Essential oils around our house are just that: essential. From making peppermint drops for upset stomachs to whipping up a batch of lavender-scented soap, the possibilities are endless. Some of the best uses I’ve found for essential oils are replacing all of those artificial home fragrance sprays around our home and using them to make some truly beautiful signature perfumes and colognes. Here’s how to do it.
Natural Room Spray Recipe
- Combine distilled water with your desired amount of essential oil. I use about 10 drops of oil to one cup water, but it depends on the strength of the essential oil. I might use more soft-smelling lavender, for example, but less of a sharp-scented peppermint.
- Pour these into a thoroughly cleaned spray bottle and let it sit for at least a day. The oil will not break down in the water, but the 24-hour period allows the oils to disperse a little more and keeps you from spraying all of your essential oils out at once.
There are a couple important points to remember about creating your own home fragrance spray:
- If possible, use a glass spray bottle. Over time, the plastic bottles will degrade from contact with the essential oil and you might find yourself one day with a pleasantly fragrant puddle where the spray bottle used to be. If you do use plastic, be sure to recycle it after a couple uses.
- Shake the bottle each time before spraying. This allows the essential oils to disperse more evenly.
Essential Oil Perfume and Cologne
Making perfume from essential oil isn’t that much more complicated than making room sprays and the ingredients are just as simple: essential oils, a base oil, pure grain alcohol and a bit of water.
1. Select your scent
Perfumes tend to have a lot of different scents going on at once, some of which are present right when you open the bottle and other more subtle scents that blossom slowly as the stronger ones dissipate. It’s up to you how many scents you’d like to combine, if you want to combine at all.
A good rule of thumb while crafting your scents is to divide your recipe into high notes, middle notes and low notes, and to limit the number or scents in each register so as not to create a perfume that’s too overpowering.
Examples of scent registers include:
High notes: bergamot, lemon, basil, lime, orange, peppermint, sage, tea tree, spearmint, verbena, cinnamon
Middle notes: cardamom, chamomile, pine, rosemary, juniper, lavender, black pepper, nutmeg
Low notes: oakmoss, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli, rose, cedarwood, ginger, clove, jasmine, sassafrass
2. Combine and steep
There are a number of ways you can go with this next step. If you’re looking for a softer scent that will fade to a light ghost of fragrance after a few hours, you can simply combine the essential oils in a small, dark glass jar and dab as needed.
For a longer lasting but still soft scent, you can combine the essential oils with a base oil such as avocado oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Use ½ ounce base oil to 30 drops essential oils, place in a dark glass jar and allow the perfume to steep for up to six weeks. The steeping time allows the scents to mingle and develop, creating a much more complex fragrance.
For the full perfume or cologne experience, which can still be pleasantly soft or as wild and outspoken as you like, mix the following ingredients in a dark glass jar:
- 30 drops essential oils
- 2 Tablespoons base oil (coconut, avocado, palm, sweet almond, etc.)
- 1/3 cup pure grain alcohol
- 2 Tablespoons distilled water
- Muslin or a coffee filter
Mix the base oil and alcohol in the dark glass jar and carefully add your essential oils, adding less at first and then increasing the amount until it smells right to you. Remember, these oils are going to become much stronger as they cure. One way to help with creating a good balance would be to add your top notes first, followed by your middle and then low notes. That way you’ll be able to smell the perfume as it will present on the skin, from first to last.
Allow your perfume or cologne to cure for at least six weeks and up to two months. At the end of the curing period, pour the fragrance through muslin or a coffee filter to remove any impurities and return it to the glass jar, or place it in a perfume bottle for a gift.
Why the dark glass?
You might have noticed that any time you buy an essential oil or an all-natural perfume, the bottles are almost always made of dark amber or blue glass. The reason for this is that essential oils tend to deteriorate over time, losing a lot of their beneficial qualities and scent. At the same time, essential oils can eat away at more forgiving surfaces like plastic and uncoated aluminum. The dark glass not only keeps your oils from damaging their container, but it also prevents sunlight from hastening the deterioration process.
Applying your scent
Depending on the process you used to create your perfume or cologne, you can either keep the finished fragrance in its original curing container or transfer it to a perfume spray bottle or atomizer. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the old fashioned atomizers. They release just the right amount of scent and diffuse it evenly over the skin, as opposed to one specific focal point; plus they make great gifts if you plan far enough ahead of time (or give them one of yours if you forgot, like I tend to do!).
Kristin Hackler writes about home décor, fashion and DIY projects for eBay.com, where you can find perfume bottles (see here) or any other supplies you need to create your own fragrances! Kristin is also a mother, children’s book author and crafter of artisan soaps.
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