Saturday, November 7, 2009

THE ART OF BLENDING


I think anyone that works with essential oils knows that over half the fun is blending to create ones own scent. In my aromatherapy certification course we were challenged into creating a blend that not only smelled the way we wanted it to but would accomplish what we needed it to as well.

I've played with blends since the day I learned that essential oils existed but never did I create a blend for anything other than scent (except maybe bug repellent). Talk about difficult. My entire class spent 2 hours (first) deciding on what we needed a blend for, (second) what essential oils would accomplish what we needed and then (third) having that mix of EO's have a pleasing smell. The blend could be based on a physical (like for flu, arthritis, cramps, etc...), psychological or emotional need. I chose emotional & psychological. I needed to create a blend that would help me focus while I meditated. To help me feel calm and relaxed, reduce my anxieties, and bring about creative thoughts. To accomplish this I chose 4 EO's: Rosemary, Bergamot, Vetiver, and Chamomile. Sadly, I don't like the smell of chamomile and rosemary is overpowering. I was also being a little OCD making sure I had at least one EO from the top note, middle note and base note. Plus, I wanted a blend that didn't leave one EO as the dominant scent. Yes... it took forever! But, out of 25 people only 1 person ended up not loving their blend and thankfully it wasn't me. I ended up with something so beautiful I plan on using it in my soap.

For those interested in blending their EO's but not sure where to begin.

Top notes: usually evaporate within 1-2 hours
Middle notes: usually evaporate within 2-4 hours
Base notes: Take the longest time to evaporate and are considered the stabilizers of the blend.

When creating a blend for the first time it is recommended starting small, no more than 3 different EO's.

My instructor suggests the following ratio for beginners when creating a scent blend: 30% top notes, 50% middles notes and 20% base notes.

According to Salvatore Battaglia, author of The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy:

Floral notes blend best with woody, fruity, sweet and musty notes.
Green notes blend with any essential oil but are best used in small amounts.
Herbaceous notes blend best with camphoraceous and wood notes.
Spicy notes blend with any note but should be used in small amounts.
Woody notes blend well with any notes.
Earthy notes can blend with any notes but should be used in small amounts.


Caution using EO's with the elderly, children, pregnant woman, and those with certain health issues (i.e, epileptics, those on blood thinners, etc...)

Learn all you can about essential oils before you use them. They can create beautiful fragrances but they are also powerful medicines.

and... HAVE FUN! It is very rewarding to create something you love and that other people find pleasing as well :)