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  1. #1

    Default DIY Perfume Bar - ?

    I've done some online research, but I'm a complete newbie - would love to get your opinion on the best approach for setting up a DIY Perfume Bar for a bridal shower - which looks like a fun activity for guests to customize their own scents and do some on the spot blending...
    (Example: ,

    So - 2 Questions for our BN'rs:

    1) What EO's should I stock this bar with? I'm anticipating ~20 party favors of 5 ml roll-on's/atomizers, so I'm guessing 15 X 4 ml vials of EO's should be plenty. I'll need a proper mix of Top, Middle & Base Notes. I'd want to include the staples that most people like - and avoid the super expensive oils that will leave me broke - I've put a sample list of notes from a commercial perfume kit for reference below if it helps

    2) Should I go with everclear, vodka, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba? Seems like the everclear is most common on this forum - but I'm concerned with any possible lingering alcohol smells? Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    Top Notes
    1. Black Pepper essential oil
    2. Juniper Berry essential oil
    3. Fennel essential oil
    4. Balsam Fir essential oil
    5. Bergamot essential oil
    6. Sweet Orange oil
    7. Lemon oil
    8. Pink Grapefruit oil
    9. Lime oil
    10. Lavender, French essential oil
    11. Lavender, Bulgarian essential oil
    12. Cedarwood essential oil
    13. Nutmeg esential oil
    14. Spearmint essential oil
    15. Ginger essential oil
    16. Clove Bud essential oil
    17. Cardamon essential oil

    Middle Notes
    18. Palmarosa essential oil
    19. Petitgrain essential oil
    20. Litsea essential oil
    21. Neroli essential oil
    22. Clary Sage essential oil
    23. Rosemary essential oil
    24. Basil essential oil
    25. Geranium essential oil
    26. Sweet Marjoram essential oil
    27. Ylang Ylang essential oil
    28. Jasmine grandiflorum absolute
    29. Jasmine sambac absolute
    30. Coffee essential oil

    Base Notes
    31. Oakmoss absolute
    32. Benzoin
    33. Myrrh
    34. Cocoa absolute
    35. Peru Balsam
    36. Vetiver essential oil
    37. Cistus essential oil
    38. Frankincense essential oil
    39. Patchouli essential oil

  2. #2

    Default Re: DIY Perfume Bar - ?

    I'll add more when I have time, but one thing I've noticed is that many people don't like the scent of a considerable number of essential oils. If the people involved are more natural living oriented I wouldn't worry, but if it's a group of more 'normal folk' you might want to go with some fragrance oils instead.

    This has a few upsides: 1) it's cheaper 2) the fragrance oils are generally more liked and 3) the fragrance oils have longevity and projection characteristics close to that of normal perfumes. Natural perfumes behave completely differently and will likely upset or disappoint people who are expecting something with longevity/projection similar to anything you'd find at Macy's

    If you do go with natural oils, I find that a 20% blend of oils into everclear leaves no noticeable alcohol smell, but this is only after the oils have blended together after a week or more of sitting. The alcohol is noticeable at first, and the perfume smells completely differently when initially blended than it will a few days later (and they often keep changing for periods up to a month!).

    I believe fragrance oils will blend together more quickly, as there are less chemicals present in them, hence less chemical reactions. That's another plus to the fragrance oils - the smell they get 15 minutes after blending is likely to be close to the final product.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: DIY Perfume Bar - ?

    You could make some great fragrances with the things on your list, but have you checked the price tag on all of those oils? Things like jasmine absolute and cistus don't come cheap. I agree with SoS that you might want to cut back on the EOs since most people in this society aren't familiar with natural scents and may not like the way they smell. You would probably be better off with a set of synthetic fragrance oils including flower scents (e.g., rose, jasmine, gardenia, carnation, orange blossom, etc.), some "foody" ones (e.g., vanilla, cotton candy, chocolate, caramel, buttercream, etc), some "outdoor" scents (marine, ozone/fresh air, etc), a couple of musk fragrance oils (light and dark), some woods (sandalwood, teak, etc) and whatever else strikes your fancy. The fragrance oils are already diluted, so the carrier is already in the mix.

    By using synthetic fragrance oils, the whole process will be easier, the resulting fragrances will probably smell a lot more like the commercial scents that people are used to, and you won't have spent a fortune on what is essentially a one-time parlor game.

    Sorry if I sound cynical, but this is what I would do if I were in your place.
    Website: Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes

  4. #4

    Default Re: DIY Perfume Bar - ?

    I know this is an old post, but perfume bars are even more popular in 2013. I run a bridal shower blog and regularly get told by maids of honors about pre-made perfume bar kits which are an alternative to buying 29 individual fragrance oils/ EOs.

    The top 5 that I know are (in no particular order): Perfume Wizard:, Sweet Anthem:, Kamilyin:, Scentelier Perfume Bar by Showerella: and Scented Events: (if you live in the UK).

  5. #5
    4160Tuesdays's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Ealing, Queen of the Suburbs
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    Default Re: DIY Perfume Bar - ?

    I ran a perfume bar last week with Liam Moore at the W Hotel London. I made up six accords for the different themes, took six harmonisers and twelve stronger variations to customise them. I spent two months making sure that it was almost impossible to screw up, and Liam and I let guests choose materials, but didn't allow them anywhere near the blending. It was quite a day...
    With that list of raw materials a non-perfumer could make some very expensive sludge. You'd need some safe synthetics in there - as I say all the time, like cupcakes need sodium bicarbonate - or everything will come out unwearable.
    Have fun.
    Perfumer & writer
    " a mordant mistress of illusion" Lemon Wedge

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