Aromatherapy Oils

When creating Aromatherapy blends, essential oils are used. This gives blends therapeutic properties as well as a scent.  Aroma therapists usually blend oils using a similar method to that used to create perfumes. Normally only three or four essential oils are used in a blend and these will be comprised of at least one each of top, middle and base notes.  This can make a blend smell more pleasant or balanced but it also means that the blend will have a synergy since different oils can be combined to create a blend with more therapeutic properties than that of a single essential oil.  Blends can be made to help with a variety of symptoms or problems because of this.

Essential oils can be divided into top, middle and base notes although there is still debate over some oils as to which category they belong in.

Top notes tend to smell fresh, light, and uplifting. They can also smell quite sharp (citrus oils are generally top notes). They are much more volatile than other notes which means they evaporate quickly so the smell doesn’t tend to last as long as middle or base notes when used. Top notes will normally act quickly and are the first to make an impact in a blend. They are usually quite stimulating oils that help with circulation, low moods/energy, depression, and fatigue.  Top notes tend to have antiviral properties too.  Top notes tend to add an uplifting and energising aspect to a blend.

Nearly all citrus oils are top notes but some other top notes include:

  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • May Chang
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree

Middle Notes

The majority of essential oils are middle notes. The middle note tends to give body to the blend and create a balancing effect.  Middle notes may not be immediately apparent in a blend so the scent of the oil can take a bit longer to become evident.  They are normally soft and warm fragrances.

Examples of middle notes:

  • Marjoram
  • Black pepper
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Geranium
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Myrtle
  • Neroli
  • Petitgrain
  • Rosemary

Base Notes

These oils tend to smell quite heavy or dense and have a lasting presence in the blend as these are the last oils to evaporate. Base notes can be quite heady and intense smelling and since they are quite strong smelling oils their fragrance within a blend is usually apparent straight away. However, unlike top notes, they are much less volatile which means the scent lasts longer than top or middle notes and can also slow down the evaporation of other oils in the blend.  They add a rich quality to a blend and are generally relaxing in nature.

Examples of base notes:

  • Cedarwood
  • Clove
  • Frankincense
  • Jasmin
  • Patchouli
  • Rosewood
  • Sandalwood
  • Vanilla
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang


At You Massage, we aim to tailor each treatment to suit your needs.  As everyone is unique, aromatherapy blends are a great way to complement a treatment and mean treatments can be more specific to your requirements.

This could be helping you to feel a certain way after treatment (relaxed, energised, etc) or if you want help with certain symptoms such as pain, tension, circulation, digestion, etc.  We have a range of pre-blended oils that you can buy or we can create a tailor made aromatherapy blend for you.  These are safe for use at home as a massage oil or in the bath to treat yourself in between massage sessions too! Using your blend at home is a great way to maintain the effects of your massage post-treatment or in between treatments.

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