What do Top, Middle and Base Notes mean in aromatherapy?
One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I blend essential oils?” One of the main things to consider when blending essential oils is that it is important that the fragrance is “balanced”. This is achieved by using the “fragrance notes” scale. The combination between top, middle and base notes should be in harmony. The following formula to achieve this is the most widely used.
Select oils from all three categories but use less of the top and middle notes than that of the base note. A well-balanced fragrance will normally be made up as follows:
Top notes 15 – 25% of the blend. Middle notes 30 – 40% of the blend. Base notes 45 – 55% of the blend. For example – for a 6-8 drop blend of 3 oils you would use 2 drops of a middle note with 1 drop of a top note and 3 drops of a base note. You can then add 2-3 drops of a 4th oil if required. Remember though, that you must like the blend, since it has to be pleasing to your senses to achieve the maximum effect.
Are usually light, fresh and uplifting in nature and have anti-viral/antibiotic/antiseptic properties. They sit on top of water, are generally fast acting, and are the fastest to evaporate.
The bulk of essential oils fall in this category and give body and balance to the blend. They sit slightly below the water line and have warm and soft fragrances which are more subtle than top notes, taking a couple of minutes to come into the fore.
Are normally “heavy” oils and usually sink to the bottom of the burner. Their fragrance is immediate but will also slowly evolve and be present for the longest time. Base Notes slow down the evaporation of the other oils and should be added to the water first.
These fragrances are normally intense and heady, sedating or euphoric and relaxing in nature. Usually the most expensive and luxurious of all oils.