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Blending by frequency or "note"? 
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Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 3:55 pm
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Post Blending by frequency or "note"?
I've read some conflicting and often confusing information on the art? science? of blending oils for therapeutic use. One website recommended adding oils to a blend according to their individual frequencies, i.e., highest MHz oil first, then in decreasing order. Another recommended adding oils to a blend based on top- , mid-, and bottom "notes" -- which seems to be more relative to perfumes than the medicinal properties of the oils.

Does anyone know if either of these recommendations are (A) True/valid? and (B) Relevant when blending for therapeutic purposes? Thanks so much for any help!

Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:01 pm
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Post Re: Blending by frequency or "note"?
Well, heavenscent, it's no wonder you'd be confused.

Some websites demarcate frequencies of oils, so that you don't end up with discordant oils in your blend. The frequency is one way of looking at it. Unless you are especially sensitive to frequencies, your own sense of smell is deserving of your trust. If a couple of oils vibrate at contradictory frequencies, then they won't smell right together (i.e. attributes of one oil are subsumed by another, the mix becomes flat or colorless in the mind's eye.)

Using "notes" is a closer approximation to one's own sensory input. Aromatherapy literature categorizes oils, from which you can pick a top-, middle-, and bottom-note. Then, finding your blend is a process of combining each of those notes to arrive at a blend that smells right to you. For example, Patchouli and Orange oils smell delightful together --that is, when they are accompanied by Neroli, or another middle note that marries them together. Without the middle note, your attention would be drawn to the heaviness of patchouli after the blitz of Orange passes. With a middle note, You smell a nice round, full, fruity, and earthy fragrance. Nothing distracting, nothing too strong. Choosing from a variety of "notes" is all about balancing the scents that work for you.

If you prefer an example be set, or to have more of a template to go from, take a look through our recipes on the website, or in aromatherapy books that include recipes. With a little research to figure out how aromatherapists are combining notes, you will be able to repeat the process for yourself with ease.

Also, it's possible that if you describe what you're looking for in words, one of us on the forum would be able to make suggestions as to which oils to combine.

Indulge your patience and curiosity, as well as your senses!


Thanks for posting! Please let us know if we can help further.

Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Blending by frequency or "note"?
One really need distinguish what "therapeutic" means in this case: is it the aroma that is invoking a psycho/emotional response, or the biochemistry (and yes, in some cases they do work in concert, but this can be mostly put aside for the beginner). We'll look at both...

The best bet for the VAST majority of practitioners blending with essential oils for aromatic purposes (be they therapeutic, pleasurable, or both) is blending by note. The available information for "frequency" is SO limited, it makes it very difficult to use this as a guideline. There's also very little consistent information on frequency blending, even in the best, most advanced of the aromatherapy literature.

For the experienced blender, the very sensitive, and the very experienced individual whom are effected by, and can detect, differences in frequencies in oils and their blends, should absolutely experiment with this procedure - and if anyone does so, we'd be very interested in their experience. Also, remember that here too, the vast majority of blends for therapeutic use are for very "palpable" needs, where frequency will be overcome by biochemistry in most cases.

One of our concerns is that the beginning-to-novice practitioners avoid creating blends themselves because the information seems complex.
For blends for therapeutic purposes that are not primarily aromatic, one can simply use the therapeutic properties of each oil, and it's activity at a given concentration (along with safety concerns) as the main guideline.

For example: blending for pain and inflammation relief
-- Helichrysum and Plai are oils that can be used "neat", so one could include them at relatively high concentrations in their formulas. Yet other anti-inflammatory oils need to be used in smaller amounts (as they can in fact be "pro-inflammatory" if used in concentrations that are too high). Ginger CO2 essential oil, an extract backed by scientific research for its ability to block production of pro-inflammatory hormones in the body, is rather "intense". While Helichcrysum or Plai can be in a base at 10%, Ginger CO2 should be closer to 1/2%. Same with German Chamomile CO2 essential oil -- it too is highly anti-inflammatory, yet the distiller says to include in formulas at 1/4 to 1/2% concentration. The bottom line here is to be clear as to not overdo it, thinking "more is better", because the essential oils are so potent.

To advance as a practitioner, it's SO much more important that one at least jumps in and starts blending, and begin gaining some experience. For purely medicinal applications, the above method is probably the simplest. For aromatic blending, including therapeutic aromatic formulas, a combination of therapeutic activity, concentrations necessary to achieve this activity relative to other oils, AND, as was originally noted :) ... Blending by note will be easier in all the respects discussed to start with. Whether one goes from high to low, or low to high, we have not as much noticed a difference as one being methodical in their process.

