Make Your Own Christmas Gifts

Neal's Yard Remedies

Neal's Yard Remedies

Writer and expert

I love handmade gifts, taking time to create something personalised shows how much you care for someone. Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to create bespoke gifts, either with an essential oil blend you know your loved one will adore, or by theming the gift to have a benefit, maybe creating a moment of calm or a pick-me-up blend.


Of course, you can use your imagination but books are a great way to gain inspiration, and if you’re new to aromatherapy you can be assured that your gift has been made safely for your loved one. We have plenty of books to inspire creativity, Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Book and Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential Oils have plenty of recipes that you can simply follow or tweak to personalise.

Delving into the world of aromatherapy is exciting, but can be daunting too. A couple of questions I’ve been asked countless times include: How do you know which essential oils blend well together, and how do you blend essential oils safely? So, let’s take a look.

Blending essential oils can be complex, so here are our top tips…

Aromas are split into top, middle and base notes. Top notes are the aroma you smell first, they’re often light and include most citrus essential oils. Middle notes or heart notes form the body of a blend, they’re often herbaceous and floral, whilst base notes are deep, and linger after the top notes have disappeared, they’re often woody, musky and resinous. 

When I’m blending I use essential oils from top, middle and base notes and find this gives me a balanced blend. Also, when you start blending keep it simple, using 3-5 essential oils makes it easier to keep on top of your creation. Keep a tally of how many drops you’ve used so you can tweak or recreate and this means you can keep within safe blending ratios. 

Essential oils and beeswax on a table

How do I blend essential oils safely?

We always blend essential oils into a base, never directly onto the skin, and use a safe ratio of essential oils to the base product.


Our online essential oil safety leaflet contains key dilution details, and more in-depth information can be found in the Neal’s Yard Remedies Essential Oils Book and Little Book of Essential Oils. I recommend checking blending ratios before you get started, and with any new aromatherapy product, we always recommend doing a patch test, to ensure you don’t have a sensitivity. If you do, remove, bathe with cool water for 20 minutes, and discontinue use.


However, my biggest, and most hard learnt tip is simple. Work slowly, adding one essential oil drop at a time, until you gain confidence. Even a single drop can make a huge difference to your blend, and as I very quickly learnt – it’s easy to add drops but you can’t take them out.


Today, I’m creating two aromatherapy inspired gifts to be used solely on the pulse points, because they’re blended at higher dilutions than normal. They’re used on small pulse point areas for aromatherapeutic benefits. However, you can blend at a lower dilution if you have sensitive skin or prefer a subtle aroma.

Pulse points and where to find them

Our pulse points are areas of thinner skin, where the pulse is felt. Applying aromatherapy blends to pulse points is a great way to benefit from the therapeutic properties of the essential oils.


Pulse points are found in many places, including:


  • On the inner wrist
  • The side of the neck
  • The temple
  • Behind the knee
  • On the ankle

Grounding pulse point rollerball gift

The first gift I’m creating is a classic pulse-point rollerball, it’s a deep, grounding aroma for someone who’s got a lot going on and finds it hard to switch off.


My top note is sweet orange, middle note is cardamom, base notes frankincense sandalwood, cedarwood and vetiver.




  • 8ml grapeseed oil
  • Sweet orange – 2 drops
  • Cardamom – 1 drop
  • Sandalwood – 4 drops
  • Frankincense – 3 drops
  • Vetiver – 4 drops
  • Cedarwood – 2 drops


(Use within 3 months of making)

pulse-point rollerball is used for its aromatherapeutic benefits. It’s only used on small pulse point areas because it’s blended at a higher dilution than normal. In this case, 8% or up to a maximum of 16 drops of essential oil in 8ml of base oil. I’m using grapeseed oil because it’s light and scentless.


I blend into a small beaker, decanting into the rollerball when I’m happy with my creation. I initially add one drop of each essential oil, stir, smell, decide which aromas I want to pull through and then add drop by drop, smelling after each drop, until it hits the perfect spot.

Deep and floral solid perfume base

My next gift is a solid perfume for my Mum, she loves exotic floral aromas. My top note is neroli, middle notes are mandarin and ylang ylang, base notes are cedarwood and patchouli. You can find lovely little tubs and tins online, or maybe upcycle something you’ve saved once it’s been sterilised.


My solid perfume is a 30g balm base, I’m adding up to 5% or 30 drops of essential oils, the higher dilution makes this suitable for small pulse-point areas only.

It’s very simple to make; gently melt the beeswax and grapeseed oil in a bain-marie. When it’s completely melted, remove from the heat and add the essential oils. I choose my essential oil blend first, as the balm starts to set within a few minutes. You need to be fairly speedy when adding the essential oils, and the base must be liquid to pour into your container. 

Two women are in a lab blending essential oils

An essential oil-based perfume doesn’t contain fixatives, so the aroma won’t last as long on the skin, or be as strongly scented as a shop-bought perfume. However, you do know exactly what it contains and the secret is to re-apply on pulse-points regularly.




  • 4g beeswax
  • 26ml grapeseed oil
  • Ylang ylang – 9 drops
  • Neroli – 9 drops
  • Mandarin – 4 drops
  • Cedarwood – 4 drops
  • Patchouli – 4 drops


(Use within 3 months of making)

Create Your Own

Making your own gifts can be super simple too, our Create Your Own range is a fabulous family of base products, free of essential oils, making them perfect to create your own.


You can choose from:


  • Create Your Own Hair & Body Wash
  • Create Your Own Body Lotion
  • Create Your Own Massage Oil
  • Create Your Own Bath Oil
  • Create Your Own Ointment

If you’d like a helping hand, you can pop into one of our stores and the team will be happy to help you choose the best essential oils, and together you can create a personalised blend for your loved one, or even for yourself. 

Happy creating, Tipper x