What most don’t know is that even the labeled 100% pure are not always what they seem and it’s not the companies fault it’s just not available for the regular oil trader. For example, a Sandalwood tree can only produce the oil after the tree has reached it’s 30 year maturity, and since this is such a necessity to India it is only “doled” out to the consumer as a partially pure oil. India has no regulations about the purity they are distributing, so unless you are paying almost $30 an oz. it’s most likely not truly pure, this is the same for absolutes. Absolutes are 100% pure, and they are most expensive and usually very thick.
Sweet marjoram is not only a good herb for cooking, but also a popular essential oil used to aid sleep. Almost no research has been conducted to confirm or disprove its sedative properties. But Sweet marjoram essential oil is thought to improve voluntary breathing in asthmatic patients. (6) It is possible that involuntary breathing, such as that which accompanies sleep, is also improved. Those with sleep apnea may want to try sweet marjoram oil to keep their breathing even through the night.
Oh good for you! It’s tough picking your oils, but base notes do help your smells to last longer. Patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla are some of my favorite base notes. I’m not sure how great each of those would smell with the oils you used, but you’d have to test it out and see. Another thing I’ve learned is that when you’re making something, it will always smell stronger when you’re making it than when you put it on so sometimes you need to add a good bit more of the oils for good measure. Hope that helps!

Essential oils for babies should always be diluted using a carrier oil. The carrier oils help ensure the essential oil doesn’t irritate your baby and is more evenly distributed. Just as adults react differently to different essential oils, so do babies, but on the whole they are more sensitive. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends a dilution ratio of .5 to 2.5 percent, and avoiding some oils overall.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that relies on the powerful sense of smell. Practitioners use the essential oils from plants to heal the mind, body, and soul. Essential oils can be used for a variety of purposes, from boosting mood to relieving migraines, but in this article we’ll focus on how they can be used to calm and relax the mind and body, preparing you for sleep.

But she is my sister, so I gave the oils a try.  I put 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil in a diffuser by my bed.  Turned the diffuser on.  Climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep.  Next thing I knew my alarm was going off.  I had slept straight through the night for a full 8 hours!!  “But how could this be?”, I thought.  It must have been a fluke.  Maybe I was just so exhausted from the day before and that’s why I didn’t wake up?


Hello. I’m an EO newbie. My children and I this weekend created some blends for their new atomizing diffusers for their rooms. I saw a post that said something about the need to use a carrier oil for diffusing. Is this necessary and/or safe for the machine that I am using? We have just been diffusing with “straight” EO’s and it seems right. Am I causing more harm than good?

Thank you a million times for this post. My son turned 2 in December. I have not had a full night’s sleep since he was born. I was becoming very desperate. I read this post and decided to give it a go. I combine Cedarwood, frankincense and ylang ylang in my diffuser. My son still sleeps in our bed most nights, but at least now we all get a full 8 hours. Thank you again!
Hi Meagan, I’m somewhat new to the EO world. I would like to make two blends as a gift (along with a diffuser) for my cousin who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I’d like one to be healing (I was thinking orange, lemongrass, thyme and frankincense). The other I’d like for her nausea (which I’d like to encorporate ginger and lemon). Do you have any advice?
Hello. I’m an EO newbie. My children and I this weekend created some blends for their new atomizing diffusers for their rooms. I saw a post that said something about the need to use a carrier oil for diffusing. Is this necessary and/or safe for the machine that I am using? We have just been diffusing with “straight” EO’s and it seems right. Am I causing more harm than good?
Thanks for the comment. So are you saying that unless the oil is expensive, it’s probably not pure? I understand what you’re saying about the sandalwood oil. I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of oils. I know it’s that way with herbs. Some herbs you harvest the first year, some the second, and it even makes a difference when it comes to the part of the plant you use. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to really tell if one is pure… for the lay person of course. Also, where were you trained at? I’m not aware of many aromatherapy schools so it’s always nice to hear of more.
Well, they may be the same type of essential oil, but quality can be different among companies. Now I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon of one brand over another, but the reason I listed the YL and doTERRA as internal and the others as external is because that’s how they market their products… not because I say it’s okay or even use them that way. As I said in the post, I don’t use EOs internally… I’ve never needed to, but if I were going to, I’d probably go with one of these two brands over some of the other ones. If you wanna see comparisons of EO brands, check out Lea Harris’ site – Learning About EOs – she has testing done of many of the major brands and compares them to each other. It’s very interested when you are concerned about quality. Hope that answers your question… thank you!

