Although often taken for granted, smell is such an important and dynamic sense that influences how we take in the world, and also what we project or broadcast out to others. After all, fragrance is liquid emotion, an invisible body language that can lift our days, enrich our nights and create the milestones of our memories, naturally. It can also be very therapeutic to find and create your own personal scent to wear and share with the world. Unfortunately synthetic perfumes purchased at the shops are not only expensive but do not contain any of the raw ingredients that produce scents to change and uplift your psyche.
And this is where the fun comes in, because it really makes so much sense (excuse the pun) to create your own fragrance at home. This way you’ll be getting the real deal at half the cost. And if mixing your own perfume sounds pretty exotic, you’ll be pleased to know that it is indeed exotic but also very easy!
The first thing you need to do is to decide on your notes.
Base notes remain on your skin the longest and will become stronger as the other notes fade. Some suggested base notes include cinnamon, patchouli or vanilla essential oils.
Middle notes become evident after the top scent has faded: usually half an hour after applying the perfume. Some good middle notes are nutmeg, geranium and ylang-ylang essential oils.
A Top Note is the first, most evident scent when you first apply the perfume. Citrus and floral scents make good top notes.
A Bridge note is a scent that will tie the others together. Some popular bridge oils are vanilla and lavender essential oils.
Gather your ingredients
Once you’ve decided which fragrances you’re going to play with, you need these ingredients:
- Alcohol (Pure Vodka is best, but you can use Brandy)
- Bottled or spring water
- Glass Jar
- Glass bottle to experiment with your perfume notes
- Glass bottle for your perfume (it is best if it is dark in colour)
- Four to six different essential oils that you have chosen as your “notes”
- Glass dropper (non-essential but useful)
- Coffee filter
- Cotton Swab/Bud
- Notepad and pen
You’re now ready to follow the process:
1. Open the oils that you have chosen. You may be able to get a preview of your scent blend merely by having the bottles open at the same time.
2. One at a time, dip the tip of a clean cotton swab into the essential oils. Squeeze any excess oil from the swab on the lip of the bottle.
3. Place the swab in the glass jar.
4. Repeat for each of the scents you want to add to the blend.
5. Make sure to write down each oil you include in the blend.
6. Walk away from the jar and wait a few minutes.
7. Come back to the jar and gently sniff the air above the jar. This will be the scent blend in its early stage of development. Take notes on your thoughts about it. Is one oil overpowering the others? Do two of them seem too similar to tell apart?
8. Make any corrections to the blend you may need in your notes.
9. Now that you are happy with your mix, dispense several drops of your base note into a glass bottle. Add the other notes a few drops at a time, sniffing after each addition until you reach a balance that you like. Use at least 25 drops total among all the oils.
10. Add 70 ml of pure alcohol and 2 tablespoons of distilled water and shake the mixture vigorously for several minutes to mix the ingredients.
11.Put the lid on the bottle and leave it in a cool, dark place. After a few hours, open the bottle and smell the blend again. The scent should have mixed further and “matured” a bit. Take further notes on your thoughts about the blend.
12. Make any corrections if necessary to your blend, then put the lid back on the bottle and leave it again in a cool, dark place. After about 48 hours, open the jar and smell it again. The scent blend should be fully mixed and “matured” by now. Take further notes about the blend.
13. Make final corrections to your blend. Perhaps try two parts of oil A and one part of oil B. Or add some oil D to your blend of A, B, and C. Try the blend again until you find the perfect combination.
14. Pour the mixture through a coffee filter into your perfume bottle and enjoy sharing your personal fragrance selection with the world.
If you need some help on what types of perfumes best suit your personality, you can take the colour rosette testto see if your personality type is best suited to floral; oriental; citrus; fruity or fresh fragrances.
Robyn Astl is the co-founder and owner of Faithful to Nature, South Africa’s oldest and finest online organic and natural shopping website offering a large range of earth, animal and people friendly products.