Aromatic Blending

Blending fragrant oils for their aroma can be very satisfying while still receiving therapeutic benefits. However, your focus will be on the aroma of your blend instead of its healing properties.

wheel of fragrancesEssential oils are categorized in groups according to their aromas as follows:

  • Floral
  • Earthy
  • Woodsy
  • Herbaceous/Fresh
  • Minty
  • Medicinal
  • Spicy
  • Oriental
  • Citrus

All categories can be mixed together, although some categories blend well together. For instance, spicy and oriental oils blend well with floral and citrus oils; citrus, woodsy, and herbaceous oils blend well with minty oils; and woodsy blends well with all categories.

Orchestrating your blend

Imagine your fragrant blend is a musical composition and you are writing a masterpiece. This is how a famous perfumer, Septimus Piesse, described it. Fragrant oils and their odors have been compared to sounds or musical notes. Just like a musical scale, going from the first or lowest note to last or highest note, the heavy smell goes to the sharpest smell.

Because oils evaporate at different rates, the aroma of a blend will change as time passes. Oils that evaporate the fastest within 1-2 hours are called top notes. Oils that evaporate within 2-4 hours are called middle notes. Oils that last the longest are known as base notes.

Creating Your Own Fragrant Scent

If you’ve never made perfume before, you may not know the importance of using the different notes. For the best fragrances, you can’t just throw together several essential oils and hope for the best. Some fragrances are stronger and longer lasting than others. Knowing what essential oils are in each note group will help you to make some beautiful and interesting creations with your perfume. Notes are what make up the difference between perfume and cologne.

Perfume_SciencePerfumery is a science. Today’s perfumes are mainly made with synthetic copies of essential oils as real oils would be too expensive to use in the mass production of perfume.

You will find most perfumes on the market today are diluted with alcohol and water. In your own laboratory, you may also want to use oil to dilute your perfume, although using alcohol will make them last longer. As you begin to blend your fragrances, you will want to experiment with a variety of different aromas. Most perfumes fall into one of the five categories as mentioned earlier:

  • Woodsy/Earthy: Cedarwood, Cypress, Pine, Patchouli, Vetiver, Myrrh and Sandalwood.
  • Floral/Oriental: Geranium, Jasmine, Neroli, Lavender, Rose and Ylang-Ylang
  • Herbal: Angelica, Basil, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Peppermint, and Rosemary.
  • Spicy: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Ginger, Neroli, Juniper, and Nutmeg.
  • Citrus: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Orange, and Lemongrass

It will require a bit of experimentation with essential oils to get the scent that you want. Making perfume is definitely an art and, like any art, the result will depend on the time, inspiration and imagination that goes into the product.