I feel a bit overwhelmed. I've experimented over the last 2 years with quite a few fragrances, and recently tried out several Arab/Indian attars. I've been experimenting around with blending my own essential oil blends, and recently I've been purchasing fragrance and concentrated oils. I'm familiar with aromatherapy oils and used them off and on for a while now, several years fooling around with them (just curious about natural scents), and the last year doing aromatherapy- usually I used them somewhat diluted in jojoba and inhaled them under my nose or applied a little under my nose. So I'm familiar with some stuff, but not other stuff involved in perfumery.
However, I'm a bit perplexed by a few issues:
1) Most of the stuff on perfumery on the web and this site talks about alcohol. My interest is in creating oil based perfumes due to cost/simplicity- oil based perfumes like you get at a healthfood/natural food store, or similar to Arab/Indian perfumes. Anybody got any ideas how to do this? I've tried making colognes in the past using vodka and was never really impressed with them, they seemed to evaporate too quickly, blend poorly, etc. Plus, because ethanol and shipping have gone up and ethanol is a hazmat material in large amounts, perfumer's alcohol is a bit cost-prohibitive if I wanted to start a home business mixing perfumes and colognes.
2) Hmm... I've read some disheartening things searching through older posts that seem to suggest blending is rather arcane, involves alot of mixing and understanding layering and bleding the layers. I've made a few creations I actually enjoyed wearing using essential oils in the past and I never got negative comments about them. I've even made perfumes that other people like wearing. So what gives? Is it really rocket science? I think I've got a decent nose and ability to describe scents, familiarity with different smells... what else do I need?
3) OK, back to oil-based perfumes. Should the essential oils be diluted at all before wearing them on the skin? If you have two different oils, an essential oil from a plant, and a fragrance oil- how do you determine how much to dilute them with a carrier oil such as jojoba? What if you've got one ingredient that is already highly dilute. In my case, I have a small amount of oil that is about 20 percent oud, so I could reduce the other oils ratios downwards (fragrance oils ready to wear on the skin)- but does that really work out or will I end up with an overly diluted mess?
4) What's the best carrier oil? Jojoba, fractionated coconut oil, mineral oil from the drugstore? Cyclomethicone? Anything I should be looking out for? Cost is a consideration. What oils or silicones don't blend together well?
Last edited by Magnulus; 27th June 2008 at 10:27 AM.
I'd better say first off that I am no expert perfumer, but I am an aromatherapist and so know the essential rules when it comes to skin and essential oils. There are very few essential oils that can be applied 'neat' to the skin without causing irritation. Since you wouldn't wish to be limited to using only these few oils, dilution is a necessity, whether in carrier oil, alcohol or water + emulsifier.
I would suggest obtaining your perfume blend by using the oils 'neat' in a bottle, then diluting and adjusting the blend after testing it on the skin.
I agree about the alcohol. I've had a blend on the go for a couple of years now, and I just keep adding to it. Started off with sandalwood, lavender, peppermint and basil, later on vetiver, galbanum, grapefruit and more lavender, then jasmine and peru balsam. Still not happy with it and I think that's largely because I'm still getting that "vodka blast" when I open the bottle. It's a very 'interesting' perfume though!