Enchanted Alchemy: The Magic of Blending Natural Perfume Oils for Personal Power
The Magic of Scent
There are realms of existence we cannot experience with our eyes. Realms that exist within the space of the physical world we occupy, but that cannot be seen, nor heard, nor can they be felt with the touch of our hands. They can only be experienced by what is perhaps our most primal sense – our sense of smell.
If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with essential oils and other natural fragrance materials and you likely have a serious stash of them on hand. Maybe you love them but would like to know how to do more with them than simply diffuse them or use them on their own. What if I told you we can create some amazing perfumes with them?
Let’s make some magic.
I have had a lifelong love affair with scent, captivated by rare florals, musks, exotic attars, and all manner of precious essences from around the world. As a teen, I had a vanity table and dresser top overflowing with fancy little bottles of all sorts of aromatic treasures. I dabbled with creating my own personal concoctions from that stash of perfumes and oils even then.
Let me tell you, not much has changed thirty years later, except for my deeper understanding of natural botanical materials and their use in aromatherapy and personal wellness.
I believe that there is magic in the power of scent and in the energetic signatures of the plants and other natural materials from which we extract essential oils and aromatics. When we combine both factors together in one mystical brew, we can create a powerhouse of alchemical enchantment to bolster our personal power.
What is personal power? According to Robert Firestone, Ph.D., it is defined as the following:
Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction, and meaning in one’s interpersonal world.
This type of power represents a movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life; its primary aim is mastery of self, not others. Personal power is more of an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others.
Given the deep influence that scent can have on our emotions, I firmly believe we can create perfumes that are both very personal to us and which smell amazing, with an eye towards particular ends. In other words, we can create personal perfumes from materials that have specific properties as a means to assist us in achieving a particular goal or state of mind.
The Healing Power of Natural Botanicals
Humans have been well aware of the impact the scent of flowers and plants have on us emotionally, mentally, and even physically since the dawn of humankind. We have used specific plants or scents from natural materials to heal the body, ease pain, calm the mind, soothe emotions, and even to alter consciousness in preparation for magical ritual.
We bury our face in a bouquet of flowers, crush herbs between our fingers, pluck needles from the tips of pine boughs and raise them to our nose, or lean over an aromatic dish cooking on our stove, and inhale deeply. Why?
We do it because, even if it’s on a subconscious or primal level, we experience a change within ourselves upon doing so. Whether it’s a sense of relaxation, being uplifted, soothed, or calmed, we seem to instinctually know the power of botanicals.
Scent and Emotion
Scent has an undeniably powerful connection to our emotions. As such, perfumes can have a powerful impact on our sensibilities. People have used them to recall beloved memories, beguile a lover, soothe the spirit, and more. Perfume has a long and storied past, having been part of the human experience throughout our history.
While we cannot see scent, it can undoubtedly transport us to a different place in time, across years and thousands of miles – like a pin on the map of our memory. So much emotion can come flooding back to us when that pin is suddenly triggered by a particular olfactory experience that has embedded itself in our subconscious.
Maybe the scent of roses reminds you of a very particular time in the garden with your Gran when you were a child, or the smell of pine or fir reminds you of time spent camping in the mountains with friends, or cutting firewood with your dad.
Because of this strong connection between scent and emotions, we can use perfumes to alter our mood. Some may calm frayed nerves, some may have an uplifting effect, some may encourage a feeling of well-being and joy. Still others may kindle feelings of romantic passion.
Essential oils and other natural materials correspond to particular meanings and symbols, in addition to being known to have a particular physical effect on us when we inhale their aromas. If you have a need or desire, there are botanical allies just waiting to assist you.
What are Magical and Elemental Correspondences?
First, what does “magical” really mean?
Author Scott Cunningham defined magic as “The movement of subtle, natural energies to manifest needed change.”
The power that is at work in “magic” is simply the energy that is at work within our bodies as well as within plants and other natural materials from the Earth. It’s not supernatural nor evil, it’s merely the power of life itself.
Magical and elemental correspondences mean that certain materials (natural or otherwise) are linked to particular meanings or symbols. For example, those can be things like planets, signs of the zodiac, crystals, metals, tarot cards, the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), days of the week, color, or things like love, prosperity, peace, etc.
Thinking in these terms, we can see how the emotional connections we have to scent combined with the energetic signatures that essential oils and other natural materials possess can be used together to create powerful shifts in our lives. Add the power of visualization to this cocktail and that’s where the magic really happens.
