Saturday, October 21, 2006

More on Natural Perfume Making and Essential Oil Concentrations/Diluting Essential Oils (Aromatherapy)

I'm allergic to many synthetics which is why I switched to all natural products about 6 years back. Most commerical perfumes are made with hundreds of chemical components, and only a small amount of pure essential oil.

I've previously blogged about perfume concentrations and how to miy and where to buy perfume but I decided to post some more information.

How do I dilute essential oils to 1%, 2%, etc concentration?

To make a 1% essential oil concentration, add 6 drops of an essential oil (or essential oil blend) in 1 ounce of carrier. To make a 2% concentration, add 12 drops of essential oils in 1 ounce. There are 300-600 drops of liquid in an ounce, so you can calculate the rest.

Note: Never use more than a 2% concentration in a massage oil/body oil/cream/serum etc (most products). So whether you use one essential oil or twenty essential oils, don't use more than 12 drops total. The only exception is perfume, in which you would use up to a 30% concentration (the reason why such a high concentration is okay in perfumes is because you'd only use a couple drops of the product versus a teaspoon or more of the lotion etc. So the actual essential oil concentration you put on your skin is fairly low). And never apply essential oils neat to the skin (though some books say you can apply lavender and tea tree neat, this is only during emergencies like insect bites and only like a drop once or twice.) Always dilute for daily use.(When I hear that people apply large amounts of essential oils neat to their skin, I cringe because there have been some reports of fatal toxicity of certain essential oils in large amounts (around a teaspoon)).

What are top, middle, and base notes? And what are the best aromatherapy perfume making books?

A lot of basic aromatherapy texts explain top, middle, and base notes. But the best aromatherapy book I've found that focuses on perfume is Mindy Green's "The Natural Perfume Book". It is a small book but it gives a good overview on perfume making and also contains over 30 recipes; but it is out of print and when you can find it online, it is expensive; so try used book stores or try to request it through your local library. Mindy Green's and Kathi Keville's Aromatherapy: A complete guide to the healing art has a small section discussing perfume making (but only contains a few recipes), and is also a good overall aromatherapy primer. Mandy Aftel's book Essence and Alchemy is considered one of the best, and I think it gives a good overview on the history and also components of natural perfumes, however it hardly contains any recipes (just like 3 or 4). Nancy Booth's Perfumes, splashes, and colonges also has very good background info, however she includes fragrance oils along with essential oils in her recipes. i think it's a good reference but I don't use FOs so I found Green's book to be much more helpful. I've also heard that Chrissie Wildwood's Create Your Own Aromatherapy Perfumes: Enchanting Blends for Body and Home (2nd edition) is fantastic but it is out of print too and I haven't been able to get my hands on an inexpensive copy yet.

See my links for other aromatherapy books and online resources. I highly recommend getting at least three good aromatherapy primers in addition to the books above.

No comments: