Blending Essential Oils for Beginners
We get a lot of questions about how to blend essential oils and which essential oils work together the best. There seems to be a perception that there’s a right way of blending essential oils and there’s a wrong way. While, yes, certain essential oils smell better together than others and certain oils have properties that synergize nicely for the effect your looking for, I don’t believe there is one correct way of blending oils. In my opinion, the best way of learning to blend essential oils is by experimenting. In this article, I’ll give you guidelines to help inform this process of creating your own personal essential oil blend.
5 Steps for Creating Your Own DIY Essential Oil Blend:
1. Decide What You Want
For some people, this is the hardest part of mixing up a blend. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is there a specific therapeutic property I’m going for?
- Are there any emotional effects I’d like to cultivate?
- What sort of aroma am I looking for?
- Are there any essential oils I absolutely want to include? Are there any oils I want to avoid?
Maybe you want to create a blend for headache relief or maybe you just want to create a fresh, floral perfume to celebrate the arrival of spring (!). Any of these are great jumping off points.
2. Pick Your Essential Oils
Once you have an idea, start brainstorming ideas for what essential oils you want to use. If you’re creating a blend that’s targeting a specific ailment or symptom, I’d recommend researching oils that are used for that purpose. The internet is a useful resource for this, but it’s not always the best because a) it’s full of misleading information about aromatherapy and b) it can be really overwhelming. I like to go the old fashioned route and consult books! One of my favorites is the Aromatherapy Book by Jeanne Rose. Once you have a rough list of essential oils you might like to include, start narrowing it down by considering factors such as aroma, cost, and availability. Don’t get rid of too many of your options though, because you’ll want to experiment a little bit with them before making a final decision (see step 4). Also, check out our chart below to see which oils combinations we like the best:
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Or consult the following blending guide to get started:
- Lavender blends well with: Bergamot, Chamomile (Roman and German), Lemon, Geranium, Clove, Clary Sage, Palmarosa, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Rose, Jasmine, Ravensara, Lemongrass, and Mandarin essential oils.
- Eucalyptus blends well with: Coriander, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pine, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Rosemary, and Thyme essential oils.
- Sweet Orange blends well with: Marjoram, Vetiver, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Bay, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Frankincense, and Geranium.
- Lemon blends well with: Bergamot, Fennel, Eucalyptus, Galbanum, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Neroli, and Clary Sage.
- Rosemary blends well with: Olibanum, Lavender, Lavandin, Citronella, Thyme, Basil, Peppermint, Labdanum, Elemi, Cedarwood, Petitgrain, and Cinnamon essential oils
- Geranium blends well with: Cedarwood, Citronella, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lime, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose, Rosemary, and Sandalwood essential oils.
- Ylang Ylang blends well with: Vetiver, Lemon, Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Sandalwood, Palmarosa, Neroli, Narcissus, and Bergamot.
- Peppermint blends well with: Bergamot, Geranium, Marjoram, Rosemary, Lavender, Sandalwood, Basil, Benzoin, Niaouli, and Grapefruit.
- Tea Tree blends well with: Clove, Lavender, Thyme, Clary Sage, Geranium, Myrrh, Lemon, Lavandin, Marjoram, and Nutmeg.
Tip: If you’re feeling a little stuck, it’s useful to check out other people’s essential oil blend recipes for inspiration. When I was first getting started, I also liked to look at essential oil companies’ custom blends to see which oils they used for what. You won’t get exact ratios, but these can provide a pretty nice framework for creating your own blend. If you want to check out the blends we’ve created at Dreaming Earth, click here.
3. Gather Supplies
Here are the things I like to have on hand when creating aromatherapy blends:
Of course, you don’t need to have all of these things (except, of course, the essential oils and probably the glass bottles). I find pipettes to be very useful when creating new blends and a notebook and pen is great to have on hand to keep a record of what ratios you’ve been using. If you write things down, you won’t find yourself in the tragic situation of having an awesome blend in your bottle, but having no idea how to recreate it.
This is the fun part. I like to start simply by using the pipettes to suck up a little bit of each of my oils and take whiffs of them. If you’re wondering how two oils smell together but don’t want to commit to mixing them yet, try putting a little bit of each into two pipettes and wafting them in front of your nose at the same time. You can also try dabbing a drop of each on your wrist. You might find that at a certain point you can’t tell the difference between anything anymore. You’re not going crazy, your nose is just overwhelmed and temporarily desensitized! Some people recommend sniffing coffee beans, but I usually just step out of the room for a few minutes to let my nose calm down. See what works best for you.
5. Bottle and Label
Once you’ve found a blend you love, bottle it up and be sure to label it and jot down the essential oils and their ratios on the bottle and/or in your notebook. When I first started creating essential oil blends, I never labelled anything and I still have mysterious, unlabelled bottles floating around in my house. You can find labels at most office supply stores, use masking tape, or just create your own on paper and use tape.
And you’ve done it! You’ve officially created your first essential oil blend. Let me know how it went. 🙂