I’ve been asked more than once how to blend essential oils for soap making. I’m not an aromatherapist, and I don’t really care what properties the essential oils I work with have. All I care about is what they smell like, how they go together, and how long they last in my base oils.
The first thing to do when you get a new oil is open the bottle and sniff. What does it smell like? Do this even if it’s an oil you always use. Once, I received an order of lavender that didn’t smell quite right. It’s always good to know if there’s a problem with an oil before you need to use it. I had plenty of time to contact my supplier and fix the problem.
Putting a drop on a perfume blotter, smell it and take some notes. Is it a light and airy scent or a dark and heavy one? Does it have a high scent intensity or a low one? What does it remind you of? Write down what you think it will blend with well. Wait an hour and smell it again. More notes. This technique comes from my many perfuming classes with Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume and Julianne Zaleta of Alchemologie. Both of these perfumers recommend taking notes of the many different impressions you will have of the essential oil.
Here comes the fun part
Remember those blotters and your notes about what you think the new oil will smell good with? Great, get them out and put them on a blotter too. Now, start putting them together and start smelling. If you hold them all the same distance from your nose, and like the aroma, you can add them in equal quantities. If one is a little too strong, hold it further away and use less of the oil in your blend. You can do this with as many blotters of oil as you can hold in your hand and smell.
When I blend essential oils, I like to include a base note, (a heavier smelling oil with a higher scent intensity) to anchor the blend. Patchouli is my go-to, but frankincense, litsea and vetiver work well too. You can also try fir needle and cedarwood. See what works best for you.
Once you have your blend ready, make a small batch of soap. Take notes as the soap cures, and adjust your blend if necessary. If you don’t like the results, it’s still a great bar of soap and someone will love it. You can also read my 10 favorite essential oils for soap making as a place to start.
How do you blend essential oils?
Yours in Gratitude,