Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Make Perfume

If there is one thing that I hate, it's the pounding headaches and runny eyes that I get from synthetic fragrances. (You can read about their troubling health concerns here) If there is one thing that I love, however, it is perfume. Lucky for me that I can still perfume up without synthetics getting me down!

Perfume, in one way, shape or form (literally) has been around since at least ancient Egypt. The synthetic formulas lining the stores shelves now (for a pretty penny) are a rather new concept in the history of perfumery. To make your own perfume at home, we are going to take a step out of the labs and back into nature.

Here's a little perfumery 101: a good perfume is made up of three notes. The top note is the scent that reaches your nose first from the blend. It is light, airy and will evaporate quickly. All citruses are top notes. Middle notes are soft, full and balancing for the blend. Most florals and peppermint are middle notes. The base note will be the final fragrance to reach your nose from the blend. It is also the scent that will linger the longest. Woods, resins and vanilla are good base notes.

Once you get the hang of making your own perfume, you can experiment with multiple scents under one note. In the beginning, however, it will be best to start off with a single scent in each note. The scents themselves can come from multiple sources: citrus peels, vanilla beans, essential oils, flower petals and fresh or dried herbs.  The recipe below uses just three scents but it is one of my favorites and I wear it everyday.

Mystic Rose Perfume
By: Living Life Granola
1 glass jelly jar with plastic screw top (or place plastic wrap between the jar and metal lid)
1/2 cup organic vodka (at Binny's or Whole Foods)
1/4 cup rose water or distilled water
1/2 tsp glycerin
1 organic orange peel
40 drops rose essential oil or rose otto
1 organic vanilla bean, split length-wise

Place the orange peel and split vanilla bean into the jelly jar. Cover with the vodka- add more vodka if the peel and bean are not completely covered. Add the rose essential oil, cover with the lid and place in a dark cabinet for 6 weeks. Give the jar a little swish every week or so, if you can remember.

Once the six weeks are up, strain the mixture into a clean perfume bottle and add the water and glycerin. Gently shake until the glycerin has dissolved. Wear as you would with your normal perfume. Use within 1 year.

Making your own perfume can be so much fun- not to mention sooo much cheaper and a heck of a lot healthier without the endocrine-disrupting mayhem of the synthetics. If your blend is going to be comprised of mostly essential oils then it will have to sit for at least 2 months and sometimes up to 6 months before the scent has matured. My patience cap is at 6 weeks so I usually try to keep the essential oils to only a portion of my blend.  Whatever your blend, make it fun, make it you... just start making it!

Linked with the Simply Natural Saturday blog series.

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