Making Perfume with Essential Oils
A good perfume with a complex scent doesn't have to involve strange chemicals and a credit card charge of over $80. Making perfume with essential oils is a fun and easy task that can be made with just a few simple ingredients (or a wider variety of oils if you'd like). At Earth Speaks, we have just begun experimenting with making perfumes in both roll-on and spray form. The great thing about essential oil perfumes is that they are non-toxic, all natural and thus totally safe to be sprayed around people with allergies or young children. You also get the added benefits of aromatherapy!
Essential oils can be categorized into a few different types of scent. These include floral, earthy, citrus, woody/ spicy, herbal, and more. Sticking to one of these categories to create your main aroma is a good idea, but it works well to also mix in one or two oils from a different family to counter balance the blend. One of our recent perfumes, Firewood, is a mixture of frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, cedarwood and alcohol. It would be considered a blend of earthy and woody aromas.
Then you must consider the order in which you add the oils, which does affect the overall scent. This is because some oils evaporate more quickly than others. There are base notes, middle notes and top notes. Top notes are often the first scent that you experience, that hits you rather quickly. Common top notes are citrus or herbal scents such as lemongrass or peppermint.Those then fade, and you smell the middle notes which are considered the main focal point of the blend. Jasmine and ylang ylang are common, desirable middle notes for a woman's fragrance. After the middle notes come the base notes, which linger long after the others have faded. Base notes are usually strong and dense oils, such as vetiver, which also possess fixative properties, which helps them adhere to and remain on the skin. Thus, the oils are added in this order: base note, middle note, top note.
Alcohol is also a fixative that must be added into the mix to create a perfume spray, after you mix the oils. It helps the perfume stay on longer. Some use spiced rum for their essential oil perfumes, but most people use vodka (which is what we use). If you are using roughly 60 drops of essential oils, then about 3-4 ounces of alcohol will work just fine. Then shake it up to mix the oils with the alcohol!
Letting the perfume mixture sit for a couple of weeks to a month in a dark bottle is preferable, to allow the scent to develop and become rich.