Natural perfumes are made using only aromatic ingredients extracted directly from natural flora and fauna.
Natural perfume ingredients include various types of extracts such as essential oils, absolutes, resins, concretes, floral waxes, tinctures, and infusions of raw plant material. Flowers, leaves, stems, wood, roots, seeds, and resins all can be used for extracting the precious essences.
Historically, perfumers would also include animal scents such as genuine musk, civet and ambergris, which were used to give depth and longer wear to the fragrance. Natural perfumers sometimes include animal essences, especially when recreating historical recipes. Other natural perfumers work only with plant essences, in which case they may also call their creations botanical perfumes. These are also usually cruelty-free and vegan, as most artisans and small niche perfume operations do not test on animals.
What makes a natural perfume different from most fragrances?
Modern perfumery relies heavily on synthetic aromatics. Virtually all fragrances available today use synthetic aroma chemicals because of the lower cost, higher availability and wider variety of scents. On average, mainstream perfumes are composed of at least 80% aromachemicals. While fine fragrances often still blend natural and synthetic, few use high concentrations of real natural materials.
Synthetic ingredients can make a perfume more intense or longer lasting, but they tend to be somewhat flat in comparison to the complexity of natural ingredients.Just compare imitation vanilla extract (synthetic vanillin) to real vanilla extract. The imitation is intense but uniform, while the real extract is somewhat more subtle but far more interesting.
Natural perfumes are deep and complex with subtle nuances. Because these are derived from the real plant scents, the scents are dynamic and true and beautiful.
The wear of the perfume is intimate rather than diffusive. Rather than fill a room or leave a large “scent trail,” the perfume tends to stay within your personal space.
You’ll also notice that the scent will evolve and change as the day wears on. The top notes give way to the heart notes, which then dry down to deep basenotes.
Your skin’s natural chemistry can affect the perfume’s aroma, so do try a fragrance on the skin as well as sniffing from the bottle.
I have allergies and headaches with most perfume. Can I wear a natural perfume?
Many people with allergies, asthma, and multiple chemical sensitivities have negative reactions to synthetic fragrance. In fact, that’s the reason I started making perfumes–I wanted to create something for myself that did not trigger migraines.
Because of my own sensitivity, I wanted to bring to the world an alternative for those of us that are sensitive. Most people who are unable to tolerate mainstream fragrance often find they can enjoy these natural aromatics.
How should I apply a natural perfume oil?
They can be worn the same as any other perfume, placing a drop or two on your pulse points. These are areas like the inside of your wrists, on your neck below the ear, at the center of your chest, or even behind the knees.
Pulse points are “hot spots” where the blood flows close to the skin, generating heat that disperses the perfume into the air.
However, with natural perfumes you may want to extend the length of wear by placing it AWAY from pulse points. The perfume will then disperse with less intensity and more slowly.
Natural fragrances aren’t meant to be intense and loud like many mainstream perfumes. It doesn’t create a big scent cloud or leave behind a trail. In our opinion, this is a big plus. It’s not fun to ride an elevator full of someone’s perfume that we find to be obnoxious or headache-inducing.
How long do natural perfumes last?
While I formulate our perfumes to last as long as possible, you will find they usually last a few hours rather than all day. It’s a good idea to have a travel size mini perfume or a vial to keep on you and reapply later in the day.
On the skin, natural perfumes’ main body notes last up to 3-5 hours. The drydown notes or base notes may last 12-14 hours or possibly longer in trace amounts. I tend to top off my perfume every 3 hours to keep my fragrance lasting all day.
In the bottle, they last virtually indefinitely as long as they are stored away from strong light and heat and with the cap fully closed. The main factor that will deteriorate perfumes is oxygen. Once you begin using the perfume and air takes up space inside the bottle, it will begin to oxidize as well as lose some top notes. If your bottle is partially empty and you aren’t sure you will use it up in the next few weeks or months, you might want to transfer it to a smaller bottle. This will reduce the amount of oxygen exposure and help to preserve the perfume for a longer period of time.
Can I mix or layer natural perfumes?
Most certainly! Layering is one of my favorite things to do with scent. I like to start with my main perfume and add a small amount of one or two oils as modifiers. My Single Florals are perfect for this.
You may also mix two perfumes or perfumes with essential oils, however I would recommend layering in application rather than mixing together in the bottle, because if you find that the mix isn’t perfect, you can’t undo it. You may have hit the perfect ratio at first, but after it ages the scent will most likely change quite a bit. Also if mixing, remember that you should not mix oil-based and alcohol-based perfumes as they will separate.
How can I make my own natural perfume?
Mastering perfumery may be difficult, but the basic process of making perfume is simple. You can very easily make your own perfume by simply selecting a few essential oils and blending them into a base of pure grain alcohol or a stable carrier oil. This is a great way to get a lovely scent that’s completely unique to you. My essential oil sets provide a way to sample a number of oils at a great price.
If you want to really create a great perfume, you will want to study the concepts of perfumery such as building according to classification of notes. You must also realize that crafting a fragrance is much more about experimentation than creating a predictable result. Natural materials have literally thousands of components that interact when blending. Start small and experiment with many variations. Don’t be surprised or discouraged if your first few experiments don’t come out well. Let your creations sit on the shelf and return to them later, and you may find they have improved with age. In essence (no pun intended), take it slow and steady, and you will in time discover the secrets to a scent you can call your own.
You can also commission me to create a custom perfume just for you. More info coming soon.
Have other questions?
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.
Thanks and have a lovely and fragrant day!