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Aromatherapy and synergy

When two or more essential oils are blended together, the chemistry of the oils combine with one another to create an entirely new substance whose properties as a whole add up to more than the sum of its individual parts, and thus creates a synergistic blend which is more powerful than using an individual oil on its own.

A harmonious blend would consist of a top, middle and base note, although it does not affect the therapeutic properties of a blend if it is not always possible to create a harmonious blend, this will depend on what oils are selected for their suitability to the client and the treatment.

So what are top, middle and base notes?

They are used in the manufacturing of perfumes and relate to the 'character' of the aroma.


Adaptogens are oils, such as lemon and lavender, which adapt to what your body needs, and adapt to that situation.

Top Notes

Essential oils that are classified as top notes normally evaporate very fast. They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature and are usually inexpensive. Top notes are highly volatile, fast acting, and give the first impression of the blend. However, they do not last for long. Examples of top notes are Bergamot, Lemon, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Lime, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus.

Middle Notes

Middle notes usually give body to the blend and have a balancing effect. It is also known as the 'heart' of the blend. The aroma of middle notes are not always immediately evident and may take a couple of minutes to establish their scent. They are usually warm and soft fragrances. Examples of middle notes are Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Juniper, Marjoram.

Base Notes

Essential oils that are classified as base notes are normally very heavy and their fragrance is very solid. It will be present for a long time and slows down the evaporation of the other oils. These fragrances are normally intense and heady. They are normally rich and relaxing in nature and are typically the most expensive of all oils. Examples of base notes are Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose.

The amount of essential oil used in your blend can vary from 0.5% - 3%.

In our aromatherapy training we always adopt a maximum of 2 – 2 ½% for adults.

Here is a quick and easy formula for working out the number of drops of essential oils to a carrier / base oil such as sweet almond or grapeseed oil.

If you use the 2 ½% method it helps by halving the amount of carrier millilitres used, for example for 10MLs of carrier oil you would use a maximum of 5 drops of carrier oil to create a 2 ½% dilution.

Thank you for reading my latest blog :-)

Karen x

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