One thing you said that I didn’t know was that if you mix oils the compounds and effects can change based on the orders of mixing. I haven’t seen that anywhere so if you have a link to that info, I’d love to see it. And as far as the article I mention… I’m not sure which one you’re referring to. Just let me know though, and I’ll try to direct you to it.
What would your recommendation be when making blends not for scent but for therapeutic use such as in skincare? I want to try adding essential oils to my skin care routine, specifically adding them to a basic, existing lotion. I’ve done my research and have a bunch of oils selected that are supposed to be helpful for skin care, but I’m not sure where to go from here! Do I figure out the dilution % for each one and add it to the lotion? Or do I need to only add a maximum amount of essential oils in total? Is there a maximum number of oils you can use at one time or a maximum percentage of oils in total that can be safely added? Are there oils that react badly to each other? Sorry so many questions, but I’ve been searching a lot and can’t seem to find any answers!
Essential oils can act by triggering the central nervous system and circulatory system to promote sleep in the body. To test these effects, an increasing amount of scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate their effectiveness on humans. The following are considered the best essential oils for sleep due to their sedative, calming or stress-reducing properties.
Yes, both are great for attention, but I’ll caution you about using rosemary on a child under 10 as that’s supposedly the minimum age to use it safely unless it’s really, really diluted. You can find more info about essential oil safety here. As for drop amounts, if it were me, lemon would be used most with a bit of rosemary. I’d do a 3% dilution so maybe 2 drops of lemon and 1 of rosemary for every 1 teaspoon of carrier oil you use… yes, it does need to be diluted in a carrier oil. ALL oils using on children, and most adults, should be diluted. It’s just too risky to not, and that helps spread them over the body more and have more surface are to absorb better. Hope that helps and gives you a start. If it doesn’t work as well as you’d like you can always adjust the oils or the dilution, but remember to keep it at a safe level.

Thanks for the comment. So are you saying that unless the oil is expensive, it’s probably not pure? I understand what you’re saying about the sandalwood oil. I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of oils. I know it’s that way with herbs. Some herbs you harvest the first year, some the second, and it even makes a difference when it comes to the part of the plant you use. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to really tell if one is pure… for the lay person of course. Also, where were you trained at? I’m not aware of many aromatherapy schools so it’s always nice to hear of more.

This blending ratio doesn’t have a drop limit, but keep in mind that you want your blend to stay small so you don’t waste your oils (in case you don’t like it). You’ll be keeping track of your essential oils and drops on paper. This blending ratio works well with pure combinations (essential oils from one category) and mixed combinations (essential oils from complementary categories).

