Using Essential Oils as Perfume

Why Start Using Essential Oils as Perfume? Types of Perfumes and Recipes

People are driven by their sense of smell every day. Because there’s a strong connection between scents and memories, commercial perfumes can only relate to a small part of them. Sometimes, those memories are even painful if you think about the cost of a small perfume bottle. Well, using essential oils as perfume can change all that.


Not only do they lift up your spirit, but they’re also natural and non-toxic. Keep on reading to find out the reasons why you should start using them as perfume. You will also get to see the benefits of making your own natural perfume.


The second chapter of the article will be about the types of perfumes and how to use essential oils to make your own. This will be a fun journey where you’ll also learn about the notes of a perfume and their role in it.


The last chapter will be about a few major personality types and their recommended essential oils. You will also get a couple of recipes for inspiration. The part of choosing essential oils and blending them will be an interesting and captivating experience. If you’re willing to give it a try, you will also know where to start from.



Did you know?

  • The Egyptians created one of the first complex temple incenses/perfumes. It was called Kyphi and it contained turpentine resin. But it also contained essences like cardamom, juniper berries, myrrh, mint and cinnamon.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


Why Start Using Essential Oils as Perfume?


Today, almost all the essential oils that are sold on the market are for the perfume industry. They’re highly fragrant and highly adulterated. Only a small percent of essential oils have therapeutic properties.


That’s why you have to be very careful where you buy your essential oils from. Make sure the company’s reputation is a solid one. And always do your research before deciding upon a place to buy from.


Once you’ve found it, you can then stick to their oils. Of course, for the experiment’s sake, you can still buy certain oils from other not-so-reputable companies. You can then compare the oils and make the difference between pure, organic oils and adulterated ones.


Find out more about essential oil grades, why and how are they adulterated, and how to recognize good quality oils.


Essential oils used in the perfume industry are usually distilled with solvents. These solvents can be anything from alcohol (ethanol) and hexane to petroleum ether and acetone. There is also a high risk of finding residues of these solvents in the oils.


This is why aroma therapists or doctors don’t recommend their use in Aromatherapy. However, this solvent distillation method is preferred because it saves time and money.


The role of a commercial perfume is to give a nice fragrance to its wearer and mask other odors. It is not supposed to have therapeutic properties. There is also a certain liberty on the ingredients that are added in a perfume or listed on a label.


In other words, there are lots of chemicals that you put on your skin each day you wear a commercial perfume. Some of those chemicals are downright dangerous.


For example, let’s look at some of the most popular brand perfumes.  Some of them do smell divine, I agree, but they also cost a small fortune. They’re also synthetic, with no real benefit to the body.


If you look on the label of a store-bought perfume you will see they contain almost the same ingredients:


  • Denatured alcohol and hexyl benzoate.
  • Butylphenyl methylpropional,
  • Benzyl salicylate and hexyl cinnamal.


These are just a few of the synthetic solvents that are used to cut the perfume oils with.


They’re all skin irritants that can accumulate in the tissue. Some can even cause contact dermatitis and are banned from their use in perfumes.


Even though they all contain pretty much the same ingredients, they somehow manage to smell very differently. Interesting, right? How is it possible? Well, this is where it gets serious. It is possible because the rest of the “secret” ingredients” are just not listed. And that’s ok, because perfume manufacturers don’t have to list all their ingredients.


Many of the fragrances found in commercial perfumes are part of the eight families of essential oils. If you’re actually using essential oils as perfume, you can go for the strongest ones. They would make a great base that will hold on for days.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


The Benefits of Using an Essential Oils Perfume:


  • It is non-toxic.
  • It can uplift your mood and make you more productive.
  • It can be personalized according to various needs.
  • It is non-invasive.
  • It can promote the well-being of your whole body and mind.
  • It can protect against viral infections.
  • It can help you breathe easier.
  • It can balance the hormones production and improve uterine contractions.
  • It is cheaper.


