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Essential Oil Blending
Making Oil Blends

Essential oils contain volatile molecules but the degree of volatility varies from oil to oil.  Essential oils are categorised into 'notes' consisting of 'Top', 'Middle' and 'Bottom'.  The most volatile oils are called 'Top' notes, the least volatile oils are called 'Bottom' or 'Base' notes and 'Middle' notes are usually mixture of both top and base.  

Top Notes: Have an uplifting, refreshing, energising and revitalising effect.  These effects are often short-lived lasting around 24 hours.  The aroma from the top notes are often the first to be detected.

Middle Notes: These are usually balancing, can help to relieve stress and bring about a sense of equilibrium.  The middle note is often described as 'fixative' in an aromatic blend bringing together top and base notes.  The effects of middle notes can often last between 2-3 days.

Bottom / Base Notes: Can have a sedating and calming effect and are normally derived from gums and resins (such as benzoin).  The molecules of base notes are much larger than top notes and are often the last to be detected in an aromatic blend.  The effects of base notes are much longer lasting than top notes and can take up to 7 days to disperse.

Some oils may have a note that falls into two categories, such as lavender which is often described as being top/middle.  It is advisable to create blends that contain top, middle and base notes to provide both immediate and more long-lasting effects.  However, if you want a calming blend then use a higher percentage of base notes.  If you want a more uplifting blend or are looking to relieve stress, then use a higher percentage of top/middle notes.

You could choose to use top and middle notes only and this is fine if you want to focus on uplifting and revitalising (you get immediate effects that don't last very long).  On the other hand, if the focus is on sedation and deep calm, you could choose to use middle and base notes only (takes longer to take effect but the effects tend to last longer).  However, as a rule of thumb, it's not advisable to create blends containing only top and base notes without the 'fixative' effect of the middle note - the aroma doesn't tend to 'gel' very well.

Experiment and be creative but make sure you make notes as you go along so that you can recreate your aroma blends (or indeed avoid making the same mistake twice).  Happy blending!
 
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