Posts Tagged ‘natural perfume’

natural perfume www.anniesgoathill.comI have fallen in love with several of the natural perfumes that I have formulated recently — from floral to sweet, to captivating warm and smokey.

(formulated by the drop, EO = essential oil)

Sweet and Uplifting

10 Palmarosa EO

8 Sweet Orange EO

3 Petitgrain EO

2 Lime EO

1 Geranium EO

I am not a fan of geranium, but this perfume starts out with a strong floral scent that I love. This blend is composed of top and middle notes, with no base notes, so I am surprised at its lasting power. It dries down to a sweet floral that draws my nose straight to the spot where the perfume is applied…and then I describe it as heavenly.

Warm Smoky Fire

3 Fir Needle EO

4 Juniper Berry EO

4 Cedarwood EO

5 Vetiver EO

2 White Grapefruit EO

I love vetiver, and this perfume dries down so incredibly smokey — perfect. Cedarwood is also one of my soft spot scents. This bold blend takes me to a place that feels like home, very grounded and at peace. This perfume starts its journey on the skin with a rose and fennel type of overlay, soft and sweet.

Patchouli Love

2 Sweet Orange EO

4 Lavender (French) EO

3 Patchouli EO

2 Cedarwood EO

2 Ylang Ylang EO

2 White Grapefruit EO

I adore patchouli, and this perfume dries down to a firm base filled with that love. It starts out with a grassy overlay that holds on dearly for most of the dry down.


I use 15% essential oil in a perfume blend, and 4-8 percent in a cologne blend. Jojoba is a great oil to use as a carrier. It is non-staining and sustains the perfume very well. Liquid coconut oil is also a wonderful carrier oil. In a pinch, I use an inexpensive olive oil, which is light yellow in color – not green. A small bottle of this oil goes a long way, inexpensively, and it does not possess more than a hint (if at all) of the aroma of olives. Olive oil does stain clothing — so use caution.

After blending a natural perfume, tightly cap the glass bottle and place it in a dark area where it can sit undisturbed for no less than several weeks. The oils will marry and mature while at rest. When you uncap the bottle, you will find that the oils have blossomed to a beautiful union unlike the day the perfume was formulated.


Do you enjoy a relaxing warm bath? Several drops of these blends in a bath are spectacular. Add unscented mineral or sea salts to your bath water, and you truly have a soothing spa experience.


In our book, Advanced Soapmaking; Removing the Mystery, we devoted a chapter to natural scent blending. We also teach properties of many common essential oils in this volume.


A good fragrance is really a powerful cocktail of memories and emotion. – Jeffrey Stepakoff

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Hawaiian black lava salt sat on Annie’s Red Barn studio supply shelf for a while, actually since the time I took an aromatherapy course several years ago.  One of my class projects demonstrated how I created an aromatherapy product using different kinds of salts.  I used dead sea salt and a few others, but not the black lava salt.

So, it (the black lava salt) was another long-time-resident bottle winking at me (Remember the Lily of the Valley?), saying, “Use me!”

The black lava salt was actually edible, contained in a shaker bottle.  I am sensitive to salt, seldom use it.  So the idea light bulb grew brighter, why not take a bath in it?

What are the properties of black lava salt? Hmmm…it is loaded with minerals, it has great detoxifying properties, and supposedly, it is used in spa products.

So, to my soaking tub I headed.  One bottle of black lava salt (4.5 ounces).  One vial of Annie’s handmade natural perfume #4 (patchouli, vanilla, geranium, cedarwood, and grapefruit).  Aromatherapy spa session here we come!

Imagine the tune, “Oh black water…Keep on rolling…Build me a raft and she’s ready for floating.”

I had some black water!  But it smelled good.  And I got into it.  And I felt good.  And I still feel good.

But let me tell you what I was left with, you know those chewable tablets a dentist gives to a child after they brush their teeth in the office? The tablets leave color where the child missed with the toothbrush.  My black water left color.  If you ever want to see how much soap scum is really clinging to your tub, just fill your bathtub with black water and then let it drain out.  Uh-huh…there it is!