Tables of correspondence can help you to choose the appropriate essential oil or botanical (or other magical tools, like incense or crystals) to use in a ritual or magical workings. You can find many resources that list such tables online, as well as books with exhaustive correspondence listings, like Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences.
Many essential oils and natural botanicals have multiple correspondences, which means you can create blends of multiple essential oils (called synergies) for certain purposes. We can combine multiple oils to create an entirely new scent that packs a powerful magic punch based on the correspondences and associations of those oils.
This is an important aspect if we are creating blends that we also want to wear as personal power oils. We want our blends to be powerful magical tools, but we also want them to smell amazing. I mean, if you’re going to create a blend to attract love into your life that you’re going to wear as perfume oil, it’s important that it smells amazing on you as well, right? Of course!
Let’s get started.
Essential Oils and Natural Essences - A Quick(ish) Primer
I will try to keep this brief, as it is a subject that could fill an entire book. However, for the sake of offering some basic helpful knowledge in regard to natural essences, I thought it worth including a section on this topic since natural essences encompass more than simply essential oils.
The natural aromas used in perfumery are found in different parts of different plants and are extracted by various means. The aromas could be extracted from the blossoms, the stems and bark, the roots, leaves, or in the sap/gum… as in the case of resins or balsams like Frankincense, Myrhh, and Benzoin.
The most common form of essential oil extraction is steam distillation, but some are extracted by simple pressing, as in the case of citrus oils cold-pressed from the rind. When you smell the scent of citrus on your hands after peeling an orange or cutting a lemon, it’s the tiny droplets of the essential oil that have been released from the rind as you handled it.
Essential oils are the largest category of natural fragrance materials we have to work with, but they aren’t the only category.
There are also concretes and absolutes, two different materials taken from the same natural source by varying levels of extraction and treatment of that same material and the resulting essence.
Concretes are a waxy, semi-solid mass that is the result of the solvent extraction of fresh flowers. They tend to have excellent staying power, but a softness to their overall fragrance. They are great for making solid perfumes. When using them in liquid perfumes, you may want to strain the solids out after the perfume has had time to really meld and the scent of the concrete infuse into the base oil.
Absolutes are produced by treating the concrete (as mentioned above) repeatedly with pure ethanol alcohol which dissolves the wax, leaving behind a deeply intense aromatic liquid. Absolutes are the truest and most concentrated extraction of natural materials, as such they are prized by natural perfumers. They tend to have far more body, depth, and intensity to work with than their simple essential oil counterparts. They also tend to have more staying power than essential oils alone.
Typically, you’ll find that essential oils smell sharper and lighter, more “volatile” if you will. Concretes smell heavier but with a softer fragrance strength, while absolutes are much more intense, warm, and very “full”. Many plants can be used to create all three forms. Lavender and clary sage come to mind. Each form will smell slightly different.
Another category of natural fragrance materials would be resins and balsams. In the simplest explanation I can give, they tend to be solid, semi-solid, or viscous materials that come from shrubs or trees, or even the seed pods or twigs of plants or trees. They can also come from dried lichens that grow on the barks of certain trees, such as Oakmoss. Essences in these categories tend to have staying power and are excellent fixatives as base notes in natural perfumes.
Perfume essences are classified into categories of top, middle, and base notes according to their relative volatility, or relative tenacity if you look at it from the opposite end of the spectrum. All these two terms really mean is the speed at which essences diffuse into the air, or how long they remain fragrant on our skin. The aroma left behind after the more volatile notes have evaporated is what is referred to as the dryout note.
Top notes can be quite fleeting. They’re the first to reach our sense of smell and form the first impression before quickly disappearing. Many are familiar from cooking, lots of herbs and spices like black pepper, cardamon, basil, coriander, juniper, etc are used in natural perfumery, as well as citruses – bitter orange, lime, pink grapefruit, tangerine, and blood orange. Lemon, bergamot, and yuzu are other popular citrus notes.
Middle notes can be very heady, intense, and sometimes sickly sweet. They give body to blends, a warmth and fullness that brings out the best in the other essences used in conjunction with them. Geranium, rose, jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose, ylang ylang, and violet leaf are some popular middle, or heart, notes.
