A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: DIY Your Own Semi-Solid Scent (Super Light Perfume)

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18 February 2014

DIY Your Own Semi-Solid Scent (Super Light Perfume)

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The problem with me and perfume is that it is almost ALWAYS too strong. There is too much alchohol, too heavy on the base notes.  It all gives me a headache.  Rarely, I find a perfume that works, but typically I fall back on good old essential oils.  The problem with essential oils is that they can burn skin when applied directly onto the skin, so you need to dilute them somewhat.  The problem with diluting the oils is that you lose that gorgeous scent.  The solution to all those problems is an easy, custom-made scent that is very light.

 A quick primer on perfume and why I am not technically calling this a perfume.

A.  Perfume typically contains alcohol
B.  Perfume typically contain top, middle and base notes
C.  While my scent combinations technically fit the definition of perfume, it is not what you typically think of...

The top notes are small and light, sometimes sharp, and the first things you smell.
These are also called head notes. 
Most essential oils fall into this category including the ones below:

 The base notes are those deep scents that stick around for a loooong time, making perfumes pricey.  The middle notes are in between and called the "heart notes".  These scents are more rounded instead of sharp and provide the swell of scent that remains after the top notes have evaporated. The base notes are those musky scents that I really hate.  I am going to stick with the head and heart notes (top and middle). This perfume is made mainly of top notes, so it won't stick around forever, but it also won't give you a "base note headache".  The middle or heart note of lavender will round out the scent.

I made two scent mixes from two very unique combinations of essential oils.  The first is a citrusy, fresh scent, combining tangerine, grapefruit and rosemary.  If you know me, you know grapefruit is one of my absolute favorite essential oils.  It has a good citrus smell, but isn't as in your face as a typical orange, lemon or lime scent.  Combining it with the tangerine gives a lovely scent!  To keep the scent from being a bath of citrus on your skin, I added the heart note of rosemary.  The rosemary deepens the scent and lasts longer than the citrus notes.

My second combination is more for when I feel a little ill.  
The tea tree oil and spearmint are typical home remedies for illness 
while the heart note of lavender helps round out the sharp scents and add some relaxation to the mix.

How to Mix the Scents:

Once you decide on your essential oils, you will need carrier oils.  To make a solid perfume, you could use beeswax or straight coconut oil.  To make a fully liquid perfume, almond oil is a fabulous carrier oil.  To create a semi-solid perfume, I use a mixture of one part almond oil to two parts melted coconut oil.  The reason I went with a semi-solid is because I wanted to pour my scents into these beautiful little perfume jars, but I needed it to be a little thicker than normal so that no perfume would be wasted when the applicator is pulled out of the jar.

Essential Oils

My favorite top notes include:
Tea Tree

My favorite middle notes:

Carrier Oils
Almond Oil
Coconut Oil (I bought a big jug of mine at Costco for around $13)

Cut Crystal Perfume Bottles

The process:

Simply melt your carrier oils and mix together.  45 seconds in the microwave did it for me -- heat in small amount of time, do not let the oil boil and stay with your oils while heating so they don't explode.  An even safer option is to use a candle warmer (like THIS one) to heat up the oils slowly.

After melting, add 10 drops each to the mix.  You can add more for a stronger scent or less if you are using less of a carrier oil.

Very carefully, decant the oils into your pretty little bottles.  I used a small filter and poured a *tiny* amount in, using two pours to fill the bottle.  A few times a little overflowed, which is why I had a cutting board under this project.  A little oil on your wood cutting boards is actually quite good for it, so if you are using natural essential oils, just rub it in on the board when you are finished and leave it be.

***For your scent to fully blend, allow it so sit for 6 weeks or longer.  
 If you liked this tutorial, then you might enjoy the BOOK!

Make your own coconut oil.
Gather your own sea salt.
Grow your own grapevines for wreaths.
Give gifts naturally grown and crafted from your backyard garden.

Each chapter focuses on a plant or groups of plants and how to grow them in your home garden.  Then, gather up those natural ingredients and get crafting! From lavender wreaths and hypertufa planters to lambsear angels and pickled tomatoes, there are projects for beginners on up!

Crafting with Nature is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a MillionPOWELL's! (!!!!)  Booktopia (Australia!), IndieBoundAlibrisGlose.comThe Book Depository and Walmart.com.  Books are also rolling out to retailers and libraries, so check for them there. 
 If your library does NOT have it yet, this is why you should talk to your librarian!

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Laurie Dickson Tuesday, February 18, 2014  

Hi Amy, I tried to leave you a comment on G+, it said I have to join your community to leave comment... so I'm leaving it here. I've been hearing about Essential Oils for a bit now, thanks for the education. I love those little bottles, adorable!

Amy Renea Tuesday, February 18, 2014  

Hi Laurie!! Thanks for the comment :). I love using essential oils....a teensy tiny bit goes such a long way!

. Tuesday, February 18, 2014  

Now I know why the some perfumes last so long but smell different than they used to be... thanks for the fabulous post..love it <3
I hate strong perfumes too, and I get bored of any kind after awhile..I never thought of making my own perfume, but after reading your post I might do :)

Amy Renea Tuesday, February 18, 2014  

I hope you do!!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam Tuesday, February 18, 2014  

Amy I love this post! I'm just getting started using essential oils and I love them. Can't believe how much I love them! I'd love to try doing this - did you say where you got those darling bottles? Is it somewhere you can order them or are they something vintage you found somewhere?

Amy Renea Wednesday, February 19, 2014  

Hi Jill! There is a link kind of hidden up there in the supply list -- but they are from Consumer Crafts. They are very inexpensive and adorable, but very tiny! Maybe 2" tall? http://www.consumercrafts.com/store/details/catalog/decor-glassware/1071-98

lynn Thursday, February 20, 2014  

Hi Amy, I love this idea of making my own perfume. Thanks for showing me how to make it.
Now, where did you get those cute perfume bottles. I would love to give these as gifts and those perfume bottle would be so pretty.

Amy Renea Friday, February 21, 2014  

Hi Lynn! Thanks for commenting! There is a link in the post and in the comment above yours ;)

Jenny Piirto Friday, February 21, 2014  

Amy, when I had my soap business (before baby #2 changed my life and schedule) my best selling blend was self-titled "Refresh." I used equal parts Lavender and Valencia Orange, with a hint of Spearmint Oil. Best smell in the whole wide world. Also Lavender, Patchouli, and Rosewood. The floral notes cut the headiness of Patchouli so you don't feel like you spent the whole day at a Phish concert. Yuuuuumm.

Amy Renea Saturday, February 22, 2014  

ok, so I am totally scared of Patchouli. I have it in the cupboard, but have not dared actually USE it in anything -- you have inspired me!

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