How to Make Lavender Perfumes and Cologne

Our customers frequently ask about using lavender essential oils for perfumes and colognes.  It’s a very simple process and it’s easy to create your own distinctive fragrance that won’t be overpowering.

So one of the first questions is what is the difference between perfume and cologne?  The simplest answer is that a perfume can contain up to 40% of essential oils.  In general, the more essential oil, the more expensive the fragrance.  A cologne, on the other hand, has far less essential oil (only about 5%) and tends to have a higher alcohol content.  The alcohol also has a cooling effect on the skin and the intensity of the fragrance is more subtle.

Although lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be applied directly to the skin, we usually reserve that topical application for treating burns and insect bites.  It is more elegant if mixed with a few other basic ingredients.

Classic perfumes use a non-scented carrier oil to form the base of the fragrance.  For lavender we suggest jojoba because it is nearly odorless.  If you want a carrier that complements and enhances the skin benefits one gets from the lavender, you might also try a very light olive oil, although we would suggest avoiding olive oils that are too aggressive scent-wise.  You can also use almond oil or grapeseed oil if you find the scent profile to be to your liking.

Fragrance designers refer to three characteristics that a classical essential oil scent possesses.  Each of these are defined by what type of bouquet is detected first, and most predominantly, what then modifies this scent as the first becomes less dominant and finally, what is a final and lasting scent impression.  These fragrance elements are called “notes.”  The first is the “top note,” the second is the “middle or heart note” and the final is called the “base note.”

Many perfumiers use different types of essential oils to create the top, middle and base notes in a fragrance.  When using Monte-Bellaria Essential Oil, however, all three of these notes are naturally occurring within the distilled oil.  The top note of our lavender oil is very floral and has distinctive lavender properties.  The middle note, which we achieve by distilling a small portion of the stem (or haulm) with the flowers is woody or herbal.  And finally our base note is a naturally occurring, small proportion of camphor, which is reminiscent of rosemary or geranium.  This makes things easier, because you need only one type of essential oil to make your fragrance, not three.

So to make a beautiful lavender perfume, you can follow this simple recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons of Carrier Oil (of your choice)
  • 60 Drops of Monte-Bellaria Lavender Essential Oil (about 3 milliliters)
  • 5 Tablespoons of Grain Alcohol (Or Non-Flavored 100 Proof Vodka)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Monte-Bellaria Hydrosol (Distilled Flower Water)

Directions

  1. Add the Carrier Oil and M-B Lavender Essential Oil to a glass bottle with a tight-fitting screw cap.
  2. Shake for several seconds and test to see if the fragrance is too heavy (add more carrier oil) or too light (add more essential oil).
  3. Add the Vodka, shake and let the bottle sit, with cap closed for about a week (but at least 2 days).
  4. Finally, add the M-B Hydrosol, and shake vigorously to mix.
  5. Transfer to your final perfume container (usually a dark or opaque class bottle with a spray applicator) and enjoy.

To make a cologne, follow the same steps but use 30 drops (1.5 ml) of the M-B Lavender Essential oil, 6 Tablespoons of alcohol and increase the M-B Hydrosol to 3 Tablespoons.

Note: Lavender complements almost any other essential oil fragrance, so feel free to mix up the proportion of the essential oils you are using.  Some oils are much stronger than others, so the classical recommended proportions are: 25% Top Notes, 40% Middle Notes and 35% Base Notes.

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