Scents-able Applications

64 Arts

Have you ever made your own perfume? Do you know how simple it is, really, to create your own signature scents?

If you did last week’s scent exploration exercise then you’re totally prepared for this week’s project, just grab your scents notes and your car keys (or your computer mouse if you prefer to shop online) and gather a few simple ingredients.

What you’ll need:

Carrier oil–sweet almond it very common and very popular, you can also use pharmacy grade olive oil, as well as others on the market
Essential oils or Fragrance oils
Decorative bottle

What’s the difference between essential and fragrance oils?

Some would say cost, others would say quality, still others say availability–it all comes down to personal preference. Essential oils are distilled from the scent-giving item in question (rose petals, sandalwood, oranges, etc.) and are the concentrated essence of that fragrance. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are created chemically to mimic natural scents.

The upside is that fragrance oils are generally cheaper and more widely available since they don’t have to worry about scarcity of the original item (which is why sandalwood essential oil, for instance, can be harder to find and more expensive than it’s chemical counterpart). Essential oils, however, lend a connection to nature and a purity that you may find more desirable. And since so little is used in each application, a small bottle can go a long way, making the cost less prohibitive over time.

Regardless, neither fragrance oils nor essential oils should be applied directly to the skin! Not only could these concentrated scents cause skin irritation, in the case of essential oils certain ones can cause very bad things to happen–seriously, do your homework if you’re going to really get into them!

To make your perfume of choice, add the essential or fragrance oils (a few drops at a time) to your carrier oil and place in a pretty glass bottle.

Added to small, stoppered vials, these would make lovely gifts for a group of new moms on Mothers’ Day, wedding gifts to your attendants or a sweet anytime gift to your girls night out pals. (Of course you could also make some personalized cologne for the men in your life, too.)

You can also buy refillable atomizers and spritz to your hearts content rather than dab on your chosen perfume.

Thinking Beyond the Bottle

  • Citrus essential oils make great additions to homemade lotions and toners.
  • Citrus, again, works great in homemade household cleaners (depending on your ingredients, of course–it might take quite a bit to overcome the scent of a vinegar-based cleaner).
  • A few drops of scented oils on a handkerchief or scrap of fabric and tucked into a drawer make a wonderful sachet. (Care should be taken that the oil itself doesn’t come in contact with your clothing–it could leave an oily residue.)
  • Use some of the leftover oils to make your own reed diffuser.
  • Scent your own soaps or candles with the combination of your choice.

Question of the Day:

What other ways do you use perfumes, essential oils or fragrance oils around the house?

Keep It Simple and Scents-able

64 Arts

Wearing perfume is a balancing act between making a statement and making a stench.

One girls ideal scent may make another sneeze, and the scent that smells fabulous spritzed in the air or on a test strip may smell like–well, let’s just say very unpleasant when it’s actually on.

So here’s a few guidelines for smelling like roses instead of road-kill:

  • Never wear a new scent out before a test-run at home. Scents react with our skin and body chemistry and change slightly from what’s in the bottle. Put it on and give it about an hour and then see what it smells like before committing it to your personal arsenal.
  • Scale up the scent based on the sort of occasion you’re wearing it for. Wearing only a spritz or a dab for work compared to all the pulse-points for a date, that sort of thing. And even then, figure that others will be wearing their own scents so the more people you’ll be around, the less scent you would want to wear to cut down on the olfactory cacophony.
  • Using multiple products (body wash, lotion and perfume) amplifies the amount of perfume you’ve put on and can get overpowering, fast.
  • We become accustomed to our own immediate area when it comes to scent. With that in mind, just because you can’t smell the perfume as strongly as you used to, doesn’t mean others are in the same predicament. If the bottle’s fairly new and hasn’t been stored in a sunny window or other heat-prone place, trust that it smells just fine and err on the side of caution.
  • Smoking and other factors can also dampen your sense of smell, making you prone to put on too much scent and overpower those around you.
  • There’s something to be said for having a signature scent, but don’t be afraid to change it when it becomes tired or your tastes change.

Now, two stories about perfume gone wrong and why it’s so important to be sensible about scents, both from the office.

We had a client come in, one day, who preferred natural products and essential oils. This day in particular she was sporting quite a lot of patchouli and, as the scent wafted it’s way back to my office (about, oh, 15 feet from the front counter and through my open doorway), I was overcome with a fit of coughing so bad I had to go back out to the alley for a breath of fresh air.

It’s quite unfortunate to have to excuse yourself from client interactions but sometimes the best thing is to just be upfront and try to stand upwind.

And it’s not only women that face these issues!

We used to rent space to another company in the our building and one of their salesmen was notorious for piling on the cologne in the morning. You could smell him coming 2 minutes before he walked in the door and 10 minutes after he left!

I once read that Jackie Kennedy spoke in a soft voice so that others would have to lean in to hear her, creating a feel of intimacy in their interactions. Perfume should be like that, too, I think. You lean in for an embrace and leave a subtle scent behind rather than shouting your presence to everyone in the room.


Do you have any tips or personal rules for wearing perfume?