Base notes are often very deep, intense essences that develop over the course of hours, or in some cases even days depending on their tenacity. They’re often very thick, some of which may require gentle warming to work with. They are most often from bark, roots, resins, lichens, saps, and grasses.
The top, middle, and base of a finished scent are generally comprised of what we call chords. A chord is simply a blending of two or more essences within the same classification (top, middle, base) to create an entirely new scent. So we may have a scent comprised of a top note created from the blending of three different essences that are top notes, perhaps three that are middle notes come together at the heart, and two base notes combined at the foundation. This is where we really create true depth and complexity in our finished perfumes.
Another quick point I need to make here is in regard to quality, purity, and the expense of oils. If you plan to make a habit of working with natural essences, it’s important to understand that price is not always reflective of quality. Let me say that again – price is not always reflective of quality.
There is no singular company that is superior to purchase oils from. Yes, I have my own personal favorites (which I’ll share in the resources section at the end of this post), just as plenty of other people do. However, in my 15 years of experience in making and selling handmade perfume oils as my “day job”, I’ve come to understand that we don’t have to pay for the name of a particular “brand” in order to get the best quality materials available.
Always experiment with different oils and materials from different suppliers. You will likely find that there are times you prefer a certain oil from one company over the same essential oil from another. This can happen because essential oils can vary somewhat in aroma based on the conditions the plants they were extracted from were grown in. Elevation, soil quality, and even moisture can have an impact on the scent of the oils extracted. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. This is why I have a company that I prefer to purchase my Lavender Absolute from, but I purchase my Bergamot from another because I prefer theirs instead.
Many companies offer sample sizes of their oils, and I highly encourage you to take advantage of that. A sort of “try before you buy”, especially with really expensive materials. Plus, sometimes it’s just fun to be able to sample rare or expensive materials we’d often otherwise not have access to.
Some essential oils and natural essences are extremely expensive because of the quantity of natural materials it takes to create the absolute. For example, did you know it takes approximately 60,000 roses to produce one ounce of the absolute? Isn’t that mind-boggling?! Organic oils will also naturally be more expensive. It’s just part of the expense of procuring organic licensing and maintaining those requirements for the growers and distillers.
Many expensive oils are available in diluted forms. Jasmine and Rose absolute are two of the more common examples of this. You can frequently find them diluted in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba at a 3%, 5%, 10% etc. rate. Ethical companies will clearly label pre-diluted oils so that you are aware before you make your purchase.
Bear in mind that pre-diluted essences are going to require you to use more in a concentrated essence blend like we’ll be creating here than you’d need of the undiluted essence. You will need to adjust your blends accordingly if you purchase them pre-diluted.
A Note about Synthetic Fragrance Oils
There are varying schools of thought on the magical properties (or lack thereof) of synthetic fragrance oils compared to natural essences, but I believe they can absolutely serve a purpose when used in conjunction with naturals.
While our main focus in this post is using natural essences, my personal belief is that we can use synthetics to support them when needed. They can fill the gaps where natural extractions of certain botanicals either do not exist or where the cost is so exorbitant that it makes them out of reach or impractical to use.
There are also considerations of over-harvesting of some natural materials for perfumery, so if there are suitable safe synthetics available that smell wonderful and can fill in for their natural counterpart, then why not?
So much of magical work is about intent. If we charge and consecrate synthetic materials with an intended purpose when we work with them, I personally feel it is completely appropriate to incorporate them in our blends. You will no doubt encounter others who completely disagree with me, and that’s okay.
Gather Your Tools
The tools you’ll need to start making perfumes are all very basic and easy to find. You likely already have several of them on hand.
Here is what you’ll need to get started:
Glass beakers or very small glass measuring cups for blending in since we’ll be mixing small amounts of perfume oils. One of my personal favorite things to use for this purpose is a tiny cream pitcher from the little cream and sugar sets. You can easily find them at thrift shops.
Droppers for measuring essential oils and carrier oils by the drop or by the ml. I prefer glass droppers that show graduated measurements on them. I prefer to use droppers rather than the orifice reducers that come in some essential bottles. The droppers are easier to control the amount so that you can be precise. Orifice reducers can be tricky, and it’s easy to spoil an entire blend with a single drop too much of a particular oil. Precision is important.
Rubbing alcohol for cleaning your droppers. This is easily purchased at most any pharmacy or variety store.
Chopsticks or glass cocktail stirrers for stirring your blends.
