Posts tagged How to use
OMG you smell ahhh-maaaayyy-zing!

I often get complimented on my fragrance.  People say, "you always smell so lovely" and it's such a nice compliment to receive!  When they ask what I'm wearing I rattle off whichever oils I have applied that day, and a conversation is often sparked about how they've always been interested in oils but didn't know how to use them or where to start. 

When I started using essential oils one of the most foundational elements for me was that I could finally participate in the world of aroma.  My senses were awoken and I felt my whole body come to life and respond to the different oils as I opened each bottle, with each one evoking a new feeling and sense of being.  I was deeply moved, still am, every time.


My whole life I have had both hay fever and been very sensitive to smells, so we couldn't have flowers in the house and I would often develop severe migraine headaches in response to the fragrances being worn around me.  It was torture jumping in the car to go to school with both my mother and my grandmother who were doused in Chanel No.5 or Christian Dior.  I would literally hang my head out the window all the way to avoid being nauseated before the day even started!  One day I was already in the sick bay with a headache waiting to be picked up when a teacher walked by wearing a very strong perfume, it tipped me over the edge and I ran out the door and vomited all over the bushes outside the school Secretary's window.  They took me seriously after that :)

So when I hit my teens and all my friends were discovering their favourite fragrances I was left out.  No matter what I tried it either gave me a headache or made me feel sick.  In the end I gave up and resolved that it was one less thing for me to spend my very limited 15 yr old wages on!  Unbeknown to me at the time, I have saved myself years of toxic insult as the harsh chemicals used to create fragrances are now known to be hormone disrupters.  Fancy spraying a whole bunch of toxins directly on your throat, every day, directly over your thyroid?  No thanks.

My decisions about which oils I dress in tend to be emotionally driven.  That is, I use the oils to invoke different emotions that support me through out the day.  So it's not a particularly technical blending approach, but I do honour the basic principles of blending because things work out better that way.

There are many resources available to guide you in the art of blending, but here are the basics.  Blending is very much like wine-making, part art and part science, and it is equally as personal as wine.  What you like will be completely offensive to someone else, and vice versa.  Whether you take a serious approach or a more intuitive one, you're looking to combine different characteristics that create a certain profile.  Each oil has two specific characteristics that you want to become familiar with:




The concept of notes is extremely important in perfumery.  A good blend should be a balanced synergy of top, middle and base, in order of volatility- how quickly the oil evaporates - from very light (very volatile) to heavy (least volatile).

  • Top: first aroma experienced by the sense of smell, initial impact.  Usually fresh citrus and light, green, fruity notes.  These oils create the blend's initial impression, giving brightness and clarity.
  • Middle: second aroma experienced, sometimes after a few minutes, the heart of the bouquet.  Middle notes last longer, imparting warmth and fullness to the blend.  
  • Base: deep resonating aroma, lingering scent and acts as a fixative.  Base notes have a strong influence on the mental, emotional and spiritual plane and have a sedative and relaxing effect.


Blend Classification

Enhancer, Equaliser, Modifier, Personifier.  A great way to explain this concept is to imagine you are in a room blindfolded, and someone wearing an essential oil enters the room.  What does the aroma tell you about their personality, what kind of interests might they have and what type of clothes might they wear?

  • Enhancer: pleasant fragrance, will modify the blend without over-powering it.  Should be the predominant oil, enhances the properties of the other oils. Can be up to 50-80% of the blend (Lavender, Lemon, Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose, Lemongrass)
  • Equaliser: smooth out the sharp edges in the blend, they balance the blend and allow it to flow.  10-15% of the blend  (Lavender, Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Marjoram, Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Rose, Lemongrass)
  • Modifier: give the blend a lift and contribute to it's distinctive personality.  Mild, short aroma that adds harmony.  Use sparingly, not more than 4-8% of the blend (Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Rose)
  • Personifier: very sharp, strong and long-lasting fragrance.  Dominant properties with strong therapeutic action.  Use very sparingly 1-5% of the blend (Ylang Ylang, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Orange, Rose) 

Yes, some oils possess multiple classifications - just to keep it easy!  


My all-time favourite blend (so far!)


Even though I choose my oils intuitively every day, there is a staple combination that I keep returning to.

