Blending of Essential Oils
Blending of essential oils is a process that allows different essential oils to be brought together in a blend. Blending requires knowledge of the chemistry of essential oils. Knowing which oils blend well together both therapeutically and aromatically helps create a successful blend. Blending oils can alter the aroma, chemistry and therapeutic properties of each individual oil added to the blend.
Oils are blended with different classifications in mind. A successful blend will have oils that chemically and aromatically blend well together. There will also be a balance of oils that have top notes, middle notes and base notes. Oils are classified as a top note, middle note or base note oil based on their volatility. An oil blend with too many top note oils will be overpowering and not aromatically pleasing.
Another form of classification relates to the order in which oils should be added to a blend personifiers first, these oils have long lasting aromatic properties. Secondly Enhancers, these oils contribute to the majority of the blend and enhance the properties of the other oils in the blend. Third are the equalizer’s appropriately named as they balance the other oils added to the blend. Last the modifiers have a milder aroma which lasts for a shorter time.
For years the order in which oils are blended was thought to be important to the outcome of the blend. Due to advanced testing techniques the new school of thought is that the order in which oils are blended is not as important. This applies to oils being added to a blend at the initial blending process not several hours or days later. The aim is to have a blend with the desired therapeutic properties that work synergistically. Generally oils from the same botanical family blend well together. In addition oils with similar chemical constituents blend well together.
Blending is an art form! Understanding individual oils and their chemical components is necessary to create blends that are as therapeutic as they are aromatically pleasing.
Carrier oils are often used when creating blends. Typically pressed from the fatty portions of nuts and seeds. A carrier oil distributes an oil or blend over a greater surface area and helps the distribution of essential oils through the skin. Many carrier oils are available from Fractionated coconut oil to avocado.
Carrier oils are termed fixed oils. They are not volatile like essential oils and do not evaporate. They do however have a much shorter shelf life. If a carrier oil appears cloudy it has possibly either been heated or due to its shorter shelf life has gone rancid. A quality carrier oil should be cold pressed. Heat will destroy the therapeutic qualities and cause oxidation of the carrier oil.
Carrier oils are used in therapeutic treatments as they reduce the volatility of the essential oils. The oil combination then remains on the skin for a longer period allowing for increased absorption.
When blending essential oils with a carrier oil it is advisable to mix only small batches. Shelf life of many carrier oils is 6 months to a year.
Dilution of an essential oil by a carrier oil depends upon the purpose of the blend and the desired therapeutic benefits. Dilution ratios also depend on the number of oils in any given blend.
Before randomly blending oils together based on oils you like and the pleasing aroma. Educate yourself regarding the art of blending and or use pre blended oils for maximum therapeutic effect.