Essential Oils: Top, Middle & Base Notes
If you’re looking to enhance your skin and overall beauty, there is perhaps no better way to do it than by using essential oils. Of course, essential oils serve a lot more purposes than just beautifying because they are also used as alternative medicines. But no matter if you’re using essential oils to make yourself look 10 years younger or cure a common cold, it’s important to understand what oils are used for what purposes.
This being said, let’s take a took at the basics of essential oils, the different notes, and how to use the oils.
Essential oils are concentrated liquids that come from plants, and they have noticeable fragrances. The oils are extracted by either distillation (separating mixtures by boiling them) or the less common method of solvent extraction (separating from one liquid phase to another). Essential oils are usually classified by their notes, which is another word for scent characteristics. In order to enhance the qualities of essential oils, notes are often combined to create useful products.
Now that the boring scientific explanation of essential oils is out of the way, let’s move on to discussing the different notes and their uses!
The name “top note” is somewhat misleading in essential oils because they don’t last long, and they tend to be relatively inexpensive in stores. Of course, this isn’t to say that top notes aren’t important because they are used to combat depression, fatigue, and a lack of focus. When top notes are mixed with both middle and high notes, the top note is what people normally smell first because they act so fast. Of course, it is this fast-acting nature that causes top notes to disappear quickly.
Some of the common top notes that you’ll find include eucalyptus, bergamot, cajuput, cinnamon, basil, petitgrain, corriander, lime, tangerine, tea tree, cedarwood, lemon, verbena, and rosemary.
Middle notes include the largest number of essential oils, and they offer the most benefits in regards to health and beauty. Many middle notes have the ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, cellulite and stretch marks, plus they are useful for healing skin problems like bruises, cuts, and burns. Middle notes have also been known to reduce pain associated with stiff joints and arthritis. In conjunction with other notes, the middle notes are very effective at linking properties between the mental and physical benefits. It’s for this reason why middle notes are combined with both top and base notes.
As far as the fragrance for middle notes goes, they aren’t always smelled immediately because it takes a while for them to act. Some of the common middle notes include juniper, chamomile, geranium, lavender, ylang ylang, cypress, fennel, melissa, ginger, chamomile, cypress, hyssop, jasmine, rose, hyssop, peppermint, marjoram, black pepper, cardamom, fennel ho leaf, lavender, melissa, rosemary, spikenard, yarrow, myrtle, nutmeg, palma rosa and pine.
Base notes draw their name from the fact that they are usually extracted from tree and plant roots buried deep in the ground. Like top notes, base notes have a lot of properties for combating various feelings and emotions such as anxiety, anger, frustration, and nervousness. Some people even believe that base notes have the power to alleviate deep-seeded psychological problems when used long-term.
Out of all the notes, base notes take the longest to start acting; however, their fragrance and qualities also stay around the longest, and their scent is very strong and noticeable too. Some base notes are oak moss, frankincense, ginger, jasmine, myrrh, balsam peru, cedarwood, cinnamon, ylang ylang, clove, patchouli, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver.