Exploring The Art Of Perfume Making

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Exploring The Art Of Perfume Making


Exploring The Art of Perfume Making

Consumers have fallen back in love with homemade products and in turn, people are increasingly having a go at making their own toiletries - from soaps and lotions to natural remedies. Making your own perfume is becoming a popular craft, with a growing interest in how scents can be created at home. Even celebrities are making their mark in the fragrance industry.

So how do you go about making your own perfume?

Alcohol as an ingredient

As with all homemade toiletries, testing each ingredient on a small patch of skin is advisable to check for allergies. Perfumer's (or perfumiere's) alcohol is a key ingredient for perfume making but can sometimes be difficult to source. If a perfume is created for public sale, perfumer's alcohol must be used, as it is blended with a fixative designed for skin contact.

As long as homemade perfume is just for personal use, the alcohol can be replaced with 100 per cent proof vodka. The blend of alcohol, distilled water and fragrant oils in the blend determines the strength of the fragrance, depending on the ratio. A single drop less or more of essential oil - the key ingredient in perfumery - can change the essence of a perfume.

Perfume oils

The oils used in perfume making are either essential oils or fragrance oils. The difference in price between the two is noticeable, with the former being much steeper. This is because essential oils are more often a natural derivative from plants or flowers - some of which are said to carry natural health benefits. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are a blend of ingredients, usually artificial, diluted with oil. A significant number of plants are needed to make a single bottle of essential oil, creating a higher impact on resources and the environment.

Although essential oils will create a better quality perfume, the lower price range of fragrance oils makes them ideal for first-time perfumery dabblers. Fragrance oils are also an alternative for those who are allergic to essential oils and they also come in scents that aren't available in essential oil form.

The basic trio of perfume ingredients

Finished perfume recipes are a result of trial and error, but the basic principle of blending a perfume, cologne, eau de toilette or eau de cologne is the same each time. A blend of oils is slowly added to alcohol and allowed to rest for a couple of days before distilled water is in turn added. Like a bottle of whiskey, perfumes need time to rest and mature before the scent is ready to use. This process can take up to a month, before the perfume is filtered to remove any residue in the perfume.

Classifying scents

What makes your homemade perfume unique to its maker is the blend of oils chosen to create the scent. The art of perfumery can be as simple or as complex as you like, depending on your experience. Oils are classified according to their note - top, middle and base, but everyone's nose is different so there is some argument as to what belongs where.

The typical top note oils tend to include mint, citrus fruits and bergamot. The top note will usually evaporate quickly and tend to catch your nose when you first apply a perfume. Middle note oils include geranium, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender and rose.

Base note oils tend to be earthier scents such as sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli and frankincense, and provide a longer lasting scent. Bridge notes tend to be scents like vanilla, which help to bring a blend of oils together.




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