Many years ago a Frenchman by the name of Piesse compared the fragrances of essential oils to musical notes on a scale. The top note oils he said would have a sharp, fresh, light quality and have a very fast evaporation rate. These oils will be high in aldehydes and esters and are generally found in oils from flowers, leaves and fruits. Some examples of oils that have top note quality include clary sage, coriander, lemongrass, mandarin, myrtle, orange, petitgrain and thyme.
The middle note oils can sometimes be referred to as enhancers or equalizers or balancers. They are typically warm, soft and mellow. Chemically they are high in monoterpene alcohols and are found mostly in leaves and herbs. Some examples of oils that have middle note quality include aniseed, chamomile, marjoram and rosewood.
The base note oils are rich, heavy and pleasant in odor. They will have deep effects on the mental and emotional bodies of the field. These fragrances tend to linger and body heat will release their power to last for several hours. They are high in sesquiterpenes and are found mostly in woods and gums. Some examples of oils that have base note quality include benzoin, frankincense, ginger, neroli, sandalwood, tarragon, vetiver, and ylang ylang.
Some oils have more than one note and may be found in several categories. It is helpful to remember that most essential oils have a variety of compounds including terpenes and oxygenated compounds like aldehydes, esters, phenols, oxides, etc.
Want to know more about essential oils and how they can help us stay healthy? Consider becoming a certified clinical aromatherapist. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy teaches classes throughout the United States on aromatherapy and energy healing.
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These oils include Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Spikenard and Balsam Fir. While you are at our web site, check out our aromatherapy program and our program in Christian energy healing.
From Linda L. Smith, director of the Institute of Spiritual Ministry and Aromatherapy, Inc.