Why Mix Essential Oils or Hydrosols


Since starting the Hydrosol Mix of the Week series on this blog, I've been asked a few times what the purpose of blending hydrosols (or essential oils) is.

Although it may look like mixing is just trying to find out 'who likes who', it is a quest to optimize and strengthen the characteristics of each part. Blending creates a synergistic effect that makes a difference in how well a product works, as well as being instrumental in the fragrance of the product.

The Function of the Oils

Example: Lavender essential oil can stand alone just fine. It is antibacterial and will promote healing. It also has a fresh, clean smell. However, blending Lavender with Tea Tree (which adds both antiviral and antifungal properties) will enhance the healing power of both oils, creating a more powerful product.

This mix would be great in a salve for small cuts and scrapes. The medicinal-like smell of Tea Tree with Lavender's freshness also creates a more 'serious' scent. Now, try mixing Lavender with Rose, and the function (and scent) takes an altogether different direction.

The possibilities are almost endless.

Perfume Components

Some essential oils are used for composing perfumes, and can change character completely, depending on what they are blended with. A deep, musky-smelling oil that may seem a bit boring on it's own may be the perfect background 'scent anchor' for other oils.

A sweet scent that may seem a bit cloying on its own can 'step back' in a blend, offering a subtle spiciness to the right mix. I've experienced all kinds of 'magic' working with these precious oils and waters – sometimes also with less fortunate results.

Occasionally 2 strong (and otherwise lovely) scents will 'cancel each other out' or, worse, 'fight each other and get ugly'. I've seen mild-mannered scents turn into center stage show-offs, and vice versa – both ruining the mix.

The Waters

Working with hydrosols offers similar challenges – both in regard to scent and function. And yet, mixing hydrosols is 'a whole other ball game'. They will often surprise me by behaving completely opposite to their essential oil counterparts.

And, as with the oils, the combinations (and outcomes) are almost endless. It is a fascinating and educational process to create the perfect blend of function and scent in one, all-natural product.

I still get excited about every ingredient, mix and product I do.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I was wondering if you can mix lavander water/hydrosol with perfumer's alcohol?
Lise M Andersen said…
Hey there Anon - It's a little hard to answer you without knowing a bit more about what kind of end product you are working on. Could you elaborate a bit?
Abby said…
Hi, I'm looking at trying to make a dog spritzer from water, some hydrosols and essential oil for a calming effect. Do I need to add anything else to the mixture so that the essential oil mixes through?? Do I also need to add any type of preservative? I would prefer to keep it as natural as possible but am not sure how the oil blends with the water and hydrosols and how long the mixture would keep for. Thanks so much for your help and advice.
Lise M Andersen said…
Hi Abby -. Thanks for your excellent question! You do indeed need to add more to the mix to ensure a safe product. A solubiliser is necessary to disperse and solubilise the essential oils into the water. You are also correct in assuming a preservative is necessary. This kind of mixture of ingredients can go bad quite quickly (even before it can be detected by smell). If your product is for use on pets, I recommend studying up on the essential oils you plan to incorporate as many essential oils that are otherwise great for humans are not tolerated or will cause adverse reactions used on pets and animals. Best of luck with your spritzer!
Abby said…
Thanks so much for your response Lise
Iată Lumea said…
Hello Lise!

Please can you give me some advice about how can I make a room spray with hydrosols, alcohol and essential oilswithout get the misty look and not to separate oils from the mixture at all?

Thank ypu!
LisaLise said…
Hi Latä - that's the kind of question I am happy to help with in detail if you book a consultation with me-- there are quite a few factors to consider and I would have several questions to ask you before I could give you any useful answers. Another possibilty is enrolling for the course I teach at Tisserand Institute -- there is a lesson on doing room sprays in the course :)