When studying aromatherapy one of the basics is that there are three notes. Realizing that there is this three note scales assists people in blending a balanced and pleasing aroma. The top note might be a citrus such as Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Neroli, Orange or Mandarin. The top note touches the senses first and remains in the air only a short time. Many times I think these aromas are uplifting. The middle note or heart note sets the tone of the blend and may last for hours. You might not smell it right away but then, it appears. The middle note brings the top note and the bass note together like a finely melded garment. A few examples of a middle note include Clary Sage, Rosemary, Jasmine and Lavender. Many times I think of middle notes as herbaceous or floral. The characteristics of the bass note are easier to remember. I always say anything woodsy, earthy or grounding are bass notes. They are deep and sometimes you might be reminded of an old cellar or a damp forest. Some bass notes include Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli or Vetiver. The bass notes hang around forever. Drop a bottle of a bass note in your home and it will smell like that note for years.
When blending I always try to gather aromas from each note. By doing so, you create a blend with longevity, depth, a bit of mystery and one that is pleasing. If your nose gets overwhelmed with comparing essential oil aromas take a whiff of some coffee grounds and then proceed with your sniffing. Your olfactory palate should be cleared. Move on to the next oil always remembering that you can return to your coffee.