If you are a fan of essential oils, you will also see my point in this article. Commercial perfumes may smell really well, but they contain too many synthetic ingredients. Honestly now, who wouldn’t want to smell great and at the same time enjoy the health benefits of essential oils?


It may seem a bit more complicated now, but using essential oils as perfume is not that difficult. Let’s see how you can get started.



Did you know?

  • During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the ones who knew the art of making perfumes were the alchemists.



Types of Homemade Perfumes, Notes and How to Get Started


You are unique and because of that, your own perfume will also be unique. Even though there are many synthesized fragrances, our nose can always tell the difference. If you’d have a natural jasmine extract and a synthetic one, you will be able to tell which one is real.


Chemistry can’t really imitate to perfection certain natural scents. That may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for.


Essential oil fragrances speak to our emotions and sense of smell. Compared to synthetic fragrances, essential oils are way above them. That’s why using essential oils as perfume would be like using a therapy perfume.


It’s important to use essential oils in your perfume that you really like and do you good. Relax your senses or keep them alert in blends that you can change and improve at any moment.


The best way to start making your own essential oils perfume is to know about their notes. Essences have three notes: top, middle and base. Essential oils are natural essences with various intensities, so they’re also classified in one of the notes family.


But some of them have more than one note, which is not a bad thing. Lavender essential oil for instance, is middle to top note.


  • Top Notes

They’re important when using essential oils as perfume because they give you the first impression. They are usually fresh and reviving notes. Such notes are given by citrus oils or herbaceous oils. They evaporate fast and only last from a few minutes to one hour.


Example of top note essential oils: Mandarin, Tea Tree, Verbena and Bergamot. But there are also Basil, Lime, Grapefruit, Ravensara and Peppermint.


There is also a relatively new category of top notes. They are called “aquatic notes”. The essential oils in this category are: Blue Cypress and Samphire (or Sea Fennel). But you can also use Blue Lotus absolute and Melon aromatic extract.


If you want the scent of sea and waterfalls in your perfume, the above mentioned oils are it. The aquatic notes are usually used in men’s perfumes, but it’s not a rule.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


  • Middle Notes

They give the perfume its identity and strength. Middle notes start revealing themselves right after the top notes start fading away. They can last anywhere between an hour and four hours. Middle notes are usually balancing and soothing to the mind and body.


Example of middle note essential oils: Rose Geranium, Marjoram, Nutmeg and Thyme. But there are also Juniper, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Black Pepper and Cardamom.



  • Base Notes

When using essential oils as perfume it is mandatory to have base notes. In fact, you need all notes, but base notes help fixate the blend’s aroma. They are not as unstable as the other notes and they take a long time to evaporate.


They are vital to a perfume to ensure it stays on for days. Base notes are usually very heavy oils, in consistency and scent. They can also be very relaxing and calming.


Example of base note essential oils: Cinnamon, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Frankincense. But there are also Vanilla, Rosewood, Rose, Jasmine and Patchouli.


Here’s how to choose the best combination of essential oils for your perfume:


  • Take into consideration what you want the oils to help you with (relax, be more energetic, etc.).
  • Choose the essential oils you like the best.
  • Test them on your skin to see how they develop in time. The fragrance of essential oils depends on natural body scent as well. That’s why the same perfume smells differently on two different people.



The tools and ingredients you need to start creating an essential oils perfume:


a) Pure Aromatherapy essential oils.

b) Non-reactive containers. You’re advised to use glass or ceramic utensils.

c) Pure Aromatherapy carrier oils. They have to have a neutral smell so they don’t change the fragrance of your perfume. Olive oil for instance is not neutral.

d) 90 degrees alcohol or higher. Anything less means the alcohol is not pure anymore (it can be cut with camphor, for instance).



An essential oils perfume needs:

  • Fragrances (essential oils, absolutes, aromatic extracts, concretes, etc.)
  • A base in which to blend all the fragrances. It can be a vegetable oil, alcohol or a balm.
  • Fixatives like Iris root powder or Benzoin absolute. But base note essential oils can also fixate the aromas very well.


