Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
The basic definition of an essential oil is a hydrophobic liquid that contains aromatic compounds. They are sourced from plant materials such as leaves, roots, stems, seeds, fruits, flowers, or bark. The term “essential” oils is used because the liquid contains the essence of whatever its source plant is. The oil itself is a highly potent, highly concentrated substance.
Many of the benefits of essential oils have to do with their aromas. To see how different aromas and chemicals in essential oils effect on your emotions, check out the oil properties wheel. However, other research also shows that essential oils can help the body in more ways. Physiology aside, whether or not an aroma is appealing to you depends on personal preference. So how do you know if you’ll like the scent of a blend of oils that you make yourself? This guide can help you decide.
First, you can categorize scents in different categories such as top, middle, or base notes. ("Note" refers to how long the scent usually lasts.) Top notes evaporate quickly and have the shortest life. Middle notes make up the majority of essential oils and take some time to establish their scent. Base notes are heavy and last the longest as they evaporate slowly.
There are also families of scent that apply to essential oils. We have included some of them below along with what ‘note’ each is considered:
Additionally, you may see other descriptions like:
You then need to determine what categories of scent you like based on your own preferences, it’s time to blend. Keep in mind that essential oils from the same scent family or category usually blend well together. But, if you want a balanced scent, you will want to use all three note types in a blend for the best results.
Here are some examples of scent families that go well together:
If this is your first try making your own blends, we recommend approaching blending by picking one oil first. Then see what other oils may go well with it based on the information here. As with most skills, the only way to learn it is to try it. You may be surprised by what you create!