A Beginner’s DIY Guide to Blending Essential Oils

Perform just one internet search on “essential oil blends” and the results will boggle your mind. The sheer volume of information and products available can make even the most determined newbie think twice. The truth is, blending essential oils is indeed a learning process, but starting small is the best way to dip your toes in. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed! Read on for some blending basics and easy, beginner recipes to get you started.

There are all sorts of supplies out there for those looking to make essential oil blends. To keep it easy in the beginning, all you really need (aside from your oils) are small, capped glass bottles with orifice reducers (roller bottles are a great alternative), droppers and a carrier oil. Carrier oils dilute the essential oil and serve as the base of your blend. There are many types of carrier oil, the most popular being sweet almond, jojoba, coconut and even olive.

Table of Contents

  • Choosing Your Fragrances
  • Making Your Essential Oil Blend
  • Get Started With Our Recipes

Experts suggest those new to blending start with a simple, three-oil blend mixed with a carrier oil. This will allow you to start working with blends that will purify the air in your home even if you don’t have a huge collection of essential oils. Avoid recipes that use water. If you remember back to science class, oils and water do not mix! Additional ingredients are required to allow oil and water to combine uniformly. Keep it simple for starters and stick to all-oil blends for a simple, uniform mixture.

Choosing Your Fragrance: Top, Middle & Base Notes

When choosing oils for blends, it’s important to know which “note” they represent. Most oils are categorized as a top, middle or base note. Blends that are a mixture of all three notes are the most well-balanced scents.

  • Top notes tend to evaporate quickly and give the first impression of the blend. They tend to be light and fresh and set the mood for the blend.
  • Middle notes are more subtle. They last longer and are the main body of your blend, therefore you should choose a scent you really enjoy. The majority of essential oils are considered middle notes and they are often soft, warm fragrances.
  • Base notes are rich and earthy. They have a heavy, intense scent and often slow the evaporation of the other oils.

By combining these three notes, you get an aroma that evolves over time as oils evaporate. A good rule of thumb to use when starting out is to have your blend include 30% top notes, 50% middle notes and 20% base notes.

Making Your Own Essential Oil Blend

When first starting out, make very small batches of blends so you don’t waste ingredients with your experiments. Using the 30/50/20 guideline above, try 3 drops of a top note, 5 drops of a middle note and 2 drops of a base note. Experts recommend a specific order: Start with your base notes, then add the middle notes and finish with the top notes. Once you have mixed these, determine if you like the aroma, keeping in mind that it can take 24-48 hours for a true result.

If you decide this blend is something you want to keep, it’s now time to add the carrier oil. (If you hate it, at least you haven’t wasted any carrier oil!) Using the 10-drop example above, one drop of your custom blend mixed with 9 drops of a carrier oil will give you a 10% dilution.

There are many charts available online that will help you figure out which oils are top, middle and base notes, as well as how much carrier oil to add for dilution. Know your oils, as there are many that cannot be applied to skin undiluted.

Get Started with Our Essential Oil Recipes

If you want to attempt some tried and true recipes before experimenting on your own, these are designed to fill a 10 ml roller bottle. Happy blending!

Be Happy

  • 3 drops ylang ylang
  • 4 drops wild or sweet orange
  • 3 drops lavender
  • Fill with carrier oil

Be Calm

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 3 drops sweet or wild orange
  • 2 drops cedarwood
  • 2 drops frankincense
  • Fill with carrier oil


  • 10 drops geranium
  • 10 drops lavender
  • 10 drops chamomile
  • Fill with carrier oil

Find Comfort

  • 3 drops frankincense
  • 3 drops ylang ylang
  • 2 drops sandalwood
  • 2 drops patchouli
  • Fill with carrier oil

Get Focused

  • 4 drops lemon
  • 2 drops basil
  • 2 drops rosemary
  • 1 drops cypress
  • 1 drops frankincense
  • Fill with carrier oil