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Mixing Essential Oils

Before mixing essential oils, it’s important to ask yourself what the objective of the oil is and what you’re hoping to treat.

Two Rules for Blending Essential Oils

There are two basic rules to keep in mind when blending essential oils. While it is not necessary to commit these rules to memory, doing so will help you create better blends.

  • First, essential oils that are lighter, thinner are usually more aromatic (volatile) than those that are thicker. These oils have lighter, smaller molecules than their more viscous counterparts.
  • Second, essential oils absorb light, smaller molecules faster than larger, heavier ones. The smaller the molecule a blend contains, the faster that blend is metabolized. The opposite is true of larger molecules. These are absorbed slowly and remain in the system longer.

These two rules matter because when you blend heavy molecules with lighter ones, they have a synergistic effect on one another, allowing for the lighter molecules to remain in the body longer. This is as important for creating therapeutic blends as it is for creating simple perfumes and aromatherapy blends designed to be diffused.

In the essential oil trade, the heavier oils, which act to stabilize the lighter, more volatile oils, are called fixatives or fixing oils. Sandalwood, myrrh, and ylang-ylang are excellent examples of fixing oils. Oils are categorized according to their properties: floral, woodsy, earthy, herbaceous, minty, medicinal, spicy, oriental or citrus.

Oils from the same category tend to blend well together, but there are oils from different categories that can also blend well together; such as floral with woodsy, spicy and citrus. Earthy and herbaceous oils blend well with woodsy and minty ones. You can also blend oils according to how you want them to smell over time, which is when the “note” of an essential oil comes into play. Notes are used to categorize how essential oils evaporate over time, as either a ‘top’, ‘middle’ or ‘base’.

As different essential oils evaporate at different rates, when you put a blend of oils on your skin, it will smell a certain way at first but end up smelling differently in a few hours. When you’re ready to start blending: Start with a small quantity of 10 drops total. A good blend ratio is 3:5:2 – where you use 30% of your top note oil, 50% of your middle note oil, and 20% of your base note oil.

As time passes, the top note will evaporate first, which leaves you with the middle and base note. As more time goes by, the middle note will evaporate, and the base note will remain. Some top notes are grapefruit, lemon, eucalyptus, basil, bergamot, lemongrass, peppermint and spearmint; middle notes include clary, sage, pine, cypress, melaleuca and rosemary, and a base note is ginger.

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Once you’ve mixed your oils, set the blend aside and let it rest for 1 – 2 days. This resting period allows the chemicals and constituents within each essential oil to blend and bond better. At the end of the resting period, smell it and take a moment to consider if you like the scent. Next, dilute your blend in a carrier oil.

Some options for carrier oils which you can consider are jojoba, sweet almond, grapeseed, or avocado. Take 4 drops of your carrier oil and add 1 drop of your essential oil blend to it for a 20% dilution. Smell it to see if you like the scent.

You could also dilute it further by adding 5 more drops for a 10% dilution. Once you decide that you like the blend, you can make a larger batch with a larger quantity of oils. Let it rest, then bottle it and label it accordingly.