  • Arborvitae (1 drop): Intense, medicinal, woody, earthy.  Enhancer and Equaliser. Top to middle note.  Grounding, calming, spiritual awareness, connection to truth.
  • Frankincense (3 drops): rich, deep, warm, balsamic, sweet.  Enhancer and Equaliser.  Base note.  Eases impatience, irritability, restlessness.  Promotes resilience and truth.
  • Geranium (1 drop):  Sweet, citrus-rosy, fresh.  Enhancer and Equaliser.  Middle note.  Eases tension and stress, very balancing, softening, nurturing.
  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (1 drop):  Soft, woody, spicy, sweet, earthy.  Heaven in a scent.  Modifier and Equaliser.  Base note.  Calming, harmonising and balancing.

In this blend you'll notice there are three Enhancers, that make up the majority of the blend.  The modifier is used sparingly and all four are equalisers (secondary to being Enhancers).  There are also top, middle and base notes in appropriate proportions.  But guess what?  I didn't plan any of that!  When I chose these oils I followed my nose and my heart, and put together something that felt good and smelt delicious to me.  Check out the emotional profile for each oil, I'm clearly aiming for calm, grounding and softness.  Tune into your senses and do what feels right and smells good to you.

Other combinations I love are Bergamot, Frankincense and Cedarwood for similar reasons to the above, it's just a lighter version of that blend.  And for those times when I'm wanting to bring forth the feminine then I layer the florals - Neroli, Jasmine and Rose.  Together these three create a bouquet that is floral without being fluffy, it's womanly as well as feminine, strong and soft, and those qualities come together to create just a hint of seduction, confidence and prowess.  You know, for THOSE kinds of days :)

So before you get all confused and stop yourself before you start, just have a go.  Play with oils that you like, that resonate with you.  Tune into how you feel when you smell different oils.  Do you feel elated, soft, strong, seductive, energised, focused - the list is literally endless.  Take 2-3 oils and hold the bottles together, equal distance from your nose.  Which aroma is strongest?  What would you like to smell more of ?  What is missing altogether?  You can move the bottles up and down to make one closer to your nose than the others, then do another pass to see how the blend has changed.  Once you find something you think might work just test it by adding the drops to the palm of your hand with some Fractionated Coconut Oil.  Try it on.  Apply it to your wrists and neck and see what happens.  Do you enjoy the scent?  Does it change after a little time?

Relax.  Enjoy.  These beautiful products were put in your hands to improve your life.  Let them!  I would love to hear about your blending experiences, drop a comment below to let us know!


3 Ways to Use Essential Oils

How are you using your essential oils?  Sometimes I meet people who only use their oils in one particular way, are you one of them??  I find it crazy because you're missing out on a whole world of fun and benefits!  By using essential oils aromatically, topically and internally you can really take advantage of every benefit they have to offer and fully integrate them into your life.  The more you use them, the more benefit you'll gain and the more value you'll get.

I thought it might be useful to put the basics together for you in this neat little video, because you know, it's a nice change from all the writing!

What's your favourite way to use essential oils?  Post a comment, I'd love to know x

Weekend Alchemy: Saving Face

How's your face looking?

About 10 years ago I developed pigmentation all over my cheeks and forehead, almost overnight.  I remember it happened really quickly.  I consulted doctors and dermatologists and no-one could give me any solid indication of what caused the change.  Everything from being on the contraceptive pill to sun-damage, diet and genetics (or a combination) were proposed as possible reasons.  They offered plenty of products, all topical, all synthetic and all of which I tried to no avail.

Recently, I decided to turn to my essential oils to see what they could offer.  After doing a stack of research on different types of base oils and using oils for skin care, both cleansing and moisturising.  I decided to make the switch, and my skin has never looked better.

The first step was to remove soap based products from my skin care, which meant no more foaming cleanser.  That was a hard one for me to manage because I am so used to that squeaky clean feeling that I wasn't sure I could feel like my face was clean without some suds!  However, in the pursuit of benefit, I gave it a go.

Using oils to cleanse your skin is not new.  There are many resources available for you to do your own research on the ins and outs of the process, so here I will share with you what I chose, why and how I use it.

I chose to use Coconut Oil because it's anti-microbial, anti-yeast and makes a great makeup remover.  I could have used Jojoba Oil (expensive option, so I saved it for my serum) or Castor Oil (BAD childhood memories!) so I chose Coconut.  It's also relatively inexpensive for a good quality, organic product that I always have on hand anyway.  There are two ways I cleanse with coconut oil:

  1. Eye-makeup remover: gently massage PLAIN coconut oil over eye, without getting IN your eye, to remove make-up. Wipe off with a warm face washer or cotton pad.