There are three types of homemade perfumes. One of them involves the use of alcohol. But you don’t have to use it in your perfume if you can’t tolerate alcohol or you simply want to avoid it.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


The three types of perfume are: 1) Alcohol based perfumes. 2) Solid perfumes. 3) Oily perfumes.


1/ Alcohol based perfumes are very popular.


The alcohol (or ethanol) is used to help the oils blend well and to evaporate fast. By doing so, it leaves only the scent on the skin without being greasy. Be careful though, as too much alcohol decreases the intensity of the perfume.


Thus, if you need a less fragrant perfume, like an eau de toilette for instance, all you need to do is increase the percentage of alcohol in your blend.


Here is the recommended alcohol concentration for the intensity of each type of perfume:


  • Up to 40% aromatic oils and the rest alcohol.
  • Up to 20% aromatic oils and the rest alcohol.
  • Up to 8% aromatic oils and the rest alcohol for the really faint fragrances, like colognes.



2/ Solid perfumes are also popular homemade perfumes.


They are appreciated for being easy to carry in a purse or travel bag. They’re also easy to apply. Solid perfumes are actually a form of oily perfumes. They contain equal parts of solid oils like Coconut or Marula and vegetable butters with soy wax or beeswax.


This is a method where using essential oils as perfume is quite simple. All you need to do is melt the solid ingredients, mix them with your perfume blend and pour it in recipients. The perfume will become solid in a few hours.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume
Artisan perfume bottles


3/ Oily perfumes are usually very sweet and floral.


They contain only ingredients that are soluble in oil, meaning they mix with it. Some concretes, absolutes or resinous extracts don’t mix with base oils. That’s why you’ll have to check their solubility first.


Oily perfumes can be applied with a finger or a small spatula on pulse points. Oily perfumes, like their name suggests it, leave oily traces on the skin. But if you use base oils that don’t stain, you won’t have to worry about staining your clothes.


The best thing you could do to find the right blend for each type of note (top, middle, base) is to use separate glass bottles for each note. You could label them as base, middle and top and add the essential oils you prefer. Mix a drop of each note you’d want in your perfume, each in their corresponding bottles.


Leave them in a dark, dry and cool place for 24 hours to meld well. Give them a shake every now and then. You can then smell each blend and adjust each note according to your preferences.


After that you can blend all notes in your base oil or alcohol to make the final perfume. Say you’ve hit the jackpot and managed to find the perfect mix for each note of your perfume. You’ll then want to make a 30 ml (1 Oz) perfume. The formula for the right balance of notes would be:


  • 50% top notes.
  • 30% middle notes.
  • 20% base notes.


Top notes: 30 ml X 50% = 15 (drops)

Middle notes: 30 ml X 30% = 9 (drops)

Base notes: 30 ml X 20% = 6 (drops)


Those are the drops you need to add into your base of 30 ml. If you would like to start slowly, you could also use the 3:2:1 formula. 3 drops top notes, 2 drops middle notes and 1 drop base note in 5 ml of base oil or alcohol. Don’t forget that the base note is important to add in your perfume to fixate the final scent.


Ideally, you should leave your final perfume meld for a month. All those oils will combine and combine for a long time until they settle. Otherwise, you could end up with a certain scent now and in two weeks you’ll have another from the same perfume.


Using essential oils as perfume is not an exact science. It involves a lot of practicing and experimenting. It also involves writing down all the corrections you make by drops. But it can be a very fun and rewarding activity. It will finally reach its peak when you’ll be getting a lot of compliments on the perfume you’re wearing.



A Few Tips on Getting Started


  1. Make sure you have everything you need: a notebook, labels, scent strips, pipette.
  2. Use only pure Aromatherapy oils.
  3. Use 90 degrees alcohol for the base or to rinse the pipette.
  4. Work with small quantities at first, especially when you’re in search for a masterpiece perfume.
  5. Use scent strips to smell each note daily, until you’re satisfied with the result.
  6. Use aromatic extracts to correct certain blends.



