There are thousands of chemicals used in the perfume and fragrance industry. Most chemicals used in today’s perfumes are unlisted, and many of them haven't been tested for toxicity (either alone or in combination). The majority of these chemicals (over 80% are petrochemicals) are irritants to both the skin and lungs, and many are hormone disrupters and carcinogens. Thankfully, with essential oils we can have a perfume that not only smells wonderful but has some pretty amazing benefits as well!
notes, notes, notes
When making your own perfume, keeping a notebook handy helps keep track of what’s going into your blend. It generally takes a few days for a scent to evolve, and a blend might smell fantastic when first blended but can smell completely different in a few days. Jotting everything down is handy in case you want to make changes later on.
Now let’s talk fragrance notes. Notes are the building blocks of any scent and there are 3 types: Base, Middle (heart), and Top (head).
Base notes bring depth to the scent and in combination with the mid note, make up the main scent of the blend. Generally these have a woodsy, musky aroma (think Vetiver, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Patchouli, Frankincense or Vanilla). Base notes evolve over time, so you may not smell them at first.
Middle notes, also known as heart notes, are the main scent. It’s generally a mellow and rounded scent that helps mask the deep base note. Most commonly used are floral scents like Lavender, Rose, Neroli, Geranium, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang or Chamomile.
The top note, also known as the head, is the first note you smell of the blend and generally evaporates quite quickly. These scents are often bold, like Bergamot, Tangerine, Mandarin, Orange, Grapefruit or Ginger.
how to make your own essential oil perfume
Start by adding 1 drop of each of the base notes you have chosen. Smell to see if you need an extra drop or two of a particular one. Repeat this step with the middle note and then the top note (remember to write it down as you go along).
Put the lid on the bottle and roll it between the palms of your hands for 30 seconds (this helps to slightly warm the oils). Smell your blend again and see if you need to add anything (write it down if you do!). Roll between your hands and smell again. Repeat rolling and smelling until you are happy with the scent (then set it aside for 1-3 days, roll and small again). If you are happy with your blend you are ready to mix it up (and if you're not loving it yet then drop, roll, smell, repeat)!
Roller bottles, atomizers, and spray bottles are the most convenient dispensers for perfume. For bigger bottles, you'll multiply your oils (remember the notes you took?) by 5 for a softer blend or by 10 for a bolder scent. For example, if you have 2 drops of Sandalwood, 1 drop of Geranium, and 3 drops of Tangerine: for a soft scent you would multiply each by 5 (so 10/5/15), whereas for a bolder scent you’d multiply by 10 (so 20/10/30).
Top the rest of the bottle with an unscented carrier oil and let your blend rest for a few days before using.
did you know?
Synthetic fragrances are a big concern from an ecological standpoint, as more and more of these chemicals used in fragrances are finding their way into our water systems, polluting not only the water but the marine life as well.
One of the most common known chemicals that is in most products containing “fragrance” or “perfume” is Diethyl Phthalate. This helps to make the scent linger, however it comes with a price. Phthalates, a known carcinogen, also interfere with hormone function, is linked to early puberty in girls and reduced sperm count in men.
Parabens (another hormone disruptor) are are generally used as a preservative, and synthetic Musks not only disrupt hormones, but traces have been found in breast tissue, breast milk, body fat, umbilical cord blood and fresh and marine water samples (!!).
DISCLAIMER: Make sure you are using the safest essential oils available to you. We use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. All information mentioned in this blog post has not been evaluated by Health Canada or the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.