Have you ever wondered how to blend essential oils together?
I know I did when I first started using them on myself and my kids. I’d buy a bunch of single oils as well as several synergy blends because I didn’t know how to make them myself.
Synergy blends are combinations of oils that all work well together and promote something specific like relaxation, energy, keeping bugs away, etc. These blends of essential oils can be used for their aromatherapy purposes as well as their medicinal purposes.
Over time, I’ve become more confident in blending essential oils myself as a result of learning how to do it and practicing.
Now I can’t help you with the practicing, but I can help you with learning how to do it. Not only will blending essential oils yourself save you money, but it will boost your confidence and help you learn how to use them effectively within your family!
Today I want to share the basics of blending essential oils with you so that you can walk away, get the oils you need, and start making your own synergy blends yourself! We’ll go through the steps that will make this an easy process for you when you decide to try it on your own!
What Result Are You Looking For?
Why do you want to blend oils together? What will their purpose be? How will you use this blend?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a single oil or start blending anything.
Let’s say for our example today that you want to make a blend of oils that helps lift the spirit and provide some energy. This would be a great blend for mom or dad first thing in the morning or mid-afternoon if you start to feel tired. It’s a great blend for giving the kids morning baths with. It’s also a great blend to use in an essential oil diffuser when your studying or homeschooling your children.
How To Choose Quality Essential Oils
Like everything else in life, there are varying qualities of essential oils.
The quality that you’re looking for will depend upon what you’re using the oils for. Almost all oils are for external use only although there are a couple brands that can be used internally. Some brands are therapeutic grade while others are not. Some brands are not pure essential oils and contain fillers or additives.
Your best bet is to know what you need the oils for, know the kind you need, and then research the companies that sell those types of oils to get the quality you need.
Here are some great quality oils that will fit different budgets.
For our example today, I’m going to be referring to oils for external use only, and I’ll be linking to Eden’s Garden oils. They are 100% pure essential oils, they have great prices, and they’re one of my favorite brands.
I’ll also be talking about using essential oils safely at the bottom of the post.
Step 1 – Finding Essential Oils With The Properties You Need
This first step is pretty easy. All you need to do is Google it.
So in our example, we want to make a synergy blend of oils that is uplifting and energizing so we’d need to Google “energizing essential oils” or “uplifting essential oils”.
When I do this, these are the oils that I find:
- clary sage
- tea tree
Are you seeing anything similar among these oils? They’re all very distinct, and they all have stimulating and clarifying properties. You have strong, minty type oils like rosemary, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, tea tree, pine, cypress, and then you have sweeter or spice like oils such as clary sage, bergamot, lemongrass, lemon, basil, grapefruit, and ginger.
Step 2 – Blending Essential Oils Based On Their Categories and Notes
This step is the most tricky part for beginners, but it really doesn’t have to be. This is where you pick and choose from the oils in the above list based on each oils “category” and “note”.
This is mainly used when blending essential oils so that your blend comes out smelling nice. It’s more for aromatherapy purposes, not so much for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. But, in my opinion, if I’m making a blend of oils for a therapeutic purpose, I still want it to smell good so I follow this step even in that case.
First we’ll talk about what categories and notes are, and then we’ll put it all into practice with our example.
Essential Oil Categories
Essential oils are grouped together based on their aromas, and oils from the same categories tend to blend well together. You can also mix and match categories which I’ll talk about below. The following information is from AromaWeb.com… they have a great article on this topic, but I’m going to share some of it here. Just click the link above to read their article if you want to learn more in depth on this topic.
- Floral – Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine
- Woodsy – Pine, Cedar
- Earthy – Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
- Herbaceous – Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil
- Minty – Peppermint, Spearmint
- Medicinal – Eucalyptus, Cajuput, Tea Tree
- Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon
- Oriental – Ginger, Patchouli
- Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime
- Floral blends with woodsy, spicy and citrus
- Woodsy blends with floral, earthy, herbaceous, minty, medicinal, spicy, oriental and citrus
- Earthy blends with woodsy and minty
- Herbaceous blends with woodsy and minty
- Minty blends with woodsy, earthy, herbaceous and citrus
- Medicinal blends with woodsy
- Spicy blends with floral, woodsy, oriental and citrus
- Oriental blends with floral, woodsy, spicy and citrus
- Citrus blends with floral, woodsy, minty, spicy and oriental
Thanks goes to Stan for this new simplified list of categories!!
Essential Oil Notes
The “note” of an essential oil is based on how quickly it evaporates. When you put a blend of oils on your skin, it will smell one way, but 3 hours later it may smell another way because some of the oils in your blend have evaporated. These notes are based on the musical scale and are referred to as top notes, middle notes, and base notes.
Refer to the article on AromaWeb.com to find a great list of which oils are which. Below I’m going to categorize the oils in our example only.
- clary sage
- tea tree
Most times, for beginners, it’s recommended that you only start with three oils. A top note oil, a middle note oil, and a base note oil. The more comfortable and experienced you get with blending essential oils, the more oils you can add to your blends.
Energizing Blend Example
For our example we’re going to blend some oils from the oriental, citrus, and floral categories since they will work well together. I’m going to use lemon (citrus) and ginger (oriental) because lemon is a top note and ginger is a base note.
