How To Blend Essential Oils [What essential oil scents go well together]

By Valeria D.

November 21, 2018

blending essential oils, essential oils

Welcome! Ready for a fun ride on the essential oils roller coaster? 

Essential oils can seem scary and overwhelming as a beginner but it doesn't have to be. Here at PrettyBlooming, we use essential oils in most of our skin care and I'm gonna show you how you can, too.

Today, I am going to share how how to blend essential oil scents successfully — even if you are complete beginner.

Blending essential oils like a boss - Pretty Blooming; Blending essential oils is fun but it can also be a bit overwhelming if you don't know where to start.    If you have used essential oils for a while now, but you have been following other people's ideas and recommendations, you might feel like you want to craft your own customized blends. Learn how to blend essential oil scents even if you are complete beginner.

Can you go wrong when blending essential oils?

As fragrance is a personal preference, there is no right or wrong way to blend aromas. That's good news! That means you have permission to explore and get creative.

However, blending essential oils does have a few guidelines to ensure you end up with a nice blend.

Imagine yourself in the kitchen while cooking a nice dish. Some dishes have certain spices that fit well and others that don't. For example, would you add cinnamon to a tomato salad? Or would you rather add some cilantro?

Mixing oils is similar to mixing spices.

Some scents simply don't smell pleasant when mixed. Their notes can become muddled or disappear completely. 

If you're ready to get on the roller coaster, let me push the start button and share what I know about blending oils... So you can start your own DIY health journey.

Before you start blending essential oils

The first thing you need to before even purchasing your oils is to ask yourself three questions regarding the essential oil blend you wish to craft:

1. Who is this essential oil blend for?

Do you plan to use it yourself or is it going to make a gift for a friend, spouse, your mom? If the oil blend is for someone else, consider their needs and what they might prefer as an aroma. 

Let's say you are going to make a whipped face cream for your mom. Your mom has dry skin and has a hate-relationship with tea tree and eucalyptus scents. In this case you need to find essential oils with moisturizing properties to sooth her dry skin. And of course tree and eucalyptus oils are no-no's here. 

When I make beard oil for my boyfriend, I always let him smell all oils I have planned to use in the blend. Otherwise I would have gone wrong every other time when crafting a blend for him--turns out he is not a big fan of rosemary, peppermint, basil and frankincense oils.

2. When will it be used?

Imagine this scenario: you want to craft a blend that you are going to use in your aromatherapy diffuser in the morning. The thing is that you have busy mornings and you are often in a rush. You need something to wake you up so you feel energized, uplifted and ready for the day. 

For a situation like this, you'd want to use peppermint and citrus oils.

Other oils like lavender and roman chamomile will make you feel sleepy, relaxed and grounded. These type of scents you want to save for your pre-bed aromatherapy.

3. Feminine or masculine?

It's again about scent preferences and who is going to use the blend and for what purpose.

Let's say you have already purchased a few floral essential oils for your under-eye cream and moisturizer and you love the effect of them. While browsing Pinterest you saw this recipe for a silky DIY shaving cream for men, and you thought this could be a great way to show bae how awesome this oils actually are.

Now imagine him smearing his face every day with this silky cream scented with rose, geranium, ylang ylang and jasmine oils... 

Instead you can try blending oils that have spicy, woody, kinda earthy aromas. 

Those are considered more masculine scents.

Ok, you see what I mean here. Considering the purpose of the blend should be the first step in crafting it. Now, let's talk about essential oils' properties.

Essential Oils Properties

Once you have decided what you are going to use the oil blend for, it's time to browse the internet and do your essential oils properties research. 

Since I am not educated in aromatherapy, I do my research before EVERY blend I make. Being extremely cautious is the key. Blending essential oils is fun, but it can also be dangerous. Be very cautious when picking your resources and trust nobody (including me). 

The reason I suggest you do your own research is so you can come up with a list of essential oils that have the properties you’re looking for in your blend. If your skin needs hydration and deep moisturizing, your choice won't be same as with a person looking for a product to sooth their dry and itchy patches.


You’ll want to be careful about where you get your information online. 

Everyone seems to be an expert in blending essential oils these days so it can be a good idea to check the following things:

  • Who is author of the information?
  • Do they have experience with essential oil?
  • Do you find the same information across multiple sources?

Should You Choose Oils Based on Therapeutic or Aromatic Properties

When it comes to blending essential oils for skin care purposes we should take into consideration both the therapeutic and aromatic properties of the oils we use.

It’s important to make sure your essential oils that are suitable for your skin type. What you also need to take into consideration is whether they combine well together.

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Making sure the essential oils smell nice once they’re blended together is important because who can stand a bad-smelling face cream more than once?

So you can say that blending oils is as much an art as it is a science.

Therefore the next step in blending essential oils is figuring out what categories your essential oils fall into.

Essential Oil Categories

When choosing oils, we think about the therapeutic needs first. With that I mean what's your goal? Is it to moisturize your dry skin, or get less oily skin, is it a pick-me-up morning scent or an evening grounded one?

Once you've got that answered, it's time to look at the categories. Just keep in mind that there are no absolute rights and wrongs when it comes to blending. Just like a food recipe varies, so does EO blends. 

That's the beauty of it. You have my permission to try and fail. It doesn't matter! If it doesn't end up well, you just make a new one. Blending essential oils is super affordable.

specific essential oils and the categories they fall into below:

  • Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime, Lemongrass, Bergamot, Neroli
  • Earthy – Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli, Frankincense, Myrrh, Copaiba
  • Herbaceous – Marjoram, Clary Sage, Basil, Frankincense, Myrrh, Copaiba, Cypress, Geranium, Rosemary
  • Medicinal – Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Tea Tree
  • Minty – Peppermint, Spearmint, Catnip (mildly)
  • Spicy – Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, Sandalwood
  • Woodsy – Pine, Cedar, Wintergreen, Cypress
  • Floral - Rose, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Jasmin, Lotus, Lavender, Neroli

Combining Categories

Once you have categorized your oils, it’s time to learn which categories go well together.

And again, as categorizing the aromas is kinda subjective, so is combining the different categories. All is totally based on your preferences and how the oils smell to you.

If you need some guidelines though, you can choose to combine essential oils from same categories or oils from one category with oils from a complementary categories.

To simplify it I have put a few category combinations below:

  • Citrus blends well with citrus, floral, woodsy, minty, spicy.
  • Earthy blends well with earthy, woodsy, minty, herbaceous.
  • Herbaceous blends with herbaceous, woodsy, minty, earthy.
  • Medicinal blends well with medicinal, woodsy
  • Minty blends well with minty, woodsy, citrus, herbaceous, earthy.
  • Spicy blends with spicy, citrus, floral, woodsy.
  • Woodsy blends well with woodsy, earthy, herbaceous, spicy, minty, citrus, floral. 
  • Floral blends well with floral, woodsy, citrus, spicy.

Make it simple and fun

At this point you are either enlightened and have a good idea of how to start crafting your own essential oil blends or you feel overwhelmed because of the great number of oils out there. Here is why it's best that you start with no more than 10 oils. 

Try to go for simple blends with 2 to 3 oils.

Once you get more confident, expand to more creative blends!

Remember that essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin. Check out the related post:

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Final Thoughts

Do you use essential oils? Do you have any interesting blends that you love? Share your verdict in the comments below. 

Are you completely new to the topic? Be sure to download the Essential Oils Safety guide here.

Keep on blooming! 💓

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