A close-up of a single drop of liquid about to fall from the dropper of a brown essential oil bottle, set against a vibrant green background. Text on the image reads "BLENDING ESSENTIAL OILS CREATE SYNERGY," suggesting a focus on the art of combining oils for enhanced effects.
Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

Blending Essential Oils – Creating Synergy

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

What’s the Point of Essential Oil Blending?

Most people who use essential oils have done some of their own blending — it’s hard not to get creative with so many beautiful scents! Have you used more than two oils at a time? Then, you’ve practiced essential oil blending, even if you didn’t know it.

The idea behind blending is to achieve a pleasing aroma AND obtain synergy with the oils.

Unfamiliar with the term synergy? It means that the combination of two or more substances produces a combined effect greater than the sum of the individual parts. It means if you blend two or more oils with the same or similar therapeutic properties, you will have a blend that is more powerful than the oils used on their own. (It’s kind of like 1+1+1= 5 — not 3.)

Creating synergy takes time. Here are a few suggestions to follow when blending oils:

  • Choose Your Oils:  You’ll want oils with a similar therapeutic value that have fragrances appealing to you. Never include more than four oils. You will be seeking balance, so choosing numerous oils with dominating scents will not work. An example of oils with dominating scents would be clove bud, eucalyptus, rose absolute.
  • Start With Two Oils:  Using the oils with the least intensive scents, create a 50/50 mix in an empty reducer bottle. Determine which oil is dominating the blend, and add the nondominant oil one drop at a time until a pleasing balance is achieved. Make sure to shake the bottle thoroughly between additions to combine the oils. You may need to take a break, walk away and come back after your senses have cleared, before determining if more drops are needed.
  • Add A Third Oil:  Slowly and carefully add your third oil – one drop at a time. You don’t want this oil to dominate the blend, but merely to enhance it. Remember to shake thoroughly between additions and let the oils stand for several hours, or days, before adding more drops (at least until you’ve established a tried and true recipe). If you choose to include a fourth oil, proceed in the same manner with it.
  • Patience:  Creating a pleasing oil blend takes patience! But if you take your time, you will be rewarded with a custom blend created specifically for you!

NOTE:  Don’t forget to record the exact amounts of oils used in your blend. You may want to make it again!


That steps outlined above provide simple instructions for how to blend essential oils, but some people want to go deeper, and understand some of the intricacies of blending. Here are a few other considerations when blending oils.

Don’t just treat the symptoms. Covering up or masking symptoms doesn’t resolve the underlying cause of a condition. These causes may be physical or emotional. For example, choosing oils that relieve inflammation may be more appropriate than just using oils that relieve pain. Another example would be in the case of a respiratory blend. Are you treating a chronic condition? Relieving congestion from a cold? Easing asthmatic symptoms? Look deeper to help solve the root cause of the health issue.

Scent associations are powerful. There may be essential oils that would work powerfully in your blend, but have negative associations for you. In this case, including them in the blend would counterproductive. Negative scent associations can pull up emotions and memories that cause a person to “relive” an unpleasant experience, or simply experience the negative associations their subconscious mind connects to that scent.

If you take a sniff of an essential oil and experience any feelings of tension, discomfort, sadness, discouragement, or a ‘jolt’ of a bad memory, put that essential oil to the side. It’s health benefits are not worth it.

Using “notes” to choose your oils may be helpful. Perfumists use their understanding of notes when creating blends. They use complex ratios to achieve perfect balance. What are notes? They are descriptors of aromas that can be sensed upon application or use. They are separated into three groups:  top notes, middle notes, and base notes. Each essential oil is classified into one of the three groups.

When blending essential oils, purists believe that you should consider notes and blend using these ratios:  

  • Top Notes:  20-30%
  • Middle Notes:  40-80%
  • Base Notes:  10-25%

Some essential oil companies provide this information on their websites.

Use blend equalisers to smooth out the rough edges. These are oils that create balance and can be used in quantities as high as 50%. Blend equalisers disappear into the blend, without recognition, and do little to affect the “personality” of the combined oils. A few essential oils that can be used in this manner are fir, rosewood, Spanish marjoram, sweet orange, pine, and tangerine.

Add personality and lift with blend modifiers. What do you do when your final product falls flat? Blend modifiers to the rescue! Sometimes only a drop or two will bring it to life. Remember to add one drop at a time. These oils can easily overwhelm a blend if too much is added. Some essential oil blend modifiers include:  clove, cinnamon, peppermint, German chamomile, cistus, and vetiver.

Use natural extenders in your blend when you are including expensive essential oils. Choose oils that have similar and compatible scents, to naturally extend your expensive oils and keep the blend affordable.

Use aroma families to choose the oils for your blends. It is easy to become confused because many oils fall into multiple aroma families. Our advice? Don’t over complicate this process. Base your choice of oils on their prominent scent, and you’ll be fine. I included a few oil choices for each family, but there are many more essential oils that fall into each family than what I have listed.

  • Camphoraceous:  These blend best with herbaceous and woody scents. They tend to give a medicinal odor to blends. Never blend with florals and use caution with fruity scents.  (cajeput, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree)
  • Earthy:  Use small amounts. They give a blend depth and are grounding. (carrot seed, cedar, cinnamon leaf, manuka, patchouli, vetiver)
  • Florals: These oils are typically more expensive. They blend well with woody, fruity, sweet, and musty scents. Some florals work well with herbaceous scents, but disappear when blended with camphoraceous scents. (chamomile, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang)
  • Fruity:  Usually inexpensive. They blend with all the scents except those that are woody and camphoraceous.  (bergamot, chamomile, citrus oils, cajeput)
  • Green:  If used in small amounts, they blend well with all other scents. (cardamom, dill, sage, tumeric)
  • Herbaceous:  Use with camphoraceous and woody scents. Use caution when blending with florals.  (basil, clary sage, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary)
  • Resinous:  These oils are deep and rich. They blend well with woody, spicy, and floral scents. (frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, cedar)
  • Spicy:  Use sparingly in very small amounts. They can easily overpower a blend. (aniseed, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, ginger)
  • Woody:  These oils create warmth. They blend well with any oils. (cedar, cypress, juniper, pine, sandalwood)

Don’t take this to a level where you become frustrated and lose the joy of the process. Blending essential oils can be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby.

All of our The Healthy Place stores carry high quality essential oils, empty reducer bottles for blending, and other aromatherapy supplies. Stop in and talk to one of our Wellness Consultants. We’d love to show you around!

The Healthy Place – We want to help you find your healthy place!

*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”

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