Everyday essentials: 4 aromatic recipes for generic use and perfumery

Aromatherapy can be applied for everyday use, on a regular basis. But you should know the basic safety measures, blending properties and useful recipes to apply essential oils to your life. Though essential oils are pure concentrated oils extracted from natural plant parts, they can be toxic too. For instance, some oils like Bergamot are photo sensitive and require cautious handling. Certain oils need to be used only as blends and not directly on the skin as they can cause skin allergies. Generic and basic use of essential oils involves use of them as bath water, perfume, air fresheners etc. This article will elaborate on a few basic essential oil blends  that maybe useful to you on a daily basis.

Essential oils for everyday use: The following recipes need to be tried only after you know in depth about essential oils and their different aroma properties. If you are a newbie to this whole aromatherapy business, better to take efforts to learn a little about essential oils and then, try out the recipes:

1. Carrier Oil Base Perfume: This is a perfumery blend made using carrier oils. To make this blend, you will need the following ingredients: 15 to 25 drops of your perfume blend, 1 tbsp of Jojoba carrier oil and other supplies for mixing. You can replace Jojoba with even oils like Sweet Almond or Apricot Kernel. Use oils based on the perfume you want to achieve in the end. Blend all oils together well and store in an airtight container which is made of dark-colored/amber glass. Once you know the mixture is blended properly, take a drop of it and apply on to your pulse points. Note how the scent changes from time to time. If you are allergic to oils or suffer from any skin problems, better to do a skin patch test before application.

2. Alcohol Base Perfume: A perfume made with alcohol as the base. To make the blend, you will need 4 ¼ teaspoons of Vodka, 1 ½ teaspoons of distilled water and 60 drops of your perfume blend. Blend all ingredients well and store in an airtight container. Ensure that you store in a cool, dark place that is does not initiate any reaction with the sunlight. Let the perfume blend sit for 2 weeks. Shake the bottle 1 to 3 times daily to ensure that you mix the oils well. After the stipulated period of time, filter the perfume blend. You can use a coffee filter to do this. Re-bottle the blend after filtering and let it sit for a few hours. Do a skin patch test before applying the perfume to your pulse points.

3. Body Splash: First, try making a Body Splash of one ounce quantity. To make the body splash, use 4 ½ tsp of Vodka, 2 tsp of distilled water and 18 drops of your perfume blend. You need to first prepare the perfume blend using pure essential oils to mix with Vodka and water. Once the mixing is over, store in a dark-colored bottle away from sunlight. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients at least for 1 to 3 weeks. Do this for about two weeks. By the end of the second week, use  a coffee filter to filter the impurities in the oil and re-bottle the perfume. Read all safety data and skin patch test before trying out your body splash.

4. Air Fresheners: Air Fresheners are the best items for generic, home-environment use. To make an air freshener, mix 20 drops of Lime oil with 14 drops of Bergamot, 4 drops of Ylang Ylang and 2 drops of Rose.

Aromatic blending basics: 3 first steps you need to know

Aromatic or perfumery blending is often done for the fun of experimenting with various aromas and oils that yield those aromas. Traditional perfumers do years of study to master the art of perfumery, analyzing each and every aroma in its top, middle and base notes. Aromatic blending involves use of synthesized chemicals along with natural ingredients. In general, perfumers use aromas from chemicals that are extracted from natural plant parts and ones that are prepared in chemical ways using essential oils, absolutes, grain alcohol, carrier oils, herbs, water and CO2s. Edward Sagarin explains in detail about perfumery using aromatic blends in his book, ‘The Science and Art of Perfumery’

Aromatic blending of essential oils: Blending essential oils for aromatic purposes involves a lot of nuances. When a blend is created for aromatic purposes, therapeutic benefits can also occur. However, one has to focus on the aromatic end result of the blend than its therapeutic benefits. Below are the first steps with regard to blending basics:

1. Essential oils categories: Essential oils can be classified into broad categories based on their aromas. Called as aroma families, oils of the same family blend well together, while those of different families require good carrier oils to blend. Below are the basic aroma categories:

Floral oils: Lavender, Neroli and Jasmine oils produce a floral aroma.
Woodsy oils: Pine and Cedar oils produce a woody aroma that is strong and powerful.
Minty oils: Fresh, minty aromas are yielded by Peppermint and Spearmint oils.
Camphorous oils: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Cajuput oils yield Camphorous aromas that are medicinal too.
Spicy oils: Nutmey, Clove and Cinnamon yield aromas that are spicy and lively.
Oriental oils: Ginger and Patchouli yield oriental aromas of a unique kind.
Citrus oils: Orange, Lemon and Lime yield Citrus aromas that refresh the spirit.
Earthy oils: Oakmoss, Vetiver and Patchouli yield earthy aromas.
Herbaceous oils: Marjoram, Rosemary and Basil  yield herbaceous aromas that are medicinal too.

2. Oils that blend well: Before you start, you need to know the basics about essential oils. Not all oils blend together. However, you can vouch by the above categories. Oils of the same category generally blend well, while those of different categories too sometimes go well. Floral oils blend well with spicy, citrus and woodsy oils. Spicy and oriental oils go well with florals and citrus oils. Minty oils blend well with citrus, woodsy and earthy oils. The best part about Woodsy oils is, they blend well with almost all oils.

3. Harmonizing aromas: Oils are concentrated substances that evaporate quickly. They yield different kinds of scent during their evaporation and this variation in scents are called Notes. Essential oils that evaporate quickly (within 1 to 2 hours) are called top notes. Oils that evaporate with 2 to 4 hours are called middle notes, while those that take longer time to evaporate (the thicker oils) are called base notes. You need to take into account these evaporation notes while creating aromatic blends.

When you start off, work with oils in small amount – say, 5 or 10 drops. Also, work with essential oils, absolutes and CO2s before working with blends. You can use carrier oils, grain alcohol or other base oils after your work with pure essential oils is done.