- Arts and Design
Smell wonderful & be natural too ?
Did you know that the mainstream perfume that you can buy is almost always made up of man-made chemicals ?
That is not how REAL perfume started out being made and things are slowly coming full circle.
There is a grassroots movement that is taking us back to natural perfumery.
Yes, I make all natural perfumed oils, bath salt teas, soaps, and body balms... and sell some at my Hubbard, Ohio gift shop and online : http://organicgiftsbydiana.ecrater.com/
BUT, I want to give you a few pointers on how to make a wonderful all natural perfumed oils for yourself that you can use as is or in other products too like me - if you choose.
If you're local or passing through Hubbard, Ohio, stop in for a visit at my little store:
Diana's Gift Shop
6177 Youngstown-Hubbard Road
Wednesdays and Sundays from noon to 5pm
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm
You can make your own all natural perfume
Start by being an organic gardener and grow what you love and would love to have a perfume out of - like roses, lavender...
* I love lily-of-the-valley and have tons of it growing at my house/shop - BUT will not make it into a perfume or put it into any of my products because it is poisonous.
So, please be careful to research the plants/oils... BEFORE you proceed.
Harvest the flowers/herbs/roots... of the botanicals that you wish to use and then clean/de-stem it all.
Now, you can either make a tincture out of each botanical (or whatever other ingredient) or you can make infusions.
I choose to not use alcohol which is just my preference - so I make oil infusions.
To make an infusion, you can pour your choice of oil into the top of a double-boiler or into a crockpot or just into a bottle that will be in the sun for its heat.
Next, add your choice of cleaned and dried ingredient to be infused into the oil.
The amount isn't set in stone, but make sure there is enough oil to cover the material completely.
Heat on very low heat for a few minutes. Allow to rest, heat again, rest and repeat for several weeks at least.
Be VERY careful to only used cleaned and dried ingredients or else you might introduce mold or other nasties into your infusion and do not overheat or scorch your infusion. This is a SLOW and deliberate process, but well worth the effort when you get a whiff of the end result.
After a couple of days or a week (more or less depending upon the ingredient being infused) of this - you will need to recharge the infusion. This means to strain out the old ingredients and put in new and then keep infusing/straining/recharging until you get an infusion that is strong enough to be pleasing to you.
This often takes several months.
I have several infusions going at all times and then I can mix and match what I put together for a perfumed oil or lightly perfumed body balm.
When I get a blend that I like, I then add a little unprocessed pure beeswax to the oils to thicken up my perfume and turn it into a solid perfume (lightly perfumed body balm).
You can of course leave it as an oil and use it that way too if you like.
all natural perfume - - pictured is my Sandalwood & Vanilla Luxury All Natural Perfume
* These are MY words and hard work and you do NOT have permission to use them.
Should you decide to make your own products, come up with your OWN descriptions... .
Here is a general description of my All Natural perfumes and then a description of the one in the photo - my Sandalwood & Vanilla Perfume as seen on my online store and elsewhere :
Luxury Solid Perfumes
Soft ~ Subtle ~ Unique ~ Intimate
(Only for you and whomever you wish to experience it with you.)
My perfumes do not assault the nose nor do they enter the room before you do.
Instead, my creations are soft, warm and they become one with the wearer.
Each of my perfumes will "bloom" a little differently on each person and soon becomes your signature scent.
I also make Natural coordinating soaps & bath teas so that you may layer the scent, wrapping yourself in it & giving it a greater staying power - A set makes a great gift and would be wonderful in a gift basket.
How to wear my Perfume:
Any one of my perfumes would love to reside upon your pulse points (wrists, neck, back of the knee...).
My blends would also make a delicate hair perfume by taking up a small amount (size of a baby pea for average length of hair and a little less than a dime sized ball amount for very long hair), rubbing it between your hands and then smoothing the ends (the last few inches) of your hair with it.
This is an oil based formula so do not use where you do not want additional oil on you hair.
The scent lasts for several hours on the hair (longer than on the skin) and is a wonderful way to wear my perfumes.
* See this specific perfume's description below to learn more about this particular blend - this is the perfume in the photo :
Sandalwood & Vanilla
Luxury Solid Perfume
~ a most extraordinary blend that evokes warmth and comfort.
