Did you know the human sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than any other sense we have? Amazing fact! And we love to savor our world with our noses…from our fresh brewed morning coffee, to our dishsoap, shampoo, hair spray, cleaning supplies, and it even extends to the delicious aromas of the food we consume.
As I waited for the oils to cool down for the goat milk soap I made today, I satisfied my love for scent by working on some fragrance blending. I am NO master perfume blender! I am self-taught from reading piles of books. I have fun with blending.
My fragrance blending supplies consist of:
Blotter paper, glass eye droppers, essential oils (fragrance oils as a last resort), and alcohol to clean the droppers (to prevent contamination from bottle to bottle). If I do not have blotter paper on hand I cut up coffee filters. Yes, inexpensive coffee filters!
The Body of a Perfume or Fragrance Blend:
When describing a scent or blend, perfumers often use the term “notes.” Notes are directly related to the evaporation rate of a single fragrance (or a group, or bouquet of fragrances that bond) within a blend.
The base note, for example, can last for hours (or days) on the skin. A base note evaporates very slowly. Base note fragrances are often dark and thick, like patchouli or sandalwood.
The middle note can last up to 3 hours. The middle note normally rounds out, or binds the fragrance blend.
The top note is very short lived. It normally lasts about 30 minutes.
How I Blend:
When I decide what “mood” or thought I am trying to project, I select oils that compliment the “painting” (ex: juniper-sweet or musky, lavender-relaxing and clean, orange-uplifting). I called it “painting” because the creation of fragrance blends does feel very much like artwork!
I begin by adding my base notes to the blotter paper. Depending upon the intensity of the essential oil, I add a few drops at a time. I then move on to the middle note. Again, adding a few drops at a time. Once I have obtained the desired effect, I move on to the top note, adding a few drops at a time. I always take notes…notes are a must!
I end up carrying the blends with me throughout the day. It is a good way to know whether I will love a blend, or be sickened by it! Today, in my left pocket (fragranced blotter paper wrapped in wax paper), is my holiday blend. It contains a little cedar, vanilla, frankincense, orange and juniper. In my right pocket is a lavender, citrus, cinnamon and anise blend. I smell pretty aromatic today! The blends are getting the benefit of my body heat, helping the scents to bloom. And, I enjoy checking the blend throughout the day to see how the notes change, and they do!
So, there you have it, basic perfuming 101…Mary Humphrey style!
I wish you had sniff-a-vision!!! These blends make me think about the natural potpourri that I used to find in a little shop in Nashville, Indiana. Talking about scent and memories…another blog post!!