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A Guide To Aromatherapy Base Notes

Updated on November 19, 2014

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

The combination of oils you chose is based on what you intend the resulting blend to be used for.
If you want to stimulate then 2 or even 3 top notes maybe used with only 1 middle and base note oils. 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. Middle notes create a balance between top and base notes and are often very effective at treating any metaphysical reason behind physical issues. Base notes as the name suggests are grounding and using for treated deep rooted and chronic conditions.

Angelica | Source


Botanical name: Angelica archangelica
Part used: roots, rhizome and seeds
Origin: Africa
Properties: Antispasmodic, stimulant, stomach tonic and relieves stress
Blends well with: Basil, chamomile, geranium, grapefruit lemon, mandarin and patchouli
Warnings: Should not be used by diabetics or before exposure to the sun. may overstimulate the nervous system

Cedarwood | Source


Botanical name: Juniperus virginiana (and also Cedrus Doedara, Cedrus Atlantica, Cedrus Libani depending on the region)
Part used: Distilled from the wood
Fragrance: Rich, woody
Origin: North America
Properties: Insecticide, sedative and fungicide. Stress relieving, antiseptic and calming
Blends well with: Benzoin, cinnamon, jasmine, juniper, lemon and rosemary
Warnings: Avoid in pregnancy and can irritate the skin if not highly diluted

Cinnamon Tree
Cinnamon Tree | Source


Botanical name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum (also known as C. verum and Laurus cinnamomum
Part used: Bark
Fragrance: Spicy, warm
Origin: Indonesia
Properties: Antiseptic, antibiotic, expels gas, insecticide, stomach tonic and stimulant
Blends well with: Benzoin, cloves, coriander, frankincense, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary and thyme
Warnings: Avoid in pregnancy. May irritate the mucous membranes and high doses have cause convulsions in rare cases

Frankinsense | Source


Botanical name: Boswellia Thurifera
Part used: sap
Fragrance: warm, sweet, spicy
Origin: Middle east
Properties: Soothes and calms. Uplifting. Good for mediation and respiratory issues
Blends well with: Benzoin, lavender, myrrh, pine, orange and bergamot.
Warnings: Generally regarded as safe

Myrrh | Source


ical name: Commiphora myrrha
Part used: Tree resin
Fragrance: Warm, musty
Origin: Somali, Yemen and Arabia
Properties: Anti-catarrhal, antiinflammatory, calming, antiseptic and astringent
Blends well with: Benzoin, frankincense, lavender, sandalwood and clove
Warnings: Do not use in pregnancy

Patchouli | Source


Botanical name: Pogostemon cablin
Part used: Young leaves
Fragrance: Rich, sweet, spicy
Origin: Malaysia and India
Properties: Antidepressant, deodorant, diuretic, fungicide, sedative
Blends well with: Bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender and myrrh
Warnings: Can cause loss of appetite in some people

Rosewood Tree
Rosewood Tree | Source


Botanical name: Aniba rosaeodora
Part used: Wood
Fragrance: Spicy, sweet, floral
Origin: Brazil
Properties: antidepressant, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticide and stimulating
Blends well with: Lemon, orange, grapefruit and other floral oils
Warnings: Generally regarded as safe



Botanical name: Santalum album
Part used: Wood
Fragrance: Woody, exotic
Origin: India
Properties: Antiseptic, diuretic, antispasmodic, sedative, calming and expels gas
Blends well with: Bergamot, black pepper, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rose and ylang ylang
Warnings: Generally regarded as safe

Vanilla | Source


Botanical name: Vanilla planifolia
Part used: Bean
Fragrance: Rich, warm, sweet
Origin: Central American and Mexico
Properties: Antioxidant, antidepressant, relaxing, sedative
Blends well with: Orange, lemon, neroli, jojoba, chamomile, lavender and sandalwood
Warnings: Generally regarded as safe

Vetiver | Source


Botanical name: Vetiveria zizanoides
Part used: Roots
Fragrance: Earthy, musty
Origin: India, Tahiti, Java and Haiti
Properties: Antiseptic, sedative, aphrodisiac, relieves insomnia
Blends well with: Grapefruit, jasmine, lavender and ylang ylang
Warnings: - Generally regarded as safe

Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang | Source

Ylang Ylang

Botanical name: Cananga odorata
Part used: Flowers
Fragrance: Exotic and sweet
Origin: Java, Sumatra and Madagascar
Properties: Antidepressant, antiseptic, sedative. Soothing and calming
Blends well with: Bergamot, grapefruit, lavender and sandalwood
Warnings: Excessive use can cause headaches and nausea

© 2012 Claire


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    Post Comment

    • Elderberry Arts profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you :)

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great hub. I love teaching about, and using essential oils. They are our gift from nature, and many people don't understand them. Thanks for sharing. Voted up +.

    • Elderberry Arts profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you. Glad you found it useful

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      5 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful hub with great explanations. Thank you, Up, beautiful and useful.


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