South African Garden and Home - - Perfume Balms -

Tah­nia Hook of Pure Indige­nous cre­ates fra­grance blends us­ing South African es­sen­tial oils. “Mak­ing your own per­fume balms al­lows you to se­lect fra­grances that ap­peal to you, plus you ben­e­fit from their heal­ing prop­er­ties.”

She rec­om­mends blend­ing oils that in­clude a top note, a mid­dle note and a bot­tom note.

Top note oils such as helichry­sum (odor­atis­si­mum), clary sage, basil, grape­fruit and ver­bena are light and fresh. They also evap­o­rate more quickly. Most es­sen­tial oils, in­clud­ing rose pelargo­nium, chamomile, rose­mary and laven­der fall into the mid­dle note group, take a lit­tle longer to melt and are warmer and softer. Base notes like cedar, artemisia, gin­ger, vanilla, rose and ylang-ylang last the long­est and slow down the evap­o­ra­tion of the other oils. They change over time and are more com­plex, in­tense and heady.

De­pend­ing on their aroma, es­sen­tial oils can be cat­e­gorised into seven groups: flo­ral (laven­der, rose pelargo­nium, jas­mine); spicy (clove, nut­meg); earthy (ve­tiver, artemisia); herba­ceous (basil, helichry­sum, mar­jo­ram); woody (cedar, pine, and buchu); minty (pep­per­mint, spearmint) and cit­rus (grape­fruit, or­ange).

“Flo­ral oils work well with spicy, cit­rus and woody ones. Woody oils blend with all groups and minty oils work well with cit­rus, woody, herba­ceous and earthy oils. Gen­er­ally it’s bet­ter to mix no more than three oils in one blend; of­ten just two work fine,” says Tah­nia. Some sug­ges­tions are: vanilla, neroli and grape­fruit; rose, lime and ve­tiver; ylang-ylang, or­ange and san­dal­wood.

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