A certain kind of synergy is created when different essential oils are blended together, since you may wish to add some therapeutic properties of one oil to another when putting together a massage oil or creating your own essential oil cream.
This is then basically the Gestalt theory at work, where the sums of the individual items are larger than the individuals on their own.
Although you may simply be looking at blending therapeutic oil, the fragrance should still be "balanced" and in harmony and this is where the fragrance notes come into play.
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A Frenchman called Piesse classified the odors of essential oils in the 19th century according to musical scales, and this is where the top, middle and base notes originated.
As a rule of thumb, the combination between top, middle and base notes should be in harmony and the following formula is normally used. Select oils from all three categories but use less of the top and middle notes than that of the base note.
There are some "rules" that people like to mention, and these being that a well-rounded fragrance will normally be composed as follows:
Top notes 15 - 25% of the blend. Middle notes 30 - 40% of the blend. Base notes 45 - 55% of the blend.
Even with such "rule of blending" being bandied around, the most important factor to keep in mind is that you, or the person on which the oil blend is going to be used, likes it.
If for instance you wish to create a massage oil in the winter, you may want to add peppermint to the blend, but since peppermint is a cooling oil, you would need to balance it with other oils, such as ginger and sandalwood.
A good blend is normally compiled by mixing oils from all three classes of oils - that being top notes, middle notes and base notes.
It is however very important that you are happy with the aroma and fragrance of the blended oil, since it has to be pleasing to your senses to achieve the maximum effect.
The list below is what we have compiled, and may contain errors, since there is much division on the classification of the top, middle and base notes, but we hope that the list below would give a fairly accurate view of the division.
Essential oils that are classified as top notes normally evaporate very fast and normally also have anti-viral properties.
They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature and are generally not very expensive. Top notes are generally highly volatile, fast acting, give the first impression of the blend and are not very long lasting.
The following essential oils are considered top notes:
The bulk of essential oils are considered middle notes and normally give body to the blend and have a balancing effect.
The smells of middle notes are not always immediately evident and may take a couple of minutes to come into their own right and are normally warm and soft fragrances.
The following essential oils are considered middle notes:
Essential oils that are classified as base notes are normally "heavy" oils with their fragrance evident, but will also slowly evolve and be present for a long time and slows down the evaporation of the other oils.
These fragrances are normally intense and heady. They are normally rich and relaxing in nature and are also the most expensive of all oils.
The following essential oils are considered base notes:
Blending does not only rely on the notes alone, since some oils are extremely fragrant and in some cases, overpoweringly so.
When using these very strongly fragranced oils, it is best to add a drop of oil at a time to prevent it from overpowering your entire blend.
Blending oil can be fun, and remember that the end result should be to your liking, so it is no problem if you do not follow the guidelines about using the different notes at all - they are only guidelines to help you along.