Hey, sexy. Yeah, you. The one that smells so good – the one that’s unique and alluring.
Today, we’re going to learn how to make our own solid perfume, and I promise you (PROMISE YOU) that if you choose to do this, no one in the world will smell just like you. Ever again. You’ll have that precious je ne sais quoi that doesn’t just make other people go “yum,” but that keeps your spirits high constantly (because, hello aromatherapy).
Not only do you want to make your own perfume to celebrate your individuality (girl power!), but before you spritz on that mass marketed bottle of Poison (haha! irony!), consider this:
- Synthetic fragrances contain hormone (endocrine) disruptors that can lead to a whole host of medical problems, including hormone imbalance, thyroid issues and cancer
- Synthetic fragrances kick allergic reactions into high gear for many people, leading to headaches, respiratory issues and other disorders
- Millions of people suffer from sensitivities to synthetic fragrance, so that sexy scent you think you’re blessing the world with is actually making life harder for people around you
But we want to smell yummy, right? And we still can. Just not with store-bought perfumes. Instead, we’ll make our own – with all-natural essential oils.
And talk about the most incredible handmade gift to give someone – there’s nothing more personal than scent (except maybe tax returns). Your mom love the smell of nutmeg? Best friend goes gaga over anything lavender? Here. Here is what you do.
Personal Perfumery – It’s All In The EOs
This is so ridiculously easy – seriously hardcore simple. But there’s one little trick to it: Blending essential oils.
Before you start to make your perfume, you’ll need to decide what it’s going to smell like.
Step 1: Deciding on Your Signature Scent
There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t just use a single essential oil when blending your own perfume. It won’t be as complex as the perfumes you’re used to, but it works. And after wearing it for a few days or weeks, it becomes you.
I know a woman – a beautifully warm and vivacious woman – who only wears patchouli as a fragrance. That’s it. But instead of smelling like a hippie-just-showered, she smells like … her. I cannot smell patchouli from a bottle without retching a little (personal preference), but on HER, it’s magical. Warm. Personal. It’s not patchouli – it’s Roxy.
However, you might want to blend a few essential oils to create a more complex and daring scent. And this is where the difficulty – and the magic comes in.
- Go to a natural foods store (like Whole Foods) and spend some time with the essential oils there. Find ONE that calls to you, that gives you that little “lift” as soon as you smell it.
- Buy it if you’d like, but then come home and learn about what the scent blends well with. I like to peruse the essential oil profiles on Mountain Rose Herbs for ideas.
- But then, after you’ve found what the oil blends well with, go to the list here at the middle of the page, and from it pick a top note, middle note, and bottom note that sounds good to you, and then pick up the rest of the necessary supplies.
I like the idea of using three oils together, because it hits all scent receptors and fades away magically over time, but there are no hard and fast rules to scent blending. Even two-scent blends are lovely: Rose-cypress, ylang-ylang-sweet orange, and lavender-clove are all amazing two-scent blends.
I’ll repeat, deciding on your scents will be the hardest part of blending your own perfume. After that, it’s all cake. (Aromaweb has a fantastic five-page tutorial on how to choose and blend scents, starting here.)
How to Create Your Solid Perfume
We’re doing solid perfume only today, because it’s easy, but also because it’s effortlessly portable, the beeswax makes it last a long, long time, and there’s just something so magically vintage about it.
Here’s what you need:
- Carrier oil (like jojoba, sweet almond, olive, or grapeseed)
- Essential oils of your choice
- A container suitable for solid perfume (like an old lip balm container – even if it’s the “stick” variety!)
The rule of thumb is equal parts beeswax and carrier oil. I found that the typical lip balm container used about 2 tsp grated beeswax and 2 tsp carrier oil.
With that in mind, as you blend your scents, use about 40-45 drops of essential oil per 4 tsp solid perfume base.
Step 1: Blend Your Essential Oil
While you can blend as you make the solid perfume (which is how I did it and regretted it on occasion), it might be better to blend ahead of time.
In a very small container, measure out your essential oil blend and make sure you like the way it smells while it’s concentrated (keeping in mind that it will mellow once you add it to the solid base).
So now that you have your blend, here’s what’s next.
Step 2: Melt the beeswax and oil
In a small double boiler (or makeshift double boiler), start the water heating on the bottom pot and drop your measured beeswax into the clean top pot.
When your beeswax is pretty much melted, add in the carrier oil and stir until everything is warm and liquid.
Step 3: Remove From Heat and Quickly Stir In Your Essential Oil(s)
You want to move fast here (which is why it’s a great idea to blend your oils ahead of time), because this sets up and hardens like lightning.
If, for some reason, this hardens before your able to get it into your container, don’t panic. Just put the bowl back on top of your double boiler and let it remelt. (Just don’t leave it over the heat for too long, because you risk losing some essential oils to evaporation.)
Step 4: Pour Into Your Container and Watch It Harden
Carefully pour your homemade perfume mixture into your chosen container:
Within minutes, your perfume will set, and by about 10 minutes, it will be completely hardened, done, and ready for you to enjoy (or give as a gift).
Pretty easy, huh?
A Few Blend Ideas to Get You Started
As you can see, I made a kajillion solid perfumes, and each of them smell different (some of them I like more than others). Here are the ones I particularly liked, but I’ve run out of several essential oils I would have rather used. (Guess what my Christmas presents will be?)
Fresh and Kicky (Vetiver, Ginger, Grapefruit)
- 17 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 14 drops ginger essential oil
- 10 drops vetiver essential oil
Romantically Wistful (Rose, Lime, Vetiver)
- 25 drops rose essential oil
- 10 drops lime essential oil
- 10 drops vetiver essential oil
(I’m on a HUGE vetiver kick right now – it’s so fresh and spicy and sort-of grassy and it makes my face smile really, really big)
Sensuously Deep (Ylang-Ylang, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood)
- 20 drops sweet orange essential oil
- 15 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
- 10 drops cedarwood (or sandalwood) essential oil
I also created a blend with bergamot, palmarosa, and vanilla. And one with jasmine, nutmeg, and something else. I seriously went crazy, and didn’t document everything I blended (shame!), but my favorite might just be the one where I melted down amber resin and mixed it with ylang-ylang. SO MANY PERFUMES, so little time.
The important part: Experiment! Find your own special scent!
And, as always, if you need to know where to buy these things: Mountain Rose Herbs or iHerb (save $5 with code OZE706 there) are great places to start, if you don’t want to buy at your natural foods store.
What Would Be Your Dream Perfume?
Do you already know what scents you’d want to use for a homemade solid perfume?
What are your favorite scents?
I’m curious to see how many of us like the same essential oils as scents we’d wear as perfume; plus, if I’m going to get new EOs for Christmas, I want to know which to choose (just in case I ever do a handmade perfume gift-giving thing here on the blog … I’m thinking about it!)
Oh! Wait. Speaking of which, Maggie set up a Gift Exchange in the Crunchy Community – check it out. Now you REALLY need to tell me your favorite scents here … just in case I draw you for the exchange!