Glass bottles for storing your blends and experiments. I use the 30ml amber glass bottles for storing my blends and experiments, and I love to find unique glass perfume bottles/flacons to display my personal finished blends on my vanity or altar. These can run the gamut from mass-produced glass decorative bottles to unique vanity bottles to vintage finds in antique shops. Alternatively, you can use roll-on bottles if you’d like your oils to be more portable.
Adhesive labels for labeling your bottles. On my amber dropper bottles I just use standard 1″ x 2 5/8″ white mailing labels, but you can choose any type of labels that fit your bottles. For roll-on bottles, you can use the mailing label size but it will need to be trimmed a bit. You can even create beautiful labels for them using the free tools at Canva. For decorative bottles, you could handmake beautiful hangtags and attach them to the neck of the bottle with ribbon or twine.
Carrier oil is the base into which we’ll blend our essences to create our perfumes. There are a wide array of oils available that can be used as a carrier, but my favorite is jojoba, which is actually a liquid wax rather than an oil. It comes from the seeds of a desert shrub and has no fragrance of its own. It closely resembles human sebum, making it a fabulous moisturizer. While I am quite fond of it for its moisturizing properties, I especially love it for blending personal power oils because of its magical properties. Since it comes from a desert plant, it’s often used in magical applications involving perseverance, overcoming obstacles, self-confidence, and banishing doubt and melancholy.
Natural essences, these will vary depending on your needs.
A small notebook or journal to record your formulas in. This is extremely important. There’s nothing more frustrating than creating an amazing blend and then realizing you didn’t write it all down as you went, meaning you’re unable to recreate it.
Fragrance test strips aren’t absolutely necessary, but they can be helpful when you’re learning about aromas. You can get a truer sense of a scent, be it a single essence or a blend you’ve created, when you dip the tip of a fragrance strip in the oil and waft it under your nose than you frequently can when sniffing straight from the bottle. This allows for a truer evaluation of a compounded scent, especially over a bit of time as notes dissipate and the dryout appears.
Intent and Outcome... Planning and Creating Your Blend
Since we are learning about blending natural perfumes for personal power, it’s important before we begin creating a new formula to know exactly what our goal is with this blend.
What is your need or desire? Do you want to attract love? Prosperity? Peace? Self-confidence? A feeling of tranquility? It’s important to think this out and imagine how the end result might look and how it might be achieved. In the business of magic, visualization, and manifestation, it’s important to be super clear with our goal and detailed in how we would like that goal to be manifested.
Compile a list of potential oils that correspond to your desired goal. This is where those tables of correspondence can come in handy, especially when you’re first learning.
Find approximately 5-10 oils that correspond to your need. You’ll want to find oils that fit within top, middle, and base notes so that your finished perfume feels balanced and is pleasing to the nose. Of course, there is some wiggle room here, so don’t feel like you have to stick strictly to this top/middle/base note formula. I’ve created many beautiful blends comprised simply of middle and base note combinations.
Note: You can find lists of natural perfumery materials organized by classification of top, middle, and base notes online and in many essential oil guidebooks. Many essential oil suppliers include this information on their product listings. Some even include it right on their bottles.
Now start sampling some potential combinations together. You can do this without actually blending oils yet, by “wafting” them under your nose. I do this by grouping oils in sets of three or four to start, loosely keeping in mind top, middle, and base notes.
I uncap the bottles and hold them together in my hands and gently pass them back and forth a few inches from my nose. In this way, we can detect the aromas together and decide if they seem like they would smell pleasing. If an oil seems to really stand out and not mesh well with the others, set it aside and replace it with another.
Alternatively, rather than wafting bottles under your nose, you can use fragrance strips if you prefer. Label each strip with a single oil and dip it into the appropriate essence. You can then hold different combinations of the scented strips together and waft them under your nose to find what is most pleasing to you.
I have decided I want to create a blend for tranquility, so I choose lavender absolute, clary sage, benzoin, frankincense, and oakmoss absolute as starting points. After sampling some combinations of these oils, I settled on lavender absolute, frankincense, and oakmoss absolute for my blend.
Once you settle on a blend you like, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Write down each of the oils you’ve chosen for your blend in your notebook. Remember, keeping scrupulous notes while blending is an absolute must. You might also want to write down the energy it brings to the blend, perhaps elemental associations or other associations that seem pertinent to you, and whether it’s a top, middle, or base note.
