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A Guide To Aromatherapy Top Note Oils.

Updated on March 1, 2016


When they are used in aromatherapy, oils are split into three groups. These are known as top notes, middle notes and base notes. Blending oils in this way is useful when you are treating more than one ailment or more than one aspect of a condition. By mixing oils from each of the three groups it is also easier to create a pleasant and well balanced scent. Oils can be used to help us emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

The combination of oils you choose to use is based on what the resulting blend will be used for. As a guide the following ratios are generally accepted:

If you want an oil that will stimulate then 2 or even 3 top notes maybe used with only 1 middle and base note oil. For a sedative oil or one to be used in meditation the reverse is true with base notes being the more prominent.

Top note scents tend to last the longest and are generally the ones that you will smell first as the oil is heated. Middle notes create a balance between the top and base notes and are often very effective in treating any metaphysical reason behind physical issues. Base notes as the name suggests are grounding and are used for treated deep rooted and chronic conditions.

Basil Plant
Basil Plant | Source


Botanical name: Ocimum basilicum
Part used: Whole plant.
Fragrance: Sweet and fresh.
Origin: Worldwide.
Properties: Uplifting, anti-depressant,antiseptic and expels gas.
Blends well with: Bergamot, chamomile, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, marjoram and rose.
Warnings: Can cause skin irritation. Avoid in pregnancy.

Bergamot | Source


Botanical name: Citrus bergamia.
Part used: The peel once fruit is almost ripe.
Fragrance: Fresh, fruity and spicy.
Origin: Italy.
Properties: Cooling, refreshes and deodorises. Uplifts, sedates and relieves pain. Antiseptic.
Blends well with: Lemon, orange, grapefruit. Chamomile, pine, coriander and rosemary.
Warnings: Makes skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Clary Sage
Clary Sage | Source

Clary Sage

Botanical name: Salvia sclarea.
Part used: Flowers and leaves.
Fragrance: Nutty.
Origin: Europe.
Properties: Sedative, anti-convulsive and can help regulate the menstrual cycle.
Blends well with: Bergamot, frankincense, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper and lavender.
Warnings: Avoid before driving and in pregnancy.

Eucalyptus | Source


Botanical name: Eucalyptus globulus.
Part used: Leaves.
Fragrance: Fresh and sharp.
Origin: Australia.
Properties: Cleansing, stimulating and antiseptic. Anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
Blends well with: Bergmot, cedarwood, lavender, lemon, marjoram, thyme and tea tree.
Warnings: Dilute well before use on the skin.

Fennel | Source


Botanical name: Foeniculum vulgare.
Part used: Seeds.
Fragrance: Strong, sweet and peppery.
Origin: Mediterranean.
Properties: Anti-spasmodic, diuretic and detoxifying.
Blends well with: Basil, geranium, juniper, lemon and rosemary.
Warnings: Avoid if pregnant or epileptic.

Ginger | Source


Botanical name: Zingiber officinale.
Part used: Dried root.
Fragrance: Warm, woody and spicy.
Origin: Asia.
Properties: Analgesic, antiseptic, stimulant and expectorant.
Blends well with: Bay, caraway, cedarwood, citrus, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium and rosemary.
Warnings: Avoid as a bath oil. Can irritate the mucous membranes.

Grapefruit Tree with Fruit
Grapefruit Tree with Fruit | Source


Botanical name: Citrus paradisi.
Part used: Peel.
Fragrance: Sweet, sharp, citrus.
Origin: Asia.
Properties: Antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic.
Blends well with: Basil, bergamot, cederwood, geranium, jasmine, lavender, rose, ylang ylang.
Warnings: Avoid before exposure to sunlight.

Juniper | Source


Botanical name: Juniperus communis.
Part used: Fruit, needles and wood.
Fragrance: Woody, fresh and pungent.
Origin: Northern Europe.
Properties: Antiseptic, anti-fungal. Diuretic.
Blends well with: Citrus, lemongrass, melissa, rosemary and sandalwood.
Warnings: May over-stimulate the kidneys. Avoid in pregnancy.

Lemons | Source


Botanical name: Citrus limonium.
Part used: Peel.
Fragrance: Fresh, sweet, citrus.
Origin: Mediterranean Europe.
Properties: Uplifting, detoxifying, antiseptic, immunostimulant.
Blends well with: Benzoin, cardamom, eucalyptus, ginger, rose, ylang, ylang.
Warnings: Can irritate skin. Avoid use before exposure to the sun.

Lemongrass | Source


Botanical name: Cymbopogon citratus.
Part used: Leaves.
Fragrance: Sharp, citrus.
Origin: India and Sri Lanka.
Properties: Sedative, anti-depressant and insecticide.
Blends well with: Basil, eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender, neroli and rosemary.
Warnings: Dilute well before use and avoid any use on sensitive skin.

Lime | Source


Botanical name: Citrus aurantiifolia.
Part used: Peel.
Fragrance: Sharp and fresh.
Origin: Australia, South America and West Indies.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, uplifting, antiseptic and refreshing.
Blends well with: Citronella, clary sage, lavender and neroli.
Warnings: Avoid use before exposure to sunlight.

Mandarin | Source


Botanical name: Mandarin reticulata.
Part used: Peel.
Fragrance: Zesty, sweet.
Origin: Originally southern China but now found in Brazil, Spain, Italy and California.
Properties: Digestive tonic, antiseptic and anti-spasmodic.
Blends well with: Basil, bergamot, chamomile, citrus, lavender, neroil and rose.
Warnings: Avoid before exposure to sunlight.

Melissa | Source


Botanical name: Melissa officinalis.
Part used: Leaves, flowers and stems.
Fragrance: Sweet, lemony and fresh.
Origin: Central and southern Europe.
Properties: Anti-allergenic, anti-depressant, sedative, aids digestion.
Blends well with: Basil, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lemon, orange, rose and ylang ylang.
Warnings: Avoid in pregnancy.

Peppermint | Source


Botanical name: Mentha piperita.
Part used: Leaves and flowers.
Fragrance: Clean and fresh.
Origin: Europe and America.
Properties: Cooling, detoxing, deodorising, decongestant, nerve tonic and, digestive tonic and expels gas.
Blends well with: Benzoin, cederwood, lemon, marjoram, pine, rosemary and sage.
Warnings: Keep away from the eyes. Avoid in pregnancy.

Rosemary | Source


Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis.
Part used: Leaves.
Fragrance: Spicy, pine like.
Origin: Mediterranean Europe.
Properties: Stimulant, anti-inflammatory, soothes nerves, antioxidant.
Blends well with: Basil, citrus oils, frankincense, peppermint and pine.
Warnings: Avoid if pregnant, breastfeeding or epileptic.

Tee Tree
Tee Tree | Source

Tee Tree

Botanical name: Melaleuca alternifolia.
Part used: Leaves and twigs.
Fragrance: Pungent and spicy.
Origin: Australia.
Properties: Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, stimulant.
Blends well with: Clary sage, clove, lavender, nutmeg, rosemary and ylang ylang.
Warnings: Though rare, can cause skin irritation.

Thyme | Source


Botanical name: Thymus vulgaris.
Part used: Flowers and leaves.
Fragrance: Sweet.
Origin: Mediterranean Europe.
Properties: Anti-depressant, diuretic, antibacterial.
Blends well with: Bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, rosemary, sage and tea tree.
Warnings: Can cause skin irritation. Avoid use with small children and durng pregnancy.

© 2012 Claire


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    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you :)

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Nice hub with great information !


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