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A Guide To Aromatherapy Middle Notes

Updated on September 4, 2017
Elderberry Arts profile image

Claire studied at The Open University and has a level three diploma in crystal healing. She has also been attuned to reiki levels 1 and 2.


When used in aromatherapy, essential oils are split into three groups. These are known as top notes, middle notes and base notes. When creating oil blends, mixing oils from each of these groups help to create a well-balanced scent. Blending oils in this way is also useful when you wish to address more than one issue or would like to work from more than one angle. Oils can help us emotionally and spiritually as well as with physical ailments.

A selection of aromatherapy oils.
A selection of aromatherapy oils. | Source

The combination of oils that you chose should be based on what you intend the resulting blend to be used for.
If you want to create an oil blend that will have a stimulating affect then two or even three top notes may be used with only one middle and base note oil. For a calming or sedative oil: for example one to be used during meditation, the reverse is true with base notes being the more prominent used.

Top note oils tend to last the longest during burning and are generally the scents you will notice first. Middle notes create a balance between the top and base notes and are often very effective at treating any metaphysical or spiritual difficulties. Base notes, as the name suggests are grounding and can be used for treating many deep rooted and chronic conditions.

Dried Aniseed
Dried Aniseed | Source


Botanical name: Pimpinella anisum
Part used: Dried and crushed seeds
Fragrance: Pungent and spicy
Origin: Middle East
Properties: Antispasmodic, digestive aid, diuretic, reviving, uplifting
Blends well with: Bay, cardamom, cedarwood, fennel, mandarin, rosewood
Warnings: Do not use directly on the skin or when pregnant

Neroli | Source


Botanical name: Citrus aurantium
Part used: Blossoms
Fragrance: Floral and fruity
Origin: Asia
Properties: Antidepressant, antiseptic, digestive aid, sedative
Blends well with: Benzoin, bergamont, geranium, lime, rose, sandalwood
Warnings: Oil has a short shelf life

Cloves | Source


Botanical name: Syzygium aromaticum
Part used: Dried flower buds
Fragrance: Sweet, spicy, woody
Origin: Indonesia
Properties: Antiseptic, stimulating, warming
Blends well with: Basil, black pepper, lemon, peppermint, rosemary
Warnings: Use in low does and do not use as a massage oil

Lavender | Source


Botanical name: Lavandula augustifolia
Part used: Flowers
Fragrance: Floral, woody
Origin: France
Properties: Sedative, stress relieving, antiseptic, balancing
Blends well with: Bergamot, geranium, neroli, peppermint, rosemary, thyme
Warnings: Do not use in the first three months of pregnancy

Nutmeg | Source


Botanical name: Myristica fragrans
Part used: Kernals
Fragrance: Pungent, sharp, spicy, sweet
Origin: Maluku islands
Properties: Analgesic, laxative, stimulating, antispasmodic
Blends well with: Cinnamon, clove, coriander, cypress, lavender, lemon, lime, orange
Warnings: Can cause overheating or skin irritating in large doses. Avoid in early pregnancy

Bay | Source


Botanical name: Lauras nobilis
Part used: Leaves
Fragrance: Herby, sweet, spicy
Origin: Mediterranean, South America
Properties: Analgesic, promotes menstruation, settles stomach
Blends well with: Coriander, juniper, eucalyptus, rose, rosemary, thyme
Warnings: Do not use on your face or in pregnancy

Geranium | Source


Botanical name: Pelargonium graveolens
Part used: Flowers, leaves and stems
Fragrance: Floral and fruity
Origin: South Africa and the Pacific
Properties: Balancing, calming, diuretic, soothing
Blends well with: Lavender, neroli, sandalwood, lemon
Warnings: Can irritate sensitive skin. Do not use in pregnancy

Collection of grassess - citronella, lemongrass, palmarosa and patchouli
Collection of grassess - citronella, lemongrass, palmarosa and patchouli | Source


Botanical name: Cymbopogon martini
Part used: Leaves
Fragrance: Rosy, woody, floral
Origin: India
Properties: Circulation stimulant, refreshing, cooling, nervous tonic, uplifting
Blends well with: Bergamot, citronella, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lime, orange, ylang ylang
Warnings: Avoid in early pregnancy

Black peppercorns
Black peppercorns | Source

Black Pepper

Botanical name: Piper nigrum
Part used: Dried, crushed peppercorns
Fragrance: Hot, spicy
Origin: India and Indonesia
Properties: Analgesic, stimulates circulation, laxative
Blends well with: Cypress, frankincense, grapefruit, rosemary, ylang ylang
Warnings: Use in low doses

Marjoram | Source


Botanical name: Origanum marjorana
Part used: Flower heads
Fragrance: Sweet
Origin: Mediterranean
Properties: Digestive tonic, sedative, antispasmodic
Blends well with: Cederwood, chamomile, eucalyptus, nutmeg, mandarin, ylang ylang
Warnings: Can cause drowsiness. Do not use if pregnant



Botanical name: Rosa damascena
Part used: Petals
Fragrance: Floral, sweet
Origin: Egypt, France, Greece, Morocco, Turkey
Properties: Antidepressant, liver tonic, regulates the menstrual cycle, sedative
Blends well with: Frankincense, jasmine, lavender, neroli, patchouli, sandalwood
Warnings: Avoid in early pregnancy

Matricara recutita (German Chamomile)
Matricara recutita (German Chamomile) | Source


Botanical name: Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile) Matricara recutita (German chamomile)
Part used: Flowers
Fragrance: Sharp and sweet
Origin: Europe
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, antidepressant
Blends well with: Jasmine, lavender, lemon, rose
Warnings: Avoid in the first three months of pregnancy

Jasmine | Source


Botanical name: Jasminum officinale
Part used: Flowers
Fragrance: Floral, musky, sweet
Origin: China
Properties: Sedative, soothing, uplifting, antidepressant
Blends well with: Clary sage, frankincense, melissa, orange, rose, sandalwood
Warnings: Do not use in pregnancy

© 2012 Claire


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    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you for your kind comments.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Another great hub. Voted up +.

    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you, very kind :) I will add base notes soon

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      A fantastically-detailed hub on a topic that I love.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and awesome!

    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Hi and thank you. The scents in this hub are all middle notes (I have another hub for top notes)

      Personally I like minty, fruit or citrus scents and am not keen on anything to 'flowery'

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      Elderberry ~ Very useful Hubpages on aromatherapy. Information that not everyone knows. Are the scents presented above all "middle" notes? Do you have a 2 or 3 set that you would call your favorite? Thanks, Debby