Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy

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Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC Newsletter Vol 146

August 9, 2011

In this issue:
Aromatherapy Tip
More Tips
RECIPES to Try

Aromatherapy Tip

How to Replicate a Scent?

by Penny Keay

We are asked very often if we can replicate an essential oil blend or scent? Since we no longer offer this service for free, I will offer the technique I have used for over 12 years. If you like you can then replicate blends for yourself.

The first thing you will need to know is what essential oils are in the scent you are trying to replicate.

The reason this is so important to know is, that if there are any scents that are man-made or fragrance oil scents, it will be near impossible to replicate.

Secondly you need to have at least 2-5 mL of the scent you want to replicate so you have a good working reference point.

If you have less than this you may not be able to make a good replication but it may still be very close.

Okay, so you know that the blend is only essential oils. Make sure you have the ones on hand that you need.

Next I make a ‘chart’ to fill in while working on the replication.

It is a simple grid with a list of essential oils on the left hand column. Then I make several other columns next to each essential oil. I usually make 6-7 columns.

I don’t always need that many but you might when you first start out . As your nose gets better at this “blending thing” you will know more readily what needs to be added.

You will need to have a supply of disposable pipettes with 1 ml graduation marks on them. And some plastic bags, a Sharpie Marker or label papers, an empty glass bottle with a tightly fitting cap, preferably 1 ounce size.

You can use a 30 mL Euro-dropper bottle if you want to but you will need to remove the orifice reducer when you are adding essential oils to your replicating blend and then replace the insert each day when you are finished.

You will also need a supply of Scent Testing Strips (ideal) or clean, unscented paper towel cut into 2 inch squares.

And of course you will need each of the essential oils listed in the original blend – at least a 10 ml bottle or larger since you don’t know until you are finished how much you will need of each in the blend.

Use the Sharpie marker to write the name of the single note essential oils, one on each pipette. Also write on one each of the Zip Lock bags.

So you will have a baggie and a disposable pipette with corresponding names. This way you can reuse the same pipette over and over until you are finished blending.

Once you are done, simply put the pipette in the ziplock baggie and close it up until the next day. This helps you conserve on the pipettes and keeps them each separate so not to contaminate your ‘stock’ bottles.

Label your ‘empty’ bottle so you know what you are blending – call it something like Replication of “Light Citrus” or what ever you are replicating. Tape it on securely.

To begin: place 1 mL of each essential that is in the blend in your empty 1 oz bottle and tighten the cap. You are done for the first day. Write the date at the top of the first column on your chart/card. Now, just walk away and be patient. In 24 to 48 hours return.

When you return you will need to get two test strips out. Write on one strip – “Original” and on the other “Replication”. Set them aside for a few minutes as if you used a Sharpie marker you don’t want to smell the ‘ink’ they use.

Next, on the strip marked ‘Original’ place one small drop of the “original blend”. On the other place your “New Creation” replication.

Now take a whiff of the “Original” scent - first. Exhale a couple times then take a whiff of your New blend second.

Note: what do you smell differently? As an example say you are replicating a blend that has Mandarin, Tangerine, Orange and Lime essential oils in it.

What is more prevalent in the original versus the one you are working on? You say you can smell Orange stronger in the original blend.

Once you know that then add 1 mL of orange essential oil to your new creation. Close the bottles and leave for another day.

Don’t forget to fill in your grid. Put the date on top and in each box you will keep a running total of essential oils that make up your blend.

So in this case Mandarin 1 ml, Tangerine will be 1 mL, Orange 2 ml and Lime 1 ml. Since you only added the 1 mL of Orange only that number changed.

Each time after you have added essential oils to your bottle you need to give the new addition a chance to ‘blend’ together, to meld with all the essential oils.

Again you come back a few days later and put a small drop of each the “original” and the “replication” on a scent strip, then smell the “original” and then your “replication”.

This time when you smell it seems that your creation needs a little more Lime, so add 1 mL of Lime to the bottle.

Now your grids third column will say Mandarin 1ml, Tangerine 1 ml, Orange 2 ml and Lime 2 mL. Don’t forget to put the date on top.

Come back and repeat this as many times as necessary to get your blend correct.

You will be surprised at how fast your nose will be trained and you will be able to replicate more of your favorites.

When you think you have it – let is sit for 1 to 2 weeks, then come back and test it one more time.

Usually by now it will be so close you won’t be able to differentiate between the two- the “original” and the “replication” will smell identical!! Yeah! You’ve done it!

Here is an example of a totally made up (pretend) Blend and it’s filled out Blending worksheet. (Although this blend is ‘make believe” it does sound rather good!) blending card

blending card

I use cardstock and an excel spreadsheet and print the grid on just the one half of a sheet, this creates a ‘folder’ so I can keep notes inside on separate sheets or I can just write inside the folder too.

Once you have the “Replication” completed, then you can write your creation on a “Recipe Card” and keep it in a “Recipe” card file.

Your recipe card would list each essential oil in the blend with the entry from your final column.

In the case of my “Make Believe” replication I like to list the essential oils in my blends starting with the essential oil that has the largest quantity.

