Is Perfume bad for your health?
When I began swapping my skincare, beauty, and cleaning products for natural choices years ago, I quickly discovered how expensive they could be. While I feel the expense of organic products is always worthwhile, unfortunately, I was greenwashed again and again by labels – perfume being the worst.
I challenge you to look at the label on your favorite perfume. You’ll likely need a chemistry book to understand every ingredient, but all it takes is one ingredient to threaten your health – “fragrance.”
The terms “fragrance” and “parfum” are a catchall for thousands of different ingredients (Heid, 2015). Thanks to trade-secret laws, perfume manufacturers are protected from divulging their formulas for scents, so there’s virtually no way to know what chemicals are included (FDA 2011).
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As it turns out, unlike other countries, our regulations assume a chemical is safe until proven guilty. But the Food and Drug Administration reports that most perfumes and scented beauty products contain a series of petroleum-based chemicals a.k.a. phthalates, known hormone disruptors (FDA 2011).
Yet, there’s something so elegant and alluring about perfume. And many feel unconfident without wearing it while others find it quite a headache. Ever sat next to someone on a plane sporting too much commercial perfume?
Do yourself and others a favor by swapping your fragranced products for a non-toxic homemade perfume without a secret formula.
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How to Make Natural Perfume
Go directly to the source to make natural perfume with essential oils. Unlike commercial options, essential oil perfume is soft and subtle. There are basically three ways to go about making perfume with essential oils. The first option being a perfume spray with a liquid base of witch hazel and water. Similarly, the second option involves the ancient art of infusing oil and alcohol with plant materials.
While the third option is to use a wax and oil base to make a solid perfume. If you’ve ever had a bottle of perfume leak into your suitcase or purse, I’m sure you’ll agree solid perfume is the way to go! It can easily be applied throughout the day to vary the strength or give you a quick refresh when needed. And unlike the liquid options that evaporate quickly, the scent of solid perfume is long-lasting in its balm form.
Crafting Your Solid Perfume Recipe with Essential Oils
Rather you prefer earthy, fruity, or floral scents – you can create a gorgeous natural solid perfume with essentials oils that speak to you! Craft the perfect aroma with an essential oil perfume note guide from the Life-n-Reflection Simple Living Library. Read more about blending essential oils with base, middle, and top notes in this article.
The following solid perfume recipe is a luxurious multi-layered scent of the heady, rich florals jasmine and geranium with a top note of sweet, citrusy grapefruit. Blended with natural beeswax and oil, poured over delicate dried jasmine flowers into zero waste tins.
Ingredients for Making Perfume:
3 teaspoons beeswax pellets
1.5 tablespoons sweet almond oil
12 drops jasmine essential oil
10 drops geranium essential oil
12 drops grapefruit essential oil
1 tablespoon dried jasmine flowers
4 metal half ounce tins
How to Make Solid Perfume:
Prep: Open each tin and distribute 1 tablespoon of dried jasmine flowers between the tins. Set aside.
Option 1: Using a double boiler method, add 3 teaspoons of beeswax pellets to the double boiler. Melt on low heat. Next, add 1.5 tablespoons of sweet almond oil. Stir until thoroughly blended and remove from the stovetop.
Option 2: If you don’t have a double boiler add the beeswax to a glass measuring cup. Melt in 30-second intervals in the microwave for approximately 1 minute total. Remove from the microwave and add sweet almond. Stir until well combined.
After either option, let stand for up to two minutes or until wax mixture has cooled to 120 degrees F. Then add each perfume note – base: 12 drops jasmine essential oil, middle: 10 drops geranium essential oil, and top: 10 drops grapefruit essential oil. Stir or swirl to combine.
Carefully pour perfume into each prepared jasmine flower-filled tin. Allow to cool and solidify before use, approximately 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your container.
How to Use Solid Perfume
A great benefit of using solid perfume is flexibility. You can apply solid perfume in multiple ways, and the level of scent is easily controlled by applying it until the desired amount of scent is achieved. Which makes it a great place to start with perfume. Let’s take a look at how to use solid perfume and key areas to apply it.
When we pick up something, greet someone, shake hands, or exchange something with another, our wrists become directly or indirectly in contact first. Thus applying perfume to our wrists is the start pointing for first impressions.