Try blending simply drop by drop -- and letting the blend sit for a while before judging it. Don't keep smelling it over and over, and you'll loose your sensitivity to the differences in your formulas. The blend itself will change as the oils really mix (for some reason, there's no other way to do this but wait -- shaking does not have the same effect). And MANY blends which were OK when first put together really improve by sitting overnight. It's also a good idea to see what they'll smell like on your skin, not just out of the bottle, as this too seems to have an important effect on you're appreciation of the aroma. (Some recommend inhaling deeply from bag of freshly ground coffee between aromatic sampling of the blend, as it seems to clear the olfactory sense).

While that's an awful lot on a simple question regarding "frequency" or "note", there are many factors involved. Both are valid means, depending on the desired outcome, and experience of the practitioner, and we thought we'd bring them up for a complete picture!

Please, this is a great discussion, and we'd love to keep up the conversation :)

All the Best,
Eric @ The Ananda Apothecary

Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:10 pm

Joined: Sun May 26, 2013 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Blending by frequency or "note"?
Wow! Thanks so much for both replies to my post. I appreciate any advice from those more experienced and knowledgeable.

My primary interest is in creating specialized blends for my counseling clients to help with some of their issues. Most people I see have more than one problem at a time, such as trauma from sexual abuse + self-rejection + deep anger/rage -or- rejection/abandonment + inferiority + depression -or- trauma/PTSD from an accident + intense fear, etc. Clients range from teenage girls in Juvenile Detention to soccer moms to CEO's to the chronically homeless.

I've been mixing blends for each person based on the emotionally therapeutic benefits of the oils that address their specific needs. I add individual oils per drop while attempting to make the blend aromatically pleasing as well. The oils I've used most are Rose Otto, Sandalwood, Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Orange, Geranium, Melissa, Blue Tansy, Helichysum, Ylang Ylang and Vetiver. I'm diluting with a carrier oil and placing the blend in a small roll-on bottle for my clients to use in prayer, during their sessions with me, and anytime they feel overwhelmed or flooded by negative feelings (they apply the oil to a few specific points and also inhale.) They all seem to love using their individual oil blend and say it's really helping them process and release their buried emotions. At this point, I don't know if they are truly experiencing something with the oils, are responding to the suggestion that the oils may help, or just feel special and cared about due to having something created just for them!

I've done quite a bit of research on the web, and would be interested in any info regarding essential oils and emotions - especially any scientific research on the effects of oils on emotions. I gleaned some great info here on the Ananda site just from reading the description page on each oil -- thank you! I have Dr. Carolyn L. Mein's book "Releasing Emotional Patterns With Essential Oils", but it's based on a specific brand of oils/blends. I

Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:22 am
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Post Re: Blending by frequency or "note"?
There are good books -- Scent & Psyche (which our distributor is out of, and we're looking for a new source) which is less esoteric than, say, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, but seeing what you're dealing with, that may be really worthwhile for you. It was really one of my first favorites, and offers many simple recipes for relatively complex psycho-emotional states (5 types of stress, 3 of anger, worthlessness, etc.)

There's not a whole lot of research on the emotional effects of "aroma"-therapy. There seems to be more on Bergamot than any other as acting consistently as an anti-depressant and pain reliever
(it affects brain wiring) lavender a sedative; sandalwood both relaxing and uplifting at the same time. But also, in general, there's not a lot of psychological research, and even that data is inconsistent. It's fantastic what you're doing, and I think different results would be seen in studies like "Does Lavender Hand Massage Create Positive Outcome On Emotional State" if the oils were blended by a professional for each individual.

Everyone likes different scents, and has different wiring in the brain - where the aromas strongly effect - wiring which was created from the individual's lifetime of experience.

I recommend searching ...I found this abstract searching for "bergamot oil anxiolytic" Essential oils and anxiolytic aromatherapy. It's a very basic abstract, but if you could dig up the complete paper, it might be useful given what the abstract says. I logged into the Journal's website, but could not find anything but abstracts - one may need an 'institutional account' ... if you're interested, you might look at the abstract, get the journal reference and send an email to their customer service to see what you could access:

I would love to hear more about your entire process; being of direct assistance with the oils is something of great value for me.


Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:04 pm

Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:02 pm
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Post Re: Blending by frequency or "note"?
I'm bringing this conversation to the top because it greatly interests me as well. I am a Life Coach and plan to make "gifts" for my clients for spiritual/emotional healing. I tend to be a simple blender...which is fine but would love to hear/see more recipes that others here create for spiritual/emotional healing. In fact, Julia mentioned the patchouli/orange blend needing a middle note to marry the scents. I would love it if she were willing to share the blend recipe...hint,hint...LOL!

With laughter and magic,


Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:01 pm
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