Homemade Perfume – Part 2

In part 1 of the homemade perfume series, we discussed ways you can develop a nose for fragrances. (Click here to go to part 1) Today we are going to discuss the classes of fragrances and a little about synthetic fragrances.

For your homemade perfume, choose a fragrance class

Before you begin to make a homemade lotion, a homemade cream, a homemade linen spray or a homemade anything, you need to decide what result you want out of your creation. With homemade perfume it is often the mood it invokes. Do you prefer a heavy sultry scent or a light delicate scent? If you go on walks in the woods and love the scent, a woodsy fragrance might be what you prefer in your perfume. Maybe you enjoy the smell of roses, carnations or other aromatic flowers. Maybe you enjoy all these scents, but at different times. You can design your homemade perfume around any or all of these “notes.” “Notes” here does not refer to the volatility of a specific scent, but to a combined effect of a perfume.

Here is a list of the main scent characteristics found in perfumes:

  • Floral notes – These notes include soft floral, floral and oriental floral.
  • Oriental notes – These notes include soft oriental, oriental and woody oriental. These are heavier fragrances thought of as spicy, exotic and sensual. A good example: Opium
  • Woody notes – These notes include mossy wood and dry wood.
  • Fresh notes – These notes include citrus, green (think of a meadow) and water.

Did you notice a couple of crossovers? They are woody oriental and oriental floral?

When you’re on a quest for the perfect homemade perfume, choose first what you think you might like based on what natural scents please you the most. That’s a good starting place. Once you decide, it’s time to determine what ingredients you will need for your perfume.

Your homemade perfume might include natural essential oils, synthetic formulations that simulate specific fragrances or a combination of both. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Advantages to synthetic fragrances

  • The main advantage to synthetic fragrance is in consistency. You have primarily one chemical and one fragrance.
  • If you need to keep your perfume absolutely consistent, you may want to consider using synthetics.
  • Synthetics may be cheaper for perfume manufacturers primarily because it takes less concentration of a synthetic to achieve the desired fragrance.
  • Unique scents not found in nature can be created.

Disadvantages to synthetic fragrances

  • There are a limited number of suppliers for someone who is making homemade perfume and needs smaller quantities.
  • The fragrance is hard and lacks the many nuances found in natural sources.

Advantages to natural fragrances

  • Natural sources are easily obtained.
  • Natural sources can impart therapeutic benefits.
  • Fragrances from natural sources are warm, rich and soft with undertones not found in synthetics.

Disadvantages to natural fragrances

  • The fragrance may not match the aroma found in nature. This often depends on the extraction method used.
  • Essential oils may vary depending on where the plants from which they are derived are grown. Variations can also occur from growing season to growing season.
  • Some natural fragrances are much more expensive than their synthetic counterparts.

This week there’s a brand new homework assignment. During the week, wherever you go, close your eyes and let your nose send you messages. (I strongly recommend against doing the closing your eyes part if you’re driving.)

There, that’s it for part 2 of homemade perfume. If you are new to perfumery and think it would be totally fun to create homemade perfume, be sure and read all parts of this series. We’ll get you going in the right direction.

Now go relax and have fun.

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