This handblended perfume just might make you want to growl like Cat Woman.
I infused organic vanilla beans and sandalwood chips into safflower oil for months to get this full, sweet, wonderful blend.
When the scent was just right, I added unprocessed beeswax to it to turn it into a most delicious solid perfume.
To read more about me, what I do, and my other Natural products, please see my other pages.
Natural Perfume is Wonderful...
...but the scent doesn't last forever !
* I so enjoy making and wearing my all natural perfumes, but if you get some of mine or make your own - remember that they will not last very long either on your skin or in the container because there are no manmade chemicals in them to prolong the scent in them for years.
You will need to use them up within 6 months or so depending upon the perfume and the botanicals... that are in it.
A little background about why I choose to make and use natural skin care products
Several years ago, my family got the terrible news of my brother’s death from either a form of Marfan's Syndrome or Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome.
I do not seem to have the deadly form of this genetic connective tissue disorder.
I do however have another form that viciously affects my skin, muscles, tendons... so I wanted to find all-natural organic products for me and my family to use to ease our skin issues and that would not pollute us or the earth.
It is vital that we are more careful about not only what we put IN our bodies (organic food and pure water…), but also about what are putting ON our bodies too.
So I started to make my own all natural soaps, bath teas, sachets, eye masks, neck pillows, lip balms, soothing skin balms-salves, and most recently - Luxury solid lightly Perfumed skin cream.
I had a few perfumed creams in the works (my latest products) and almost completed when my Mom got the diagnosis that her cancer came back with a vengeance - after 11 years.
She loves to look nice and smell good so I am creating lightly scented perfumed creams and other products for her to use.
These are ideal for cancer patients like her as most cannot handle strong perfumes.
She doesn't like flower scents as they give her a headache and can affect her breathing due to allergies and the cancer - so I am working on a more fruity-earthy perfumed cream blend for her.
I have dried some of my own organically grown peaches and I will use them to become the anchor scent in my Mom's signature scent.
It will still be a few weeks before it is ready for her to try.
*UPDATE - 2009 = I have finished it, gotten Mom's approval. It is called Especially for Mom – Blossoms & Fruit Luxury solid Perfumed skin cream
*Update = We lost Mom on March, 25, 2013
Organic beauty products ?
It's not all in the name...
There are Organic certifications that a maker can get for his/her products, BUT smaller sized All-natural businesses like mine simply cannot afford to get these “Organic” certifications.
I can say that I am an Organic gardener (I even give organic gardening tips) and that I use my homegrown herbs and flowers in my handmade products, BUT I am not able to call my products “Organic” because I am not rich nor can my smaller home-based business afford to pay for such a thing.
Sometimes the organic certification isn’t all it is cracked up to be anyhow as some folks make so-called “Organic” perfumes using absolutes or other forms of a flower that were obtained with hexane. This is a more natural perfume than a purely synthetic perfume, and the hexane is reportedly “washed off”, but I am taking no chances with my family’s health OR yours.
These substances are considered a lesser evil than fake fragrances and are marketed as almost “Organic” in some circles, but not mine.
I have heard of a few suppliers who are working on chemical free absolutes and concretes, but I am not convinced – yet.
For my lightly perfumed items, I use my homegrown flowers and herbs… (I do have to order organic vanilla beans… that I cannot grow myself).
I then infuse these – SLOWLY over several weeks or most likely months – into all natural oils to extract the scents and make my perfumed creams by adding unprocessed beeswax to the newly made scented oil.
I just bottled a blend of wild plum/magnolia/peach blossom infused oil (pictured at the top of this page).
This little bottle holds a little over one cup. I started this blend at the end of April and I just finished it on 9-1-08. This took 4 months – so you see why my perfumed body creams are indeed a Luxury item.
Still though, I charge less for my lightly perfumed items than many others out there and I do not use absolutes or concretes… .
I coax the scents – the very essence itself out of my flowers/fruits/spices/herbs… slowly and patiently to get a pure infused oil with no chemicals used and no additives either except a little essential oils or vitamin E.
I will use some of this and some of at least one other of my infused oils in a special blend for my Mom.
