Each essential oil is classified into one of three categories. (Sometimes an essential oil can be a bit of both, or one reference will say an oil is a middle note while another says base, but in general, most sources are agreeable for the majority of oils.)
- Top Note
- Middle Note
- Base Note
Top notes are the oils that will first hit your nose when you smell a blend. They’re generally the least expensive of the oils and they evaporate the quickest of all the oils, lasting on average 1-2 hours, sometimes even less.
Middle notes are the ‘meat’ of a blend. They’re commonly your middle of the ground oils as far as price point is concerned, and can last 2-4 hours.
Base notes are the heaviest of all. They stick around the longest and have the deepest aroma. As you may have guessed, they’re usually the most expensive of the oils. It’s been said that some base notes can last for several days.
Most essential oil blends have a variety of oils from from each of the notes. A simple formula to start with is as follows:
- 30% top notes
- 50% middle notes
- 20% base notes
If you’re making a blend with 10 drops, you’ll want
- 3 drops of a top note, 5 drops of a middle note, and 2 drops of a base note – blended together with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of a carrier oil to yield a 5% dilution.
<Click here to download a PDF of common essential oils classified by note.>
Blending essential oils can be a fun experient! It’s often advised to start with just a small amount of essential oils (like the 10-drop formula listed above) and let them sit for a couple days to allow the aromas to blend together. Shake the bottle often, allowing the oils to mold together as best they can.
Using a limited amount of oils gives you the opportunity to decide if you like the particular blend. Maybe you want to tweak the formula a bit. That’s okay! Keep a journal and decide what you like the best. Keep in mind that diluting the blend more or less with the carrier oil can provide a different aroma, still. Also be mindful that if you plan to use your blend as a body scent, you may need to dilute it more to avoid skin irritation. Get to know your body and how it responds to different oils (by testing a very small area first), and always use a carrier oil when applying an essential oil topically!
These roller bottles are great for home blending once you find a ratio of oils that works for your ‘palate’. They hold 10 ml exactly, and will fit 10 drops essential oils + 2 tsp carrier oil. I use these funnels to add the carrier oil to the small bottle.