In my oil of tranquility example above, I chose lavender, frankincense, and oakmoss absolute, so my notes look something like this:
Lavender, known to be a scent that encourages calm and relaxation, helping to restore balance and a sense of peacefulness. I chose the absolute because it has more depth and sweetness than the essential oil, lending itself well to perfumery applications. Associated with the element of Air. Middle note.
Frankincense (my favorite is Frankincense frereana, also known as Frankincense “Maydi,” the King of Frankincense). This is a warm and earthy scent, with a hint of almost a lemony, citrusy aroma to it. It’s associated with the element of Fire and has properties that encourage spiritual connection and purification. I find it to be simultaneously uplifting and grounding. In spite of it being a base note, the light lemony citrus aspect of this oil creates a lovely top note effect.
Oakmoss, known to have grounding and soothing properties. It has a rich, earthy, faintly sweet, and spicy aroma with notes of leather and woods that I find intensely grounding. It’s associated with the element of Earth. Base note.
Let’s blend our oils, but first, we need to set up our workspace.
You’ll want to put down a folded paper towel or soft rag to protect your work surface. I sit the container I’ll be mixing in (your beaker, tiny measuring cup, or a tiny cream pitcher like I use) to my left and add 5ml of jojoba to it. You can measure it out using one of your glass droppers, 1ml at a time, or if you have a small glass beaker, it will have measurements on the side.
To my right, I place a container with rubbing alcohol in it for cleaning my droppers as I work. It’s important to either use a different dropper for each essence or clean your droppers in between each one. A shot glass or similar small container is perfect for this.
As we begin to blend our oils, let’s not forget that we are working towards a magical purpose for them. In my case, I am working on an oil that will bring me a sense of tranquility, so I envision what that looks like for me in my mind’s eye and focus on how that would feel, concentrating on infusing my oil with that energy as I work.
If the essences smelled harmonious and balanced when wafting them, I like to start with two drops of each and then begin to adjust by adding a drop at a time of each oil until I reach a balance in the scent that is pleasing.
If one of the oils seemed to dominate when you were wafting them, you want to start with a single drop of that oil and two of each of the others. This is just a starting point, as our target goal for total drops of essence per 5ml of jojoba is approximately 20 when you have your finished oil. Keep this in mind as you add the essences drop by drop to your blend. We want to stick to this approximate total because some natural essences can irritate the skin if the concentration is too high.
Begin your blend by adding your base note drop(s) to your jojoba. Stir it into the carrier, and take a sniff.
Add your heart note drops. Again, stir it in and take a sniff.
Add your top note drops. Stir and sniff.
You may even want to dab a bit on the back of your hand after the addition of each essence so that you can experience it on your skin as you add each essence.
Once you’ve added all of the first round of essences to your jojoba and mixed it thoroughly, how does it smell in the container?
Sample it on the back of your hand by swirling a single drop on your skin with the tip of your finger. How does it smell to you on your skin?
Not quite what you were expecting?
(Bear in mind, we are just getting started and don’t have a lot of essence in the base just yet, so it may smell very soft at first. As you work and add additional drops, the strength of the scent will increase).
Fragrance blossoms on the body according to our own unique chemistry. You may find that you need to adjust the balance of essences in your blend if you don’t quite like the dryout of your perfume. Again, do this a single drop at a time, sniffing and sampling on the back of your hand as you go until you find a blend that is perfect. Make sure you record the addition of each drop of essence as you go.
If you would like to try the formula I created, I ended up with:
6 drops lavender absolute
12 drops frankincense
2 drops of oakmoss absolute
Since oakmoss absolute tends to be very thick in consistency, I use the tip of a toothpick to pick up the approximate equivalent of a drop and swirl it into the jojoba.
We are working 5ml at a time in our examples here, but you can increase the size of your batch proportionally if you’d like, simply by doubling (or halving for a smaller amount) the quantities of each material. For example –
12 drops lavender absolute
24 drops frankincense
4 drops oakmoss
Pour your finished oil into the bottle of your choice, be it a pretty flacon, dropper bottle, or roll-on.
You may want to hold the vessel cupped in your hands, envisioning your intended goal with the blend, and recite something like the following, borrowed respectfully from author Sandra Kynes:
“By water, earth, air, and fire may this blend bring my desire.
By north, south, east, and west, may my purpose by you be blessed.
Power of these plants work for me, so mote this vision come to be.”
