Living Healthy Blog
How To Blend Essential Oils
Have you been confused about how to blend essential oils? Unsure what really makes sense? While the complexities of essential oils requires that you understand some basic principles in order to achieve the best results of your essential oil blending efforts, it's not all that scary. In fact, at the end of the day, blending essential oils is like painting on a blank canvas. There are certain things you COULD do, but nothing is a must. You can still achieve extraordinary blends with trial and error. However, knowing basic principles might help you save time and money.
The first and most important is understanding the classification of each oil. Essential oils are categorized as either top, middle or base notes, each representing how you experience the oil, for how long and which oil will dominate within the blend. Let's break them down so you can see how their classification matters in your oil selection process.
Base notes: These are the evident and most intense oils, ensuring their presence is unmistakeable. These oils are the longest lasting of the group, tend to be the most expensive and certainly dominate the blend. An example of a base would be Ylang Ylang. Knowing how much of a base note oil to include will dictate its ability to play nice with the other oils. NOTE: You can have more than one base note in a blend. When doing so, be aware that it will typically be strong when diffused. That's why adding the next two notes are crucial for creating a harmonious balance in your blend.
Middle notes: Most of the oils you've enjoyed are likely to fall within the middle notes classification of essential oils. One such oil that is immensely popular would be Lavender. While their fragrance may not be very evident from the get go, they do begin to surface and offer a balance to the blend that is necessary.
Top notes: The oils that you typically will recognize first are likely to be top notes. They are light, gentle and while they are the first oil you smell, they do not last, as the middle and base note oils begin to dominate.
Not understanding this basic principle will cause your oils to compete with one another as opposed to complimenting each other within the blend. What's the point if you put an oil that does little if anything to the overall blend? To avoid lessening the value of all the oils within your blend, understanding their place in the mix will help you experience the most of each oil and get the benefits of the entire blend.
Let's take a look at a well-balanced blend we create at myChoice Aromatherapy:
VIBRANT Essential Oil Blend
- Sweet Orange (Top note) - Experienced first with its soft citrus expressions
- Ylang Ylang (Middle to base note) - The balancer oil, keeping the scent in check
- Patchouli (base note) - The longer lasting oil that also extends the life of the other essential oils.
There are many great resources available today that can aide you in creating "award-winning" blends. While we have aromatherapists to help us master the hand-crafting of essential oil blends, even we've spent tons of time and money to ensure our customers experience the utmost benefit from the air fresheners we produce.
If you're interested in blending, start small by visiting your local natural grocer, sample their essential oils, select a few and start testing your very own. Be patient and always enjoy the journey.
Telling you not to diffuse essential oils might seem counter intuitive, but the truth is, we do what we do to make people's lives a better experience.
I could give you dozens of reasons to diffuse and enjoy the varying blends of essential oils in your car and home. However, there are times where you should take precautions and realize like anything in life, it's all about moderation.
Here are 3 easy best practices to consider when diffusing essential oils, especially in your car:
- Always Consider diffusing no more than 10-15 minutes at a time. Essentaial oils are natural and can be potent. Just as you shouldn't drink an excess amount of coffee (also natural), the same holds true with essential oils. Too much of a good thing is still too much. To ensure the best experience, plug in the car diffuser for increments of ten minutes for every 45 minutes on the road. Adjust according to the strength of the aromatherapy blend, as they do differ from one blend to the next.
- If it's possible, always keep a window cracked just enough to allow fresh oxygen into the car. That helps balance your breathing. In the winter, consider opening the air vents to allow outside air into the car.
- Consider who's with you in the car. If you have an infant or child under 7 years of age riding with you, it's best to not diffuse essential oils. If you decide to, always check with your physician first and let them know which essential oils you plan to diffuse, as some are deemed safe for children. Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated and must be enjoyed responsibly.
As we already know, essential oils have been used for millennia. Nevertheless, we want you to keep yourself and your family well-balanced in all aspects of your life.
It's a new year and you're ready to make some health-conscious changes. So you decide to make your first purchase of essential oils. You search Google and every site you visit makes claims about purity and potency. But, how do you really know what to expect in terms of quality?
The truth is, you should expect the best from any and all essential oil sellers. Why? Because most oils come from the same sources. Nevertheless, you should always know the following to ensure you're purchasing legitimate essential oils.
- You buy your essential oils from a reputable brand or company in the United States, Canada or Western Europe. Things to look for include:
- Country of Origin
- Therapeutic status of oil
- Customer reviews
- Return policy
- Any additional certifications of the oils.