  2. Face cleanser: add a drop of Lavender or Tea Tree oil and gently massage over your face for 2 minutes, paying particular attention to the oily areas. Take a hot face washer and hold it over the face to steam the pores, then wipe off. Repeat a couple of times until the residual oil is gone.

Note: do NOT use essential oils on the eye area.  That's why this is a two step process.  Plain coconut oil for the eyes, add Lavender or Tea Tree for added anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties for the rest of the face.

Cleansing with this method leaves my skin very clean and soft, not at all tight the way soap-based products have.  After cleansing I use a spritzer with filtered water, Juniper Berry and Lavender oils to tone and tighten the pores, then onto my serum.  This is where the magic happens :) 

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

My A.M and P.M Skin Perfection Serums

Firstly, I decided that just as I would normally have a morning and a night a cream, I would create a morning and a night serum.  Our skin does most of its regenerating at night while we are asleep (if we're lucky enough to be getting any!), so I wanted something more intensive to maximise the natural healing processes, and a lighter one for the day that would nourish and protect, and still be a good base for make-up.  

Next, I considered which base oil to use knowing that the majority of the serum would be comprised of this oil.  I went with  a blend of Jojoba Oil (because it suits my skin type) and Rosehip Oil for it's regenerating properties (for both the pigmentation and my age).  To this base I added some super-concentrated Vitamin E to the night serum for its anti-oxidant properties and to protect against free-radical damage.  Vitamin E naturally occurs in the skin but is depleted with time and sun damage, and is clearly depleted in mine!  I only added the Vitamin E to the night serum because it is quite thick and creates a bit of shine on the skin, perfect for night time :) 

Time to navigate the essential oils and choose ones to target my pigmentation and deliver all the other benefits I want from my skin-care such as keeping the wrinkles at bay, creating a youthful glow, smoothing and evening tone etc.  Does Miranda Kerr come in an essential oil?? 

There are many essential oils that are beneficial for the skin and it really is a case of trying and testing which ones suit you.  These are the oils I started with: 

  • Arborvitae (promotes clear and healthy looking skin)

  • Blue Tansy (reduce appearance of blemishes, hydrates and soothes)

  • Copaiba (clears, smoothes, reduces appearance of blemishes)

  • Frankincense (reduces appearance of imperfections)

  • Geranium (smoothes and beautifies)

  • Helichrysum (revitalises, reduces appearance of wrinkles, promotes glowing, youthful complexion)

  • Lavender (soothing)

  • Myrrh (reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles)

  • Patchouli (reduces appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, imperfections, smoothes)

  • Hawaiian Sandalwood (reduces imperfections, smoothes and promotes glow)

  • Spikenard (softens and smooths)

It's quite the list isn't it?  I narrowed it down by selecting some all-rounders for the morning and keeping the star performers for the evening, and by excluding oils that I don't love the aroma of (eg., Lavender, Myrrh, Patchouli and Spikenard) - after all, they're going on my face!  I referenced my previous experiences with the oils - I have seen Helichrysum stop bleeding on a number of cuts, Frankincense reduce bruising and heal cuts, abrasions, bites etc., Arborvitae really ground and calm me, and Hawaiian Sandalwood just opens me up - I love it. I also considered the price of the oils and how much I would need for each batch, as I wanted the serums to be cost effective so that others could try them out too!  Here are the recipes I created:

A.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Geranium

  • 10 drops Arborvitae

Total cost to produce: $21.18.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 84 days, $0.25 per day.

P.M Serum 30ml

  • 17ml Certified Organic Jojoba Oil

  • 5ml Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

  • 20 drops Vitamin E Super Concentrate

  • 15 drops Frankincense

  • 10 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood

  • 10 drops Helichrysm

  • 6 drops Blue Tansy

Total cost to produce: $54.06.  Using 5 drops per application, batch lasts approx. 89 days, $0.60 per day.

AND, you've only used a small amount of your essential oils which you can use for all their other beautiful benefits or save and make more batches of your unique, tailor-made for your skin, perfecting face serum.

And look at the result! I'm really happy with it!!  And that's after 30 days. I'm looking forward to comparing my skin in another two months!  You may not think it's much but for me, this is a huge improvement.  Nothing has made an impact on this pigmentation for years, so to start to see it diminish is great progress.  



