The Art of Roller Bottle Blending

Blending essential oils is definitely an art that takes practice to master, but even beginners can create some great blends. In this article, we will discuss the basics of blending so you have a better idea about where to begin. Our focus today will be on creating blends in roll-on bottles.

Why use roll-on bottles?

Roll-on bottles, often called roller bottles, are useful for the following reasons:

  1. You can use them to create blends customized to your needs.
  2. Your blends can be pre-diluted and ready for use.
  3. They make it easy to apply blends without creating a mess.
  4. They can be conveniently carried on your person or in a bag to use whenever you need them.

What carrier oil should I use to dilute the essential oil in a roll-on bottle?

Some of the most common carrier oils to use for diluting essential oils are Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

What are recommended dilution ratios?

Dilution amounts can vary based on many factors, including the a person’s weight, skin sensitivity, health issues, oils being used, or the length of time they are used. It is important to note that these recommendations are simply guidelines, not absolute rules, and are fairly conservative. It is always better to start out with a greater dilution and increase the essential oil drops as needed.

What oils should I use?

You will want to use oils that are of therapeutic quality and safe to apply topically to the skin. The specific oils that you choose should be based on what you want to accomplish with the roll-on blend. For example, if you want to create a relaxing essential oil blend, you will want to choose essential oils that help relax or promote calmness.

How do I create my own blends?

Because this may seem a little complicated, we’ll break it down into a few different steps.

Step 1: Look Up Essential Oils for Desired Result

First, you will need to figure out what you want the essential oil blend to do. Once you figure that out, look up those properties in Modern Essentials. For example, let’s say you want to create a relaxing blend to help promote sleep. You could look up “Relaxation,” “Calming—Sedative,” and “Sleep” in Modern Essentials™ and come up with these lists of essential oils:


  • Lavender
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Lemon
  • Massage Blend
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Clary Sage

  • Lavender
  • Calming Blend
  • Invigorating Blend
  • Bergamot
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Cedarwood
  • Geranium
  • Vetiver
  • Juniper Berry
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Lemongrass
  • Clary Sage
  • Marjoram

  • Lavender
  • Calming Blend
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Marjoram

Note: The oils in red are the primary recommendations, the oils in orange are the secondary recommendations, and the oils in green are other recommendations. When creating our blend, we may want to choose from the oils in red first, but it is still a good idea to do the next step with the orange and green recommendations too in case we decide to use some of them in order to create a more balanced blend.

Step 2: Figure Out The Essential Oils’ Classifications and Notes

This is the hardest part, especially for beginners. Now that we have our list of essential oils, we need to organize them based on their classifications and notes. “It is important to understand that the order with which the oils are blended is key to maintaining the desired therapeutic properties in a synergistic blend. An alteration in the sequence of adding selected oils to a blend may change the chemical properties, the fragrance, and thus, the desired results” (Modern Essentials™, p. 62). In general, oils that are from the same botanical family usually blend well, and oils with similar constituents also mix well.

Using the Single Essential Oils section of Modern Essentials™, you can look up the oils in the lists above and write down their “Blend Classification” and “Odor” (or note type).

The above list of essential oils can be divided into the following classifications (and should be added to the blend in the order described):

  • 1st—The personifier (1–5% of blend) oils have very sharp, strong, and long-lasting fragrances. They also have dominant properties with strong therapeutic action. (ylang ylang, Roman chamomile, clary sage, orange, rose)
  • 2nd—The enhancer (50–80% of blend) oil should be the predominant oil, as it serves to enhance the properties of the other oils in the blend. Its fragrance is not as sharp as the personifier’s and is usually of shorter duration. (lavender, lemon, bergamot, geranium, cedarwood, marjoram, frankincense, sandalwood, orange, rose, lemongrass)
  • 3rd—The equalizer (10–15% of blend) oils create balance and synergy among the oils contained in the blend. Their fragrance is also not as sharp as the personifier’s and is of a shorter duration. (lavender, bergamot, geranium, cedarwood, marjoram, frankincense, juniper berry, rose, lemongrass)
  • 4th—The modifier (4–8% of blend) oils have a mild and short fragrance. These oils add harmony to the blend. (lavender, ylang ylang, lemon, bergamot, sandalwood, rose)

