The Top Note in Essential Oil Blending

The Top Note in Essential Oil Blending

This article is the second of a four-part series all on the topic of essential oil blending!

  1. How to Blend Essential Oils
  2. The Top Note in Essential Oil Blending (You are here!)
  3. The Middle Note in Essential Oil Blending
  4. The Base Note in Essential Oil Blending

When it comes to essential oil blending, understanding the different notes is crucial. Each note plays a unique role in creating a harmonious and balanced aroma. In the post How to Blend Essential Oils, we discussed what a note is. However, now, we will explore the top note, its characteristics, and how it contributes to the overall scent profile of essential oil blends.

What is a top note?

The top note is the first impression you get when you smell an essential oil blend. It is the most volatile and evaporates quickly, making it the initial scent that hits your nose. Top notes are usually light, fresh, and uplifting, creating a sense of brightness and energy.

Characteristics of a top note

Top notes are often derived from citrus fruits, herbs, and some floral essences. They have a high concentration of molecules that evaporate rapidly, which is why they are the first to be noticed. Some common characteristics of top notes include:

  • Refreshing
  • Invigorating
  • Light
  • Energizing
  • Crisp

Examples of top notes

There are numerous essential oils that fall into the category of top notes. Here are a few popular examples:

The role of a top note in blending

The top note serves as the introduction to an essential oil blend. Its purpose is to create an immediate impact and capture the attention of the senses. By using a top note, you can set the tone for the overall aroma and create a memorable experience.

Additionally, top notes have a stimulating effect on the mind and body. They can help uplift the mood, increase focus, and promote a sense of alertness. This makes them ideal for use in blends designed for energizing, refreshing, or invigorating purposes.

Blending tips for top notes

When blending with top notes, it's important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Balance: While top notes are essential for creating a vibrant blend, it's crucial to balance them with middle and base notes. This ensures a well-rounded and harmonious aroma.
  2. Proportion: Top notes are typically used in higher proportions compared to middle and base notes. Aim for around 30-40% of the total blend.
  3. Evaporation rate: Since top notes evaporate quickly, they may not last as long as other notes. Consider this when creating blends for diffusers or personal care products.


The top note is a vital component in essential oil blending. Its refreshing and uplifting characteristics make it an excellent choice for creating a captivating aroma. By understanding the role of the top note and how it interacts with other notes, you can craft unique and delightful blends that engage the senses and promote well-being.

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