Scenting Secrets of an Aromatherapist
Using essential oils to scent your skin and body care products is the simplest way to make them your own. It’s also a great way to extend your product offerings by changing the essential oil (EO) blend in a best-selling base. For example, you can start with our Thick Shampoo & Body Wash and market to men by adding either the Citrus Burst EO Blend with lemon and lime and grapefruit, or the Forest EO Blend with cedarwood, juniper berry, and frankincense essential oils. You can market the same shampoo & body wash to women by adding in the Women’s Balance Blend with jasmine, clary sage, rose, geranium, ylang-ylang, and neroli, instead. Scenting with essential oils also imparts the properties of the individual oils to your body and skincare products.
If you’ve never blended before, you might feel a little intimidated. But don’t worry. So long as you start with a few drops, you can always add more.
Pro-Tips for Using Essential Oils to Scent
Before you begin using essential oils in your scenting project, imagine the smells you want to capture. Spicy, woodsy, bright. Comforting, relaxing, refreshing. Our Essential Oil Guide profiles over 40 EOs and will help you chose the EOs you want to blend.
- Scent with Drops
While it is absolutely accurate to measure by weight or by volume of your essential oil, I actually prefer to add by drops. This allows me to smell as I go and adjust slowing until I am satisfied. For instance, if you want to scent a 12 oz container of lotion with .5% concentration of lavender EO you will want to add .06 oz of lavender EO or 35 drops of lavender EO.
- Use a warm water bath to loosen up non-liquid bases, such as Virgin Coconut Oil or Barrier Balm, which are solid at room temperature. As it loosens I whisk it in a folding motion to help it become softer. Then add the drops and whisk it well to disperse the scents evenly.
- Use plastic pipettes, and use a new one for each EO. I know glass pipettes are more environmentally friendly, but the truth is, it is so easy to dip a used pipette into the wrong essential oil and then you’ve got an adulterated oil that can’t be used.
- For Larger Sizes weight becomes the easier measurement. For example, if you have 10 pounds of a shampoo you’d like to scent with 2% Lavender Essential Oil, the math becomes easier, especially if you have a good scale at hand. In this instance you would want to add an empty container to your scale and then tare (zero out) the scale. Pour in 0.2 pounds of your essential oil. Then add that to your larger container of shampoo and mix thoroughly.
How to Add Less than a Drop
Sometimes, when you calculate from weight and volume to drops, you end up needing less than a full drop. And while that sounds–and is, tricky, one way I do this is to fill my pipette, then squeeze out most of the oil back into the original EO bottle, leaving just a trace in the pipette. These last few ‘drops’ are actually smaller than the full-size drops created when a pipette is full. Squeeze carefully and you have ‘less than’ a drop.
Some schools of thought recommend diluting the EO in water, but I don’t recommend it. You can always figure out your own methodology once you get more practice and confidence under your belt.
Example: How to Add Scent to a Dry Product – Goat Milk Bath Soak
In the video below Teeneke is adding 1% of essential oils to a dry product: Goat Milk Bath Soak. She adds her bowl to the scale, tares it, adds her essential oil, and then simply whisks it in with the powder soak. It may seem counterintuitive to add oils to a powder, but when thoroughly mixed there is no clumping. Watch along here:
Do you have a favorite method for scenting? Do you have a signature scent profile you like?