Great points Angie. I really love the work Lea Harris is doing at LearningAboutEOs.com when she tests all the different oils and shows the results. Even the big companies are noticing and thanking her for doing that… including doTERRA and Young Living… which says a lot about the companies not minding other people testing their products because they have confidence in what they’re selling.
hi meagan – thanks for your post – i have a lot to read and learn on mixing blends for essential oils – i am having so much trouble because i make CP soap – and so many essential oils can disappear during the saponification process – i have managed a couple of blends but they are masculine in perfume – i so want to find an easy blend of no more than 3 oils that will be feminine and for some reason conjure up the seep south and scarlett – i dont live anywhere near there or even in that country but i have a perfume in my head that i just cant for the life of me create. Is there any chance you could point me in the right direction???
After testing your blend, if you like the scent and how it makes you feel, go with it. You can now make more of your blend, using larger amounts of oils, before bottling it up and labeling it. If you don’t like the scent or it doesn’t affect you the way you hoped it would, you can start the process over varying the amount of essential oils used or you can chose different oils all together.
I’ve learned a very important lesson recently. A friend who sells young living told me that I could put a few drops of lemon oil in my water, as well as orange and grapefruit. Dummy me didn’t research this. You know, “well she’s a friend and seems to know a lot about oils. I can trust what she says”. One night I couldn’t sleep well, even had my lavender in my diffuser. I kept wondering “what the hheeeecckkk”. Prayed a bit, and then listened and read up on grapefruit oil. Wellllll that was my first lesson DO NOT TAKE OILS INTERNALLY and grapefruit oil is an energizer.
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For depression: Depression and sleep problems often go hand in hand. A number of studies have examined the effects of aromatherapy using essential oils in people with depression and depressive symptoms, both with and without anxiety. Aromatherapy can help improve depressive symptoms, according to the results of several studies. A study found aromatherapy improved both depression and anxiety in a group of post-partum women. And a 2016 analysis found aromatherapy effective in reducing stress and depression—as well as symptoms of menopause—in middle-aged women.
A simple way to enjoy the sedative properties of essential oils is to directly inhale the aroma from the bottle. Hold the bottle 1-2 inches away from your nose and take several deep breaths.  It’s recommended that you use a nebulizing diffuser for direct oil inhalation, but do not inhale the vapours directly, as these vapours can be very concentrated.

From my understanding, the total number of oils is not the safety concern, it’s the total amount of EOs used (the final dilution) that matters. While there are various dilution guidelines, these are the most recent recommendations from aromatherapists I respect. Products that cover large portions of your body and sit on the skin for long periods of time (like lotions) need to be diluted more (1-2% depending on the strength of the EOs used). Products that don’t sit on the skin for long (like body washes) can be diluted less (around 5-10%, again depending on the strength of the oils used). Products that cover larger portions of skin (salve with EOs) should be more diluted (2-3%) compared to products that cover smaller portions of skin (roller bottle spot applications) which can be less diluted (5%). Age and health will also be a factor in dilution amounts. Children and the elderly need their EOs to be diluted more as their livers are slower at metabolizing EO chemicals than a healthy teenager or adult liver. Dilution also depends on the strength of the oil. For example, cinnamon bark requires more dilution than cinnamon leaf. Does this make sense? A lot of EO books (like this one) give recommendations and guidelines for this sort of thing.


It’s worth it to have a high quality diffuser to diffuse essential oils. This Smiley Daisy Essential Oil Diffuser, Quite Cool Mist Humidifier, 350 ml has been around for a long while and has great reviews. Smiley Daisy is a cold air diffuser, as well as a humidifier, which is great because it releases moisture into the air and is helpful in providing relief for dry skin, dry throat and cold and flu symptoms such as irritated nasal passages and more. Order below:

Thanks for your info Meaghan. It was very helpful. I have to say that I love, love essential oils. I did so much research and have used them for years. More than a year ago I decided to give Young Living a try after much research and even though I have tried other companies I have to say that I absolutely love Young Living. I know there are other great companies out there because I have used them. However Young Living is absolutely a wonderful company and their oils are amazing. I totally trust them and I have had such success with them health wise. I am a member of their Blue Spruce Club and everything I ever want to know about how to use essential oils is there. I love Thieves, YLs blend. It is amazing for everything. I still use other oils but YL is my favourite!

