Most of us have a couple of favorite fragrances that we like to daub on ourselves once in a while, so it’s not surprising that perfume is one of the most popular gifts for any occasion. That said, although there are some spectacular perfumes and colognes out there, it’s incredibly easy (and fun) to make your own scented blends with essential oils, and then blend them with carrier oils and wax to make solid perfumes. Scent can have a remarkable effect on a person’s mood (as can beautiful bits of jewelry), so if you just happen to combine a gorgeous perfume and a beautiful locket, you have a winning gift this holiday season!
What You’ll Need
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet almond, coconut, or jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon beeswax grains or pellets (or, if you’d like to keep this vegan, use carnauba wax)
- 10-25 drops of essential oil (either one scent, or a blend as mentioned below)
- An empty locket or old pocketwatch
- A double boiler (or even just a pyrex measuring cup inside a pot of water)
- Stirring sticks or a small whisk
Pour your oil into the empty part of the double boiler on medium heat, and once it warms up a bit, add the wax pellets. Use your whisk or stirring sticks to swish the oil/wax mixture together gently until the wax melts entirely. Once melted, remove from the heat and add your essential oils to it.
Open the locket that you plan to turn into a perfume case, and either use a small spoon or an eyedropper to fill one side of it with the perfume base you’ve just created. It should start to solidify almost instantly, but will need a good hour or so to harden completely. Once solidified, all the recipient needs to do is run a fingertip over the lozenge and then apply the scent. They may even just choose to wear the locket as a form of aromatherapy, as the scent from the perfume within it should waft up to them over the course of the day, and they can just pop it open from time to time for a more concentrated burst of scent.
When it comes to the essential oil you’ll use to create this perfume, it’s important to take the recipient’s personal tastes into consideration. If they’re bright and lively and enjoy citrus scents, you might like to make a combination of equal parts grapefruit and tangerine for a fresh, invigorating scent. If they’re romantic and love all things vintage and feminine, a blend of rose, cedar, and palmarosa might be lovely. Remember that there are also different “notes” to perfume (base, middle, and top), so you might like to read up a bit on which oils work best for which note. You can also stick to one single note, scenting your oil with just one essential oil. This is one of the easiest methods, and can guarantee that there won’t be any funky mixing going on. If you’re going to stick to a single note, try one of the following:
Below are a few scent combinations that you might like to try. If you feel like going your own route and experiment with the oils, be sure to try a small batch first to see what the end result will be like as not all scents play nicely together, and what may sound great in theory may turn out to be rather hideous instead. Your best bet is to use a woodsy fragrance (like cedar or sandalwood) as the “base” note, with a floral as a “middle” one, and any citrus as a “top” note. If you blend two oils together, add whichever smells lighter as the second note.
Some ideas for scent combos:
- 15 drops rose, 6 drops lemon (or pink grapefruit)
- 16 drops vanilla, 2 drops lavender (this one’s great for kids!)
- 20 drops rose, 8 drops lime, 8 drops vetiver
- 8 drops sandalwood, 2 drops cedar, 10 drops carnation,
- 7 drops jasmine, 4 drops ylang-ylang, 2 drops patchouli, 3 drops vetiver, 3 drops neroli
- 12 drops bergamot, 6 drops palmarosa, 2 drops vanilla
- 14 drops grapefruit, 6 drops cedar
- 10 drops cedar, 10 drops bergamot, 3 drops lavender
- 15 drops sweet orange or mandarin, 5 drops vanilla (another kid-friendly scent)
- 14 drops clary sage, 5 drops ginger, 3 drops black pepper (a great one for men)
- 12 drops sandalwood, 6 drops frankincense, 4 drops neroli (another more “masculine” scent that’s also fab for women who prefer woodsy/spicy scents rather than sweet ones)
- 10 drops sandalwood, 6 drops cedar, 3 drops spruce, 3 drops oakmoss
An avid permaculture gardener, locavore, and novice (but enthusiastic!) canner, Lana Winter-Hébert joins Inhabitat after spending the last decade working as a writer and event guru for non-profit/eco organizations. In addition to her work with this site, she writes features and blog posts for Vegan Cuts, Green Pigeon, and several event planning websites based in London, UK. Currently, Lana divides her time between writing, and doing collaborative projects with Winter-Hébert: the design studio she runs with her husband. Best described as “endearingly eccentric”, she spends any spare moments wrestling with knitting projects, and devouring novels by obscure Czech writers. A Toronto native, she has recently chosen to leave that splendid city in favor of a tranquil lakeside nook in rural Quebec, where she and her Sir co-habitate with two hand-raised sparrows that live in their writing-desk.