Make Fragrant Essential Oil Blends

Bring the power of smell into life’s rituals with these essential oil recipes.


Aromatherapy, the inhalation of fragrant essential oils to promote relaxation and rejuvenation, can ­facilitate a change in consciousness when used with visualization, meditation, prayer, or ritual.

Photo by Mitch Hrdlicka

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Plants have been incorporated into human rituals since time immemorial. Before methods of extracting their essential oils were ­devised, the plants themselves were employed as both physical and spiritual healing agents. Plants connect us to nature, remind us we are part of something greater, and can serve as a catalyst for the transformation of our body and soul. One of the most basic ways of bringing plants into our consciousness is through our sense of smell. Scent is routed to the brain’s limbic system, where memory and emotions are stored and where some patterns of behavior are triggered. That is why certain fragrances evoke particular memories.

Essential Oil Blend Recipes:
• Soothe Sensitive Baby Skin 
Warrior’s Spirit for Courage 
Rainbow’s End for Pampering 
• Relaxing Bath 
• Uplifting Bath 
• Wedding Night Oil 
Separation Ceremony for Letting the Past Go 

Ways of Using Ritual Blends

• For a bath, swish as many as eight drops of the blend into a tub of warm water.
• For a massage oil, use five drops of blend per tablespoon of vegetable oil unless otherwise noted.
• For a room mister, use ten drops in 1/4 cup of water. Shake the container well before each use.
• Use the blends undiluted in a sniffing bottle or in an aromatherapy air diffuser.

Aromatherapy, the inhalation of fragrant essential oils to promote relaxation and rejuvenation, can ­facilitate a change in consciousness when used with visualization, meditation, prayer, or ritual. In our Western culture, many rituals have ­fallen by the wayside, although some—marriage ceremonies, graduations, funerals, baptisms—have survived.

Rituals are simply ceremonies performed to bring an idea into physical form or to acknowledge a special time. Plant scents can be powerful tools when used in a ­ritual.

Aromatherapists believe that the inhalation of different fragrances produce different effects. In a ceremony to create or empower, for example, they recommend scenting the air with rosemary oil to bring clarity to the mind. In a purification ceremony, rose oil purifies the heart. To facilitate grieving or recognize pain and let it go, choose petitgrain (the essential oil from the leaves of bitter ­orange), which encourages transformation.

An Aromatherapist's Materia Medica of Essential Oils 

Angelica: protects
Bergamot: eases grieving
Black pepper: stimulates, energizes
Chamomile: calms, soothes
Carrot seed: strengthens inner vision, alleviates confusion
Cedarwood: enhances spirituality and mental ­clarity
Clary sage: enhances dream memory, combats ­depression
Cypress: aids in transitions such as moving to a new home, making a major decision, or loss
Eucalyptus: depletes negative energy
Frankincense: aids meditation, breaks ties with the past
Jasmine: arouses sexual desire, develops ­creativity
Juniper: cleanses and detoxifies, clears negativity
Lavender: calms, balances, cleanses, harmonizes
Marjoram: eases loneliness and grief
Myrrh: strengthens spirituality
Neroli: enhances creativity, calms mind and body
Patchouli: strengthens and grounds
Peppermint: dispels pride, fights feelings of inferiority
Petitgrain: transforms, increases mental clarity
Pine: invigorates, energizes
Rose: brings love
Rosemary: fosters clarity of thought
Sage: manifests strength
Sandalwood: stills the mind
Vetiver: grounds, centers
Ylang ylang: dispels anger, creates peace

Mindy Green of Boulder, Colorado, is the author of Natural Perfumes: Simple Aromatherapy Recipes (Interweave Press, 1999), and the education director at the Herb Research Foundation. 

michelle boster
4/2/2013 2:16:51 AM

Hi, I used an aromatherapy air diffuser. Are there any oils that I should not use in the diffuser because they may be too thick or strong or for whatever reason? Thanks, Michelle

gina marie g
2/12/2013 4:21:03 PM

I worked in a spa as a massage therapist the last 10 years and learned a few things with essential oils. If you blend equal parts of Evoo or the oil of your choice with equal parts of either sugar or salt and add a few drops of your EO of choice it makes a great hand/ body scrub. Also: add a few EO drops on a cotton ball and put into your vacuum bag to freshen as you clean. Add a drop of EO to light bulbs to disperse all natural air fresheners. Dab EO on a cotton ball and put in shoes to freshen up. Keep a small Tupperware container with a cotton ball dabbed in EO under your car seats. Possibilities of all natural EO freshening are endless. Enjoy