how to make an essential oil blend to use on the skin safely

My students absolutely love it when I introduce essential oils into my classes, workshops and 1:1 sessions, and frequently ask me for recipes. So in this blog, I am going to show you how to make an essential oil blend – quickly and easily.

Working with essential oils is a beautiful thing, not least because they smell so amazing. They also have all those wonderful therapeutic benefits, and for a witch like me, some magical ones too.

First of all, the basics.. Each oil is made up of many different components which gives them different layers of aroma:

Top notes – these are the first impression of the oil and are light and refreshing, like the citrus oils

Middle notes – mostly herbaceous, this is the heart of the scent

Base notes – these are the lasting notes of the scent are are usually rich and woody

Finding a scent that you like does take some trial and error, but using this layering as a guideline is a good place to start.

Essential oils come in families which is also a good way to start to learn about the scents that  you like best. Typically, oils blend best either with other oils from the same family, or with ones from the complimentary family.

Floral oils:

These are full bodied and form the middle notes of a fragrance and include rose, neroli and lavender. They blend well with citrus, spicy and herbaceous oils.

Citrus oils:

These are top notes and are zingy and vibrant. They include bergamot, orange and petitgrain and blend well with floral and herbaceous oils.

Herbaceous oils:

These also form the middle note of a blend and are fresh and natural. They include basil, oregano and thyme and blend well with florals and citrus.

Spicy oils:

This is the exotic family and is rich and warm. These are your sensual base notes – the ones that linger – and also the middle ones. They include cinnamon, vanilla and black pepper. They blend well with floral and woody oils.

Woody oils:

These are complex, dense and sometimes musky – and are often dominant in strength. They include sandalwood, benzoin and vetiver. They blend well with citrus and medicinal oils.

Medicinal oils:

Clean, crisp, and light, these are some more top notes. They include wintergreen, tea tree and eucalyptus. They blend well with woody and herbaceous oils.

So, my advice on how to make an essential oil blend is to start small – just two or three different oils at a time. You can work up from there once you start to learn what you like and what works well together. Eventually aim for four – seven different oils in one blend. 

It is worth remembering that different oils have different strengths, so you might want to use only 1 drop of one, but 3 of another, in order to get a good blend. So make sure you add oils drop by drop so you a) don’t waste them – they are expensive afterall! And b) can take notes as you go. 

It is important that you always dilute your oils with a carrier oil if they are to be used on the skin. Essential oils are very potent and should be treated with care. The guidelines are as follows:

10ml carrier oil = 5 drops

15ml carrier oil = 7 drops

30ml carrier oil = 15 drops

(For an adult with no skin sensitivities) 

Your carrier oil can be anything you like! My particular favourites are almond oil, apricot kernel oil and hemp oil, but you can even just use olive oil!

So there you have it! My guide on the basics of how to make an essential oil blend.

You might like to read some others of my ‘how to make’ guides here:

How Do You Make A Natural Healing Balm

How To Make Elderflower Cordial

How To Make Your Own Yoga Mat Spray