Blending a Massage Oil with Essential Oils

How I put this all together….

When you first start testing a blend, I highly recommend using cottonballs or test strips to mix drops of essential oil before jumping into making a full blend. It will cut down on wastage of your essential oils, many of which are expensive. Personal preferences to smells varies considerably – I’d definitely do sniff tests to see which ones you personally like/dislike.

Be sure to read up on the essential oil you want to use and know if it has any negative effects on your health (i.e. pregnancy, arthritis, heart disease, liver disease, medications etc…). You might like to research what emotional and spiritual uses the essential oil has before using it.

For my blog, you can click the category Essential Oils & Herbs located on the right and it will show you a directory of posts of all the essential oils I’ve explored on the blog.


The first step is to determine the blend itself by working with it in a concentrated format. To conserve your, sometimes, very expensive essential oils, you start mixing in small, concentrated amounts. Using directions from AromaWeb I  started with 2 tsp of carrier oil with the following essential oil mixture (previously cotton ball tested):

3 drops Cypress (middle note) ~ overcome grief, sadness and loss, brings understanding of our losses and sacrifices, useful in time of crises. Stimulates.

4 drops Juniper Berry (middle note) ~ cleansing and protection, release of grief, calming, good for those emotionally exhausted.

3 drops Lime (top note) ~ calms hysteria and anxiety, cleanses the aura. Invigorating.

4 drops Frankincense (base note) ~ relieves depression, anxiety, grief. Slow downs and calms breathing. Cleanses, purifies and consecrates. 


Selected essential oils and carrier oil were mixed together
in a glass votive (photo shows another blend)


Notes are related to how quickly an essential oil evaporates – high notes first, middle next, base are last. For example, the top note (30 percent) is the smell  you will notice first, after a few hours, the middle notes (50 percent) will start to bloom, and lastly the base notes (20 percent) which may even linger for several days on your skin. BTW the percentages of the notes is an estimate recommended by AromaWeb.

This is why you might smell something you like at first and hours later go yuck. Or the converse can be true such as my experience with Cypress as an essential oil. It may take several days for the entire mixture to bloom as one unit.


Mixing for a massage oil, I could go up to a maximum 30 total drops for 2 oz (60 ml) of carrier oil (ratio 2 tsp/10 ml to every 5 drops of EO) outlined in The Illustrated Guide to Massage and Aromatherapy, Catherine Stuart, editor. Remember,  if any of the oils you select are a skin irritant or is cautionary in use, you should always scale the drop dosage to lower than you might for another essential oil that doesn’t have issues.

For the final mixture I’ll use on my skin, I took the 14 drop mixture of the concentrated blend (above) and doubled it.


A cotton ball soaks up the test blend and is put in a labeled plastic baggie.
2-3 days later if it pasts the sniff test, I make a 2 ounce sample (labeled) to work with.


Because I will be experimenting with my own blends, I bought 2 oz. plastic squeeze bottles (which holds 1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp or almost 60 ml of carrier oil). Preferably you will want dark, glass bottles to ensure your essential oils last a long time. These are experiments that will be used up quickly and I didn’t want a glass bottle on my bed or in the tub area. Metal containers will react unfavorably so do not use them to store your mixtures or use metal tools to stir your mixtures.


Here are some possible substitutions (however, each substitute takes you farther from the smell and intention I originally designed so do your own research on meanings, uses and safety cautions):

Juniper Berry could be substituted with Tea Tree, Scotch Pine, or Roman Chamomile.

Lime could be substituted for another Citrus such as Lemon or one of the Oranges. I found the orange made it too sweet a smell for me but you might like it better than Lime.  You might try one from the mint family such as Bergamot. All of these are also phototoxic.

Another option for Frankincense could be Bergamot (phototoxic), Angelica Root, Cedarwood, Sandlewood, Patchouli, or even Vanilla.


Although many of the components used are invigorating/stimulating, I didn’t find it difficult to fall asleep after use. This may differ for you so try it out. Remember, Lime can be phototoxic so if going out to the sun after use, make sure your body where the massage oil was applied is covered from sunlight.


5 thoughts on “Blending a Massage Oil with Essential Oils

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