This is effective but very general in nature. You can easily adapt it to your specific purpose if you desire.
Choose a name for your oil. This can be very straight forward, or it can be fun and whimsical. It’s totally up to you.
I love coming up with creative names for my blends that reflect their intended use. I settled on Whispering Grove for mine.
Whatever you name your perfume, make certain you record its name with the formula so you can recreate it whenever you have a desire or need to do so. Label your bottle accordingly as well.
Reassess your work. The scent will develop over hours, days, and even weeks and months if left to sit and “marry.” Most oils improve with time as they meld, softening, mingling, and creating something entirely new in the process.
After your blend sits for a day, smell it in the bottle and a drop on your hand. Do you notice any changes from how it smelled immediately after you first blended it? If so, make a note of the changes on the formula page for the blend in your notebook. It’s good to do this periodically and record any differences you notice.
Using Your Magical Perfume Oil
You charged and attuned your perfume oil for your desired purpose as you were creating it and once you bottled it. Now, you can wear it with vision and confidence.
I like to wear my perfume oils on my pulse points, the back of my neck, the hollow of my throat and the back of my hands. I will even take a drop or two spread between between my fingertips and and run them through my hair.
Before I apply my perfume, I envision the goal I had in mind when I created it and I concentrate on that vision, holding it in my mind’s eye as I dab the oil onto my pulse points.
Once I’ve applied my perfume, I hold the vision in my mind a moment longer, then say “So it is.”, then continue about my day. You may want to reapply your perfume every few hours depending on the essences it contains. Some natural perfumes have great tenacity on the skin, others can be relatively fleeting. Use your perfume in whatever way and as as often as seems appropriate for you.
Making Pure Synergy Blends for Later Use
Now that you’ve created a ready-to-wear perfume oil, you can create a bottle of the pure synergy blend that is ready to add to a carrier oil again to create another bottle of perfume whenever you’re ready.
Since these synergies tend to improve with age, I love to make up bottles of the pure essence blends and keep them on hand to quickly and easily create perfumes whenever I want. This makes it simple to add the pre-mixed synergy drop-by-drop to a carrier oil in the correct proportions without having to blend everything from start to finish again.
So, for example, if I wanted to create a pure essence synergy blend of Whispering Grove, I’d multiply the number of drops in order to increase the total quantity. If I wanted enough to make two more 5ml bottles of the ready-to-wear perfume, I’d take a small empty dark-colored glass dropper bottle and to it I’d add:
12 drops of lavender absolute
24 drops of frankincense
4 drops of oakmoss absolute
I simply doubled the quantities of the essence drops to create a double batch (since we are working in 5ml bottle sizes here).
You could multiply this out as far as you wanted to create as much as you’d like. When you’re ready to create a new bottle of perfume, just add your 5ml of jojoba to your perfume bottle, then add 20 drops of your pre-made synergy blend to it, swirl it well to mix, and it’s ready to wear. Just keep in mind that you need to remain within the approximately 20 drops per 5ml of carrier oil parameters to avoid potential skin irritation.
Keep in mind that we are still working with essences with an intended purposed and end-goal in mind, so always visualize that goal and hold it in your mind’s eye as you work, infusing the synergy with the energy of that goal.
More Formulas to Experiment With
If you’d like to play with some more blends, I’ve come up with some additional formulas for you to experiment with.
Also, as I mentioned earlier in this post, if you love single note botanicals you can certainly work with them as well. Use the same approximation of 20 drops of essence per 5ml of jojoba formula.
Please Note: Some essences are more potent in aroma and may take less than I’ve listed here based on your personal preferences.
Also, there are always possible skin sensitivity issues that may need to be taken into consideration. For example, citrus oils are known to increase photosensitivity, meaning your skin can be more susceptible to sunburn in the places you’ve applied them on your body. Plan accordingly if you’ll be out in the sun with those areas exposed for extended periods of time.
Oils like cinnamon, clove, and mints can be highly irritating to the skin, so please use with caution and restraint. Be sure to check out the “A Note About Safety” section at the end of this post.
For a sense of tranquility, you could try any of the following single essences in 5ml of jojoba:
• 20 drops of frankincense
• 20 drops of clary sage
• 20 drops of lavender absolute
For a feeling of bliss, try one of these:
• 20 drops of ylang ylang concrete
• 20 drops of sandalwood
• 20 drops of juniper leaf
For passion and sensuality, try one of these:
• 20 drops of jasmine absolute (grandiflorum)
• 20 drops of labdanum
• 20 drops of rose absolute (Bulgarian)
• 20 drops of cocoa absolute
If you’d like to try blends that are a little more complex, here are some suggestions. Play around with the formulas to make them your own.
