Incorporating essential oils into your everyday life is one of the easiest actions you can take to bring some balance into your life. Getting a whiff of your favorite scent may help you to feel more focused, tranquil, or confident. Purchasing pre-made blends is great, but making your own oil blend ensures you’ll get a mixture that perfectly suits your needs – and your nose! But the world of essential oils can be intimidating – where to even begin?
Essential Oil Basics
Essential oils are volatile oils of plants, usually extracted through steam distillation. They can seem expensive—and some rare oils ( like Jasmine) are extremely costly—but because you need only a few drops at a time, a small bottle can last for many months or even years. Essential oils should not be ingested or applied directly to the skin without the guidance of a health practitioner knowledgeable in aromatherapy.
To apply on the skin, always remember to dilute with a carrier oil first. This ensures the oil is safe for application. Good choices for carrier oil include:
- Jojoba oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil (this is my favorite!)
Blending essential oils is both art and science. It can be very complicated or very simple. Best to start with simple! A basic rule of thumb is to make a 2% dilution of any essential oil. That translates to about 12 drops of essential oil into one ounce of carrier oil. Easy peasy.
Combining essential oils not only enhances the scent but the effectiveness of the end product. And this is where things can get a bit more complicated.
Essential oils may be divided into groups according to how they smell: grassy, flowery, woodsy, spicy or citrus. Or they may be divided into top, middle and base notes like perfume ingredients.
If you are new to aromatherapy, you might do best to first decide what you want to use the oils for. Research which oils are most commonly used for your particular interest and let your nose guide the way. Place one or two drops of your chosen oils into one ounce of carrier oil. Mix and let the blend rest uncapped for 10-30 minutes. Now start building. Play with the ratio, adding a few drops at a time until you get a blend you love.
And don’t forget to write down your recipe! There’s nothing more frustrating than developing the perfect essential oil blend, only to forget what you put in it!