Would I blend a properly diluted (in carrier oil) say…Eucalyptus, mixture in with my Neem mixture or simply add some drops of Eucalyptus to the Neem mixture with no additional carrier oil? This probably sounds very stupid, but I am a little confused since there is generally a finite number of drops you should use per ounce/ml of carrier oil. Does my question this make sense?
Thank you Megan. You’re absolutely right, this top notes will not last very long. I will buy essential oils from Amazon to experiment and find out my favourite scent. In my mind right now is vanilla, grapefruit and neroli. But some people are not happy with neroli fragrance oil in Amazon wich is typically not normal for citrus scent. I thought everybody loved citrus scent but obviously not. I am also thinking grapefruit, peppermint, orange and lavender?
Hey Gabriela! I can’t speak from experience here because I’ve never made my own candles, but I too have heard that essential oils don’t work as well as fragrance oils in candles. No matter, I’d personally use them over fragrance oils. As far as the jasmine absolute… I don’t think you will get the scent you’re going for if you use any essential oil that’s already diluted in a carrier oil like the jojoba oil in this case. You need the concentrated oil. And yes, I’d still think the 30-50-20 rule would still apply if you want a rounded blend. Hope that helps… some!
Oh, lavender essential oil is great, and I’d definitely consider it a go-to oil. It’s an easy one for beginners to use, it’s mostly safe, and it has a lot of different uses. I didn’t exclude it from the list for any particular reason. I just went through and tried to select oils with different notes so people would have a good variety of EO choices when making their blends. Hope that answers your question!
I came upon your post while doing a search on essential oils and absolutes. I love your writing style, and overall website design, so that you for this lovely post. Here’s a question for you Do you have experience blending the two? I believe they need an emulifier to make them mix since one is distilled with water and the other via an alcohol process. Any suggestions on a natural emulating agent that will keep these two blended together nicely?
One notable benefit of sandalwood essential oil is its natural sleep aid properties. In a recent clinical trial, sandalwood essential oil was noted to have a depressive effect on the central nervous system, which helped promote relaxation and sleep. Sandalwood is one of the most popular essential oils for sleep aid remedies and one of the best essential oils for insomnia.

Honestly Tori, I’m new to using roller bottles. I normally just put my essential oil blends in a bottle with a dropper top and use them that way, but I’ve recently gotten some roller bottles and started trying them out. My only thought would be that moisture got into the bottle somehow and it’s trapped in there by the roller ball. Other than that I’m no help. I’m so sorry!
Many essential oils are adaptogens, which means they adapt to the person taking them and have different effects on different people. For instance, vetiver oil relieves insomnia for some people, while creating a feeling of refreshment and alertness for others during times of exhaustion. Of course, some oils are known precisely for their activating effects, like energizing tangerine or lemongrass, and should be avoided as a sleep aid.

Getting a good night's sleep can sometimes feel as impossible and frustrating as trying to lick your elbow (if you've never tried it, I bet you just did — I see you, fam). There are a lot of different sleep aids on the market, but personally, I think adding some essential oils to your nightly routine is one of the best ways to get a good snooze. Many essential oils are specifically dedicated to helping you doze off, and combining some of these relaxing, fragrant substances into essential oil blends for sleep is a surefire way to reap all the bedtime benefits you're searching for.
[…] If you can make your cramped studio apartment feel more like a spa, why wouldn’t you? While some scents may help promote relaxation and sleep, other essential oils can help you start your day feeling more energized.  Try diffusing citrus, peppermint, rosemary, or eucalyptus oils to help you wake up in the morning. Or if you want to get a little crazy, try mixing it up with an essential oil recipe like one of these. […]
Sweet marjoram is not only a good herb for cooking, but also a popular essential oil used to aid sleep. Almost no research has been conducted to confirm or disprove its sedative properties. But Sweet marjoram essential oil is thought to improve voluntary breathing in asthmatic patients. (6) It is possible that involuntary breathing, such as that which accompanies sleep, is also improved. Those with sleep apnea may want to try sweet marjoram oil to keep their breathing even through the night.

I believe your comment on this post about diffuser recipes said, “doTERRA oils are overpriced” or something along those lines. As someone who is deeply involved with doTERRA, knows what goes into doTERRA oils, has been to the fields where the plants are grown and met the farmers, and also compared doTERRA oils to a number of other brands, I wholeheartedly disagree with your comment. I believe doTERRA oils are an amazing value.
A question that you may or may not be able to help me with. . . I am trying to make a citrus blend to use in soap. I think I have the blend of EOs that I want to use. What I am not sure about is diluting it in a carrier oil. How diluted should I make it? Or should I not dilute it at all so it is strong enough to make it through the soap process? Thanks for any help!

