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Blending for Perfume

We’ve all probably experienced the disappointment of blending a perfume or bath blend that smelled delightful, and disappeared as soon as we put it on. The best way I know to insure that scent blends will have staying power is to blend the essential oils the way a musical chord is composed, with high, middle, and low notes that compliment each other.

The depth or weight of a specific essential oil’s aroma is based on the oil’s volatility, how fast it disappears, relative to other oils. A quick way to experiment with this yourself is to take some blotting paper, coffee filters, soft paper towels, some very absorbent paper, and drop two or three drops of different essential oils on each blotter. Try a range of oils, one or two citrus oils, a “wood” oil like cedarwood, rosewood, or, best of all, Patchouli or Vetiver; and something in the middle, perhaps lavender or geranium. Put the blotters away for a few hours, and then smell them. The citrus oils are apt have almost disappeared, while the deeper base notes should be unchanged. Check after 24 hours, 48 hours, etc.

The simplest explanation of the terms “top,” “middle,” and “base” notes is directly how tenaciously its scent lingers. Blending a small amount of a middle note will make a top note last longer. Rounding the blend off with just a single drop or so of a base note anchors it still more. Normally speaking, the lower notes will dominate a blend, if used in equal amounts. For a rough starting note, try blending three drops of your chosen top note, two drops of a middle note, and a single drop of a base note. Take notes!!! I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t created a scent that they loved, but couldn’t reproduce since they didn’t have a record of the proportions.

If you like the 3-2-1 blend you just created (with a total of six drops of essential oils) put a 30-20-10 drop duplication of it away for a few day or a week. Let the scents meld together, and get comfortable. Sometimes they change, in ways you like. Sometimes one note has become too strong and you want to add a few drops of the others, or make a note to add less of that, the next time.

To see some sample top, middle, and base notes for your own experimentation with scent blending, click here. Or, to learn about chypre, click here.

Always blend the essential oils and absolutes without diluting to create the blend that pleases you. Dilution comes later, when your blend is completed. And then, if you need to mix your blend in bulk, you can mix by the teaspoon or tablespoon; or by the milliliter.

For an oil-based perfume, you will want either Jojoba Oil or Fractionated Coconut Oil, both known for long life so that rancidity will not be a problem. If you prefer an alcohol-based blend, seek out Everclear, a high octane pure alcohol that will dissolve your aromatic materials, special perfumers alcohol, or use the highest proof vodka available. For a solid perfume, please select some unscented beeswax to thicken the oil base. Melt together one part Beeswax Beads and three to four parts Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut Oil until the beeswax is totally melted, let cool slightly until the mixture just starts to thicken, then blend in your prepared essential oil blend, pour into small containers, and Voila!...perfume glacé.

Please see our Natural Perfume Blends, Portable Perfumes, and Infused Oils on our Natural Perfumery page. See also our single note Essential Oil Sampler Collections: woods, spices, roses, jasmines, conifers...a range of samplers to round out the perfumery palette.


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