Essential Oil Notes
One of the first properties to look at when blending essential oils is the note assigned to the oil being considered:
- Base Notes: Viscous oils that disperse more slowly, and are usually deeply relaxing and grounding. Examples are Rose, Jasmine, Neroli, and Sandalwood.
- Middle Notes: Moderate oils that are balancing and often harmonise a blend when used in small quantities. Examples are Lavender, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, and Sweet Marjoram.
- Top Notes: Thinner oils that have an instant effect and are usually uplifting and releasing. Examples are Lemon, Basil, Ginger, and Peppermint. It is often a good idea to choose at least one essential oil from each category, so a blend has a short, medium, and long-term effect. This is not always appropriate, for example if you want a blend to have an immediate effect, say as a decongestant, you may choose to focus more on top notes. An example of this is our Kathryn Anne Clear & Refresh Essential Oil Blend, which uses top note oils Eucalyptus and Lemongrass, balanced with Marjoram, to great effect.
- The therapeutic properties an essential oil possesses. These need to be matched against the needs of the person who may be using the blend. For example, someone suffering from anxiety may benefit from the calming and uplifting qualities of Basil, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Lavender, Mandarin, Melissa, Neroli, Rose, and/or the balancing qualities of Geranium, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, to name but a few!
- How well certain oils blend together to create the required aroma. This is based on established opinion and experimentation. Obviously the quantity of essential oil used plays a part here too, as some oils are very dominant compared to others.
- Personal preference. Some people express a liking for a particular aroma, or indeed a dislike.
- Precautions when using essential oils. There are some basic precautions in that essential oils should never be ingested or used neat on your skin (except Lavender and Tea Tree). Specific oils may have additional precautions, for example a number of oils shouldn't be used during the first 3 months of pregnancy as they may affect hormone levels.
- Massage oil. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) to a carrier massage oil such as Sweet Almond and get a willing volunteer to massage it in as required! Use no more than 5 drops to 10ml of oil. Experiment with blending your favourite essential oils together.
- Skin care. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) to an unscented cream and make your own face, hand, or body moisturiser. Use no more than 5 drops to 10ml of base cream.
- In the bath. Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) with a teaspoon of honey and add to your bath water. The honey acts as an emulsifier allowing the oils to disperse in the bath water evenly, leaving no oily residue.
- Still in the bath! Another idea for use in a bath is to add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) to a cup full of oats. Put the mixture in an old pop sock or the foot of an old pair of tights, tie a knot to secure it, and submerge it in the bath. The bath water will turn fragrant and milky and your skin will feel really soft afterwards. Great for dry skin and eczema, especially if you use essential oils such as Jasmine, Lavender, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Pine, Rose, Sandalwood, and Ylang ylang.
- Burners and diffusers. Use an essential oil burner. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) to the water in the bowl and enjoy the pure clean aromas. Great for getting rid of unwanted smells! Top up with further drops of essential oil as required and ensure that you never let the bowl burn dry, in fact one great tip is to keep a small jug of water close by so you can use it to refill the bowl without having to run backwards and forwards.
- As a decongestant. Some essential oils are great to use when you're feeling congested, chest or sinuses. Examples are Black Pepper, Eucalyptus Blue Gum, Fennel, Frankincense, Ginger, Lemon, Lime, Sweet Marjoram, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Pine, and Rosemary. Put a few drops on your pillow or tissue, use in steam inhalations or a massage oil or cream.
- Air freshener. Dissolve a few drops of essential oil in a little vodka, then top up with water in a spray container and use it as an air freshener, great for dispelling unwanted aromas and refreshing a room. Citrus oils, such as grapefruit and lemon, are very good for this.
- Insect repellant. Dissolve a few drops of essential oil in a little vodka, then top up with water in a spray container and use it as an insect repellent. The following essential oils are good for repelling insects: Bergamot, Citronella, Cypress, Eucalyptus Blue Gum, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Patchouli.
- When ironing. Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) to the water container in your iron to refresh your clothes.
- Bath mat. Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil(s) on your bath mat to refresh both it and the entire bathroom.
- Bites, burns and acne. Lavender and Tea Tree are the only essential oils that can be used neat on the skin. Lavender is excellent for burns and Tea Tree for insect bites and skin conditions such as acne (15% diluted in water).
Other Factors to Consider
Using Essential Oils
Here are some great ideas for use of essential oils in the home, so you can benefit from their wonderful aromas and therapeutic qualities whenever you want.