Sandra Kynes just elevated the essential oil guide. Yes, half the book consists of the usual list of essential oils, magical definitions and brief folklore. But Kynes subverted the staple formula reference books by adding the details every magical oil mixer has wished someone would add.

These are the details that magical perfumers will love Kynes for adding:

  • Magical associations on for base oils. At long last there is a quick way to determine a base oil according to the overall purpose of the blend.
  • Strength indexes on essential oils. Since most perfumers, especially beginners, can’t always know what they’re getting into until they get the bottle or at least a sample, this index helps in determining what to mix in with oils that require more or less dilution.
  • An easy to use analysis of different fragrance design methods. Kynes especially focuses on plant family groupings linking old-school olfactory aesthetic assignments to botanical plant part groupings. While most manuals leave the beginning perfumer a series of recipes to follow, Kynes only leaves a few – the mixing is up to the reader, providing instead of recipes the different philosophies/approaches to olfactory design.
  • An update on new methods of scent extraction and clarification on non-fragrant products. These are often sold alongside essential oils, such as flower essences, despite having nothing to do with scent at all.

Mixing Essential Oils is a true essential oils focused book. For perfumers that want more information about absolutes, C02 extractions and concretes they may need to look elsewhere – or hope that Kynes produces a second book as a companion to the first.

Kynes writes in a clear style that makes her well-researched work readable – an absolute must for any manual on chemicals of any type.

Highly recommended.

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn Publications, 2013
pp. 313, $19.99