Recipes for essential oils – Perfumes
Although we are a site selling essential oils, it must be kept in mind that the use of synthetic material would be acceptable in certain cases, since some pure floral absolutes, like rose and jasmine cost thousands of dollars per ounce. You can also make up mock fragrances – carnation to be made with equal amounts of black pepper and ylang-ylang with a tad of geranium, for example.
The ideas below are a simple guide for you to get started, but it must be kept in mind that it is easier to add more essential oils to a blend to make the fragrance stronger, than it is to dilute the blend in order to tone the fragrance down.
For this reason it is better to rather add too little of an oil, and to top up later if you are looking for a stronger fragrance.
One cardinal rule you should always follow, is to write down the recipe, as you are mixing it, as it often happens that a person would prepare a wonderful fragrance, only to find that they cannot remember the quantities or the oils used in the mixture.
When mixing your fragrance you should use glass containers, as some plastic containers and instruments do tend to retain fragrance particles. For mixing the blend never use a metal object, but rather use a glass rod.
After you have used your mixing equipment, wash very well with a strong soapy solution, dry, wipe down with alcohol to remove all fragrance traces, wash again, rinse in clean water and dry for next use.
For storing your mixed fragrances buy blue or amber glass bottles, and if they have cork stoppers you would need to seal the cork stopper with paraffin wax to prevent oxidation, and if they are equipped with screw tops make sure that the tops have liners.
Essential oils are either added to alcohol or an oil base when making perfumes at home. The alcohol to use is ethanol, but for the sake of ease vodka can be used. It is best to buy a high quality 100% proof vodka since it has virtually no smell.
The oil base that can be used is jojoba oil – which is really a liquid wax. Jojoba has excellent keeping properties and does not have a very heavy odor of its own.
The percentage of essential oil used in perfumes is high, and to prevent any allergic reaction, remember to do a skin patch test if you have never used a particular oil, and also look at our page on essential oil safety by clicking here.
When blending your perfume or eau de toilette or cologne start with the base (alcohol/vodka or oil base depending on what you are making) and add the oils drop by drop.
The classification of perfume, eau de toilette and eau de cologne is based on the strength of the fragrance it contains and the percentages of essences used.
For a perfume you will use around 15% essential oil, whilst for a lighter eau de toilette you will use about 4 – 8% essential oil and a yet lighter eau de cologne 1 – 5%.
If you want to work out your percentages, you can work on the premise that 1 ml is 20 drops. To work out your percentages convert the total of the oil used as well as the base – be that the alcohol/vodka or jojoba oil – to drops.
If your total drops are, let’s say 58 drops, and your base 240 ml (240 x 20 = 4,800 drops) divide the amount of drops by the amount of drops in the base. Using the above example you will get a result of 0.012 = 1.2% concentrate of oil in the mixture.
Some of the recipes state that you should mix the blend, bottle, cap and leave for x amount of days. This is to give the fragrance time to settle and to achieve a more rounded fragrance.
Eau de cologne – female/male fragrance
16 drops bergamot
15 drops petitgrain
2 drops orange
15 drops lemon
5 drops lavender
5 drops neroli
10 ml orange flower water
230 ml alcohol/vodka
Place the alcohol/vodka base into your glass mixing container, add the oils in the order listed and mix well. Bottle, cap and leave the mixture for 4 days and then add the orange flower water and re-cap. Leave the mixture for at least two weeks, giving the bottle a gentle shake every day.
‘All alive’ perfume
4 drops sweet orange
10 drops lemon
6 drops tangerine
8 drops frankincense
5 drops neroli
1 drop myrrh
10 ml alcohol/vodka or
10 ml jojoba oil for a oil based perfume.
Place the base into your mixing container and add the ingredients in the order listed and mix. Bottle and use. You can reduce the base, but do note your concentration will then exceed 15%.
Sensual perfume for women
5 drops coriander
6 drops bergamot
4 drops neroli
1 drops jasmine blend
3 drops rose blend
10 ml jojoba oil
Place oil base in mixing container, add oils in the order listed and mix. Bottle, cap and leave one week before using.
Sensual eau de cologne for men
10 drops lavender
20 drops coriander
22 drops sandalwood
23 drops cedarwood
5 drops frankincense
100 ml alcohol/vodka
Place the alcohol/vodka mixture into your mixing bowl, add the oils in the order given and mix well.
The above is our humble contribution to fragrance mixing and is really basic. Your personal taste will determine what you like, and it may be a good idea to look at our pages on floral notes and blending for more information when blending your own fragrance.