When it comes to blending essential oils for aromatic purposes (that means you’re blending based on scent rather than a therapeutic action), it’s important to make sure you find essential oil combinations that go together or attract so they smell nice once they’re blended together. I personally find this to be important when blending essential oils for therapeutic purposes as well, but that’s just a personal preference.  
Personally (I use less than most) I do one of lavender, one of orange…. But it’s for my 2 yr old daughter’s room at night. Most people (from reading/talking to people) use between 5-10 drops in theirs. For even me, I find that amount overwhelmingly strong. You can use one oil, or a blend of your own making. I’m newer to oils as well, so I haven’t tried too many, but if you don’t like a scent you need to use just do one drop, and two+ of a more pleasing scent. You can use them all, or just one it’s really up to you.
I really enjoyed this post and then I read you’re bio at the end and I liked it even more. I’m about 5 years late in reading it but better late than never. I am new to blending and have been reading whatever I can about techniques and I think your input has really helped me embrace the fact that this is as much of an art as it is a science and although there is a lot of chemistry involved, intuition and patience play a big role in it too. It’s really helped me prioritize what I want to accomplish and this article even helped make blending a little less intimidating/overwhelming. Thank you again for your help and God bless!!
Right before I gave up, I came across your site from Pinterest. My heart sunk and I signed up for your daily email list of listening. Every morning I received an email from you before I got out of the bed for the day, which couldn’t have been more perfect and encouraging to start the days. I immediately put your advice in action. My husband and I saw a different child within minutes. It’s been a few weeks since I started and the list could go on! I’m really grateful I came across your site! It changed my relationship 180°. Thank you said so much! I’ve already shared your link with my family and friends! I think every parent needs to read this!
A little thing about me: I 💙 essential oils. I also love using my background in research to help people learn more about essential oils and all the wonderful ways they can be used. I share DIY recipes for natural cleaners that really work, non-toxic beauty solutions, and holistic wellness. My essential oil recipes, info, and tips have been viewed more than 20 million times. I've been featured on MindBodyGreen, Health & Natural Living, All Natural Ideas, This Natural Home, Natural Living Ideas, and Passion for Savings.
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.
Hi Megan! I’m new to oils, and I’m looking specifically for oils that help with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and colds/flu. I have right now sweet orange, lemongrass, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and lavender. Could you offer some direction/advice on where to start with what I have? I would be using them by diffusing with a diffuser or using the steam from taking a shower if that helps. Thanks!
From my understanding and research (and I’m not an aromatherapist), all essential oils have particular qualities of smell as far as which are smelled first and which last a short while vs. a long while. This is why you blend them together based on those qualities (which are categorized as “notes”) so you can smell each oil among the others and have your blend last longer. Do you have to follow that rule? Of course not. If you’re making blends that are going to smell great and last a good while, should you follow that rule? Probably… I don’t know for sure as I’m not an aromatherapist and I don’t make perfume blends often.
Essential oil diffuser blends work in diffusers of any size, you will just have to adjust how many drops of oil you put into your water tank if you have a larger diffuser with a bigger reservoir. The diffuser blends I mix are made for 150-200 ml sized diffusers. You’ll find a chart below that helps you figure out how many drops to put into your diffuser. Most diffusers also come with a water cup that lets you accurately fill the desired amount of water into your unit.
I don’t know if there would be an exact way to figure it out without having it tested… if that’s even possible and it’s very expensive. You could blend your own together though… it may not be exactly the same, but would be close. I see they’re using 3 different types of eucalyptus as well as peppermint, myrtle, and marjoram. All these oils contain types of camphor with help with respiratory issues. Pine is a great oil for kids and works well for respiratory conditions. I couldn’t find much info on the Ravintsara except that it was like eucalyptus.
Our sense of smell is directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion. Cells inside the nose detect smells in our environment, and send information to the brain, via the olfactory nerve. (We also have a cluster of cells the top of the throat that detect scents from the food we consume, and pass that information along the same olfactory channel to the brain.) The information about smell does immediately to the limbic system of the brain, which includes regions like the amygdala that control emotional reactions and memory.  
When you start your diffuser blend, please start conservatively. A small amount of essential oil can produce a significant aroma. Be careful to not overload the diffuser blend right when you start pouring your first drops into it. Sometimes, the essential oil bottle droppers release the oils quite quickly. Start with a low pouring angle so the oil drops don’t come out too quickly for you, and you can accurately stop the flow after 1-2 drops.
Hello! I love this article. So helpful. I am blending some oils for diffusers and used this article to help me formulate a blend to promote clear breathing. It has lemongrass, rosemary, eucaliptus and incense. I used your suggested ratios for top and bottom notes and it smells lovely. But something weird happens! The smell kind of disappears after you first smell it. It’s almost as if this particular blend kind of blocks the olfactory nerves or something, because after the first smell I can hardly smell it at all. My husband and friend tested it for me and something similar happens to them. Do you have any ideas why this might happen? At first I thought I made the blend too weak, but then I realized that the first sniff was great and after that it receded to nothing. Any thoughts?