- The product is labeled as "100% pure essential oils" and not "fragrance oils" or 'perfume oils".
- They possess a label such as "USDA Organic" or "Therapeutic grade" on at least a few of their products. These are typically helpful indications to steer you in the right direction.
At myChoice, we take extreme pride in purchasing our oils from highly reputable sources in the United States and Canada. We blend these fine essential oils into the very natural air fresheners our customers have come to love over the years. You'll find some of our products to be Organic where stated. No matter where you go to make your purchase, read a bit about the company and always go with your instinct... it's usually a trustworthy voice.
At the end of the day, we all have such varying taste in essential oils. Just as we differ in taste for coffee and food, we can be moved by a particular brand of oils. It could be the strength or oil potency, or it may be the natural characteristics that make one brand stand out over another. So, while there are fundamental differences between quality of sources, the impact on our senses may be very subtle. It's up to you to experiment and find the one that resonates with your taste. Enjoy, explore and you'll find the one that speaks to you.
Over the past decade, we've seen an enormous growth in health products and their claims to do this or that for us. I'm the first to admit I've bought into much of the hype, and often let down by the promises... or, were they promises or just our natural instinct to be hopeful for the best outcome? Do we want to believe that our supplements, organic foods and natural air fresheners can bring about a real change in our wellbeing, or is it merely a placebo effect enough to keep our minds focused on being healthy?
I'm going to just state an opinion but one I believe may be shared by millions of people. Are you ready? Here it is...
Since the introduction of GMO foods, excessive pharmaceutical ads bombarding our airwaves and the proliferation of stress-induced ailments, we've all been scouring (oftentimes to an obsession) for a solution. We are resilient in our quest to overcome the health and planet challenges that face us each day.
I personally buy mainly organic foods (but not everything) and don't touch fast food (not even with a 7 foot pole). I'm a firm believer that our bodies are designed to accept the natural and in rejecting the unnatural, our bodies react to us, in the form of dis-ease, telling us we are out of harmony and corrective steps need to be taken to re-ease our body. Stress being a major culprit, can only further weaken our body's defenses, putting us at greater risk of falling ill.
While I paint a not-so-rosey picture of our state of the union, I remain absolutely hopeful that individual behavior makes the collective behavior. If I eat organic foods, I may encourage others to follow suit. For instance, I've gotten my parents to only buy organic produce. While they may not exclusively shop organic, it's a major shift for people who grew up before the GMO era.
I shop at Whole Foods and Sprouts not just because of the organic and natural food options. I go because I'm among like-minded shopper who also feel a sense of responsibility towards one another. The growers of organic farms work hard to preserve their crops, with a conscience that can't be overlooked. Their efforts aren't futile if more of us adopt a new behavior of consumption.
If I eliminate aerosol use and synthetic air freshener consumption, I'm cutting the demand of these products by one person. If I tell enough people to do the same, I may create a movement, albeit minor. We are seeing an explosion of natural fresheners on the market, expected to increase 5-fold by 2020. That's a movement.
The world is beginning to see the correlation between our health and our consumption behavior. It's undeniable, and for those still denying, that's ok. I think we all discover the truth when we are prepared to do so. Whatever you're ready for, do it. Begin altering small things in your daily behavior as it pertains to consumable goods. Even clothing today can be acquired from renewable or sustainable sources.
There's been a great deal of debate about the use of carrier oils and whether or not they benefit in the use
of diffusing essential oils. For context, carrier oils are neutral in scent and are natural, most popularly seen as almond or jojoba oils to name a couple. Their purpose is to dilute the concentration of the essential oil(s) to allow safe application to the body. By their very nature and purity, essential oils are derived from carefully grown and cultivated wild plants. They can be often extremely potent, especially when applied to the skin. Therefore, we know that applying carrier oil to essential oils for topical use is VERY necessary to prevent skin reactions, some of which could be severe.
How about when diffusing oils for the purpose of Aromatherapy, or as an air freshener? I've tested so many approaches to diffusing oils, both with and without the use of carrier oils, and various types of them as well. We've found that adding just 5-10% of carrier oil can assist with extending the life of the diffusion process, allowing the scented air freshener pads to last 15-30% longer. While the amount we put is so minimal, the result has consistently been a longer lasting aromatherapy experience. I personally love carrier oils because they don't interfere with the efficacy or aromatic qualities of the essential oils, and that's immensely important when we're talking about diffusing oils.
What do you think about carrier oils and do you use them for your topical essential oil applications? How about your DIY air fresheners?
I'd love to hear from you. Until then, diffuse with love!