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What are Essential Oil Families?

Categorizing essential oils into fragrance ‘families’ can help guide your blending options. These ‘families’ can be blended to obtain more intricate or sophisticated bouquets. For example:

FLORAL: Rosewood, geranium, rose, lavender, palmarosa. Floral oils can be used alone or blended with other suitable scents. Add citrus oils to lighten heady florals; spicy oils for a warm scent; herbaceous oils for a cool aroma.

SPICY: Cinnamon, cardamom, clove, black pepper, litsea, ginger, allspice. Warm, sensual and spicy aromas make up the spicy family. Cinnamon can form the central note in a scent, rich oils such as vanilla create a “base” note giving longevity to a scent.

WOODY: Frankincense, pine, patchouli, cedarwood, benzoin, vetiver. These are complex scents which can be classified as earthy, musky and dense. These scents are considered to be grounding as well as sensual. To liven up woody oils, add citrus notes. Also used to offset deep, woody tones are mint and eucalyptus.

MEDICINAL: Sage, tea tree, cajeput, rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus. These are often lighter scents with a top note. These can also be blended with woody or herbaceous oils to create a layered scent. Medicinal oils offer crisp and clean aromas.

CITRUS: Bergamot, mandarin, orange, lime, petitgrain, citronella. If you wish to add tartness to floral and herbaceous oils, add some citrus oils. When blended with medicinal oils, the scent becomes crisp. Citrus oils are vibrant.

HERBACEOUS: Clary sage, thyme, carrot seed, fennel, marjoram, manuka. Herbaceous oils have a natural green, clear scent and are usually classified as middle notes in an aroma.



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