Sure, a simple drop of lavender essential oil warmed between the palms can invoke an instant sense of calm. But harnessing the true power of essential oils is both an art and a science. Blending these intense oils can take their individual properties to the next level, interacting together to perform therapeutic miracles.

For example, a whiff of bergamot oil can calm anxiety, ylang ylang can combat hypertension, and citronella can help with perspiration. A wanna-be alchemist must study—check out the profiles of every kind of essential oil here.

A great blend is all about balancing notes—typically a top, middle , and base, though some blends don’t require a base—to create a balanced and effective aroma.

The top note is the first scent impression, which gives way to the middle note—the star of the show. The base note gives the blend its staying power and usually comes to the forefront much later. Blending these three notes is all about creating a ratio that results in a harmonious cocktail that works (olfactorily or topically, depending on the blend) to address specific moods or ailments.

A good rule of thumb is to use approximately 30 percent top note, 50 percent middle, and 20 percent base. If the blend doesn’t require a base note round it up to about 40 percent top and 60 percent middle. (You can find a guide to the note assigned to each oil here.)

So, are you down for a few fun chemistry experiments that will uplift you, clear the air, and even relieve your dreaded monthly mood swings?

Start with these small amounts and see how you like them. Make sure you’re using high quality brands like Aura Cacia and NOW.


The sweet scent of this blend makes you feel all warm and fuzzy—euphoric, even.

1 drop each of top notes: bergamotlemon, tangerine
1 drop each of middle notes: ylang ylanggeranium, jasmine, Roman chamomile, palmarosa, rose


If you need a moment of peace, try this citrus-floral blend.

3 drops of top note: orange
5 drops of middle note: ylang ylang
2 drops of base note: patchouli

Fresh Air

This blend will freshen and deodorize the air, so dilute it with distilled water in a spray bottle.

1 drop each of top notes: citronellalemongrass, lavandin
3 drops each of middle notes: rosemarytea tree


Apply this blend topically for its antioxidant benefits to the skin.

3 drops of top note: orange
2 drops each of middle notes: clove, thyme
2 drops of base note: frankincense


This blend works great for moderating emotions during a woman’s monthly cycle.

3 drops of top note: lavender
1 drop each of middle notes: clary sage, fennel, marjoram, yarrow, jasmine


Clear the mind and gain a keen sense of alertness with this bright, sunny blend.

1 drop each of top notes: basil, peppermintbergamotlemon
1 drop each of middle notes: rosemarygeraniumylang ylang, jasmine, Roman chamomile, palmarosa

High Energy

This super energizing blend will give you an aromatic pick-me-up.

4 drops of top note: lemongrass
1 drop each of middle notes: rosemary, juniper, nutmeg, fir needle, clove, black pepper

(Although some essential oils can be ingested, these recipes are strictly for aromatherapy or topical use as noted.)

by Dana Poblete

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