The top aromatherapy tools you must have

Feb 15, 2023

You’ve done the training, you’ve bought the books, and you’ve purchased all the oils, and now you're ready to dive into the world of aromatherapy. Have you considered what else you might need? To help guide you in the right direction, we’ve written a list for you of the array of tools and equipment you might need.

Dedicated Workspace

Firstly, we recommend that you have a dedicated workspace for your aromatherapy creations. Having a designated workspace helps you maintain a healthy work/life balance, helps you keep clutter at bay, and will help you to be more focussed and organized. Make sure any children or pets can’t access or interfere with the workspace—we don’t want any accidents to happen!

You will need a bookshelf or two for your aromatherapy books and training materials. Keep them close by, so you can access them as you need when creating. Keep your essential oil monographs, like what you get in one of our programs, nearby as well. It will make it easier for you if you need to reference any information about your oils as you prepare your creations.

Keep an essential oil safety book and the most recent Airmid Institute Biannual List of Threatened, Near Threatened, and CITES-Protected Plants, Mammals, Fungi, and Seaweed Species Used in Aromatherapy, Perfumery, and Aromatic Herbalism handy too.

A covering for your workspace is also a good idea. This will keep it free from dust, and hidden from children and pets who could knock equipment over, or use your books to scribble over. A tidy workspace is important from a safety perspective too.

Essential Oils

Speak with your preferred supplier and make sure you can access the Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) information for each essential oil. Keep a copy on file (either paper or electronic).

Be mindful of your inventory of oils. Keep a list of what you have, the expiry dates, who you purchased them from and any other pertinent information you might need to know.

Carrier Oils

Just like your essential oils, you don’t need all the carrier oils. Work with the ones you can afford, that are more versatile, and the ones that you can access easily. Consider the type of products you are going to make, and in what size.

Carrier oils are more likely to go rancid and become unstable when exposed to heat, so mull over the idea of purchasing a small refrigerator dedicated to your aromatherapy practice. We know that some essential oils last longer when stored in cooler environments, so this can be a worthwhile investment for your business or practice.

When we talk about carriers, in addition to oils, consider all the butters, clays, waxes, and salts you might consider working with. Shea butter, beeswax pellets, cocoa butter, bentonite clay, and Himalayan salt are just a few options you might consider, but again, purchase in small quantities initially to save on costs and wastage.

Bottles, Jars, and More

There are so many options when it comes to bottles, jars, and containers for your aromatherapy creations, from bottle size to colour to lid closure. For example, you will want bottles that are amber, green, or blue. You will typically start with 5 ml, 10 ml, or 30 ml bottles. For spray bottles, if they aren’t glass, they should be PET bottles; otherwise, the essential oils will slowly degrade the non-PET plastic bottle over time. Always bear in mind how the blend is intended to be used, so you may want a bottle with a dripolator instead of a dropper.

Before investing in hundreds of bottles for your creations then deciding they’re not the right ones, purchase some samples. Many companies offer samples or the ability to purchase one-offs to help you make the right choice. Take into consideration the different types of creations you will make—essential oil blends, cremés, balms and butters. Also take into account how your customer or client will access the product.

Mixing Equipment

While we all have extra bowls, jars, and bottles at home, it is important that you don’t use equipment that you use in your everyday life. This is to avoid cross contamination. Invest in good glass equipment. You don't need to spend a fortune, but make sure it is dedicated to your aromatherapy practice. We recommend glass as it doesn’t hold any lingering scent or aroma once you are done. They are also easy to clean afterwards.

We recommend several glass bowls for mixing of different sizes—and most of these can be purchased easily from discount and dollar stores. Glass beakers of various sizes will come in handy too—like bottles, we suggest 10 ml, 30 ml and a 1 litre beaker at a minimum. Graduated cylinders are invaluable when it comes to creating essential oil blends of higher quantity.

Another great tool for blending is glass stirring rods.

