on the aroma of your blend (see the “on taking notes” section below).
Once you’ve got your base and middle note oils smelling the way you want them, you’ll add in one drop of your top note oil, swirl and smell your blend again, and see what you think. From there, you keep adding oils one drop at a time until you get the a scent you like. Like I said, this blending ratio is a mix between beginner and intermediate blending because you’re only working with three essential oils, but you’re relying on your senses and intuition to guide you.
Again, let’s take a look at Leslie’s last blend as an example.[info_box type=”note_box”]
- Blend #3 (minty, woodsy): peppermint (T) + pine (M) + angelica (M,B)
- Bottoms Up: 28.5% peppermint (2 drops) + 57.1% pine (4 drops) + 14.2% angelica (1 drops)
As you can see, this blend only required 7 drops of oil to get it to where she wanted it!
Now it’s your turn. Take a look at your essential oil blends you came up with in step 5 and decide which essential oil blending ratio you’d like to try. Maybe you’d like to try each blending ratio on each potential blend! Just be sure you label well to keep track of what’s what!
I recommend keeping your information written down in a notebook and labeling your blends by number. Using Leslie’s blends as an example, her first blend would be written down in a notebook and her physical blend would be labeled with a #1.
8. Time For A Break: Letting Your Essential Oil Blends Rest
Once you’ve blended all your blends together to test them, it’s time to take a break and let your blends rest for a minimum of 24 hours… 48 hours is better. This is so each blend’s aroma can develop. Believe it or not, when you open your blends back up the next day, they’re going to smell a bit different than you remember. This is why keeping good notes is important. You want to describe what you smell so you can remember where your blend has been and where it is now. This will help you to see if you like what you’ve created.
9. Testing Your Blend
And here we are… the last step on blending essential oils. Whew!
At this point, your blend has just finished its resting period. Now it’s time to test it and see what you think. To test the blend, we’re going to use time and carrier oils to see how they affect the scent of the blend, and we’re going to keep track of all this testing in a blending notebook.
On Taking Notes
Let me quickly speak to taking notes and keeping track of your blends.
I recommend you get a small notebook that’s specific to your essential oil blends to write all of your notes in. This way, everything is in one place and you can easily find your thoughts, information, and blend recipes whenever you need them.
Now, when it comes to keeping track of your thoughts on scent, here’s a list of questions to ask yourself.
- What do I enjoy about this scent?
- What do I not like about this scent?
- What does it remind me of?
- Do I smell anything in particular first? Second?
- How does it make me feel?
- How does it smell after 2 hours? 4 hours?
Now that you know a bit more about taking notes, let’s get to the actual testing part.
To start off, open your bottle and place a drop or two of your blend on a testing strip or a cotton ball. Smell it. Do you like the overall scent? Do you smell one oil over the others? Smell it again. What else do you notice? How does it make you feel? Write your thoughts in your blending notebook.
Next, try diluting your blend in a carrier oil. You can take 4 drops of any carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond, grapeseed, avocado, or any oil you’d like (preferably one without a strong scent) and add 1 drop of your essential oil blend to it. You now have a 20% dilution. Now smell it? What do you think? Does that change the scent? What do you notice first? How does it make you feel now? Describe your thoughts in your notebook.
You can dilute the blend even further by adding 5 more drops of carrier oil to get a 10% dilution. Smell this and write your thoughts down in your notebook. Every time you dilute the blend, it will change the scent slightly.
Wait a couple hours and repeat the whole process again by smelling the undiluted blend and the diluted one, being sure to write down how the blend smells to you now and how it makes you feel. The scent of the blend will change over time as the top notes begin to evaporate off.
After testing your blend, if you like the scent and how it makes you feel, go with it. You can now make more of your blend, using larger amounts of oils, before bottling it up and labeling it. If you don’t like the scent or it doesn’t affect you the way you hoped it would, you can start the process over varying the amount of essential oils used or you can chose different oils all together.
The possibilities are endless!
Back To My Signature Scents
Okay, so let me finish my story where I left off earlier.
I’m happy to say that the decision to create signature scents for my products (along with updating my branding and taking new photos) completely changed my business. I was invited to some pretty prestigious Etsy teams, my products were featured on Etsy’s front page over and over again, sales were coming in daily, I had repeat customers who were not only buying my products for themselves but as gifts too, and I had wholesale accounts and blog features… all because I made some simple, small changes to my products.
Now, you don’t have to make physical products to create your own essential oil blends or signature scents. You can use essential oil blends to make your own perfumes or to scent your own homemade skin care products. You can also use them to support your health and emotions in a variety of ways.
You also don’t have to have a ton of essential oil education to get started. You can learn as you go and find valuable resources to help you along the way. Like I always say… progress over perfection.
Are you ready to create some of your very own essential oil blends? If so, let me help you get started by giving you my free PDF on 24 commonly used essential oils and their properties (plus a special gift from Plant Therapy).
Sign up below to download a PDF with 24 essential oils and the various ways they can be used… including oils in all eight blending categories! Once you sign up, you’ll get the download link in your inbox shortly as well as your special gift from Plant Therapy (one of my favorite essential oil companies)! Be sure to save the file to your computer for safekeeping, and print a copy out for quick access too!
Post originally published: July 2013 – Updated: March 2017
- Aromatic Blending of Essential Oils. (n.d.). Retrieved July 05, 2013, from http://aromaweb.com/articles/aromaticblending.asp
- Bovenizer, S. (n.d.). Top Middle and Base Notes in Aromatherapy. Retrieved July 5, 2013, from http://www.suzannebovenizer.com/aromatherapy-essential-oils/top-middle-and-base-notes-in-aromatherapy
- Natural Perfumery Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved July 5, 2013, from http://www.edenbotanicals.com/natural-perfumery-basics.html