Blending essential oils is an art and usually requires a little bit of training and experimentation. If you choose to create your own blends, it is important to understand that the order in which the essential oils are blended is key to maintaining the desired therapeutic properties in a synergistic blend. An alteration in the sequence of adding selected essential oils to a blend may change the chemical properties, the fragrance, and thus the desired results. In general, essential oils that are from the same botanical family, usually blend well together. In addition, essential oils that share common constituents also mix well.
There are four blending classifications. The following information explains the characteristics of each classification, the order in which they should be added to the blend (Personifiers first, Enhancers second, Equalizers third, and Modifiers fourth), and the amount of each type of oil as a percentage of the blend.
- The Personifier (1-5% of the blend) essential oils have very sharp, strong and long-lasting fragrances. They also have dominant properties with strong therapeutic action.
- Essential oils in this classification may include: angelica, birch, cardamom, cinnamon bark, cistus, Clary sage, clove, coriander, German chamomile, ginger, helichrysum, mandarin, neroli, nutmeg, orange, patchouly, peppermint, petitgrain, rose, spearmint, tangerine, terragon, wintergreen and ylang ylang.
- The Enhancer (50-80% of the blend) essential oil should be the predominant essential oil as it serves to enhance the properties of the other essential oils in the blend. Its fragrance is not as sharp as the personifiers and is usually of a shorter duration.
- Essential oils in this classification may include: basil, bergamot, birch, cajeput, cedarwood, cumin, dill, eucalyptus, frankincense, galbanum, geranium, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, marjoram, melaleuca (Tea Tree), melissa, myrtle, orange, oregano, palmarosa, patchouly, petitgrain, ravensara, roman chamomile, rose, rosemary, sage, spruce, thyme, wintergreen.
- The Equalizer (10-15% of the blend) essential oils create balance and synergy among the essential oils contained in the blend. Their fragrance is also not as sharp as the personifier and is of a shorter duration.
- Essential oils in this classification may include: basil, beramot, cedarwood, cypress, fennel, fir, frankincense, geranium, ginger, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemongrass, lime, marjoram, melaleuca (Tea Tree), melissa, myrrh, myrtle, neroli, oregano, pine, roman chamomile, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, spruce, tarragon, thyme.
- The Modifier (5-8% of the blend) essential oils have a mild and short fragrance. These essential oils add harmony to the blend.
- Essential oils in this classification may include: angelica, bergamot, cardamom, coriander, eucalyptus, fennel, grapefruit, hyssop, jasmine, avender, lemon, mandarin, melissa, myrrh, neroli, petitgrain, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, tangerine, ylang ylang.
Depending on the topical application of your blend, you will want to add some carrier/base oil. When creating a therapeutic essential oil blend, you may want to use about 28 drops of essential oil to 1/2 oz. of carrier/base oil. When creating a body massage blend, you will want to use a total of about 50 drops of essential oils to 4 oz. of carrier/base oil. Remember to store your fragrant creation in dark-colored glass bottles.
Learn to trust your nose as it can help you decide which classification an oil should be in. For more detailed information about this ancient art, we highly recommend Marcel Lavabre's Aromatherapy Workbook.
Information on this page from the Reference Guide for Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley.