Their chemical constituents and their aromas, have a powerful, immediate effect on the brain, the nervous system and on the release of neurotransmitters. Anatomically, the sense of smell has immediate access to the cerebral cortex, initiating a cascade of beneficial responses that quickly influence areas of the brain dealing with memory, emotion, metabolism, glandular stimulation and more. Essential oils “open the gates” to allow for new possibilities and a shift in consciousness.
In choosing essential oils for a blend it is important to consider the combined aromas of the oils. Aroma is of vital importance, as its influence on the spirit is immediate and can be quite profound. Another consideration when creating a blend of essential oils is the balance of their notes. The note of and essential oil is determined in part by its rate of evaporation and how long its aroma lasts: for clinical use, we can relate the qualities of each note to the level of qi it influences from superficial to deep.
- Top notes affect the wei qi level, our protective qi or immune system. They regulate unconscious mood and can guide the effect of the blend to the surface for release. In a blend, top note oil aromas provide the first impression and tend to enliven and uplifting. Top notes normally evaporate very fast and normally also have anti-viral properties. They are generally highly volatile, fast acting, give the first impression of the blend and are not very long lasting.
- Middle notes affect the level of ying qi, our nutritive qi, and work on the cognitive emotions. They provide harmonizing effect in the blend, a bridge between interior and exterior, and give body to the blend. The bulk of essential oils are considered middle notes and normally give body to the blend and have a balancing effect. The smells of middle notes are not always immediately evident and may take a couple of minutes to come into their own right and are normally warm and soft fragrances.
- Base notes affect the deep level of yuan qi, our prenatal or innate qi, involving our constitution and innate temperament. They are grounding and centering. Essential oils that are classified as base notes are normally “heavy” oils with their fragrance evident, but will also slowly evolve and be present for a long time and slows down the evaporation of the other oils. These fragrances are normally intense and heavy. They are normally rich and relaxing in nature and are also the most expensive of all
As a rule of thumb, the combination between top, middle and base notes should be in harmony and the following formula is normally used. Select oils from all three categories but use less of the top and middle notes than that of the base note.
There are some “rules” that people like to mention, and these being that a well-rounded fragrance will normally be composed 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 – you would use 4 drops ofGeranium (middle note) with 3 drops of Eucalyptus (top note) and 5 drops of Ylang Ylang (base note).
- Carrier oils are used to dilute the essential oils due to the sensitivity to the skin.
- Average dilutions for adults are from 4% to 6% of essential to carrier oil. A 1% dilution means 10 to 12 drops of essential oil diluted in 1 ounce (30ml) of carrier oil. A 4% dilution means 40 to 48 drops of essential oil diluted in 1 ounce of carrier oil.