N is for Notes

We have looked at blends and dilutions and I have mentioned that different essential oils are of  a different “note”. There are 3 of them, top, middle and base. As with all things though, there are no clear and fast rules, some essential oils are Top to Middle, or Middle to Base. To describe them, think of your favourite perfume or aftershave. The initial smell that you get is the top note, which evaporates off quite quickly. They are generally stimulating.

The middle note is the main scent of the perfume and is balancing, being neither stimulating nor sedating in general, although some middle notes can be quite relaxing, such as Lavender.

The base note is the aroma that is left on the clothes days later, if you don’t wash them. They are often sedating, think of Patchouli, Cedarwood and Sandalwood.

The following chart organises the oils in their notes. It was helpful for me when I was learning, to colour code them, using the colours of the rainbow to help me learn.

TOP NOTES
Basil Bergamot Cajuput Citronella Eucalyptus Galbanum Ginger Grapefruit
Lemon Lemongrass Niaouli Orange Peppermint Rosewood Spearmint Ti-Tree Verbena
TOP to MIDDLE
Clary Sage Fennel Mandarin Petitgrain Rosewood Tangerine Thyme
MIDDLE
Black Pepper Chamomile Cypress Geranium Hyssop Juniper Lavender Marjoram Melissa
Myrtle Pine Rosemary Rosewood Violet
MIDDLE to BASE
Cypress Frankincense Jasmine Neroli Rose Ylang-ylang
BASE
Benzoin Camphor Cedarwood Myrrh Patchouli Sandalwood Vetivert Violet

I hope this will help you to mix a balanced blend. Refer back to B is for Blends to see how they might be combined depending on the time of day.

Next week, we start the week off with O! Oh! What’s in the air?

Blessings Joy

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