Yes, I'm not the best photographer and yes the lighting is different, but you can still see the improvement in even-ness and reduction in pigmentation on both lower cheeks and above the eyebrows. 

Is it time to improve the appearance of your skin? Or even better, for all you young poppets with gorgeous skin - get in early before the damage starts and protect it. Imagine what this type of healing can do for your skin NOW instead of later!

Totally natural, 100% synthetic and toxin free. So simple to make and less than $1 a day, how good is that!  Do you use essential oils in your skin care?  I'd love to hear your story!  Leave a comment below so we can share and inspire others to ditch the soap and chemicals :)

Jo x

Resources to Support Your Essential Oil Journey


You've got your oils, now what?  I bet you're all excited, your purple box arrives and gleefully you open it up what?

So many times people tell me that they don't know what to do with their oils.  I can't really fathom this, because I don't understand investing in something and then not using it, but I get that it happens.  So, I thought it might be helpful to put together a post about support resources.  Some things that will help you understand how your amazing oils work and give you ideas and inspiration about how to use them, in your daily life.

Ain't no use in them sitting on the shelf looking pretty!

First of all, education is key.  You have to learn about your oils, what they are, how they work, why they work that way. The more you know, the more effective you will be and pretty soon people are going to be asking YOU for advice!

Here are the books I love for my education and knowledge base:

Modern Essentials Handbook, 9th ed.

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You can find this book on Aromatools (if you're in Australia make sure you use the Australian site!, it's well-priced, comprehensive and easy to understand.  All the single oils, blends, wellness supplements and personal care products are explained in detail with great information about the most common primary uses and how to apply them. There is also a comprehensive usage guide where you can look up hundreds of conditions and get specific recommendations for which oils will best support you.  I LOVE this book.  Super handy and informative.  If you attend one of my classes I generally have copies for sale at cost, because I think it is so important to be educated!

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy

Much more comprehensive, this book is a reference text for aromatherapy.  It includes in depth information about all elements of aromatherapy including quality control of essential oils, chemistry, subtle aromatherapy and essential oil safety.  If you're after serious study, then this is your guide.  You can find this book online at various outlets, a google search will turn up several options.

Emotions and Essential Oils

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The folks at enlighten Alternative Healing deserve to be blessed.  This book is a god send, a bible for understanding the emotional profiles of essential oils.  Targeted, holistic and so articulate this book is a must have if you enjoy the emotional benefits of essential oils, if you are using essential oils to support you through growth or just day to day life.  A single page is devoted to each oil or blend (which is great, not overwhelming), with options for blending and application.  You can purchase this book on Aromatools, or at one of my workshops. 

Other books in my arsenal...

I also regularly use Evidence-based Essential Oil Therapy, The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oils by Dr. Scott A. Johnson for comprehensive review of research, and Integrated Guide to Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Bill Fifield.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of being informed and educated!  Did I mention that already?  I am not your doctor and neither is any other Wellness Advocate.  You are responsible for understanding what works for you, and whilst I will always advocate working with your GP or health provider, I am also passionate about self-education so you can have informed discussions and take an active role in you and your family's health management. 

I also have some books that are my go-to for DIY and practical tips for using oils in my daily life:

The Naturally Clean Home - 150 Super-Easy Herbal Formulas for Green Cleaning

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Now, I cannot believe I have this book in my collection!  And yet, I do.  Who have I become?  The crazy oil lady, that's who!  Seriously though, one thing I have become passionate about is reducing toxic load.  In our food, our home and environment.  There are innumerable ways in which you can ditch harmful chemicals, and cleaning is one of the easiest.  Common household toxins are now well-established by research as being linked to allergies, skin conditions, hormone production, fertility issues and cancer.  I'll take the green cleaning option thanks.  This little book is practical, informative and absolutely loaded with easy ways to use essential oils to clean your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, carpet, garden and office!

Modern Essentials Living

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Cooking recipes, craft, body care, cleaning and class ideas - this lifestyle book is a great all round resource.  Simple to make recipes, easy ingredients and real, practical products such as Dishwasher Cleaner, counter sprays, lens cleaner, carrot cake, ice blocks and scented bubbles or play dough for the little ones to play with, make this a top book to add to your collection.

Sot there you have it, my most used and loved resources to support living an essential oils life.  Get educated and be informed.  dōTERRA's essential oils are powerful, potent plant medicines that need to be understood and respected.  Be responsible, grab a book and get learning!