What most don’t know is that even the labeled 100% pure are not always what they seem and it’s not the companies fault it’s just not available for the regular oil trader. For example, a Sandalwood tree can only produce the oil after the tree has reached it’s 30 year maturity, and since this is such a necessity to India it is only “doled” out to the consumer as a partially pure oil. India has no regulations about the purity they are distributing, so unless you are paying almost $30 an oz. it’s most likely not truly pure, this is the same for absolutes. Absolutes are 100% pure, and they are most expensive and usually very thick.


Honestly Tori, I’m new to using roller bottles. I normally just put my essential oil blends in a bottle with a dropper top and use them that way, but I’ve recently gotten some roller bottles and started trying them out. My only thought would be that moisture got into the bottle somehow and it’s trapped in there by the roller ball. Other than that I’m no help. I’m so sorry!
Hi Meagan, I’m somewhat new to the EO world. I would like to make two blends as a gift (along with a diffuser) for my cousin who was newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I’d like one to be healing (I was thinking orange, lemongrass, thyme and frankincense). The other I’d like for her nausea (which I’d like to encorporate ginger and lemon). Do you have any advice?
I’m glad you liked the article Jennie. I’m no expert when it comes to aromatherapy so I’d definitely search some other aromatherapy blogs like LearningAboutEOs.com and the Aromahead Blog for arthritis blends, but I think I’d make a cayenne salve like the one here and then add essential oils that contain menthol like peppermint or wintergreen to it.

I have done extensive research on essential oils. NO oil should ever be injested. There are only a few food grade oils that can be injested. There is no such thing a therapeutic grade oil. Do more research. Many companies claim 100% pure and that may be, it’s the process that makes them unpure. If you want the real thing you must only buy USDA ORGANIC. The process is guaranteed minimal. No machinery so you not getting metals in your oil which is harmful to us. I hope this helps.
Wonderful blog site! I just jumped into this EO stuff this week, with little forethought. I wanted some natural bug repellent solutions for my dogs and my family. Next thing I know, I have ordered lots of ingredients and am finding myself getting to get into this. My husband said if I start stirring a big black couldron and cackling, he will start worrying. Lol. I told him Eye of Newt doesn’t seem to be available in an EO, so not to worry.

Hi, Dorothy. Great question, and this may be something you’ll want to run by an aromatherapist as they have more training in how EOs are made. But, from my understanding, whether the essential oil is extracted via steam (water), alcohol, or CO2… none of that comes through in the final product. As in, you don’t actually have water or alcohol or CO2 in the final essential oil. So, when you’re blending, you’re actually blending oil with oil regardless of the extraction process and emulsifiers aren’t needed. Now, I could be totally wrong there. Again, you’ll need to ask someone more knowledgeable in that area. Hope this helps.


Like most people I am new to mixing EO’s. First, I would like to say thank you for all your time and hard work you put into this article. Most people don’t realize how much time goes into the trial and error process. It seems you have done a lot of hard work and a good job for us all to take into consideration. I would like to know if you have to rest it 24 hours if you are going to be putting it in an oil burner or a diffuser? I would be mixing something for calming and concentration. I homeschool and my DD needs something to help her stay focused and my patience is being test greatly right now.

To me, blend #1 sounds amazing! I imagine it to be fresh and sweet smelling with a touch of spice to ground it. Blend #2 feels like spring to me because it’s a pure floral blend. I can’t imagine preferring this blend over blend #1 because I tend to not like heavy floral scents, but you never know. Blend #3 sounds interesting, but I can’t say for sure what I think about it because I’m not familiar with angelica essential oil. The peppermint and pine sound like a great combination, but I’d have to test this to see what I thought of them alongside the angelica.
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