Chemistry of a Blend

Since I write a blog most weeks there are definitely times when I need a bit of inspiration to help me to decide what to write about. This week I was coming up blank, but then inspiration hit, I’d choose 3 oils with my Aromatherapy Insight Cards, then look at the chemistry of a blend or two, and see what could be deduced from that. A bit back to front to the way I usually work but it turned out to be a fun exercise.

The three oils that came up were Lemon, Pine and Ginger. From an aroma intensity perspective Ginger has the highest aroma intensity, followed by Pine and then Lemon. So if we were to blend based on what might be a pretty aroma we would probably use more Lemon and less Ginger. On the other hand if we were going strictly with what the physical properties of this blend might be we might just as well blend the oils in equal proportions.
Last week I showed you what the different chamomiles looked like in Rosemary Caddy’s Colour Wheel, this is what an equal amount of Lemon, Scotch Pine and Ginger would look like from a chemistry point of view.

lime pine ginger equal

Monoterpenes (59%) have antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, decongestant, air antiseptic properties.  They can be aggressive to skin and mucous surfaces and are possible skin irritants.
Sesquiterpenes (20.8%) – Analgesic (slightly, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, balancing, calming properties.  Relaxes cramps.
Remainder (7.2%) – in Rosemary Caddy’s profiles the portion which has unidentified chemicals are allocated to the remainder section.
Alcohols (5.7%) – Antiviral, antiseptic, bactericidal (strong), stimulant, diuretic, immunostimulant, uplifting properties.
Esters (2.8%) – Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, cell regenerating, balancing to nervous system, calming, spasmolytic, sedative properties.
Aliphatic Aldehydes (2.7%) – Anti-bactericidal, antiseptic, anti-infectious, anti-viral, spasmolytic, sedative, antifungal, anti-inflammatory(mild) Calming (Nervous Systen).  Some aldehydes are skin irritants.

So what would you use this blend for?  Do you think that the chemistry supports your use?

What happens if we change the blend – let us say we use 5 parts Lemon, 3 parts Scotch Pine and 1 part Ginger?

lime pine ginger ratio


Here the Monoterpenes have risen to 73.9% – so we would have much more of these properties, while the Ester and Aldehyde content is similar, the Alcoholcontent is a bit less, the Sesquiterpene content is quite a lot less down from 20.8% – 9.2%.

So do you think that this blend would work in the same way as the one with equal amounts of each oil?

If you are interested in Rosemary Caddy’s Books and Colour Wheel CD they can be purchased directly from her at

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