DIY Perfume Two Ways
Lip balm is not my only beauty problem. I also love perfume. I love going through a store sniffing new ones. I love using it. I love when someone walks by wearing a good one, or recognizing one I love on someone else. I love everything about it.
That being said, I'm cheap. Cheap as fuck. And I love natural skincare and scents, so when I learned that perfumes can have all sorts of nasties in them, I wanted to make a change in my life.
So I did.
I like spray perfumes, but they're mostly some form of alcohol diluting the good stuff: essential oils and fragrance oils that can be used in different ways to make stronger, longer-lasting (not to mention healthier) perfume.
Two forms of perfume that you can make at home without alcohol using all-natural ingredients are Dry Oil Perfume and Solid Perfume. Both of these are super-easy to make, cost pennies per batch, and smell amazing.
To make dry oil perfume, we have to get a little science-y for a second. Dry oils are generally defined as oils that absorb into the skin rather than just sitting on top of it, so they leave nothing but a dry feeling behind. Makes sense, right? Popular choices are grapeseed, argan, jojoba, rosehip, evening primrose, and squalane. There are many others, and more information available on this subject, but my favorite is argan, and that's what I will be using for this recipe. Argan smells nutty, but it doesn't affect the scents I put in it, so I like it in this application. Other oils are great, but smell them first to make sure they don't have a strong odor.
We also have to talk about what carrier oil means. It means what it says, it's a carrier for your fragrances, and dilutes essential and fragrance oils until they're safe to use on your skin. (NOTE: NEVER use an EO or FO on skin undiluted. They can cause severe irritation, allergic reactions, and even chemical burns, scarring, and all manner of awful skin issues.) The dry oil you choose is your carrier oil.
DIY Dry Oil Perfume
10ml rollerball bottle
Argan Oil (or other carrier oil)
15-20 drops essential oils OR 5-10 drops fragrance oil
Drip your essential oils into the bottle. Almost top the vial off with carrier oil, leaving a little room in case you need to make adjustments later. Apply rollerball and cap tightly and rock or shake the bottle gently to mix. Place the bottle in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Allow to steep at least a week before testing scent. If you like what you have, congratulations! You nailed it on the first try! If not, adjust by removing the rollerball and adding in a drop or two of the essential or fragrance oil it needs, then resteep. Lather, rinse, repeat until you're happy.
It can take a few batches to get your mojo going. This is science, remember, and science takes experimentation. I've tossed a few batches, and had to divide and start over even more than that. I'm getting the hang of it, and you will, too.
I use a number of different oils to make perfumes. I'll get into that in a moment.
Making solid perfume is much like making lip balm, which we did in my last DIY post. But, a perfume solid must be stiffer. It's not intended to moisturize, but it will do that job anyway, so you'll still want to use an oil you already like. I stick with argan oil for this, as it doesn't have an obtrusive smell in and of itself that overpowers or competes with the smell of the oils. You could use hemp oil, or shea or cocoa butters, but they smell strong on their own and will change the smell of your final product. Deodorized versions of these oils are available but are more processed, so I avoid them.
DIY Perfume Solid
.5 oz beeswax
.5 oz carrier oil
15-25 drops essential oils or 5-15 drops fragrance oils
Bust out your trusty double boiler and melt the beeswax and carrier oil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add EO or FO. Give it a stir and pour it into a 1 oz tin. Pop into the freezer for 20-30 minutes until solid, and it's ready. If the fragrance needs adjustment once it's set and warms back up to room temp, remelt and adjust away. If not, you're ready to go. This is a travel-friendly way to carry fragrance with you. It won't count against your liquids limit on a plane, and can't spill all over your stuff in transit.
RECOMMENDATIONS: I like to keep my perfumes simple. Add too many different notes and it all gets muddled and a lot of times winds up smelling the same as a blue million others once they steep. Two or three notes, tops, is perfect for me. I love citrus oils, vanilla, herbs like sage and vetiver, and woods like cedar and sandalwood. A favorite fragrance oil of mine is Coconut Lemongrass from Bulk Apothecary, and the Jasmine I ordered from there is gorgeous in my Jasmine Green Tea perfume oil. I even have one that is nothing but Green Tea fragrance oil in argan. Learning what scents work for you takes trial and error, but it can be fun!
Go forth and create!
*The statements made within this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The statements made on this website are for educational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider.