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!
Because vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant, it smells very rich and earthy. This is another great oil to try for sleep because it is psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing. It can take you awhile to get used to the smell, so if you are a vetiver newbie, you can try mixing it with a floral or citrus oil, such as lavender or bergamot.
You could try using equal amounts of each and see how it turns out for you. The problem I find with that is that the stronger scents will tend to overpower the lighter scents because too much was used. For example if you were to blend lavender and patchouli and you used equal amounts, your blend is probably not going to smell as good as if you used more lavender than patchouli because patchouli is very strong and it can smell bad if too much is used.

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!
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.
Okay, so I am clearly late to the game on this post, but I am so glad I found it! Jill, I have been researching essential oils, diffusers, oil blends, etc. – and my gosh!, there is a lot of information out there. It is overwhelming. Thank you for this very helpful, easy to follow post on using essential oils in a diffuser. I signed up to receive your emails and got your book for FREE. Thank you! My family of four has been so sick this past month. My friends keep telling me that I need to be using essential oils. Your blog is fantastic. I know I will be coming back to visit often. Blessings, Jana
The whole article was really helpful! My girlfriend and I are currently trying to find ways to raise money so she can fund a research aimed to study and protect a species that is now endangered in our country but it has been very difficult as many people don’t feel concerned. We’re now trying to find other ideas and she came up with the idea of making candles. Mixing essential oils can be quite difficult when you’re not sure if they would blend together well, especially when you don’t already have them on hand… Our idea is to create candles made from organic soy wax, that could also double as massage candles (she already made some and it does wonders for the skin), and blend oils with natural scents that remind people of different environments where they can also find endangered species, since we plan on donating a percentage of the money to different non-profit organizations. We had some ideas but don’t know much about essential oils, and this article has been SO helpful and is already helping us with our list of mixes so we can create wonderful scents. All these tips will also help us get to a slightly less ”amateur” result so we can offer products with different depths and scents, that last longer. Thanks a lot!
I’m new to this and I just purchased my first essential oil from the “now” brand. I wanted to make my own body butter so I also purchased coconut oil, almond oil, and Shea butter…. I wanted orange scent but when it arrived it said “do not use on skin”. I thought essential oils were used to make lotions and body butters? I’m confused. Can you help please? Thank you, ?
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.

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.
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I believe sandalwood is a base not Annette. Of course you can combine whatever you like together if you think it smells good. I don’t think there are any black and white rules when it comes to blending as long as you have something from each note so your blend is “well rounded”. And from my understanding categories and notes are all relative to the other oils you’re referencing… they too are not black and white. Hope that helps some!
If it were me EYG, I’d Google “safe essential oils for dogs” and get a list to go by. Then I’d Google “bug repelling essential oils” and compare the two lists. Cross off any EOs on the bug repellant list that aren’t safe for dogs. Next, I’d put the oils you have left into their notes and categories and try to find 3-4 bug repelling oils that can be paired together and still smell nice and well-rounded. You can combine these EOs together using the percentage rule mentioned in the post and label it with “bug repellant EOs for dog”. When you’re ready to use it, mix it into your carrier oil at the appropriate dilution and you should be good to go. Hope that helps!
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I have been reading your blog now for a few months and I really respect your advice and ideas. I also signed up for your “better listening” email series and have been learning a ton and working on implementing your advice with my 21 month & 3 1/2 year olds. They are responding well and I am looking particularly forward to working through these strategies with my youngest. He is as sharp as a tack and just coming into his own now. These tools are great and it’s awesome to have been equipped with  them right as he’s coming into the defiance stage. I feel much more confident in my ability to manage the challenges of this stage now. Thank you!

Because vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of the plant, it smells very rich and earthy. This is another great oil to try for sleep because it is psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing. It can take you awhile to get used to the smell, so if you are a vetiver newbie, you can try mixing it with a floral or citrus oil, such as lavender or bergamot.

Thanks for sharing these resources, Susan. I’ve read through them, and although there’s some really valuable and helpful info here, I don’t believe this settles the issue that a lot of people have with these big MLM companies. I mean, these sources are from YL distributors so they’re biased. Sure the information is good and possibly true, but it just seems like it’s better to get info from unbiased sources. Right?

VANILLA. The sweet scent of vanilla is appealing to many people, and it has a long history of use for relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla can have sedative effects on the body. It can reduce hyperactivity and restlessness, quiet the nervous system, and lower blood pressure. It also appears to help relieve anxiety and depression, with a combining both relaxation and an uplift in mood. If the smell of cookies baking relaxes and soothes you, vanilla might be a scent to try for sleep—without the calories!


Just because these two brands frequently recommend taking essential oils internally doesn’t mean their brands can be and others can’t. It just means they give unsafe advice that is contrary to what any real aromatherapist would advise. People have gotten seriously hurt by following this advice. The International Association of Holistic Aromatherapist says that essential oils should never be taken internally unless you are advised to do so by a clinical aromatherapist who has appropriate training in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etc. This has nothing to do with oil purity and everything to do with the fact that essential oils are very powerful.
Topical application of essential oils can be especially beneficial, since the oils will actually permeate your skin due to their transdermal properties. As a result, not only will you smell them through your olfactory nerve, but they’ll also enter your bloodstream more quickly. However, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, you should avoid applying topically altogether, or otherwise diffuse the oil with a carrier oil such as organic coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil.

JASMINE. A sweetly floral scent, jasmine appears to have serious sleep-promoting capabilities. Research shows jasmine improves sleep quality and cuts down on restless sleeping, as well as increasing daytime alertness. A 2002 study showed that jasmine delivered all of these sleep benefits, as well as lowering anxiety, even more effectively than lavender.

Thanks so much Michelle. As far as getting EO recipes… I’m not aware of any NEW books out by any well-known aromatherapists, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t. I’m not an aromatherapist so I’m not in that circle too much. I get a lot of recipes from Vintage Remedies (Jessie Hawkins is an aromatherapist) and Aromahead (an aromatherapy school) as well as older books by respected aromatherapists and companies that sell quality essential oils. I know Plant Therapy, Eden Gardens, and Mountain Rose Herbs shares recipes from time to time. Good luck!!


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.  
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