A Side Project - Perfume

When making cold process soap, there are some essential oils that just won't work.  They either disappear and you can't smell them at all, they do strange curdly things to the soap or they just cost a million dollars to use.  Experimenting with soap has led to a collection of essential oils that I know I won't use in soapmaking.  

So, I thought about making a perfume.  I respect the perfumer's art and so I knew that it would be no easy task creating something that might be wearable.  I have, in fact, created some horrors.  It can be very dispiriting to use your precious essential oils on a batch of perfume that, no matter how much you believe it should be otherwise, just smells like fermenting fruit. 

But I have had some luck.  I have made a wonderful uplifting floral, very simple but, I think, wearable.  Tenacity (the lack of) is probably an issue with natural perfumes, but frankly, I think the issue really is the tenacity (the abundance of) in commercial perfumes.  Some people wear perfume in a manner that reminds me of those young kids who drive through the city with their music doof doofing.  But, each to their own.

It is also nice to have simple combinations, like bay and lemongrass, made into a light spritz.  It's not heady, it doesn't invade the environment around you, and it's a refreshing pick-me-up.  So, I'm happy with some of my creations so far.


Last week, I made a batch in which I wanted to feature violet leaf oil.  I started with a spicy warm base, added the violet leaf and a couple of other florals, including honeysuckle.  I added carrot seed oil to bring it down to earth a bit and finished with clementine.  Perhaps I overdid the carrot seed oil - it's a lot stronger than I gave it credit for, but I'm ok with that.  

Trying it out now, it is, as you might expect, a spicy floral.  It's very boozy at the moment, but time will settle that.  What I find surprising is how long the floral notes stick around.  I think I have a base that has worked well and has anchored the florals.  I think I need to work on the top notes.   I thought top notes would be easy - they're all the fun oils, the citrus and herbs that are so uplifting but don't hang around for long.  But, as I said before, it's hard to avoid the fermenting fruit thing.  Ugh. 

I don't know where this will take me.  I enjoy the process and I enjoy giving away my experiments, which, I'll have you know, have so far been received well!  It did cross my mind that I'm the equivalent of the relative who gives giant macrame owl wall hangings to you for Christmas, but I feel safe that my selected recipients wouldn't let me get away with that!