THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Here's a great post on the physical effects of some essential oils (from Therapeutic Effect) Check out the detailed list on this site for the do's and don't's of using essential oils!
The reason for these caveats have to do with the therapeutic properties of many essential oils. For instance, peppermint and spearmint are great at improving blood circulation and imparting a feeling of cooling, and both are fantastic in foot related products. Ginger and cinnamon can be great in a muscle relief spray or balm. I love the smell of key lime and vanilla in a sugar scrub or hand lotion, and the citrus essential oils are awesome degreasers.
Check out Jolie Chose's list of essential oil cautions! This is a great link with ideas for specific ailments or conditions, with information on which ones not to eat!
FRAGRANCES AND BLENDING
Snowdrift Farms has a wonderful page on blending essential oils for fragrances, as does Aussie Soap Supplies. We've tried many of the blends from Jolie Chose's website. Some great ideas here!
If you want to use essential oils in your creations, blend the oils in a separate container, check to see if you like the scent, then use the amount you need in the product. When I'm making the oily hair blend below, I mix the essential oils in a glass bottle (usually a 10 ml one with a good cap!), then I'll remove 2% (by weight) to add to my shampoo or conditioner. Although some may suggest it, I never use my essential oils neat on my skin; I always add them to a creation or dilute the essential oils with some kind of carrier oil (jojoba and fractionated coconut oil are great!)
Here are some great blends from Jolie Chose for relaxing, bug spray, and more!
Oily hair blend to add to shampoo or conditioner - equal parts lemon, cedarwood, rosemary, and sage.
Dry hair blend for shampoo or conditioner - equal parts geranium, lavender, and ylang ylang
Dandruff blend for shampoo or conditioner - equal parts cedarwood, patchouli, rosemary, sage, and tea tree
(some people add peppermint to this at small amounts - say 10% of this mixture)
SOME AWESOME SMELLING BLENDS
Key Lime pie
3 parts Key lime essential oil
1 part Vanilla Select (Brambleberry) or Vanilla
3 parts Tangerine essential oil
1 part Vanilla Select or Vanilla