I have bad news to report. In the past three days alone, I have been crossed by no fewer than two black cats.
So I guess Mother Nature’s Maid is in for some bad luck. Shocker.
I have an idea where this bad luck may manifest itself, but I’d rather not provoke a jinx. But here’s a tip: Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, perfume. Take three guesses, and your first two don’t count. (Obviously, I’m quite superstitious. Honestly, I can hold my breath so long past a graveyard I come close to blacking out.)
However, at the risk of rustling up a jinx, I will confidently step out on a limb to say that this bad luck will not come from the direction of my perfume.
My new homemade perfume, which I like to call $80, is treating me remarkably well. It’s one of the few products I’ve made that I feel 100% confident using every single day.
Perfume is actually pretty entertaining to make, and if you get mild, likeable fragrances, it’s rather hard to screw it up (but if I keep experimenting, I’m sure I’ll come up with something!). I did some research in “Herbal Well-Being” before delving into scent-mixing, and it turns out that an important key to the perfect (or even far from it) fragrance is patience.
To make your own perfume, you must start with a base – you can choose either oil (jojoba is recommended) or alcohol (Everclear or vodka is recommended). Oil apparently works best on skin only, while alcohol can (supposedly) go on skin, hair and clothes but won’t last as long. So #1 – pick your base. I (obviously) chose oil this time.
The second ingredient in your perfume is fragrance. Another shocker on the day. Here, essential oils are recommended. These potent liquids come in half-ounce glass bottles, but do not drop them! As soon as you buy a bottle of essential oil, wrap it in toilet paper, cover it with cotton balls, and place it gently in a recycled egg carton filled with packing peanuts. Then cover that in bubble wrap. I once spilled a small portion of Tea Tree Oil on a kitchen counter and I was rubbing that thing down with a paper towel like it was a never-ending scratch and sniff sticker. Not to mention, breaking a bottle or spilling some is like throwing money away. Before you pick your oils, do some research on how to mix essential oils to create your fragrance symphony! So #2 – choose your scent and do not break the bottle(s)!
Now the fun begins! Sit your bottles out on a surface (preferably not a fine wood one), and start mixing. Here’s where the patience comes in – you have to add just one drop at a time. You will be surprised at how little essential oils you actually use – less is more. You may pay a lot for these baby bottles, but they go a long, long way, and so does the perfume. Just a quick dab will last for hours.
So where did I get the $80? Well the actual fragrance does not cost quite that much, but I happened to buy all the ingredients on a rather fateful day when I flew into something of a panic at my local Natural Market and started snatching up pure products like they were going out of style. I walked out $80 poorer with only 9 products to show for it. (I am gradually learning, however, that all of these buys will probably last me through a near lifetime of homemade concoctions, which makes me feel slightly better about the whole episode.)
Still, the breakdown doesn’t bode well for Mother Nature. I can get Dove Body Mist for $1.32/oz. My homemade mist costs a whopping $7.19/oz. Here’s the receipt:
- Dove Go Fresh Body Mist (3 oz.): $3.97
- TOTAL (3 oz.): $3.97
- Jojoba Oil (4 oz.): $12.59
- Sandalwood EO (.5 oz.): $12.39
- Lemongrass EO (.5 oz.): $5.49
- Spearmint EO (.5 oz.): $5.99
- Lavender EO (.5 oz.): $10.29
- Sweet Orange EO (.5 oz.) : $0 (I got a 5 for 4 deal !)
- TOTAL (6.5 oz.): $46.75
However, as I’ve said, I’m convinced that my homemade fragrance will last for a good long time, which should count for something. I’m not sure if it can count for $47, but it should count for something, at any rate.
I keep my perfume in an old body spray bottle. But I learned the hard way that it’s better to dab this fragrance than spray it. Because I used an oil base, spraying it on my neck made me look like I was getting ready to go tanning. Now I use the wrong end of the sprayer to carefully dab just a few drops on my wrists or neck, and that works much better – and it’s cleaner.
But hey, what fun would a homemade beauty product be without a little bit of a grease problem?