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What Are "Notes" All About in Aromatherapy?

TOP NOTE (Also called the high note) The top note will be the first impression of the aroma or essential oil as it evaporates. They tend to be light, somewhat stark in aroma and will last on the body around 30 minutes. Whenever I explain a "top" note, I throw my hands up in the air and make a motion indicating uplifting and bright. Examples include: Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Orange.


The middle note is the prominent aroma of the blend and rounds out the fragrance. The middle notes can make up 50 to 80% of the total and can last as long as three hours. Middle notes are also considered "heart" notes. They tend to add body to the blends and create a more full aroma. They dull any sharp aroma and blend easily with both top and base notes.

Examples include: Many of the herbals such as Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Pine, and Rosemary.

BASE NOTE (Also called the low note)

Base notes are deep, warm, sensuous and heavier. The base notes are the slowest to evaporate and often function as a fixative slowing the evaporation rate of the other notes. Base notes consist of woods, resins and roots and tend to be some of the more expensive essential oils. I always picture my feet planted to remember some of the oils which makeup the base notes. (Earthy always comes to mind but isn't 100% either). I love base notes for calming, insomnia relief and as a stress reliever. Base notes can last for many hours in your blend. Examples include: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Ylang Ylang.

Creating a blend by combining "notes".

When blending, add one drop at a time to your blend, then mix and smell. Be slow and methodical when working on a blend that will be your own. Often, we are quick to add large quantities when the one drop at a time philosophy would be most effective. Make sure that you take notes during this process so that if you'd like to make it again, you have your personal recipe.

As always, we are happy to blend any aroma you'd love to have in your personal collection.


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