Perfume has a long history that began with the Egyptians who utilized scents in everything from religious ceremonies and burial preparations to daily wear. They created scents by mixing essential oils together and adding them to ointments and balms.

Perfume is defined as “a fragrant liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices.”

However, the perfume industry rarely uses just essential oils when creating their fragrances. According to The Environmental Working Group (EWG) “while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals.” The term “fragrance” allows perfume makers to withhold ingredients to protect trade secrets, allowing for harmful ingredients to remain undisclosed.  

One way to ensure your perfumes are made from the cleanest and purest ingredients is to make your own. A DIY essential oil perfume will have exactly the ingredients you choose. In addition, by using high quality organic essential oils, you will benefit from the properties and benefits associated with each oil.

Traditionally, perfume is made by layering scents according to how volatile the oils are or how easily they evaporate. 

Top notes are the first scents you smell in a perfume because they evaporate quickly, sometimes within 5-10 minutes.  Some popular top notes are Citrus oils (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit), as well as Peppermint and Eucalyptus.

Middle or heart notes form the main body of a perfume and may last up to 2 hours. These commonly include Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Lavender, Rose, and Ginger.

Base notes are fixatives, meaning they hold and blend the other ingredients and stay on the skin the longest. They will start to appear within a couple hours and can sometimes last for up to a day. Some classic base notes are Sandalwood, Frankincense, and Cedarwood.

One oil bares special mention and that is Ylang Ylang which is considered by some to be a middle note and to others a base note.  But no doubt a popular ingredient in many famous perfumes, used by Hermes, Guerlain, and Chanel.

Here are a couple easy blends for you to try at home:

Paris Perfume
15 drops ylang ylang
9 drops lavender
6 drops cedarwood

Fresh Breeze Fragrance
15 drops grapefruit
9 drops lemongrass
6 drops frankincense

Spiced Scent
10 drops ginger
10 drops frankincense
10 drops lavender

Don’t be afraid to experiment and make each fragrance your own. There is no steadfast rule regarding percentages of each note or how many ingredients to include. Try using our Citrus Glow blend instead of Grapefruit. Citrus Glow is primarily a top note but also contains a base note – Vanilla.

Once you have created your bespoke scent, you will need to safely dilute so you can apply to your skin. Use 10ml of a carrier oil, witch hazel or vodka for a 10% dilution. Alcohol is frequently used for dilution in perfumes because it increases the sillage or the amount of time the perfume lingers in the air so that it can be detected from farther away.

Remember, make it personal! Use your favorite essential oils and have some fun with it!

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