Do I recommend a black lava salt soak? Perhaps it isn’t so practical.  Did it do what I thought it was going to do? Yes! A detox bath with wonderful essences.

(Thank you to the Doobie Brothers, Black Water, 1974 ).

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Where you can Smell and Feel the Goodness!

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Natural Perfume Making www.anniesgoathill.com

Natural Perfume Making

Is a degree, or at a minimal, chemistry studies a necessity for a person that wishes to make natural perfume? No.

Some individuals are more talented at creating blends than others, however, making a masterpiece normally happens after years and years of experience.

In my opinion, if a person is going to delve into natural perfume, or any type of essential oil usage, a base knowledge of essential oils is needed.  Why? For health and safety reasons.  It goes back to the fact that just because something is natural does not mean it is safe.

The natural perfume goal is to create a blend that is pleasant and safe for the wearer.  A 3-day class, or a 3-hour class, can result in a good perfume.  It can, but does not generally result in a perfume that receives accolades around the world.

Why did I bring all of this forward? Opinions are treasured, trust me.  But I will stick to my guns that a degree is not needed to be creative.

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Patchouli Lavender Goat Milk Soap www.anniesgoathill.com

Patchouli Lavender Goat Milk Soap

I kept smelling it even though I was not wearing it.  It was not my lotion, nor my laundry detergent, and certainly not my shampoo.  So, why was I smelling patchouli? Not that I minded it at all.

A correctly proportioned perfume hits your olfactory system first with a pleasant top note, a short-lived, light or fresh, essence, or blend of essences.  Pink grapefruit, for example, is one of my favorite top notes.  As the top note dries, the middle or heart note is soon detected.  A middle note lasts longer than the top note that first catches your attention.  One of my favorite middle notes is (euphoric) jasmine grandiflora.  Last, but not least, the base note sticks with the blend, on the skin, for longer periods of time.  Some base notes can be detected a day or two after they are applied.  Base notes can hold a blend together, or can muck it up considerably when excess is used.

Patchouli is a base note.  Patchouli is an essential oil that many either love or hate.  Patchouli, depending upon its strength in a blend, can be detected on the skin days after it is applied.

A customer once said she helped nurse a sick friend back to health.  Her friend adored blends that contained patchouli.  The customer was not a fan of patchouli, not at all.  After washing the friend’s clothing time and time again, the customer that hated patchouli still detected it.  My story ends there, but with a “bingo!”  I personally smell patchouli because I have worn it so many times, from our signature blend Patchouli Love (soap, body cream).  My clothing obviously contains the remnants of patchouli, picked up from the products, and from my own skin.  In my case, I find patchouli to be grounding, so the remnants are a very good thing.

Essential oils are such a blessing, in my opinion.  Thumbs up to nature for providing us with the uplifting top notes, the enchantment of the middle notes, and the seemingly ever-lasting base notes, with much acclamation to how the oils are perceived so differently by each individual!

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Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) absolute, if you have not smelled it, is sweet, somewhat spicy, rich and tenacious.

I have totally fallen in love with Tuberose absolute.  Hands down.  I have been working quite a bit with it, blending with Ylang Ylang and Jasmine.  I could nearly drop Tuberose into a base oil and call it a perfume by itself, but I won’t.

My goal is to include Tuberose in a blend that I will call my signature scent.  These things take time, patience and practice.  I am working on all of the above.

A little background:  Tuberose is generally not recommended for aromatherapy use, but is recommended as an exotic addition to natural perfume.   It is considered a heart (middle) note in a perfume blend.  Tuberose is a native of Central America, where it is found growing wild.  Oh…how I would love that!