Wrist Application: To apply, swirl a clean fingertip in the solid perfume. Gently rub onto the inside of each wrist. You may also want to apply the perfume to your forearms to avoid washing off the perfume with regular hand washing.
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For the Romantics
The sides of the neck and just behind the ears is a traditional place to apply perfume for romantics. For every loving embrace, your scent will be passed. Compared to wrist application, this option gives you long-lasting results as it doesn’t come into contact with soap and water throughout the day.
Neck Application: To apply, swirl a clean fingertip in the solid perfume. Gently rub on each side of your neck, decollete, or behind the ears.
Speaking of first impressions and romantics, did you know wearing perfume is really all about chemistry? You see, when you apply perfume to a pulse point, the warmth of your blood raises the temperature of the perfume to the temperature of your skin. And in turn, it creates a scent unique to you.
5 Pulse Points to Apply Perfume:
- Inside the Wrists
- Behind the Ears
- Inside the Elbows
- Behind the Knees
- Sides of the Neck
And possibly the most splendid thing about solid perfume is how easy it is to transport with you. I poured a little extra from this natural perfume recipe into a vintage cameo locket to wear around my neck and apply anytime. But, you can put it into almost any container, including a slide top tin or a lip balm tube.
Have you made perfume before? What are your favorite essential oil blends for perfume? Tell us in the comments below and share your natural beauty DIYs with us #lifenrefleciton on Instagram.
We are thrilled to be included in a summer-inspired DIY beauty series! Keep your skin looking gorgeous all season long with recipes for head to toe summer fun!
Get ready for the beach with a beach body coffee scrub – great for exfoliation and a teeny hint of color to the skin at Botaneri by Drew. Rinse off and cleanse with handcrafted seashell soap by Rebeecaat Soap Deli News and a must-see mermaid whipped soap perfect for use as a shaving soap before you head to the beach from Carli at Everything Pretty.
After that, pucker up with a strawberry DIY lip scrub to make dry, chapped lips feel and look smooth, soft, and supple from Cyna & Irena at Country Hill Cottage. After slather on an all-natural sunscreen lip balm to protect those kissable lips from Stephanie at Garden Therapy.
Following a day in the sun, apply an easy DIY aloe vera face mask recipe with Kim & Kyla at A Life Adjacent. This aloe vera mask can soothe sunburn, irritation, and redness and aid in calming inflammation caused by acne breakouts.
Then craft yourself a beachy summer bath with refreshing natural lime DIY Melt-and-Pour Cactus Soap by Lydi Out Loud. And make a splash with fizzing mermaid-inspired bath salts (easier than bath bombs to make) from by Carissa at Creative Green Living.
FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2011. Guidance for Industry: Considering Whether an FDA Regulated Product Involves the Application of Nanotechnology (Draft Guidance). Retrieved from
Heid, M. Is Perfume Safe. Retrieved February 11, 2015. Retrieved from http://time.com/3703948/is-perfume-safe/
Kyla @ A Life Adjacent
This perfume recipe is gorgeous, Kristy! I love how you added dried jasmine flowers. The combination of jasmine, geranium and grapefruit sounds like a perfect scent for summer.
Thanks Kayla, it really does smell amazing!!
The dried jasmine flowers are such a lovely addition to the perfume and this blend of floral essential oils must smell incredibly fragrant.
It certainly does Irena, thank you. I love adding dried herbs to just about everything 😉
What a gorgeous recipe! I love that it’s poured over jasmine flowers. So unique!
Awe, thanks Rebecca! Isn’t that one of the best parts about beauty DIYs, making it your own and uniquely so!
Great recipe! It’s so pretty and easy to make.
Thanks Cari, I love making perfume!
Thanks for sharing!! I enjoyed your DIY solid perfume, and whipped soap directions.
Thanks Terri, I’m glad you’re enjoying them too!
What a beautiful recipe. Can I substitute another wax for bees wax?? I am a vegan, so I would prefer to use an alternative wax, if that is possible. Thanks
Thanks Denise and yes you can substitute it for carnauba wax. Find in our natural skin ingredient supply index.