I posted a reply comment regarding the price of essential oils stating that in most cases you do get what you pay for but some companies are overpriced. This was obviously a comment that you did not want read and felt threatened by the content. Obviously your philosophy is based financially and not in the best interest of what is good for the consumer. Shame on you!
A stroll through the orchard picking apples is the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.  When a fall breeze blows through the trees at the orchard near us, it smells very much like this diffuser blend – woody, a little sweet, with a hint of fresh fir from the Christmas tree farm next door.  It’s relaxing and grounding- a great fall diffuser blend to help lessen anxious feelings.
Humm, I can’t tell you much without seeing the version of the EO you purchased, Valerie, but one reason why they could have said that is that the EO you bought is a cold-pressed orange EO which can cause photosensitivity after sun exposure. Cold-pressed citrus oils are known to do that, as well as a few others. Here’s a great post on this topic. What you can do is use it for flavoring things, cleaning, diffusing, or in your skin care products during the winter months when you won’t get as much sun exposure and purchase a steam-distilled orange EO to use during the summer months. Hope this helps!
I know I’ve said it quite a few times already, but when it comes to blending essential oils there is no “one right way” to do it. The same is true when it comes to essential oil blending ratios. Like most essential oil blending concepts, it comes down to what you like. With that said, I’m going to share a few of the simplest blending ratios I’ve personally used to help give you a place to start.
Hi, Kelly. The opt-in form is at the very bottom of the post, above the references and author info. If you still don’t see it, it could be a technical issues, and I can sign you up manually with your permission. Just let me know. Update: Hey, Kelly. I’m showing that you’ve been added to the list so you should receive your download link soon. Sorry for the trouble!
Diffusers that requires water destroys the therapeutic health properties of the oils. The only type of diffuser you should use is a wood or ceramic and glass nebulizer diffuser. doTERRA are OK oils but they are, just like Young Living, way over priced and have both been found to adulterate some of their oils when the plant material runs low, real expensive or rare. Their members will argue saying, “No way all their oils are 100% pure”. Well think about it, the lab tests are run by the company itself. So people just tend to believe whatever the company tell them. I’m still doing the research and have found a couple of places to get high quality organic therapeutic grade oils at half the price and not the over priced marketing ploy of the big companies making big bucks off their loyal members. They can easily do this because most people don’t want to take the time to do the research themselves. Once I became disable with life threatening illnesses, (Cancer,ect.), I could no longer afford wasting money on high prices oils.
I hear what you’re saying Scott, and I’m not disagreeing with you. I don’t know a whole lot about the process, but I do know that bigger companies follow harvesting, storage, and extracting guidelines that not all home distillers follow. I also know that bigger companies have their oils routinely tested by 3rd party labs to check them for certain things. Again, not all home distillers do that. I’m sure that’s why people trust bigger EO companies, but if I were making and selling my own oils from home, I’d be sure I did those things and shouted it from the rooftops so people would know my oils were top notch. Thanks for sharing your process!
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.
Word of Caution: The use of essential oils for sleep problems is very popular, but it is important to consider the side effects that some of these oils may have. They are packed with active compounds and chemicals that could negatively interact with medications, exacerbate health conditions, irritate the skin, disturb the stomach, cause blood pressure to drop dangerously low, or leave you feeling fatigued or sluggish. Each oil has individual components and risks, so additional research is necessary before you add one to your daily health regimen. Furthermore, you should always discuss your personal risks before using one of these potent essential oils for sleep.
Hi Rachael. Great questions! Those high dilution rates (20% and 10%) are just so you can smell your EO blend mixed with a carrier oil to see if you like it or not. All carrier oils smell different, and they can effect how your blend smells in the end. That’s why I recommend testing your EO blends in different carrier oils at different dilutions to see what you like best. And, because the smells of EO blends change depending on what they’re mixed with, it’s always a good idea to test them in small batches before making bigger batches (hence using drops and not teaspoons or ounces!). Once you know what you like, you can then move on to making larger amounts of preblended oils (EO blend + carrier oil) for skin application using a lower dilution rate (3-5% for adults and anywhere from .25-1% for children depending on their age). This is my article on using EOs for children safely. There is a lot of different opinions on using EOs for kids. Since I’m not a trained aromatherapist, I tend to take the safe route with it comes to EOs. Hope this helps answer your questions a bit!! PS. Just for the record, higher dilution rates are often used in bath products (body wash, shampoo, shave creams, etc.) as they don’t sit on the skin, but are washed off fairly quickly. This decreases the amount of EO absorption you would have, therefore, higher percentages of EOs can go in those products so they smell stronger.
Hi Diana. It sounds like you’re mixing carrier oils together which are totally fine and very good at nourishing the skin on their own. What I’m talking about here in this post is how to blend essential oil together to get a nice smell. This essential oil blend will then be added to the carrier oil(s) of your choice like those you mentioned in your comment. If you wanna learn more about blending essential oils based on their therapeutic properties and have them smell good too, check out this post I wrote on how to create therapeutic essential oil blends in 7 steps. Hope this helps some! Thanks for your comment!
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