Aside from having a varied collection of essential oils and a strong reference library of books, Aromatherapists also need to have the right kinds of blending tools when they are making aromatic remedies for themselves and others.
Like any other creative work, having a proper workspace, or studio, set up, can guarantee that your product making is well organized and focused.
I’d recommend having some shelving, or storage cases for your essential oils, containers to hold pipettes and stirrers and an area where you can line up your collection of different carrier oils and base ingredients.
If you have the space, I’d even consider getting a small refrigerator, to store your hydrosols and more delicate carrier oils, like Rosehips seed, Hemp Seed or Evening Primrose.
Here is a list of 7 blending tools that will help make blending essential oils and formulating aromatherapy products super easy and efficient.
- Fragrance Strips: Also known as blotter strips, scent strips, and perfume blotters, they are neutral smelling paper strips that can absorb the aromatic molecules in such a way that it allows our noses to experience a truer and more complete impression of the aroma. When selecting different essential oils, it’s a good practice to drop a drop or two of the essential oil on the tip of the strip, rather than smell the oil straight out of the bottle. After dropping a drop or two, let the strip dry for about 5-10 seconds and then smell it, taking note of your observations.
- Double Boiler: Also known as a bain-marie, a double boiler is a basic kitchen item that is most often used to melt delicate ingredients, like butter, chocolate and sugar. The idea behind it, is to gently warm the ingredients with gentle steam, rather than direct contact with the heat source. And in order to do that, the pot is made up of two parts, an outer section that is filled with water, and an insert that rests above the water. This is particularly important when we are melting ingredients that we are using in skincare, like plant butters, waxes and carrier oils, as we want to avoid direct contact with high heat in order to preserve the integrity of their active compounds. Some of the most common aromatic remedies that would need a double boiler include salves, butters and balms.
- Disposable Pipettes. Although these may not be the most sustainable tool, they provide the best way to dispense, count and weigh out drops of essential oils in a more clean, careful way than just dripping drops straight out of the bottle by way of the orifice reducer. Often when dropping drops straight out of the bottle, it’s challenging to control the amount coming out. Plus, every essential oil has a different viscosity, meaning the size and weight of the drops will be different as it drops out of the orifice reducer. So this is where having a disposable pipette can make dispensing drops a little more controlled.
- A scale. A good scale is essential! Especially if you want to replicate formulas and scale them up. You want to choose a scale that can go to .00 or .000 decimals, and can switch between grams and ounces. Although “counting drops” may be a good system to create one-off products, it’s a good idea to learn how to translate your measurements into weight, like grams, for more precision.
- Glass Beakers ranging in size from 5 ml to 500 ml. These are perfect to mix not only your pure essential oil together but also when mixing the essential oils with carrier oils. Glass cleans and stores well, and doesn’t hold aromas.
- Glass stirring rods, or stainless steel mixing spatulas. These are great options to use for mixing essential oils and other ingredients, they withstand heat, if mixing over a hotplate and are easily cleaned and don’t hold aromas.
- Small blank labels. An assortment is key. Recommendations include small ¾” circular labels for the tops of your essential oil bottles, along with small address labels.