That is once I know what my recipe is. Anyway, you would have a recipe that looks as follows:

Citrus blend (replication) - Makes 9 mL

Orange – 4 mL
Mandarin – 2 mL
Lime– 2 mL
Tangerine – 1 mL

So hopefully this wasn’t too confusing.

As you can see it can take quite a while to use your ‘nose’ to replicate another blend of essential oils but it can be done. As many of you know I have done it over 40 times as I have replicated many scents that I enjoyed from any number of essential oil blends.

Also, this was a very simple blend. When you get to replicating blends that have 6-8 essential oils it gets much more difficult. And it will take much longer to replicate – sometimes upto 6 months or more.

You can learn to replicate blends yourself or write me to find out what we charge for us to replicate for you.

We don’t do it for free any longer but will do it for a fee and the rights to offer the new replication to our customers.

Or if you prefer we do have a company that will give you the exact ingredients but they will require 10 mL to 30 mL and sometimes more and a hefty charge of $300-500.00 to get you the ‘recipe’.

It sounds way more fun to try to replicate on your own.

And as someone I once heard on the TV say – “You can do it!” If you know who it was send me an e-mail and we'll see if you guessed right! I know who it was that said it. (You got to think back almost 20 years!)

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Aromatherapy Tips

I don’t think my diffuser is working, I can’t smell any essential oils!

by Penny Keay

You just bought a new Diffuser and a bottle of essential oil. You put a few drops on the diffuser and walk away. You come back into the room, take a big inhale and you just can’t smell any oil.

You walk to the bottle of essential oils you used and notice that if you put your nose in the bottle – you can smell the oil. What has happened?

Well there are many reasons why you might not think your diffuser is working or that the essential oils are ‘weak’.

We’ll take a look at several factors to help you figure out the reason you can’t smell the essential oils.

Usually it has nothing to do with the diffuser not working properly.

The most common and number one reason is: You plain and simply didn’t use enough essential oils for the particular type of diffuser and the size of the area you are using it in.

If you are using a light ‘top note’ essential oil like any of the citrus oils – lime, lemon, orange, etc, you may not smell them unless you place many drops to maybe even 2-3 mL on or in your diffuser.

These essential oils are very light and volatile essential oils that dissipate into the air very quickly. They are in the air and then they are gone!

Another note about essential oils – How old are they and how many times have you opened the bottle?

Essential oils lose their potency the older they are and the more times the bottles are opened.

Secondly you are trying to use a diffuser that is too small for the room or area you are scenting.

An example here is a Terra Cotta Disc with 5 drops of Lemon essential oil. You are not necessarily going to smell it in a 20” X 24” living room that has a Ceiling fan or air conditioner running.

That size room with lots of air currents and only 5 drops of lemon (a very light top note) will easily evaporate and the lemon oil will be gone into the room within just a few minutes.

Another major factor is that of “Olfactory Fatigue”. This is where your nose has become accustomed to the scent being diffused. Olfactory fatigue is a ‘protection” mechanism our sense of smell has to protect us from dangerous situations.

As you are in the room with the diffuser going, when your body no longer feels the ‘scenting’ as a ‘threat or danger’ it will block the smell of the essential oils in the room.

Simply, leave the area, go outdoors, breath in a few good breaths for say 10 minutes then reenter the room with the diffuser.

If you can’t smell it at all – you plain and simply need to add more essential oils. The ones you started with have vaporized into the air!

For more information about “Olfactory Fatigue” please see our previously written articles about this phenomenon. Click Here

Briefly, before you blame the diffuser or the bottle of essential oils make sure you check out our very informative article called the “Variables” found on this site. Click Here

It will give you guidance as to all of the factors that affect the use of various diffusers and how they will work with the essential oils you are diffusing.

Choosing the correct diffuser for your room and application and then applying the proper amount of essential oils will help you to enjoy nature’s beautiful scents.

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Recipes to try

SPA BATH TIME

Neroli – 3 drops
Roman Chamomile – 2 drops
Lavender – 2 drops

Add these drops to the tub while it fills. Then sit back and relax.


Move Ahead Blend

Frankincense – 3 drops
Sandalwood or The S'WOODS – 3 drops
Black Pepper – 3 drops

This special blend of essential oils will help you move away from the past and into the future.

Think about moving ahead and not staying in the past.

Simply blend these essential oils together and use in any diffuser.


Queasy Nervous Stomach

Lavender – 2 drops
Roman Chamomile – 2 drops
Peppermint – 1 drop
Lemon– 1 drop
Ginger – 1 drop

Blend these together then use in any Diffuser – ideal for use on a Terra Cotta Pendant or other jewelry or use in a Personal inhaler.

This blend is designed to help you when your stomach has been upset by any number of emotional reasons including stress and exhaustion.

Inhale and let the oils do their ‘thing’ to help you feel better soon.


Outdoor blend – enjoyable and helps keeps insect away!

Citronella – 5 drops
Lemongrass – 5 drops
Peppermint – 5 drops
Lavender– 3 drops

Blend in a glass bottle then diffuse in any diffuser.

Ideally if used outdoors in the patio use an electric Tart warmer with soy wax.

This keeps the essential oils from diffusing to quickly and will last much longer than a fan type.


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All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.

© 2011, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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