Notes of Essential Oils

Another helpful way to categorize essential oils is by note. Oils are divided into three different notes: top, middle and base. A note is defined by how quickly the oil evaporates and rises in a synergy in order for you to be able to smell it or be affected by it. Creating a blend by note was and is still used in making perfumes. Using this method in conjunction with other methods will help ensure a balanced and enjoyable aroma to your synergies. Of course, sometimes we may not care how a synergy smells, we may just want the problem gone, which was the case for Cyrus’ injured knee. But many times you can accomplish both—having the problem go away while the scent lifts and carries you away.

Top Note Essential Oils

Top notes evaporate the quickest and are the first aroma you experience in a synergy (i.e., a blend). These oils stimulate the brain, adding a brightness that clears the mind, giving us energy to move upwards. The aroma is fresh, light, airy, penetrating, and sharp.

Top note oils are:


Middle-Note Oils

Middle-note oils soften the sharpness that top notes can sometimes give to a synergy. Middle notes balance and harmonize a synergy both energetically and physically. They are sometimes called the “heart” of a synergy or “heart note.” When going through the single-oil profiles, you will notice that some oils are top-middle or middle-base. A middle-note essential oil can have the attributes of both top-middle and middle-base, that’s what gives a fullness to your synergies. There is another advantage for some oils having two notes—sometimes when making a synergy, maybe you can't find just the right top note; in that case, you can look at the oils that are top-middle or middle-top notes and select one in place of the top note in your synergy. The same goes for base note—you can also select an oil from the middle-base or base-middle oils to complete your synergy.

Middle note oils include:



Base-Note Essential Oils

Base-note essential oils evaporate slowly so are the last to be smelled, the last to your nose—the opposite of tope note oils. They are known as “fixatives” because they hold your synergy together, slowing down the evaporation rate of any top note in your synergy. They are usually from roots, woods, or resins; although there are some exceptions—jasmine, rose and ylang ylang, which are floral, and patchouli, which is a leaf oil. Base notes are very grounding and soothing to our emotions, relieving insomnia, anxiety and stress.

Base note are:


For module 1 of this years Applied Aromatic Institute, students will need one of each oil.

Thanks so much,

Leiann King

BlogLeiann King