If there’s one thing I really miss since adopting a non-toxic lifestyle…
It’s perfume. (OK and if I’m being totally honest, junky “cheese” crackers too.)
Nearly all perfumes on the market today contain a chemical cocktail of synthetic fragrance, most of which act as endocrine distuptors. This means that they interfere with the body’s natural hormones and can lead to a slew of health issues from hormone imbalance like estrogen dominance to increased risk of cancer.
Synthetic fragrances are also known to irritate allergies and cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness — I’m sure we’ve all had the unfortunate opportunity of being in an elevator or car with someone wearing far too much perfume or cologne and can attest to this!
Luckily, we have essential oils to naturally perfume our lives.
Not only are essential oils gloriously fragrant, but they also impart various health and wellness benefits from reducing stress and regulating hormones to fighting bacteria.
For this reason, they’re a staple in every natural medicine cabinet, cleaning supplies cupboard, and beauty bag. What would we do without them!?
The best part: with essential oils you can make a totally customizable scent that’s unique to you!
If you’re a DIY enthusiast like myself, this is JUST. SO. EXCITING!
Sure, you can go ahead and combine those essential oils you know you love.
If you want to get fancy…
… and pretend to be a budding perfumier (italicized to denote that it should be read in your thickest French accent!), you’ll compose your scent of a combination of top, middle, and base notes. You’ll also want to include “fixatives,” which slow the rate at which the other essential oils evaporate, and so make your scent last longer. I had no idea certain essential oils had this characteristic until recently and am so excited to know it! Game changer.
Top notes are the scents we first pick up when smelling a fragrance. They introduce the perfume and are uplifting, refreshing, and light. Middle notes are more full-bodied and complex, and balance the top and bottom notes. Base notes are very dense and strong. Notes in either three groups may also be fixatives.
A well-balanced fragrance blend’s composition will be:
- 10-30% top notes
- 30-60% middle notes
- 15-30% base notes
And it will have no more than 3 of each note to keep things from getting too complicated (though I will say that I have yet to make a combination with more than 5 essential oils total).
Basil, Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Fir, Galbanum, Grapefruit, Juniper, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Pine, Petitgrain, Rosewood, Sage, Tangerine, Verbena
Angelica, Cardamom, Carnation, Cassie, Clary Sage, Chamomile, Coffee, Cypress, Fir Balsam, Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lotus, Melissa, Orange Blossom, Rose, Rosemary, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang
Agarwood, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Labdanum, Myrrh, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver
Agarwood, Angelica, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Cypress, Fir, Frankincense, Myrrh, Oakmoss, Orris Root, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Vanilla, Vetiver
So how do you choose when scents to combine?
Start with a scent you already know you love, then head on over to Mountain Rose Herbs (where I like to buy a lot of my DIY supplies, including essential oils) and search for that essential oil. Scroll down the page to the “Blends Well With” section of the product description.
If you own a few oils that are said to blend well with each other, open the caps and hold them a few inches under your nose to get a whiff of what they smell like together. If you don’t yet own many essential oils, head to a local health food store — they often have open bottles as “samples” that you can smell before purchasing.
My two favorite combinations so far are 1) Lime, Orange, Cypress, and Cedarwood, and 2) Lemon, Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang, and Vetiver. Cedarwood and Vetiver are two of my all-time favorite scents (they’re woodsy yet uplifting), and I like the way the citrus balances them out. The Cypress makes the first blend stronger while the Ylang Ylang makes the second blend lighter and more floral.
DIY All-Natural Perfume:
DIY All-Natural Solid Perfume
- 2 tsp beeswax pastilles
- 4 tsp refined coconut oil (has less scent than unrefined coconut oil)
- 50 drops essential oils of choice (example: 10 top notes, 18 middle notes, 12 bottom notes)
- 1 oz glass jar or metal tin
- Toothpick or butter knife
Drop your essential oils of choice into the jar and set aside. In a double boiler (or makeshift double boiler using a heat-resistant measuring cup or bowl), melt the beeswax. After the wax has melted, add the coconut oil. Pour the mixture into the jar over the essential oils, then give it a little stir with a a toothpick or clean butter knife. Place the jar somewhere where it will sit undisturbed for a at least an hour for it to solidify. And voilà! You have yourself an all-natural homemade perfume.
DIY All-Natural Roll-On Perfume
- 2 teaspoons fractioned coconut oil
- 20 drops essential oil of choice (example: 5 top notes, 9 middle notes, 6 bottom notes)
- 10 mL glass roller bottle*
*I know I used clear bottles here, but cobalt or brown glass is better because they prevent light from degrading the essential oils, which causes them to lose their scent.
Take the top off your dropper bottle. Drop your essential oils of choice into the bottle and top it off with the fractioned coconut oil. Put the top back on the bottle and give it a little shake. Ta da! That’s it!
Do you have a favorite essential oil scent combination?
Please share with us!