When making scented body care products, it is important to familiarize oneself with the various essential oil scents, learning the aroma of each one individually before combining them. To smell an essential oil simply open the bottle, hold it a few inches from your nose and sniff. Another wtay to smell an oil is to dip a wooden toothpick into the oil, then hold it a few inches away from your nose.
When teaching classes I pass around one essential oil at a time for students to sample, asking them to write down their preferences and dislikes as well as their personal response to each scent.
It is perfectly acceptable to make a product using only one essential oil. You can also make intriguing scent combinations with two or more oils.
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It is always a good idea to smell a scent combination before going on to make a product with it. One way to experience combined scents is to hold the open bottles of the different essential oils together and pass them quickly and repeatedly under your nose.
Change the position of the bottles, recessing the ones that are intended to be more subtle and lifting the ones closer to your nose that are to be stronger. Although this technique will not produce the exact aroma of the combination, it will provide you with an idea of how the scents will work together. I've used this technique with great success when blending aromas for various products, and have found it extremely helpful in teaching.
When creating an aroma blend, it is important to remember that different essential oils have different odor intensities. For example, 1 drop of peppermint essential oil will completely overpower 1 drop of sandalwood essential oil. This information is largely learned through experience. I share this knowledge in the list of essential oils that follows. If the odor intensity is not mentioned, the oil is average in that category.
Keep in mind that when essential oils are mixed together, then left to age and mature over time, subtle changes occur in the aroma. The different ingredients used to make a product will also affect the final aroma. Also bear in mind that once they are applied, scents interact with an individual's own body heat and chemistry, altering the aroma slightly.
A Word of Caution: Essential oils should only be smelled in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. You may want to restrict yourself to sampling only a few at a time so as not to overwhelm your sense of smell. In addition, headaches and nausea can result from overindulgence. Some people have a much higher tolerance level and can smell dozens of oils without ill effect, while others can only smell a few before feeling discomfort.
These procedures and principles provide some simple initial guidelines for aroma blending. Of course, as you continue experimenting with and using the oils, you will learn more about them.