You will also want to categorize the essential oils according to their note:

  • Top note essential oils are the fastest evaporating oils and the most immediately noticeable scents in a perfume. They diffuse quickly and tend to be light, crisp, and penetrating. (lemon, bergamot, orange, lemongrass)
  • Middle note essential oils, also called heart notes, should make up the main body of the blend. They soften and round out the fragrance to harmonize the mixture. (lavender, ylang ylang, Roman chamomile, geranium, marjoram, juniper berry, clary sage, rose)
  • Base note essential oils are usually not recognized until several minutes after application. Base note fragrances tend to become more pleasant over time and, when used in proper proportions, can give depth to the blend. (ylang ylang, cedarwood, frankincense, vetiver, sandalwood, clary sage, rose)

Step 3: Choose Your Essential Oils and Amounts to Use

It is recommended for beginners to start out with only 3–4 oils including a top note, a middle note, and a base note. As you get more comfortable with blending, you can experiment with adding more essential oils to your blends.

So, for your relaxing blend, you could use lemon for your top note; Roman chamomile and lavender for your middle notes; and cedarwood for your base note. This will also give you a personifier (Roman chamomile), an enhancer (lavender), an equalizer (cedarwood), and a modifier (lemon).

This roll-on recipe uses a 10% dilution, which is 20 drops of essential oil for a 10 ml roll-on bottle. This is a possible formula:

[recipe title=”Relax to Sleep Roll-on Blend” servings=”Yield=10 ml Roll-on” time=”5 minutes active” difficulty=”Easy”]

Ingredients & Supplies:


  1. Add essential oils in order to the roll-on bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle up with carrier oil. Insert the roller ball, and screw on lid.
  2. To use, roll oil on feet, neck, or wrists to help promote relaxation and sleep.


Of course, you don’t have to be really strict with these formulas or ratios since they are just a guideline. Besides, there are many differing opinions on how to blend and the correct ratios to use, and you may not have all the essential oils needed to fill each of the above categories. Your intuition and nose may prove to be most useful in learning how to create your own blends. As you experiment, start out with smaller quantities (such as 10–20 drops total) so you aren’t wasting a lot of oil if you end up not liking the result.

6 Roll-on Blend Recipes

These recipes are all designed to be a 10% dilution ratio in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, so adjust the recipes for lesser or greater dilution as needed. If you are using a 5 ml roll-on bottle, cut the recipes in half or make the recipe in a separate bottle and only put 10 drops in the roll-on bottle.


Add the drops in order to a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle up with a carrier oil. Let sit overnight, if possible, to allow the oils to blend fully.

Note: We included some adjustments to recipes in parentheses. If adjustments aren’t noted for every oil, just include the recommended drops. You can also make the blend in a separate bottle (such as these sample bottles) and then place the number of drops needed to achieve the desired dilution.


Relax to Sleep:
1 drop Roman chamomile
14 drops lavender (6 drops for children)
3 drops cedarwood (2 drops for children)
2 drops lemon (1 drop for children)
5 drops orange
10 drops lemon
3 drops lavender
2 drops ylang ylang
Owie Stick:
1 drop helichrysum
15 drops lavender (7 drops for children)
3 drops melaleuca (1 drop for children)
1 drop frankincense
Digestive Support:
2 drops ginger
4 drops peppermint
5 drops lavender (2 drops for children)
5 drops lemon (1 drop for children)
4 drops fennel (1 drop for children)
Muscle Soother:
2 drops peppermint
4 drops birch
10 drops marjoram
3 drops lemongrass
1 drop lavender
Immune Booster:
1 drop clove
8 drops oregano (4 drops for daily use)
6 drops melaleuca (2 drops for daily use)
2 drops rosemary (1 drop for daily use)
2 drops frankincense (1 drop for daily use)
1 drop lemon

Please comment below and share with us any roll-on recipes that you have tried and enjoyed! We would love to learn from your experiences!

