In our last post (Essential oils from Down Under), you may have noticed that for some of the oils I provided information on blend classification and what oils that respective essential oil blended with. This information can be useful to those of you who want to start making your own essential oil blends, and where ever possible I will provide this information for essential oils I discuss in future posts.
Why blend different essential oils?
Combining two or more essential oils creates a synergistic effect, i.e. the combined effect is greater than if you had applied the individual oils on their own. To put it another way, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
Blending essential oils is more an art form than a science, e.g. the order in which you blend oils will determine what therapeutic qualities come out in a blend. As a rule of thumb, essential oils that come from the same botanical family will tend to blend well together, as will oils that have similar constituents.
Methods of blending
One method of blending involves using the blend classification. There are 4 classifications for essential oils: Personifier, Enhancer, Equalizer and Modifier. An oil can have more than one classification. E.g. Frankincense is both an enhancer and equalizer.
Depending on the application of your oil, you will probably want to add a carrier or base oil. This can be almond oil, avocado oil or even jojoba. You will also need a dark-coloured glass bottle. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let me explain each of the classifications in more detail.
Personifiers. These should make up 1-5% of your blend. They have strong and long-lasting aromas but also have strong therapeutic qualities. Oils that fall in this classification include: Cinnamon bark, clary cage, clove, german chamomile, ginger, helichrysum, mandarin, neroli, orange, patchouli, peppermint, rose, spearmint, wintergreen and ylang ylang.
Enhancers. These are the predominant oil in your blend and typically make up 50-80% of the blend. As their names suggest, they work to enhance the other oils in your blend. The aromas aren’t as sharp as the personifiers and don’t last as long. Oils in this classification include: Basil, bergamot, cedarwood, eucalyptus, frankincense, galbanum, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, tea tree, melissa, myrtle, oregano, rosemary, spruce and thyme.
Equalizers. These oils create synergy with the oils contained in the blend and typically form 10-15% of the blend. The aroma in these oils last only a short while and are not as strong as personifiers. Oils that fall in this classification include: Basil, bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, fennel, fir, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, myrtle, rosewood, sandalwood, spruce and thyme.
Modifiers. These oils bring harmony to the blend and make up 5-8% of the blend. Their aroma also last only a short duration. Oils that can be used as modifiers include: Bergamot, eucalyptus, fennel, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, lavender, lemon, myrrh, rosewood and sandalwood.
If you are creating a massage blend, I would suggest 50 drops of your essential oil blend to 118 milliliters (4 oz.) of the base oil. If it’s not a massage blend, try 28 drops of the essential oil blend to 15 milliliters (1/2 oz.) of the base oil.
In my next post, I’ll show you another technique for making blends using what are termed “perfume notes”. This is particularly useful if you want to make your own perfume blends.
Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.
Higley, Connie and Alan. Reference Guide to Essential Oils (12th edition), Spanish Fork, Utah: Abundant Health, 2010