Doesn’t it look so pretty ?
And the fact that it is all-natural and lovingly handmade by me will make it even more special.
I had a question about my perfumed creams...
12-10-09 - so, I explained what I do and why - Here's my answer to her:
Thank you taking the time to contact me about my all natural lightly perfumed products.
I infuse my own flowers/herbs… into oils to obtain most of my scents. I do use real essential oils sometimes too.
I formulated a perfumed cream for my Mom who also cannot be around flowery and strong scents.
In that one, I infused my own peaches and plums and apple/peach/plum/magnolia blossoms and other things too and she loves it.
I should be making some more next year. I harvested and dried the fruits and blossoms that I grew this year and I have them slowly infusing in the oil now. The oils should be ready soon.
As for a “splash” perfume, I do not make strong “perfumes” or work with alcohol – I choose to work with oils only.
I make solid, lightly perfumed creams that are rubbed into the skin and on the ends of the hair.
As for lasting scent, an all natural scent will not last very long – maybe an hour or so on the skin and a few hours on the hair.
It is the chemicals in store-bought perfumes that make the scent last – it is also the chemicals that do damage to the lungs of some people. When I am around that stuff, my eyes water and my throat gets itchy and I lose my voice… .
Spring - a wonderful time of the year !
Flowers and trees will be blooming...
Ahhhhhhhhh, Spring !
Soon my lilacs and other flowers and trees will be blooming...
(Update May 16 - 2009 - I harvested many lilacs and a basket of apple blossoms this year so far)
(Update June 14, 2009 - I have been harvesting my pink roses to use in my Frankincense and Pink Roses perfume, soap and bath salt tea - my other roses will be harvested soon too)
Soon other flowers will appear and that means that soon I can harvest some of the blossoms and use them to replenish my supply of infused oils.
My oils are precious indeed as I can only make so much every year.
I have such a short window of time when I can harvest all of the flowers in my organic gardens and yard to dry and save for making my all natural lightly perfumed creams and soaps… .
My Lilac products are very popular, but I don’t get to make a big supply because it takes Sooooooooooooo long to pick the lilac flowers and they do not bloom for very long. They must be picked at the perfect peak of bloom to get the best scent from them.
I then carefully dry them and then infuse them into oil to extract the scent.
It takes about a bushel basket of blossoms (picked by hand off of the stems to be sure the basket contains ONLY the blossoms) to make about 1 cup of infused oil.
If I had to pay for the labor to have someone else to do just the picking of the lilac blossoms at minimum wage, it would cost a few hundred dollars.
Not to mention what the drying and infusing labor cost might be.
It is a GOOD thing that I love what I do because it is not cost effective that’s for sure – LOL
I do have plans to grow more herbs and flowers so I can expand my business.
Lavender lightly perfumed balm
I had so many people ask me to make an "Old-Fashioned Lavender" light perfumed cream that I made one.
It is chemical-free lavender flowers freshly dried and then slowly infused into oil to pull out the scent into the oil.
I then added a tiny bit of lavender Essential oil to round it off and to strengthen it.
Then I added a little pure beeswax to thicken it and add a hint of an extra something to the scent.
It is getting Ohhhhhhh's and Ahhhhhhhh's from almost everyone.
I even have folks putting it on right before they go to bed because they like the very light and soft soothing scent to fall asleep to.
My youngest loves to put a little on her forehead and wrists and says it really helps her to relax and sleep better too.
* I make no claims about any of my products, but during the April 16th 2009 TODAY show, Dr. Nancy Snyderman was discussing ways to take care of yourself in these stressful times and she mentioned using Aromatherapy - in particular using lavender - for stress.
She, my youngest, had a busy two days a few years ago.
She was chosen to sing to represent her school at a huge concert which was March 13th.
Then on March 14th, she was a first place winner from her grade in an essay contest. She had to read it aloud and was given a trophy and a few prizes too - as did the other winners.
The photos of the winners will be in the Sharon Herald.
For both of these events, she got very nervous so she applied a little of my lavender perfumed cream on her wrist for her to sniff. After a few minutes, she was fine.
Tell me about your efforts or any other comments about making or wearing all natural perfumes and the process and/or just the joys of Natural perfumery.