For a sense of tranquility, combine:
• 7 drops of clary sage and 13 drops of benzoin
• 2 drops of cardamom, 3 drops of lavender absolute, 8 drops of tangerine, 4 drops of patchouli
For a feeling of bliss, try:
• 15 drops of pink grapefruit, 5 drops of ylang ylang absolute
• 8 drops of bitter orange, 8 drops of bois de rose, 4 drops of jasmine (grandiflorum)
For passion and sensuality, try:
• 6 drops of clove absolute (the absolute is a must – the essential oil doesn’t smell the same), 7 drops of lavender absolute, 7 drops of vanilla absolute
• 7 drops of jasmine (grandiflorum), 8 drops of labdanum, 5 drops of cocoa absolute
• 6 drops of ginger lily absolute (from the flowers, not the root), 10 drops vanilla absolute, 3 drops of cocoa absolute
You can enjoy these formulas to get you started, or feel free to experiment with your own combinations based on your need and tables of correspondence.
These basic formulary premises we’ve explored here can be used to create oils for all sorts of purposes – zodiac and elemental oils based on your zodiac sign and its elemental association, god or goddess connection oils, oils to assist you with things like meditation, astral travel, lucid dreaming, etc.
The sky truly is the limit. Get creative with your ideas and experiments and make certain you record your formulas meticulously.
Enjoy the journey of exploring the magic of natural essences – but please always research oils and their safety and observe those safety guidelines faithfully, because ssential oils can be dangerous when used improperly.
Happy blending! ♥
Some of My Favorite Sources for Natural Essences
You may already have your favorite places to shop for essential oils, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite suppliers.
These companies are my GO TO sources for pretty much all of my essential oils and other natural essences after having spent the last 15 years seeking out the highest quality oils I can find at the best prices possible.
Eden Botanicals – There are several absolutes I buy from here. Their lavender absolute and cocoa absolute are the best I’ve found. I also love the black spruce and balsam fir absolute. Many of their absolutes are available in pre-diluted forms, making them easier to work with since many absolutes tend to have a thick (or even solid/semi-solid) consistency.
I have never been disappointed in any essences I’ve purchased from Eden Botanicals, and I love the fact that you can buy tiny samples of expensive materials. They also share a TON of detailed information on each product listing. I can spend hours on their website just perusing and reading.
Aftelier – For really rare essences that are difficult to find, I always look to Aftelier. I have many essences that I’d have never otherwise been able to source if not through them. Often, really rare essences are a one-time shot that may not be available again once their supply is depleted.
I haven’t been disappointed with anything I’ve purchased here and have many staples I return for time and again. Their Myrrh from Namibia is STUNNING. I keep it on hand at all times. Mandy is considered the queen of natural perfumery, offering classes and many resources for those interested. Her book Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume was my first true dive into the world of natural perfumery and its storied history. It remains a favorite to this day.
As much as I can gush over Eden Botanicals and Aftelier, I have some other favorite sources as well. Many of them have free formulas and blogs filled with wonderful information.
Happy hunting! ♥
A Note About Safety
A good rule of thumb to always remember is that just because something is natural does not necessarily mean it is safe. Many things found in nature are deadly. As such, I feel it necessary to point out how important safety is when working with natural essences.
Undiluted natural essences in their purest forms are extremely potent. They can be skin irritants, they can cause allergic reactions, and can cause adverse reactions when used in very large quantities on the body or taken internally. This is why proper dilution, even though we’re only applying a dab or two here and there on our skin, is extremely important.
If you are prone to allergies or have sensitive skin, I’d highly recommend that you do a patch test to find if a particular oil is going to be problematic for you. You can do this by applying a single drop to the inside of your forearm and covering it with a small bandaid. Check it after a few hours to see if you have any signs of redness or irritation.
Also, it’s best to avoid natural essences on the skin during pregnancy since they pass through the skin and into the bloodstream, potentially crossing the barrier of the placenta.
Please, please, please…. do your research on natural essences and their safety during pregnancy, if you have a serious illness, or take medication that essential oils could interact with and cause problems.
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