If you are wanting to make your own natural perfumes this tool will really help you.
When we talk about essential oils being used for natural perfumery they fit into one of three main categories or ‘notes’ This refers to the volatility of the essential oil (or how quickly they evaporate) – highly volatile essential oils are usually quite thin and pale and will evaporate quickly, middle notes, are a little denser and take longer to evaporate and base notes are usually (but not always) more viscous and their fragrance is longer lasting – they are what will give your fragrance its staying power. When you are creating a natural fragrance, ideally you will want to have a mix of all three, try something along the lines of 20% top notes, 30% middle notes and 50% base notes to start with. Below you will find a helpful resource to help you get started. Please click on the links for more detailed information about these essential oils.
Essential Oil Fragrance Families
You may also helpful to think grouping essential oils in terms of their actual fragrance. There are 8 main fragrance families:
citrus: orange, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine, lemon, bergamot, petitgrain
floral: rose, jasmine, neroli, geranium, magnolia, lotus flower, blue tansy, davana, vanilla CO, ylang ylang, lavander
herbaceous: marjoram, thyme, ravensara, mint, basil, clary sage, chamomile,
woody: sandalwood, rosewood, ho wood, cedarwood atlas, juniperberry, fir needle,
camphorous: eucalyptus, camphor, niaouli, wintergreen, peppermint, rosemary,
spicy: cinnamon, fennel, aniseed, black pepper, cardomom, ginger
resinous: myrrh, frankincense, elemi, peru balsam, liquidambar, labdanum abs,
earthy: patchouli, angelica root, vetiver, spikenard,
Essential oils from the same family generally blend very well together. In blending across families, there are no hard and fast rules – for the most part essential oils blend quite nicely. Here are some very rough guidelines that you might like to follow when you start out. As you get to know the essential oils and their fragrances well, you will just know what goes well together. Fragrance preference is also a very subjective and personal thing – so what one person loves, somebody else will not like at all.
Florals blend well with spicy, citrusy and woodsy oils
Spicy oils blend well with florals and citrus
Woody oils are often more subtle and blend well with most other families
Camphorous and herbaceous oils blend well together.
Earthy oils blend well with herbaceous, spicy, camphorous, florals and resinous oils
Herbaceous oils are great with citrus and camphorous
There is not really any wrong way to go about it, although some essential oils have an extremely strong aroma and these should be used sparingly or they will easily over power your blend. Good examples of this are most of the spicy oils, mint, eucalyptus, ylang ylang, labdanum abs, angelica root amongst others.
A method that I have often used before I actually dispense any oil from the bottle, is to line up all the bottles that I’m thinking to use, in a row next to each other, and then fairly quickly go a long the line with a direct inhalation. You will be able to get an idea from that if there is something in there that is really not going to work.
It is easy to find 2 or even 3 oils that blend well together, but remember the more oils you start putting into the mix the more complex the aroma becomes and getting an overall fragrance that is balanced can be quite a challenge. So start simple and take some time…