Safety Equipment

When it comes to safety, we are not just talking about your customers or clients. We are talking about keeping your workspace safe for you and anyone else in the work environment. So, equipment such as gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) will be necessary.

Keep a small jar or container of coffee beans or a piece of cotton wool to clear the nose between inhaling essential oils when blending. Our noses can become overwhelmed when continually exposed to new smells, so having these tools nearby will help refresh your nose so you can continue to work. Alternatively, when creating with essential oils, take regular breaks away from your workspace and get some fresh air when possible.

We often overlook the cleaning side of our tools and equipment. It is crucial that it is done thoroughly and often. We suggest using 70% isopropyl alcohol for cleaning.

Taking Notes

Some of us will think, “oh, I will remember all the ingredients for that blend”— but trust us, you will forget! It is important that you write down everything you use in your creations and formulas. Make note of every ingredient, how much is used, and who the creation is intended for; the more notes, the better. To this end, composition notebooks or index cards will be important to utilize.

We suggest having a separate notebook for brainstorming or idea creation, as it will make it easier when you need to recreate a recipe or formula again.


Labels can be a nightmare for aromatherapists. You want labels that won’t deteriorate if essential oil or the product is spilled on it. Spillage happens often, so finding a smudge-free label is imperative.

Key Tools

  • Scales—a good scale is essential to blending and product creation. You need to be able to accurately measure and weigh each ingredient. We recommend the CGOLDENWALL Precision Lab Digital Jewelry Scientific Scale, 0.01g accuracy, 110V (5000 g, 0.01 g).
  • Disposable pipettes are a must for measuring small quantities, or when you need to create consistency and therefore reproducibility. While they are not the most sustainable choice, they certainly have an advantage. Glass pipettes are also available as a more sustainable alternative.
  • Tweezers
  • Piping bags and funnels
  • Essential oil bottle opener tool—these are cheap and effective tools to have on hand. They make getting the lid off roller bottles. A quick search on eBay or Amazon for “essential oil opener tool” will yield hundreds of results.
  • Aromatherapy software—there are several software programs on the market that can help with blending, costing, and compliance. We recommend Blend Precisely and LabAroma as possible options.
  • Blotters and perfume testing strips—using strips will give you a more accurate impression of the oils within the bottle. When we smell directly from the bottle, we don’t get a full picture of the aromatic within, so using a strip with one or two drops will help you more accurately assess the oil. These strips can be used for yourself or for your customers and clients when creating blends.
  • Aromatherapy journal subscriptions—the industry has a number of reputable journals you can subscribe to as a way to keep informed and updated on industry issues and training options. We recommend the International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapy (IJPHA) and Aromatika. Aromatherapy associations also have journals you can gain access to once you become a member.

That’s Expensive!

Obtaining all the aforementioned tools and equipment may seem overwhelming at first and can add up to a very expensive shopping trip. Just like your oils, you don’t need all the equipment straight away, it is definitely something you can build upon. Search out bargains in discount stores, or consider teaming up with colleagues to bulk purchase items. Create yourself a checklist of items you need, and slowly work towards purchasing them.

It is easy to get excited and want all the oils, all the books, and all the equipment now, but work on harnessing that enthusiasm to create amazing formulas and blends for your customers.

About Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies

Essence of Thyme College of Holistic Studies offers 300- and 630-hour professional aromatherapy certification programs that help you grow a successful, fulfilling career by specializing and creating your market niche. Professional Level Certification prepares graduates to become aromatherapy consultants, launch product lines or retail businesses, or provide services as an adjunct to existing holistic health specializations. Master Level Certification and electives are ideal for certified aromatherapists seeking higher education or a path to clinical aromatherapy practice.

All Essence of Thyme programs focus on aromatherapy product development and advanced formulation, evidence-based research, spa and business management, international industry regulatory guidelines, and sustainability and conservation of essential oil and carrier oil-bearing plants.

Our comprehensive, evidence-based programs meet or exceed the criteria set forth by 5 international professional aromatherapy associations. Learn more about our aromatherapy certification programs.


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