Married to the Empire

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Craft Week: Creating Your Own Scents

If you're a regular reader, you likely already know that over the summer I made my own perfume. I wrote about it here and here. (For some unknown reason, all the pictures in that first post are blank, so I'll tell you that the book I used for recipes is Home Made Best Made.) I hadn't posted the recipes before because of copyright stuff, but then I realized that I completely changed the recipes. I wanted my own choice of scents, not the ones the book used, so with that in mind, here's what I did.

The basic supplies needed:

For both eau de cologne and eau de toilette (the book calls it toilet water, but I'm now officially making it sound better by calling it by its French name), you'll need vodka, distilled water, the essential oil(s) of your choice, and some sort of glass container(s) to keep the concoction(s) in. Eventually, you'll also need your permanent container, such as a perfume bottle.

Here's the one that only takes 2 weeks from start to finish:

Eau de Toilette

3/4 cup vodka
30 drops of essential oil(s)
3 tablespoons distilled water
food coloring

Pour vodka and essential oil(s) into a sterilized glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Add the water and food coloring. Let stand for 2 weeks, shaking frequently.

When I made this, I created 2 batches. In one I used French lavender essential oil, and in the other I used peppermint. Both wound up smelling quite nice, but neither has any real staying power on the skin. That was fine with me because I actually made these to use as room sprays. They work beautifully in that regard. If you're wanting to make something scented as a Christmas gift, there's time for this recipe. I decanted these into inexpensive plastic atomizers. Nothing fancy here.

And now for the one that takes 6 weeks total:

Eau de Cologne

2/3 cup vodka
130 drops essential oil(s)
3 tablespoons distilled water

1. Pour the vodka and essential oil(s) into a glass bottle. Let stand for 1 week, shaking daily.
2. Add water, shake, and leave 4-6 weeks.
3. Strain through a paper coffee filter into a bowl, the pour into a bottle. Keep in a cool, dark place.

The following photos are of Step 3 above:

For my versions of eau de cologne, I used lily-of-the-valley essential oil exclusively in one bottle, and a mix of lily-of-the-valley and French lavender in the other. I think I did equal amounts of essential oils in the mixed one. These came out very nicely, and they stay on the skin as cologne or perfume should. They're softly scented and do not give me migraines, which was my key reason to try making my own scented products. (Most commercial perfumes either give me headaches or set off a bout of sneezing.)

For bottling, I ordered some tiny glass atomizers from a seller on Amazon. (The colored stuff in the plastic bottles is the eau de toilette, not the the cologne.) The larger bottles with the crystal-topped stoppers were from Tuesday Morning and very inexpensive. Overall, this is a fairly inexpensive project. The cost of the vodka, essential oils, and bottles may seem a lot if all purchased at once, but one bottle of vodka made all of the jars in the second picture. It's a lot of scented stuff! Best of all, you can customize this totally to your own liking.

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