Making a Generic Equivalent Aromatherapy Blend Through Trial and Error

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essential oil drops

Have you wanted to figure out how to make a generic equivalent for an aromatherapy scent blend that you love, but don't know how to begin? That's where I was a few weeks ago. A friend of mine told me she'd been buying a blend that retails for $15 for .5 ounces. I told her to hold up and let me break down the ingredients and make a close-enough version of it.

I hand't done this process before, but I was certain that I could make a go of it. I did some digging and found a few websites that give some general guidelines for ratios of basenotes, middle notes and top notes, as well as how to convert a given number of drops of a scent into a percentage or a mL measurment.

Top, Middle and Basenotes

Drops to Percentages

Drops to mL

The ingredients in this blend I was deconstructing were most likely listed in order of most to least. Sweet orange, lavender, basil, peppermint, Roman chamomile, and patchouli. I looked up each ingredient to see if it was classified as a top, middle or base note, and this as a guide to cross reference what my nose detected in the original blend as being the prominent and underlying scents.

Sweet Orange - topnote
Lavender - topnote
Patchouli - basenote
Peppermint - topnote
Basil - middlenote
Chamomile - middlenote

I started small, adding the following number of drops. This got me to pretty close but not enough sweet orange.

Sweet Orange 6
Lavender 6
Patchouli 2
Peppermint 4
Basil 2
Chamomile 1

Next round - this is the keeper. Smells close enough to make everyone happy :)

Sweet Orange 9
Lavender 6
Patchouli 2
Peppermint 4
Basil 2
Chamomile 1

24 total drops = 100%, therfore calculating the percentages of each ingredient involves dividing 100 by 24 and from this we get the multiplier for each ingredient to achieve it's percentage of 100 drops (5mL)

Sweet Orange 9 x 4.16 = 37.5%
Lavender 6 x 4.16 = 25% (rounding up)
Patchouli 2 x 4.16 = 8%
Peppermint 4 x 4.16 = 17% (rounding up)
Basil 2 x 4.16 = 8%
Chamomile 1 x 4.16 = 4.16%

Now to find the 30mL amount based on the percentages.. google calculator to the rescue

Sweet Orange 9 x 4.16 = 37.5%
37.5% of 30mL
Lavender 6 x 4.16 = 25% (rounding up)
25% of 30mL
Patchouli 2 x 4.16 = 8%
8% of 30mL
Peppermint 4 x 4.16 = 17% (rounding up)
17% of 30mL
Basil 2 x 4.16 = 8%
8% of 30mL
Chamomile 1 x 4.16 = 4.16%
1% of 30mL

I took an empty 30mL bottle I had, put a piece of white tape up the side and began marking halfway measurments on the side of the bottle to create some guidelines for me to start adding the larger percentage ingredients into the bottle. This was a rough order of magnitude guideline, not intended to be 100% accurate, but to get me into the ballpark.


The generic equivalent blend was a resounding success. My friend agreed that it smelled pretty much like the name brand blend she had been buying for years. Based on the price per ounce per ingredient, a 1 ounce blend of this generic has a total cost of $4.05. To be fair, I did have to buy a lot more chamomile oil than I will likely ever use in my lifetime, but my total cost outlay for the ingredients is equivalent to six .5 oz bottles (a total of 3 ounces) of the brand name scent. For this price, I have enough oils to make 10 ounces of this blend. This was also a worthwhile experiment in scent deconstruction, calculating percentages, ratios and volume conversions!

Sweet Orange $2.48/oz
Lavender $5.48/oz
Patchouli $4.46/oz
Peppermint $3.73/oz
Basil $3.23/oz
Chamomile $16.95/10ml = $50.85/oz

Big thanks to my friend Mary! She's the first person that gave me a recipie for a generic equiavlent aromatherapy blend and with her encouragement, I took on the task of figuring this one out! Thanks Mary!


2 comments

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May 25, 2022 at 9:34 AM delete

Now I am curious. What is this blend used for, that your friend liked so much? Thanks!

Gail

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Jennifer
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May 31, 2022 at 11:20 AM delete

This blend is the C H I L L P I L L blend by A U R A C A C I A. My friend uses it during the Restorative Yin classes she leads. I was leery of naming the name brand blend for fear of retribution by company who makes the scent.

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