51 thoughts on “The Art of Roller Bottle Blending

  1. removing the rolling bottle lid without damaging it …It’s seems no one struggles with this but me. what’s the trick? Once I’ve remove the cap my rollers fall off and I’m not able to replace them securely .

  2. Hello, I recently made a single bottle that turned out great so I’m going to try to replicate it for Halloween. I use vitamin e oil for my base and I mixed campfire smoke, dirt, fall leaves, candied pears and mahogany. I call it “Witchcraft” I also have an older one made from champagne, black raspberry and vetiver that I like alot. I like using odd scents that could be unisex almost. Like grapefruit, rum, black pepper and pachouli 🙂

  3. Should I be feeling my rollerball to the top or leaving movement and air for the blender to mix together? Should I fill it up a third of the way or all the way to the top?

    • Hi Jeanine,
      It’s not necessary to leave air space at the top of the bottle for the oils to mix. Fill the bottle to the top, leaving enough room to place the rollerball fitment, and leave the bottle overnight for the oils to mix.

  4. Great article. Any suggestions of substitutions for lavender? I broke out in hives and used lavender only to discover I’m allergic to that as well.

  5. Very interesting blog here! Thanks for the recipe blends will definitely do these blends. But can you recommend roller blends for someone with diabetes?

  6. Interested in blends for itchy skin and rashes, skin problems. I have the recipe for a 2 oz spray bottle: 2 ounces witch hazel, 5 drops lavender,and 2 drops frankincense.

    • Hi Kyle,
      You can try mixing 6 drops of each lavender, peppermint, and frankincense in a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the rest with carrier oil. These oils can help relieve headaches, but the blend is a higher concentration so it is not meant to be used on a daily basis. If you would like to use it daily, I would add smaller amounts of the essential oils and more carrier oil.

    • Hi Cherie, I’m not entirely sure the cause of your knee pain as that can change the suggested oils. I would try combining 3 drops eucalyptus, 3 drops peppermint, and 3 drops rosemary with 1 tsp. (5 ml) fractionated coconut oil in a small roll-on bottle. Apply on location, and then apply an ice pack on top. This blend is meant to help with joint soreness. If that’s not the cause of your pain, you may need a different blend. I hope this helps!

  7. How much of a ‘roll’ is equivalent to a drop of EO? I think I am rolling on more than the amount of drops I want. Thank you.

    • I can’t give a specific measurement due to the difference of the length of the “roll”. If you are worried about rolling too much on, I would suggest you dilute the oil further.

    • You can try using a blend of 5 drops of each clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang, and thyme, and fill the remainder of the roll-on bottle with a carrier oil. These oils can help support hormone balance and adrenal function.

  8. Great stuff here 🙂 Im looking for a nice oil combo to put in a 10 ml roll on for my aging face 🙂 67 to be exact 🙂 Thanks and i am thoroughly enjoying reading all of this .

      • you are awesome 🙂 thank you so much!! As i don’t have Sandalwood as of yet 😉 is there something to replace or possibly add more of each of the others?

        • Jill,
          You can either try adding more of myrrh and frankincense, or you can substitute cedarwood or lavender for sandalwood. I’m not sure how this will affect the aroma, but they are both good for your skin.

          • aww 🙂 and thank you once again 🙂 I was JUST talking to a friend about this and she also thought Lavender would be good as well. Thank you so very much!!

  9. I have a couple questions: my bottles differ in size from your suggestions for mixing … For example, I have 8 and 4 oz. bottles and 1/10 oz. (3ml) roller bottles. It appears that when I adjust amounts, some components will be less than one drop. So, is it simply a matter of mix more, then filling the small roller? Since I had no idea of the sensitivity of the oils regarding the order in which they are mixed, will transferring the blend disrupt that critical layering in any way?
    Also, should I treat my “sleep blend” (four oils pre-mixed into one bottle) as one oil in your “recipe” ~ and blend three others with that?
    Thanks so much … I am really a novice, but I’m intrigued and quite convinced this will be a turning point for me, correcting sleep ~ and possibly other ~ issues!!

