Perfumery Basics


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One of the most delightful aspects of essential oils is the ability to make your own individual perfume blends. In order to create your own personalized scent, you should play with oil combinations to find what works for you; however, there are some general guidelines that should be followed to come up with generally pleasing scents.

Perfumes are really very simple to make; all you need is a high-proof alcohol (a low-scent vodka or grain alcohol like Everclear work well); some amount of distilled water - how much you use depends on the ‘type’ of perfume, like cologne, eau de parfum, etc.; and essential oils. Start out with a blend of 70-95% alcohol and 5-30% water. To this, add 1-30% of the total in essential oils. You can use a single oil, or make a complex blend. If you use a blend, start with base notes, then add middle notes, then top notes.

Depending on the blend, many oils can be used for different notes (Base/Middle, Middle/Top). Swirl this mixture gently, then set away in a cool, dark place for at least a month, then strain it through a paper coffee filter. Bottle in dark glass to store it.

You can also make a ’solid perfume’, by melting 2 parts Beeswax, then add to it 3 parts Jojoba oil and 1 part of your chosen essential oil blend.

Commercial perfume blends are intricate webs of scents, usually containing ten or more different oils. For example, Chanel NO. 5 contains a blend of Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, Jasmine, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Orris Root, Ylang-Ylang, Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Vanilla. When starting out, however, you should probably only include one or perhaps two of each note-tier, making a total of 3-6 oils.

Chances are good that your first few attempts will not turn out nearly as pleasant as you would like. Don’t let this discourage you! As you experiment with mixing different oils, you will get a feel for what works well together, and what does not. There are many theories and schools of thought on what makes different oils work well together, but I hold to the conviction that it is entirely a personal choice.

Here are a few simple recipes to help give you some ideas:

Citrus Medley

Beach Fresh

Aytar (East Indian blend)

Article from Bella Online

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