Notice that I don’t have any middle note oils that work really well with the blending categories I’ve chosen. The energizing oils that are middle notes are woodsy, herbaceous, and medicinal. The woodsy category is the only one that can work with citrus and oriental categories, but I’d like to stick with a lighter scent and the floral category just so happens to work well with the citrus and oriental categories.
Notice the example oils in the floral category – lavender, neroli, and jasmine. Neroli is a citrus oil with a floral aroma which is why it’s included in the floral category, not the citrus one. Neroli also happens to be a middle note oil which will make it a perfect addition to our energizing blend. Although it’s not really an oil known to be energizing, it will balance our blend so that the lemon and ginger can do its job.
Step 3 – Blending And Testing Essential Oil Blends
Once you’ve narrowed down your oil choices based on what they’re used for (step 1) and then narrowed them down again based on their categories and notes (step 2), you’re ready to actually start blending.
It’s recommended that you only start with 10 drops of oil total so you can test your essential oil blend without wasting too much of your precious oils, in case you don’t care for it later.
Remember, you’re only working with your essential oils right now… you are not diluting them with carrier oils yet.
Another thing you may be wondering is how much do you use of each oil. The rule I go by when creating an essential oil blend is the 30, 50, 20 rule where you use 30% of your top note oil, 50% of your middle note oil, and 20% of your base note oil. This is because when you use your blend, you’re going to smell all the oils together first. After a while the top note will have evaporated which will leave you with the middle and base note. As more time goes by your middle note will evaporate leaving you with the base note alone.
Let’s look at how this works in our example.
Example Energy Blend
For our example we’re using lemon (top note), neroli (middle note), and ginger (base note) oils. If I’m starting with only 10 drops of oils and following the 30, 50, 20 rule my sample will look like this.
- 3 drops lemon
- 5 drops neroli
- 2 drops ginger
Step 4 – Letting Your Essential Oil Blend “Rest”
This next step is the easy part. Once you’ve mixed your oils you need to set your new blend aside and let it rest for 24-48 hours. This resting period allows the chemicals and constituents of the different essential oils to mix and meld together, helping them blend better.
Step 5 – Testing Your Blend
This is the last step on blending essential oils. At this point, your oils have just finished their resting period. Now it’s time to smell them and see what you think.
Smell them as they are, on their own. What do you think?
Next try diluting some of your blend in a carrier oil. You can take 4 drops of 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?
You can dilute it even further by adding 5 more drops of carrier oil to it and see how that smells too. This is a 10% dilution.
If you like the scent, go with it. Now you can make more of your blend using larger amounts of oils, let it rest, then bottle it up and label it using it as needed.
If you don’t like the scent, you can start the process over varying the amount of oils used or you can chose different oils all together. The possibilities are endless!
A Word On Essential Oil Safety
The issue of essential oil safety is a hot topic these days. Essential oils are strong and concentrated, and they can be poisonous in large does. They can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals, and some can even react badly with people who have certain medical conditions or who are on certain medications. It’s not recommended to use essential oils on children younger that 3 months old although lavender, chamomile, and tea tree are the safest, but they still need to be diluted and used in small amounts.
Almost all oils are going to caution you about safety, especially when using them with children or with people with medical conditions. I’d recommend Googling the safety of specific oils or checking to see if they can safely be used. Remember, Google is your friend.
There’s also a great site called LearningAboutEOs.com that is all about giving you unbiased information from certified aromatherapists about essential oils and how to safely use them. I’ve learned and am learning SOOOO much from this site!
And lastly, let me caution you about who you get your essential oil information from. I am NOT an essential oil expert. I do not have any sort of background or education on essential oils other than what I’ve taught myself via books and blogs. You can take my advice (as I always try to research well), but I recommend you double check me and do your own research. Essential oils are many times stronger than herbs, and they don’t contain plant properties that will buffer their side effects like an herb does. Children in particular are more sensitive to them than an adult is. I strongly recommend you get your information from certified aromatherapists that aren’t affiliated with specific companies as you’ll know they’re unbiased and not out to get you to buy their oils. Just sayin’.
The post 10 Must Have Essential Oils for Children may help you when it comes to easily picking essential oils suitable for children. Also be sure to read my post on essential oil safety for different aged children.
It’s come to my attention that there are many different thoughts on using eucalyptus essential oils on small children. Seeing as there are over 20 different varieties of eucalyptus essential oils, the mildest and safest variety is E. smithie so make sure you research your oils before putting them on your sweet babies.
Interested in more posts by me that use essential oils? Here you go…
- The Best Essential Oil for Teeth
- How To Reduce A Kids Fever Naturally Using Essential Oils (Mama Natural guest post)
- DIY Menthol Pads for Steam Vaporizers
- How To Make a No-Sew Herbal Dream Pillow to Help Your Little One Sleep Well Tonight (Thank Your Body guest post)
- How To Make a Homemade Burn Cream for Your Child
- Fighting Yeast In the Body: Mama & Baby
- How To Make Healthy Kids Toothpaste
- Why Your Home Should Have An Odor Print
- Essential Oil Bug Blend For Children