Are You Puzzled About How to Mix Essential Oils?

Are You Puzzled About How to Mix Essential Oils?

Here it is, all in one article. Learn how to mix essential oils. Make essential oil blends and and discover how to mix them with ‘carrier oils’ to achieve different and longer-lasting results.

Essential oils possess a wide range of distinctive properties that make them unique from each other. They can be added together in different combinations, different amounts, and in a different order…for a variety of results.

Take the opportunity to learn how to mix essential oils in literally hundreds of possible permutations of aromas and treatments based on your own research and experimentation.Or, you can purchase ready made, and more expensive, ‘synergy blends’, which are special purpose blends of oils already created for you.

So, let’s jump in!

Begin with the End Result in Mind.

You are probably interested in knowing how to mix essential oils because you want a particular aromatic or medicinal effect.

A commonly wanted aromatic effect is to raise one’s spirit. Another is to create soothing and relaxing feelings. A common medicinal need is to reduce the swelling caused by an insect bite or scraped skin. Another is to blend specific essential oils to repel unwanted insects.

It is understood that feelings and memories are stimulated by aromas. The part of the brain devoted to smell is intertwined with the area that manages emotions and memory.

Unsurprisingly we experience unique feelings and memories when activated by a particular smell. We tend to have unique reactions to the same smell.

Each pure essential oil can be called on to predictably cause general emotional reactions. However, it is the blending of pure oils into the myriad combinations that causes nuances in aroma and the unique reactions our individual brains have to them.

While premixed synergy blends are easier since they don’t require you to know how to mix essential oils for a predictable effect…they don’t provide the opportunity for the fascination and sheer fun you can have from hands-on oil combining.

If you are an absolute novice, you can practice with small amounts of essential oils, ‘carrier oils’ and other ingredients. Gradually, you will increase your confidence and know-how to dependably generate the results you want. Mixing essential oils is partly an art and partly a science. Only through experience will you master the skills needed to be proficient in both.

An Introduction to The Essential Oil Notes…and Molecules.


From a scientific perspective, lighter and smaller molecules produce thinner oils which are also more volatile and therefore more aromatic.

Heavier and larger molecules produce thicker oils that are less aromatic.

The lighter and smaller molecules predictably absorb in the body faster, while the heavier oils with larger molecules absorb in the body more slowly.

Blending lighter oils with heavier oils allows for the lighter oils to last longer!

Heavier oils extend the life of the more volatile aromatic oils and are refered to as ‘fixing oils’ Common fixing oils are myrrh and sandalwood.

When you begin learning how to mix essential oils, you are developing the skill of selecting aromas separated into ‘notes’, the same as in music. And an essential oil  note is largely determined by how quickly it evaporates.

Essential oils are either a top, middle, or base note, but most oils have aspects of all three notes. So oils can have a top, middle, and base note even though they are predominantly classified as a single, dominant note.  When blending oils, they are selected from each note effectively creating an aromatic chord.

Top Note –

A top note is what you will notice first in an essential blend, and is usually the chief aromatic quality of the oil. It literally jumps quickly from the aroma, has quite a sharp smell, and is soon gone not. Some top note examples include:

  • basil
  • bergamot
  • eucalyptus
  • grapefruit
  • lemon
  • lemongrass
  • peppermint
  • spearmint

Middle Note –

A middle note essential oil, sometimes called a body note, is the heart or bouquet of the aroma, will stay present for an hour or more after it is applied. Some middle note examples include:

  • clary sage
  • cypress
  • pine
  • rosemary
  • tea tree

Base Note or Fixed Oil –

The base note of an oil blend holds back and arrives in the aroma considerably later than the first other notes, giving a blend its ability to endure. The base note becomes apparent a few hours or sometimes a day later.

The behavior of the oil notes on skin cause it to smell one way when first applied, then differently a few hours later, because some of the oils in the blend have escaped through evaporation.

Ginger essential oil is a good example of a base note oil.

If you are just beginning to learn how to mix essential oils just start with three oils…a top note oil, a middle note oil, and a base note oil. As you gain more experience you will be able to add oils in more complex combinations.

Essential Oil Categories


Essential oils are separated into categories based on their aromas. When oils are  from the same categories they will predictably blend well together. But you can of course mix oils from different categories. Here are some examples of categories and the essential oils in them:


  • Minty – Peppermint, Spearmint
  • Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon
  • Oriental – Ginger, Patchouli
  • Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime
  • Floral – Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine
  • Woodsy – Pine, Cedar
  • Earthy – Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
  • Herbaceous – Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil

Blending Categories

  • Spicy – floral, woodsy, oriental and citrus
  • Oriental – floral, woodsy, spicy and citrus
  • Citrus – floral, woodsy, minty, spicy and oriental
  • Floral – woodsy, spicy and citrus
  • Woodsy – floral, earthy, herbaceous, minty, spicy, oriental and citrus
  • Earthy – woodsy and minty
  • Herbaceous – woodsy and minty
  • Minty – woodsy, earthy, herbaceous and citrus

How to Choose Quality Essential Oils for Blending

Essential oil quality relates to how you plan to use your oils. Some brands produce reliably pure essential oils, while others sometimes have additives, or were made with a chemical extraction process, rather than the natural processes of pressing or distilling.

If you know what oils you want for learning how to mix essential oils, it will be easier to  decide what oils to get and where to get them. You should do some internet research to determine which brand will be your supplier.

Here are several online essential oil suppliers and informational resources for you to check out.