Blending for Success

April 6, 2020

by Pat Princi-Jones


Essential oils reveal a whole new fragrance identity when partnered with other oils. Combined, sandalwood and bergamot have a mesmerising balsamic scent; patchouli makes ylang ylang transform into a seductive, mysterious perfume; and cinnamon, when set against tangerine, unveils a spicy sweetness.


Blending gives oils a new dimension, but it also allows for a more personalised approach to aromatherapy. You can create a remedy and desired aroma for any situation. The creativity and freedom that comes with blending at will is one of the most satisfying aspects of aromatherapy practice. Whether you wish to scent your space, elevate your mood or treat an ailment, you get to play alchemist and conjure your own creations.

Blending is always an experiment, testing combinations and their unique influence on you. I recommend you start off with oils you love, mixing them with those you have yet to use. Remember, you are activating your memories and emotions, which makes blending a very personal experience. Let the scent you create lead you to your next blending choices.

Although some oils blend better than others, it’s what excites you that counts. Trial each oil and draw on your intuition, while always being mindful of the power of essential oils and observing safety information.


Essential oil starter kit

• Bergamot
• Cedarwood
• Eucalyptus
• Frankincense
• Geranium
• Grapefruit
• Jasmine absolute or patchouli
• Lavender or helichrysum
• Lemon
• Lemongrass or may chang
• Sweet orange
• Peppermint
• Rosemary
• Vetiver
• Ylang ylang
• And, lastly, I can’t resist suggesting rose absolute and neroli diluted in jojoba to delight your senses.

Clarify your intention

When learning the basic principles of blending, it is important to be clear about your intention. Do you wish to create a mood in your environment? Are you seeking emotional support from your oils, or do you want a specific remedy for a nagging ailment or condition?


1. If you want to create mood and scent your environment, then the prime objective is to create a combination that pleases the senses.
2. When you are choosing oils for emotional support, select ones that are mood enhancing and appeal to your sense of smell. For instance, if you are experiencing challenging mood swings, you might choose geranium, helichrysum and sweet orange for their regulating properties.
3. If instead you wish to create a specific remedy, you need to assemble oils that will work together therapeutically. Although fragrance is secondary in this instance, I think you have to love the smell of your blend to get maximum benefit from using it.


What to expect

If this is your first experience with essential oils and blending, I suggest you start by simply mixing the oils as I have paired below (with more examples in the book). Each duo includes a key oil and a support oil, which is usually chosen to complement the properties and aroma of the key oil. Some of these duos are simple yet so effective, demonstrating that sometimes the simplest combinations are the most pleasing!

I sometimes offer a choice between two different oils, usually based on your aroma preference. For instance, for those who dislike the smell of lavender I suggest helichrysum as a possible alternative. Likewise, you may prefer the musky odour of patchouli over the nectarlike sweetness of jasmine absolute.

Although there are many uses for each oil and blend, I have limited the applications here to the two most widely recommended and main pathways into the body – diffusion and massage. The drop count varies based on the oil’s strength and odour intensity. As you become more confident you can expand your repertoire and vary which applications you try.

You’ll become very familiar with these oils and their scents when you start blending them. They will delight you in ways you never imagined, arousing emotions and perhaps even long-forgotten memories.


Two-oil starter blends

You can either diffuse the following blends or put them in a massage oil. To diffuse, just add the blend to the water in your diffuser. To make a massage oil, add the blend to 15 ml (½ fl oz/ 1 tbsp) sweet almond base oil.


Frankincense (4 drops) and sweet orange (2 drops)

Frankincense, prized as a ritual oil, is an all-round healer, while sweet orange promotes feelings of happiness.

Diffuse: The sweetness of orange complements the woody, incense-like aroma of the frankincense. Whether you want to unwind or create a space for reflection, the warming, grounding action of this blend will keep you in the here and now.

Massage: Apply diluted to relieve nervous tension, ease cold and flu symptoms or prepare for sleep. A drop of frankincense alone on pulse points is calming and can help open the third eye. Added to moisturiser, it rejuvenates the skin.

Geranium (2 drops) and lavender or helichrysum (4 drops)

Lavender is treasured for its ability to relax and comfort, while geranium can help regulate mood.

Diffuse: The regulating action of this rosy, herbaceous aroma can help you find balance and gain composure during mood fluctuations. It eases nervous tension and improves the quality of your sleep.

Massage: Apply diluted when you are feeling anxious and emotionally sensitive. It soothes inflamed skin conditions, including eczema. Regular application can support women’s health during premenstrual periods and menopause.

Vetiver (4 drops) and cedarwood (2 drops)

Vetiver is a natural sedative while cedarwood is a powerful nerve tonic.

Diffuse: Though not your typical mix, something magical happens when rich wood and sweet earthy notes unite. It is the most grounding and healing of all these duos, providing the ultimate stress management tool.

Massage: Apply diluted to pacify the mind when feeling melancholy and to help relieve long-term complaints such as insomnia, arthritis and bronchitis. Apply to your pulse points to activate the crown chakra during mindful meditation practice.


About the author:

Aromatherapy advocate and specialist Pat Princi-Jones first became interested in essential oils when she was introduced to the exotic scent of jasmine blooms more than 30 years ago, and she has never looked back. With a background in teaching, she first established her aromatherapy career in the 1990s as a trainer for one of Australia’s leading pure essential oil brands, In Essence, and then went on to become the education manager for the company. Today, she is best known for her engaging and inspiring teachings on the therapeutic power of essential oils in the aromatherapy retail sector throughout Australasia. She regularly features on YouTube and writes articles that shed light on essential oils and how to use them in everyday life. Pat is an associate member of IAAMA, the International Aromatherapy & Aromatic Medicine Association.

A Scented Life: Aromatherapy Reimagined is available now (Hardie Grant, £12.99)

Posted by: Leah Russell


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