Dabbling in essential oils can be intimidating. Not only are there costs involved, but there are a lot of industry experts out there who make claims that can be confusing. The solution? Blend your own oils for a personal purpose—no pressure for them to perform any medicinal or therapeutic miracles. Sometimes, they’re best for a nice, natural smell.
Here are the easiest four steps to getting started for the sheer enjoyment of their fragrances. By the end, you’ll know how to make essential oils work for you by blending aromas you know you’ll enjoy.
What you’ll need:
- Small amber glass vials with a roll-on applicator top.
- Labels for each creation. There’s nothing worse than making a beautiful scent you can’t remember how to replicate.
- Carrier oils for dilution. I recommend Jojoba oil and Hemp Seed oil.
- A medicine dropper.
And of course, you’ll need single oils. A “single” is an essential (or absolute) oil made of only one essence, whereas a “blend” is a pre-mixed combination of essential oils. Whether the producer believes its blend smells good, has medicinal qualities, or enhances an emotion, it’s still a mix of someone else’s favorite. Because the quality of an aroma is so subjective, blending your own single oils is sure to yield a mixture you know is right for you.
Many people would love to experiment with personalized essential oil blends, but are afraid to make the mistake of a product they misjudged. The term “experiment,” however, implies both successes and failures; some of your blends simply won’t be enjoyable to you. To cut costs, consider buying a sampler pack of single oils, or giving a shout to friends on social media asking to borrow their own single oils. Keep in mind you’ll only need to use a few drops of each of their fragrances.
Step 2: Prepare to Experiment
Once you have your hands on all the single fragrances you’d like to work with, have a fun scent-testing session with your family to determine your favorites. The best way to do this is to, without peeking at its name, open one small bottle at a time and pass it around, letting each person gently waft the fragrance toward his or her nose. The goal of this exercise is not to guess what each aroma is, but to determine your feeling toward it before knowing what it is.
During your introduction to these single oils, avoid quick associations like “This one smells like licorice” or “I’ll bet this one is Frankincense.” Instead, consider only how well you enjoy it. Rate each scent on a scale of 1 to 10 before you hear its name. This way, you’ll be able to assess aromas anew, without the preconceived emotional and mental influences in which so many scents are rooted.
I thought I’d love the smell of tea tree oil, for instance, because a close friend of mine wears it in a blend. She always smells fantastic. But when I “blind-smelled” it, I was unimpressed. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, it was only worth a 3! Similarly, I thought I was against floral aromas, until I found myself rating Night Jasmine and Neroli at 11 before knowing what they were.
Step 3: Blend Your Scents
Now, you’re ready to mix. When learning how to make essential oils blend perfectly for you, the goal is to combine your favorite fragrances (established in step 2) with other scents that are in either the same aroma family or complementary families. AromaWeb has a reputable list of which groups blend well together.
To make your first of many essential oil recipes, pluck your favorite oil from its group. For me, that meant finding my “11,” which was Jasmine. Then, collect your highest-rated fragrances from families that complement your first oil’s category. For my Jasmine oil, that ruled out minty and herbacious oils, and (thankfully) confined me to spicy, citrusy, and woodsy fragrances. Without these categorical blending guidelines, beginners could get lost. The structure of each aroma family gives novices just enough confidence in their decision while still keeping the uniqueness of the end recipe.
Once you have two or three single oils to blend, use a medicine dropper to measure two drops of each into a roller-top amber glass bottle. Shake the mixture, and give it a sniff. Did one of the fragrances overpower the other? If so, add a few more drops of the lighter one for balance. Continue adjusting until you genuinely love the combination.
Once you’re a fan of the proportions of your blend, add at least twenty drops of carrier oil, and shake again.
Which mixtures do you expect will work best for you? Which ones do you want to try for the first time? Tweet your favorite combinations with pictures to @TomsofMaine!
Image sources: Bethany Johnson
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.