Smell me like one of your French Girls

Yes, I know this is a bit of a double up on jokes.

Hello crafters. Let’s get smelly, 

Okay so first off, this is not the most accessible craft. It takes 2 weeks and you need to probably buy at least one thing, but it’s fun and great for presents so we are gonna do it and I promise next week will be way less of an investment. 

Perfume has been being made by female chemists since Mesopotamic times. That’s pretty insane to me. So in the long tradition of wanting to smell good, today we are making our own perfume.  

To start, you will need scents (I am going to be using essential oils), jojoba oil, and a dark-colored glass jar with a lid. Again, I am sorry for starting with a bunch of stuff you might not already have at home. I had everything but jojoba, which I had to buy however, I have been using it for a variety of beauty uses now. It’s a great moisturizer, it smells good, perfect at taking off makeup, and makes a good lip serum. So overall, I am very happy with it as a thing to have around the house outside of this craft. 

I already have a ton of essentials oils at my house. I love essential oils for cleaning and other various household uses and yes before you come of me, mine are Young Living. If you know anything about Young Living it is an MLM. So if you are thinking about buying essential oils, I would not use them. (My mother’s friend is in it which is why I have these, but don’t give MLMs money… you know.) If you want to get some non-MLM oils, here is an article that can help. And if you are like, “Rosa? What’s an MLM?” then here is an easy access point to what they are and why they are bad and here is a feminist take on why they are bad. There is also a way to make essential oils that I might do in the future if people are interested in that as a craft. 

Now back into it. Start the base of your perfume with ¼ of an ounce of jojoba oil. This is what you will be adding your scents to. There are four main categories of scents that you should add: base notes, mid notes, top notes, and bridgers. You want to start by adding base notes. You should have about 5 drops of essential oil for your base. These are the smells that will usually stay on the skin long after the top notes are gone. These are often warmer, deeper smells, like cedarwood, sandalwood, amber, patchouli, and musk. My base note was spruce and pine smells that have that woody base to them. Next, you want about 5 drops of your mid notes. Sometimes these are also called the heart notes because this will be the heart of your perfume. Heart notes are often lighter but still have a bit of complexity.  Popular ones include rose, lemongrass, ylang-ylang, coriander, nutmeg, neroli, and jasmine. I used ginger for mine and also jasmine. Lastly is the top notes and I used both of the most popular of scents for these which are citrus (lime)  and lavender. I used about 4 drops split between the two scents. Citrus, soft fruits, and lavender are the most common of top notes because they are very bright and zesty. Technically, lavender can also be a heart note, it just depends on what smell you are going for. Lastly, you can add bridge notes. These are not as necessary as the others for building a smell but I think they add a little something. I used vanilla. You only really need about 2 drops of it. There are a ton of resources online about how to classify notes and even make your own versions of popular perfumes if this is something you get into, but starting classic and simple is always a good thing in my book. 

If you are nervous about how your perfume is going to smell you can always do a little test by dropping some of your planned smells on paper. It will not smell exactly the same as the perfume you build, but it is a good way to make sure you like the general direction of the smell you are crafting. When you are happy with your smells and have added all the drops to your oil, it is time to add some alcohol. The best thing to use is vodka. I don’t drink vodka, so I had to buy some. You won’t need more than about a shot’s worth, so you can easily do this with an airplane sized bottle. 

Add about 1.25 ounces of vodka into your jar and close the top tightly. You then want to shake it up and let it sit. Now at the beginning of this, I said this project takes about two weeks. That’s because you want the smell of your perfume to have enough time to solidify. This takes about two weeks. You want to keep your sealed jar in a dark, room-temp spot. Now, two weeks worked for me but you can have it set anywhere from 72 hours to 6 weeks. The smell changes depending on how long you let it set. I smelled mine every couple of days until I was really happy with how my notes had melded. When you are happy, it is time for the final step. 

You want to pour about an ounce of filtered or distilled water into the perfume. This will stop the smell from further developing, so make sure you only do it when you are happy with the smell. Also, it is important to use distilled or filtered water. I used bottled water (a thing I usually never have). 

Once your water is added, you can transfer your smell into a spray bottle. Having a dark-colored spray bottle will help the life of your perfume, but I didn’t have one, so I instead will just store it in an unsunny place.

I love the way mine smells. It makes a great gift. I made a different batch for a friend’s bridal shower and it also came out pretty cute if you ask me. If you are making it for a gift or just want to have something cute for yourself, adding a label also is a fun craft in itself. 

It should be said that all topics that I have been using for my serious end caps are still ongoing. Black lives matter protests are still happening even if you don’t see them on TV and we have to keep pressuring our politicians to make sure the post office is going strong. Today, however, I think I felt like I should say something about the natural disasters happening across the country right now. There has been a lot to keep up with, but it’s important to be aware of the storms ripping through Iowa and terrible fires in California. I especially did not see a ton of coverage about Iowa, but these stories are important for a lot of reasons. The environmental concerns are just part of the equation, with many left homeless or displaced during a pandemic and so many crops and farmlands ruined, we should be talking a lot more about this. If you are in Calfornia and need help, here is a helpful break down of services. And while I don’t think I have any readers in Iowa, here are some ways you can help!

As always, stay safe and stay crafting.