Lavender is a middle note essential oil, istockphoto, used with permission
Lavender is a middle note essential oil, istockphoto, used with permission

Last week, I discussed base note essential oils for aromatherapy and this week I am following that up with middle note essential oils for aromatherapy.  Middle note essential oils are sometimes difficult to categorize because they are neither light or heavy.  Again, the following text is amended from an article which I originally wrote for Suite 101.

Middle note essential oils are usually the “balancing” oils in aromatherapy. Unlike top note essential oils which evaporate rapidly, and base note essential oils which are “heavy”, the fragrance of middle note oils lasts for a few days. The majority of the most popular essential oils for aromatherapy use are middle note oils.

Middle Note Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

Middle note oils are used to treat a vast number of health problems. Some essential oils, such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), are both calming and stimulating, depending on the circumstances. Some of the health problems which middle note essential oils are used for include skincare, to treat pain, stress and infections.

Examples of Middle Note Essential Oils

Middle note essential oils are extracted from flowers, herbs, leaves, seeds and trees. Examples of middle note oils for aromatherapy include:

  • lavender
  • rosemary
  • black pepper
  • chamomile
  • geranium
  • hyssop
  • juniper
  • scotch pine
  • rosewood
  • yarrow.

What You Need to Know About Using Using Middle Note Essential Oils in Aromatherapy

There are several species/genus of some middle note essential oils which you shouldn’t confuse; for example, lavender, lavandin and spike lavender, in addition to French lavender and Spanish lavender. Although lavender plant species have similar therapeutic properties, growing conditions, including altitude and country, can alter some therapeutic properties.

Blend middle note oils in a carrier lotion or base before using them in aromatherapy.  Check individual essential oil profiles for contra-indications for use with regard to specific health conditions, if you are pregnant, elderly or under the age of sixteen.


  • Caddy, Rosemary, 1997, Essential Oils in Colour UK: Amberwood Publishing Ltd
  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils UK: Thorsons
  • Price, Shirley, 2000, Aromatherapy Workbook UK: Thorsons
  • Author’s own experience.

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