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Here’s Your Guide To Essential Oil Blending

A smart, simple guide to help you mix essential oils for a quality blend!

rose flower and essential oil. spa and aromatherapy


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… 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.


Blending Categories

  • 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 to find a great list of which oils are which. Below I’m going to categorize the oils in our example only.

Top Notes

  • basil
  • bergamot
  • eucalyptus
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • lemongrass
  • peppermint
  • spearmint

Middle Notes

  • clary sage
  • cypress
  • pine
  • rosemary
  • tea tree

Base Notes

  • ginger

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.

Source: Growing Up Herbal (EXCERPT)

Posted by: APL Cheeks


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