I haven’t researched this, but it is also my understanding that tuberose is used in some confectionaries and beverages.  I am in love with Lavender and Chamomile tea, I may have to check into the prospect of Tuberose too.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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A bit of history…

When I was a child I not only collected soap, I also loved and occasionally collected perfume.  Do you remember Evening in Paris in the early 1960’s? Somehow, as slim as the monetary situation was, my mother occasionally purchased a tiny little blue bottle of Evening in Paris for me.  Later in my childhood, I found myself combining perfumes, combining anything that smelled good (grass, flowers, etc…), even cooking essences.  Fragrance, and the natural the better, was definitely close to my heart.

Around 15 years ago, in the same small town where I purchased handcrafted soaps, I also had perfume made for myself, and cologne made for my sons (they always sent money with their mom).  One day the gentleman that owned the perfume shop offered classes to me.  At that time I lacked the go-get-it-done gusto that I have now.  I couldn’t see through the haze.  How could I take a week or two long class? How could I drum up $1,000? It was only $1,000! Ask me, have I regretted turning down the one-on-one class a few times? The answer is one big YES.

I studied and obtained a basic certification in aromatherapy at the Aroma Studio in New York a few years ago.  I thought my appetite for fragrance, now geared towards natural, would be satisfied.  It was not.  The course was excellent.  I refer to what I learned nearly daily.  But I am not interested in practicing aromatherapy.  My interest is fragrance.  On the plus side, my nose was well-trained!

So, this is what I am doing today.  What you see in the photo are bottles of natural perfumes that have aged for at least 24-30 days.  Why age? When natural essences are combined they continue to marry, they lose their sharp edges, they seem to warm to each other.

Natural perfume is very personal.  The wearer of a natural perfume is the one that benefits.  The scent generally does not waft freely through the air beyond the person wearing it.  Personally, the wearing of a natural perfume can change my entire day.  It feels to me (in theory) like placing liquid sunshine on the skin…uplifting, grounding, beautiful, soothing…depending upon the oils used in the formula.  One of my favorite blends contains tuberose and ylang ylang as the heart (middle notes).  I swore I did not like florals…oh yes, I do.

So, with the making of perfume comes many, many bottles of “duds.” I sniff the (duds) perfumes occasionally.  As they age they normally smell a lot different than they did the day the oils were blended.  Another drop or two of essential oil might give new life to the blend,  if not, they make good room fresheners.  Or, I wear them myself because I feel they continue to train my nose.

I plan to offer natural perfume in March 2012.  Jojoba oil based, all natural, until I get my hands on organic grape alcohol.

So…this post marks the launching of my natural perfume blogging.  I am definitely green around the edges.  I read a lot of perfume blogs and books.  They are interesting.  I need to learn an entirely new vocabulary! Better yet, I’ll just be different and talk about natural perfume my own way.  It will be fun.

Annie’s Goat Hill Handcrafted Soaps – Smell and Feel the Goodness

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Yes, we develop noses before we are born, but what I am going to talk about is fine-tuning the sense of smell.

A good perfumist develops a nose after a length of time which enables them to distinguish between pure, quality essences and those that are poor quality or adulterated (extended or modified by the inclusion of chemicals or other oils). 

I call myself a “budding perfumist.”  My olfactory system needs many years of training before it will tell me everything I need to know when greeting new essences.  Training consists of a lot of sniffing, and studies that include reading, and comparing-grouping of essential oils in general. 

I was surprised when I opened a tiny bottle of chamomile that I purchased from a different supplier.  It didn’t smell right.  In my mind, it had to have been adulterated.  For the aromatherapist, one that needs pure unadulterated oils, the chamomile that I purchased would act as a placebo.  It simply is not workable.

What does this mean to me? I am not exactly sure, except that I am developing a nose for something, something other than the man-made deodorants that can fill our air.  Is this a good thing? I believe so.  It is one more step towards knowing what I do not want to smell in a perfume formula. 

For those of you who are not perfumists, have you developed a nose for particular fragrances and oils through the years?

For those of you who work with essential oils on a regular basis, or have studied them, or better yet, for those of you that are experienced perfumists, when did you notice your nose developing, and would you say it is still in-training? My thought is, for those of us passionate about fragrance, our noses will always be learning.   I find it fascinating.

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