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.

Herbs & Superfoods - - Make Your Own Herbal Perfumes -

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.

Al­co­hol-based per­fumes

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.

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