    • Hi Kathy!
      It may be a little challenging to make these blends with a smaller roll-on bottle due to the inability to measure smaller than a single drop. You can mix a larger quantity of the blend in a 4oz bottle and refill your 3 ml roller bottle as necessary if you plan to use the blend regularly. There isn’t a science to the order in which oils are mixed. As long as the oils are thoroughly combined with the carrier oil, there is no problem with transporting the blend into a different container.
      If you already have a pre-mixed “sleep blend”, you do not need to blend it with other oils, but you can if desired. I would simply start by combining 5 drops of your blend and carrier oil in your 3 ml roller bottle, and apply daily.
      Let us know if you have any more questions!

  10. Hi
    I just found your article and find it to be very good. I to using and blending essential oils and eouod like to try dome if the recipe.

    Do I need to clean the new roller bottle before putting in the oil? And how do i clean it. Thanks a bunch.

    • Hi Zee! Cleaning the bottle after purchasing or between oil blends is always a good idea, but not mandatory. You can use warm soapy water, or rubbing alcohol on a cue-tip to clean them.

  11. What carrier oil do you recommend to use on face if I have oily to combination skin? Ie for using juniper oil or tea tree or grapefruit

  12. Hello
    I am very impress about this article. If it’s possible I have two questions;
    1. I am trying to create an antifungal blend and I followed all your steps, I decided to use Clove as Personifier; Thyme as Enhacer; Melaleuca as Equalizer and Lavender as Modifier… but none of these oils are “TOP NOTE”… It’s doesn’t matter? And we REALLY NEED to include an Personifier, Enhacer, Equalizer and Modifier?

    2. Do you a book or any other article with more roller blending recipes? I am looking about bloating, super memory and focus.

    Thanks!!! Bless you!!!

  13. I have a question about using oils on your feet. I’ve read on a blog about EO safety, that putting EOs on feet isn’t at all effective, since the skin on feet is very thick, the feet have many sweat glands, and sweat glands are more effective at expelling than absorbing.

    • Rhea, I haven’t heard any disputes on the effectiveness of putting essential oils on the feet, but I’m looking into it and asking the experts who research for and write Modern Essentials so I can better answer your questions and concerns. I’m hoping to get back to you soon with some more information!

        • Here’s what the experts say:
          Many factors go in to how much of a substance is absorbed through the skin including age, how permeable the substance is to the skin, the amount of area covered, and the time of exposure. While the foot may be considered one of the slowest areas on the body to absorb certain substances (the palm of the hand and the forearm have been shown to be less absorbing—although some substances absorb faster and some are slower in these areas), another factor to consider is the time of exposure. Many people will tend to place the oil on their feet, then place their foot in a sock and shoe. Covering the oil in this way does not allow it exposure to the air, limiting the ability of the essential oil to evaporate. Most oils placed on the skin in other areas evaporate away fairly quickly due to the volatile nature of essential oils. Limiting evaporation would mean an overall longer exposure time on the skin, allowing more of the substance to be slowly absorbed through the skin, but over a longer period of time.
          There is also the fallacy that “more is better”. There are times when just a tiny amount of a constituent of an oil is all that is needed to absorb to have a certain effect.
          As far as the sweat glands argument goes, I’d just refer you to this study: which seems to paint a different picture.

  14. The Essential oil revolution is exciting but also daunting. Measuring, mixing and storing oils that help body, mind and spirit immensely can indeed hurt us or our loved ones. THANK YOU so much for your guidance and simplification for beginners to aromatherapy. PS. I have your book and it gets used nearly everyday.

    • Been using oils for about 2 years. There is times it has really helped me have yhe book which helps alot learning more everyday with them.Thank you. For whoever decided this is so much better than taking medicine.

  15. Yes, just as Dana wrote…thank you for clear & encouraging article. It has whet my appetite for learning more about essential oils, blending & also discerning what oils resonate the best with each person.

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