Make your own PERFUME
Put on your perfumist’s hat, pick a handful of herbs and give homemade scents a go. Once you've made your first natural perfume you'll never look back.
Before there were commercial perfumes, our ancestors used herbs and spices to make scented oils and incense. Herbs are packed with amazing scents and can be used to deliver different aromas: floral (rose geranium, lavender, violet); herbaceous (anise hyssop, basil, bay, chamomile, clary sage, peppermint, rosemary, tarragon, thyme); spicy (cinnamon, clove, coriander, ginger); woody (patchouli); and citrus (bergamot, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass, lemon myrtle). Those scents can be easily extracted with alcohol or oil, then blended with other ingredients to create beautiful perfumes. The art of perfume-making can be achieved with minimal hassle, and your own signature scent created. Don't be afraid to experiment with different herbs to suit your own taste. It will be up to you, the creative perfumist, to decide what to use.
History suggests that the first alcohol-based perfumes were created in the 14th century. Of these ‘modern’ perfumes, Hungary Water, made at the request of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, is one of the most well known, made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution. It was based on a recipe of oil of rosemary, mint, lemon peel and orange blossom distilled in brandy, but later formulations included lavender, marjoram and sage.
Today, serious hobbyists use ethanol or perfumer's alcohol (available via online shops that sell essential oils and soap-making supplies), but for the newcomer to perfume making, vodka is adequate (use the highestproof vodka you can find). Because it's a neutral spirit, it won't change the fragrant composition. However, because of the water content in vodka the scent won't be as long lasting – vodka’s makeup is (something like) 40 per cent ethanol and 60 per cent water, whereas perfumer's alcohol is around 95 per cent ethanol and the rest water and whatever else they've added to denature it.
Carrier oil-based perfumes
Many hobbyists prefer to use oil as a base for their creations. Scented oil can be dabbed onto the wrists or behind the earlobes to impart their fragrance. A light oil, such as jojoba or sweet almond oil, is typically used, the former being the most desired but the latter being less expensive. Oil-based perfumes are best stored in perfume vials or small glass bottles. They are generally not suitable for atomisers.