Did you know?

  • The town of Grasse is considered the perfume capital of the world ever since the 17th century. It’s a small town in France, just outside the famous city of Cannes.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


Recommended Essential Oils per Personality Type and Recipes


Each type of essential oil is unique in its own way. It has different properties and benefits and it smells in a certain way. Even though some of them have similar scents, they will differentiate themselves through their notes.


The same goes for types of personalities. Many people form relationships based on common traits and interests. But, at the same time they’re very different individuals who act and behave in different manners. Just like essential oils do.


Let’s see what some of the most common personality types are and what their corresponding essential oils are.


  • Romantics


Dreamy, discrete and sweet, romantic people are also very sensitive and emotional. The perfect perfume for them would enhance their innocence and purity.


Recommended essential oils and absolutes: Rose Otto, Rose Geranium, Neroli and Blue Lotus



  • Friendly and chatty extroverts


These people are very sociable and they make themselves noticed very fast. Their perfume would be a strong one that helps them stand out even more.


Recommended essential oils and absolutes: Cinnamon, Atlas Cedar, Patchouli and Jasmine.



  • Active people


Active people love to move a lot and they love outdoor activities. At the same time they like any kind of mental or physical challenge. Their perfume would be light, tonic and fresh.


Recommended essential oils and absolutes:  Lime, Ginger, Bergamot, Bay and Blue Lotus



  • Natural and logical people


These people can be themselves no matter what. They seem simple and they don’t like clichés. Their perfume would have to reflect their personality by being fresh and natural.


Recommended essential oils and absolutes: Petitgrain, Sandalwood, Verbena, Grapefruit and Violet leaves. Blue Lotus is also good in these blends.


After reading about so many types of perfumes, personality types, and oils, I have a couple of simple recipes that you could try for inspiration.


Using Essential Oils as Perfume


Fruity and Joyous Perfume Blend

You’ll need:

  • Bitter Petitgrain essential oil: 5 drops
  • Grapefruit essential oil: 10 drops
  • Mimosa absolute: 2 drops
  • Thyme essential oil: 3 drops
  • Clove essential oil: 3 drops
  • Vanilla aromatic extract: 2 drops
  • Iris CO2 extract: 2 drops
  • Sweet Almond base oil: 30 ml (1 Oz)


Take into consideration all the tips and suggestions you’ve just read and apply them to this blend. After blending the notes separately, you can try using these essential oils as perfume in 5 ml base oil.


Petitgrain and Grapefruit are top notes. Thyme and Clove are middle notes, and the other absolutes and aromatic essences are base notes.



Men’s “Black” Perfume

You’ll need:

  • 90 degrees alcohol or vodka: 4 tablespoons
  • Sandalwood essential oil: 4 drops (base note)
  • Patchouli essential oil: 2 drops (base note)
  • Clary Sage essential oil: 3 drops (middle note)
  • Black Pepper essential oil: 3 drops (middle note)
  • Peppermint essential oil: 6 drops (top note)
  • Lemon essential oil: 9 drops (top note)
  • Vegetable glycerin: 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • 2 Oz. (60 ml) glass bottle


Feel free to mix the notes as you wish or replace the oils with something you like better, if that’s the case. Take into consideration all the advices and tips I gave you throughout the article to make a great perfume blend.


If commercial perfumes are something you’d like to give up using, then this article has a lot of vital information. The article refers to everyone who’d like to try a natural perfume. Once you’ve settled the matter of notes and which essential oils to use, you can then start making the perfume.


All that’s left is to decide upon what type of perfume you’d prefer. It can be a solid perfume, an oily one or an alcohol-based perfume. The choice is all yours.


Using essential oils as perfume and blending them into one that you can make after your own taste can be a rewarding experience.


Have you ever tried making your own essential oils perfume? Would you do it, now that you know what you know? I’d very much like to know your answer on this topic so don’t be shy 🙂



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