Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A recipe for solid perfume

Here is my dilemma. I love perfume. However, sometimes it brings me out in a rash (I once had a very dramatic reaction to Gucci Envy when I was a young thing) and this forces me to think about what might be in it that possibly isn't very healthy or indeed very eco friendly. Indeed, I imagine it's one of those things that the more you look into how it's produced the more horrified you are. There was this article in the Guardian recently, for example. Anyway for these and various reasons I have been experimenting recently with making my own. First I tried adding a couple of drops of essential oil to Sweet Almond Oil, and I thought this worked ok (I will be doing this again, perhaps with alcohol.) Then a lovely person on Self Sufficientish suggested I could try making solid perfume out of equal parts oil and beeswax. So this is what I tried yesterday, because I love the idea of solid perfume, but the ones I have tried have all been a bit too solid, if you see what I mean, and I end up scraping at then with my thumbnail. This was the result:

And I have been dabbing it on ever since. I rather like it. I will tell you how I made it so that you can make some too (if you want to, obviously, don't feel pressured. We're all busy. I understand.)

I bought these pots from Boots for £2:

However they were a complete waste of money. What I didn't realise was that they all screw on to each other, you can't separate them. So I shall struggle on with them for a bit and then I will look for some proper ones on ebay, or go and find some small pots that I can repurpose. I had some sweet almond oil already (you can buy this from Holland and Barrett), and I bought some olive wax (this is a beeswax equivalent) from Fresholi while I was buying some soapmaking supplies. I hadn't bought from Fresholi before, but I will definitely use them again – the delivery was so quick it actually took me by surprise, and I opened the door to the postman while wearing my furry booties. I think postpeople are trained not to look at you askance, but it was clearly an effort for him.

Anyway. As I was making only one tiny pot, I used one scant teaspoon of olive wax pellets, and I tried to melt them in the microwave. Reader, I tried and I failed. I don't know if this was because my pot was a stupid shape and didn't touch the bottom properly, or what, but I began to feel I would be standing there all day jabbing at the buttons on the microwave with tumbleweed blowing through our kitchen, so I sat the pot in some boiling water and melted them like that, stirring with a skewer. When they were melted (I did this a bit rubbish, you can see it looks a bit lumpy in the picture!) I added 1 scant teaspoon of sweet almond oil, and stirred till they were mixed well. Then I added essential oils. This was what I added as far as I can remember (give or take a drop or two, as I am a bit cackhanded this week.)

(Remember (this is my caveat) - I don't entirely know what I am doing with essential oils, I am still learning – they can be harmful to pregnant women/ people with various conditions – if this is likely to be you, please check!)

4 drops Sweet Orange essential oil,
4 drops Neroli essential oil,
2 drops Ginger essential oil,
2 drops Cedarwood essential oil,
2 drops Ylang Ylang esential oil.

Then I stirred thoroughly again, and left to set.

The oils have blended in well, and I think the amount per wax/ oil is about right (although the perfume is quite soft, so I might play about with the wax/ oil ratio.) This smells to me incredibly like Lush's Karma, but on balance I probably prefer this one. The ginger is quite a dominant note – definitely add it slowly and see how you feel after each addition. This is a lovely combination for people who like that kind of spicy fragrance. I don't, particularly, but I do quite like this, and I will wear it for a bit longer and see how it matures. The essential oil combination would probably work well in soap as well. (I'm going to be making another batch of soap soon. Woot! But I think I'm going to try patchouli and ylang ylang. Or perhaps lavender and mint. Anyway, we will see. Jo Malone probably doesn't have to be too anxious just yet.)

In other news:

I've signed up to Wardrobe Refashion. I've pledged for 4 months, to start 1st July. I'll post more details when I've started (and I'll try to think of some interesting projects to do!),

++ I just wanted to post a couple of interesting things I've read recently. Janel made a dress from her Spiral Skirt pattern – I love this, and I see one in perhaps some light corduroy for winter (over a long sleeved top and boots.) I love her spiral skirts, too, I must have a go (perhaps one for Wardrobe Refashion?)

Down to Earth did an interesting blog entry about how we've been frightened away from making our own stuff, and how this makes it easier to sell us things. This is so true – I won't bore you now (but I will definitely bore you some time) with my thoughts about all the bad things that come from separation from process of production. But let's seize the process of production back! (Or some of it, at least. I know I'm starting small.) :-)


West/CJ said...

That's just fantastic- thanks for sharing. I've been dying to make my own, but I never thought of beeswax.

On another note, I really like your furry boots. I think they're cute.

Susie said...

Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

The most prominent oil in Lush's Karma is Patchouli. Which you do not seem to have added. I have used it for years and love it, so do a lot of people from the comments I have received over the years 😊

S Bee said...

LOVE this combination of EO's. It does smell like Karma, but I like yours better! Thanks for sharing!