Those of us that have been around essential oils for some time can easily pick out the essential oils in a blend but when you are first getting started using essential oils your nose can get very confused.
You need to ‘train’ your nose and your head to recognize the different essential oils BEFORE you try to identify them in a ‘blend’.
First start with a few basic essential oils. Our basic oils suggestions would be: Bergamot or Bergamot FCF, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus globulus, Grapefruit, Bulgarian Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea Tree and Ylang-Ylang #3. We sell sample sizes just for this purpose - so you can “Get to know them”! (Also our Basic Oil Kits will have these too.)
Using a perfume or Scent Testing Strips or clean pieces of an absorbent paper or pad (our Scentball replacement pads will work for this experiment or our new test strips) write the names on one end of each strip or pad.
Now put a drop of oil on the paper and take a sniff. Really smell it and let your mind ‘remember it’. This is part of your limbic brain – your primitive brain that you are putting to work. (Please see our previous article “Proper Way to Smell Essential oils” found here https://birchhillhappenings.com/aromatip/tip0108.pdf for the correct way to sniff and oil.)
Do this with each of the oils above. Repeat this same ‘sniffing game’ over the next few days.
Between oils you can take a whiff of “coffee beans”. Yep, real coffee beans, as this will help cleanse your nose of the current scent you are sniffing.
Now the test. Have someone else place the drop on the pad or scent strip and present it to you. Making sure that they don’t give you a hint. Be sure to have them mix the order up so you have to ‘work’ at it a little.
Have them do it with all the essential oils. Write them down in the order they presented them to you. (Make sure they write them down too!)
Were you able to get them right? Could you tell the difference between the Grapefruit and Lemon? How about Rosemary and Eucalyptus globulus?
Once you have mastered these oils, gradually add more essential oils to your brain’s memory banks.
Now the ultimate test. Choose one of our simple Synergy blends and see if you can identify the essential oils in that blend. Start with something simple like our Citrus Blend. Pick one that has only 3 or 4 different essential oils. Our Citrus Blend, even though they are all citrus oils, if you have trained your nose to identify each Tangerine, Lime and Orange, you should be able to ‘pick’ them out.
Again, pick another of our blends, but make sure you have the individual or single note oils listed in that blend to ‘do your homework’ first. As you need to have the scent in your memory for you to be able to recognize it.
Once you have the individual essential oils committed to your memory, try to identify another ‘blend’ by ‘sniffing’ out the individual oils.
When have become accomplished at these types of ‘exercises’ you will be able to replicate and blend, to your liking, scents you have smelled in the past that you enjoy.
A couple notes of caution. If you attempt to duplicate a blend that has too many essential oils or has a fragrance oil (which can really throw your sense of smell off) you may not be able to succeed.
If at anytime when doing a lot of ‘sniffing’ of essential oils you feel nauseated or develop an unexplained headache or dizziness, it is time to take a break and get some fresh air! You should put your oils away for now and resume another day.
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