How to Make Your Own Perfume with Essential Oils
Why does this matter? Aside from being good ol’ DIY fun, going fragrance free is the absolute easiest way to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have found that more than 75% of products listing the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates, which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts, and cause reproductive malformation. Phthalates have also been linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Additionally, studies by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, link fetal exposure with autism, ADHD, and neurological disorders.
Is this even legal? So glad you asked. It absolutely is. The Fair Packaging & Labeling Act (FPLA) of 1967 does require all companies to list ingredients but it cannot force them to disclose “trade secrets”. As fragrance is considered proprietary information, companies have no legal requirement to disclose what is hidden behind the word “fragrance”. This dubious distinction allows a company to use the term “parfum” or “fragrance” as a placeholder for any combination of ingredients used in its formulation.
(Check out Five Easy Ways to Detox Your Home in the New Year for more easy tips.)
Here is a quick & easy primer for creating your own, all-natural essential oil “pure-fume” blends:
All perfumes are made up of top notes, middle notes and base notes:
Top notes (20-40% of blend): First impression of a perfume, evaporate the quickest.
Middle notes (40-80%): The heart of the perfume, appearing after the top notes evaporate (warm and balancing).
Base notes (10-25%): Appear after the others evaporate (grounding, deep, and rich).
For example: For a 5ml. rollerball, you would want to use between 10 – 30 drops of pure essential oil, depending on your desired intensity of the scent. So, if you decided to use 20 drops of essential oil, and were deciding on your top note, you’d use 4-8 drops of your desired top note essential oil.
To create your own “pure-fume” simply follow the above-mentioned guide based on your own personal preferences. Once you have created your blend, top with a carrier oil of your choice. (My favorite is fractionated coconut oil.)
Here is a list of some very popular categories and notes of oils for you to consider:
Citrus Top Notes: Orange, Lemon, Jade Lemon, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Lime, Tangerine, Bergamot
Florals (Florals blend well with spicy, citrus & woodsy oils.)
Floral Top Notes: Lavender
Floral Middle Notes: Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Geranium
Mint (Minty oils blend well with citrus, woodsy, herby & earthy oils.)
Mint Top Notes: Spearmint, Peppermint, Wintergreen
Herby (Herby blends well with minty, citrus, woodsy & earthy oils.)
Herby Top Notes: Basil
Herby Middle Notes: Thyme, Rosemary, Fennel
Earthy (Earthy oils blend well with floral, woodsy & citrus oils.)
Earth Base Notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Frankincense, Copaiba
Spicy (Spicy oils blend well with florals & citrus oils.)
Spicy Top Notes: Coriander, Cinnamon
Spicy Middle Notes: Clove, Cardamom, Black Pepper, Nutmeg
Spicy Base Notes: Ginger
Keep in mind this is only a guideline. Have fun. Play with different scents and combinations until you find the perfect scent that is just right for you.
(All photos courtesy of Beth Baugher, True Love Photos. | Inspiration & rollerballs courtesy of Whimsy + Wellness.)
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