Our sense of smell is a powerful ability and it conjures up emotions and memories. It also affects our brain which has an effect on our stress levels, hormones, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Fragrance is highly subjective and we don’t all like the same scents and smells. But each aroma can be just as beautiful and unique in it's own right!
What you need to keep in mind is the final application, as with certain products you will need to be accurate when mixing and blending. Mixing you own blend of oils can be a fun way to experiment. With so many essential oils to choose from it might seem a bit overwhelming, read our Guide to Essential & Fragrance Oils below...
Understanding Scent Notes in Fragrance Oils & Essential Oils
Scents have been separated into three distinct classes, top notes, middle notes and base notes. Determined by the volatility of the oil, lighter molecules evaporate quicker than heavier one. One note can influence the perception of the others notes. A well-rounded balanced fragrance should aim for a combination of all three notes. Top/Head Notes – The small light molecules of the top notes are strong, very volatile and evaporate quickly. They form the first impression of a perfume and are very important when selling. Middle/Heart Notes – This scent emerges prior to the top notes dissipating and is usually more mellow and rounded. They often mask the initial unpleasant base notes, which become more pleasant with time. Base Notes – This is made of large heavy molecules that evaporate slowly. Deep and rich they are the main theme of a perfume and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application or drying of the perfume. This is guide to essential oils and their perfumery notes, though this again can be subjective.
Can you use pre-blended Fragrance or Essential Oils?
You might feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of blending your own oils and there is a wide range of pre-made blends already mixed together for you. It is not recommended that you try to mix or add to these blends, as the exact quantities can only be guessed and the outcome will be unpredictable. You are better off blending your own.
How do you blend Fragrance or Essential Oils?
A good starting point when considering blending your own oils is to look at popular blends and their ingredients. The simplest approach is to start with a 1:1 ratio of the same amount of oil drops, and adjust from there.
Always remember to follow the legal limits when using your oils. Experiment safely to find your perfect blend!
What carriers work with Fragrance or Essential Oil blends?
If you are applying your blend to skin you will want to dilute your blend into a carrier to reduce the reactions essential oil can cause (see the important notes). Aloe Vera gel and unscented body lotions are commonly used to carry the oils to your skin, hence the name.
Additional tips on blending oils
• Make sure you store you blend correctly. • Leave air space in the bottle so oil can breathe. • If using carrier, fill the container half way, and then add the blend of oils. Add the rest of the carrier and turn it several times to mix. • It’s important to use good quality ingredients throughout your products. It doesn’t make sense to use good quality oils and • put them into poor quality gels, creams or lotion bases.
What percentage of Fragrance or Essential Oils should be in products?
This is the amount we use in our The Soap Kitchen recipes, other recipes may call for different amounts, we also always check the IFRA and legal limits to make sure we are following the usage rates. The allergen content of some Essential and Fragrance Oils may limit inclusion levels to less than these recommended amounts in some instances, especially cinnamon based ones for example. Some bases may differ and the manufacturer’s suggested maximum inclusion levels should be on the individual products.
• Bath Bombs & Bath Salts- 3% (30g per 1kg) • Body & Hair Oils - 1% (10g per 1kg) • Bath Foams/Body Washes - 3% (30g per 1kg) • Cold Process Soap - 3% (30g per 1kg) • Creams, Lotions & Butters - 1% (10g per 1kg) • Lip Balms (Flavours) - 1% (10g per 1kg) • Melt & Pour Soap - 3% (30g per 1kg) • Shampoo & Conditioner - 3% (30g per 1kg) • Shaving Soap - 3% (30g per 1kg) • Body Balms & Beard Balms - 1% (10g per 1kg) • Perfumes - up to 20% (200g per 1kg) • Candles & Wax Melts - 10-12% Frag & 8-10% EO • Room Sprays - 15% (150g per 1kg)
Are Fragrance Oils safe to use?
Fragrance oils are safe as long as they are used as intended in a safe and sensible manner, essential oils and fragrance oils are highly concentrated and some individuals and skin types may have allergic reactions to them, so it is important to always be safe and careful with them.
Following the recommend and legal usage rates means you are using them safely with your desired products. Always wear gloves and used protect gear when handling these oils.