Perfumes add a lovely touch to one's persona by adding to their natural body chemistry. Unfortunately, a lot of commercial perfumes are crafted utilizing synthetic alcohols and fragrances that alter the body's natural scent and throw off the endocrine system. Luckily, it's easy to bring this craft into your home and easily add your own touch.
Perfumery is a beautiful science, as is anything that has to do with distillation. The advent of perfumes is attributed to the ancient Egyptians, as they would create various scented oils and resins and dilute them with alcohol for rituals and daily adornment. The price of high-quality modern-day perfume is a testament to the use of perfumes through the ages, as it was often used for currency and good exchange during prehistoric times.
The original uses of perfume are still in practice today. You can dabble in perfumery without breaking the bank too! Perfumery and aromatherapy are not my expertise, but it's amazing being able to explore plants via our sense of smell. You can really tap into your creative space with this science and even offer some lower chakra healing.
The Science in Perfumery
I'm not going to lie, this DIY recipe will require a little math. This is to ensure the perfume formulation has the correct ratio of solvent to the solution so it remains shelf-stable and microbe-free! If you think back to your primary science classes, you may recall your teacher explaining why water and oil don't mix. When alcohol is added to the equation, it brings the oil and water together, creating a non-polar solution.
If you want to avoid the math in this DIY, you may leave out the water and alcohol. When water is present in ANY at home DIY formula, a stabilizer of some sort must be added to avoid the grown of microorganisms (nobody wants murky water in their formula!). There are several stabilizers one may choose from, but here are four distinct options:
I may do another post about these differences.
Can you guess what kind of stabilizer the alcohol acts as in this recipe? Keep reading to find out!
The kind of alcohol you choose is important; this is why perfumer's alcohol exists! Perfumers alcohol is 200 proof (100%). In order for the solution to combine properly and to prevent funky microorganisms from growing, you'd need at least 80% grade alcohol. This is a happy medium for water-containing formulations with essential oils for proper solubilization (there's the answer!).
As for the essential oils, the chemical constitution of the plant will determine how long it will need to sit in the solution in order for it to be extracted into the solution. Plants that are rich in various acids and tannins are absorbed into the solution rather quickly; whereas resinous plants and those with bigger compounds in the plants' structure need more time.
What You'll Need
A sealable glass bottle (i.e. spray, dropper, etc)
1 part, Organic alcohol base (i.e. potato, sugarcane)
2 parts, Carrier oil (i.e. grapeseed, jojoba)
3 part, Water, distilled
1/12 part, 100% pure essential oil
Reference this excellent post for specific measurements, perfume notes, and procedure!
Mix all of the ingredients together in a ceramic container or directly into your sealable glass bottle of choice. Feel free to mix around with the ratios! I personally like the ratio above as it's a nice medium for both spray and dropper applications. If you're going to apply the perfume in a spray bottle, you may add more alcohol into the solution so the oil doesn't stick to clothing (oil stains are a pain to get out!).
Keep in mind this formulation will change over the course of 2-4 weeks in regard to its scent, as the plant components are getting acquainted with one another.
Already scheming perfume recipes? Share in the comments below!