First off, I finally got around to going through my perfumes and deciding on what to continue selling and what to discontinue. Unfortunately, due to slow sales and postal restrictions, Eau de Parfums (the alcohol based sprays) are the unlucky ones. If you'd like to get some while they last, I currently have a Half Off Sale going on in my shop. You can get a purse sized 10ml spray for $11.50 and the super pretty 1oz vintage atomizer for only $20!!! Here is the link, remember, once they're gone, they're gone: Half Off Eau de Parfum sale at Sweet Tea Apothecary
Dear Canada, I'm sorry.
I love you and I hate to see you get burned but I can no longer offer free shipping on samples :( The shipping rate for my perfumes and jewelry has gone up for you too, from a mere $3 to $7.50!! I swear I didn't want to do this but the US Post Office had an insane price hike on international shipments that started on January 27. It especially irritates me for you Canada because you're only like 2 hours away from me!! All the other countries in the world always had higher prices but they are across oceans and time zones. IT'S DUMB! Anyway, I hope you can forgive me.
Thank you to all of my customers for being super rad. I've really enjoyed running this shop and sharing scents. I'm really excited for what's in store over the next few months.
The tutorial I wrote a while back on how to make perfume oil was featured on the Offbeat Home website yesterday. Heck yes! I love the Offbeat Empire and I'm so excited I could be a part of it. Here is the link to my article as it appears on their site: http://offbeathome.com/2012/09/diy-perfume If you've come from Offbeat Home and wanted to learn more (or if you're a reader and have forgotten), here are links to some of my other tutorials:
Today is certainly a day. I've got bad allergies which means bad headache and my cat, Bowie Stardust, won't stop howling. She wants to play with a mouse that is attached by string to a stick and this can only be satisfied by me getting up and waving it around for her to pounce. Except, every time I put it down thinking she's had enough, the howling starts again as she drags the mouse around in her mouth, the stick flailing behind her. Then the other cat, Thackeray Binx, wants in on the action and so they start fighting and just WHERE DOES IT END?!
Ok rage over. It's not that bad of a day. I spent the morning driving around Seattle en route to Bellevue to tutor a 10 year old student who looks like Harry Potter if Harry Potter was born in India. That is to say, adorable. The skies over Seattle are quite grey but also very beautiful, especially when some sunlight peaks through. Later today I have an interview to become the teacher of record to a homeschooled 9th grader. That would be dope because then I would have a "job" and be able to spend a lot of time working on my perfumes and writing. Steampunk doesn't write itself, folks.
Oh yeah and just because I like you, I'm having a sale in my shop. 15% off all Eau de Parfums. I'm gearing up for the craft show circuit and need to make a whole lot of inventory so step one is getting rid of the stragglers so I can refill some bottles. I could buy more, but you know how I feel about the environment. Code SprayAug12 at checkout, y'all.
I've dubbed today, Tutorial Tuesday, and on this most wondrous day of DIY, we shall be fancy and French. Remember how we learned how to make perfume oil? Well, today we're going to learn how to make the gold standard: Eau de Parfum. Translated by Google, Eau de Parfum means "Perfume." :O
So what's the difference between perfume oil and Eau de Parfum? Well, for starters, Eau de Parfum is probably what you're used to wearing. Instead of using a carrier of Jojoba like we used in our perfume oil, Eau de Parfum has alcohol and is what you buy at most stores. It's that friendly little spray bottle that you can carry in your purse and spritz on throughout the day, or you can be all 1930s awesome and have an atomizer bulb.
Alright, so now that we have the terminology down, let's get to work.
If you have not already read my tutorial on how to make perfume oil, go there first. Read until the section: The Maths. Then you will be sufficient expert in basic perfumery and blending so that we may begin. Go ahead. I'll be here.
The Maths for Eau de Parfum
Ick. More math. But don't worry, Eau de Parfum math is arguably easier in that you can get Google to do most of the work for you. For today's lesson, we are going to use a 10ml atomizer bottle. As you recall from last time/what you just read, each ml has 20 drops, sooooo:
20drops X 10 ml = 200 drops
Our perfume today will have 200 drops. Alcohol based perfumes are generally comprised of the following parts:
20% essential oil
70% alcohol (190proof)
10% distilled water
So if our essential oils comprise 20% of 200 drops, that means that we need 40 drops total of essential oil. 70% of 200 is 140, so 140 drops of alcohol. 10% of 200 is 20, ergo, 20 drops distilled water. (Thanks Google!)
This makes figuring out how much of each essential oil a lot less complicated. Since our note ratios are:
2 parts base: 1 part heart: 1 part head
That means the drops will be:
20drops base: 10 drops heart: 10 drops head
SO MUCH EASIER!! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about when I say base, heart, and head then you get an F on your homework of reading.)
What You Will Need
1 - 10ml atomizer bottle (you can do a search online for this, or you can re-use an old perfume bottle. Just make sure you wash it out with some rubbing alcohol and then maybe run through the dishwasher.)
3 essential oils or fragrance oils depending on what you want. If you want all natural perfume, only use essential oils. Fragrance oils can contain synthetics but have already been diluted in carrier oil so they tend to be less irritating. When choosing essential oils, make sure to look up any health advisories they may have as not all EOs are skin safe. Brambleberry has a nice, affordable selection of both EOs and fragrance oils.
7ml of 190 (preferably) proof grain alcohol. If you can get your hands on some Everclear, that is the best you can get for make-at-home perfume. Unfortunately, Everclear is illegal in many states. You can also use grape alcohol. Short of Everclear, buying 190 proof alcohol is sort of tough because it's hard to find and when you do find some, it tends to be sold in big bottles that are often expensive. If you're serious about perfumery, spend the money. If you're just having fun, it won't kill your perfume to just use some vodka you can get at the store. Just get the highest proof available. Do not use rubbing alcohol. No! Bad!
3 pipettes or glas droppers for your EOs
1 measuring cup that has ml units
1 small funnel
20 drops of distilled water (optional) I say optional here because a lot of the times the distilled water makes your perfume cloudy. If you don't care, use the water. If you do, don't use the water, it won't kill you.
Tag or label for your perfume; I usually just use some masking tape when I’m experimenting.
Let's Do This!
[The process is pretty much the same so some of this will be copied and pasted from my previous post. I'm not re-inventing the wheel here guys.]
Clear off a workspace; wipe it clean and put some newspapers or table cloth down to prevent spill damage. Make sure that all your materials – bottles, droppers – are clean. Next open up your base note and insert your pipette. Gently squeeze the bulb and let go to get the oil in. Carefully (and slowly!) count out 20 drops of your base note into the 10ml bottle. When you’re done, close the EO lid and put it and your pipette to the side. Next, open up your heart note. Count out 10 drops; then put that EO and pipette aside. Don’t shake yet! Last, count out 10 drops of your head note. Once you have transferred the 3 EOs into your 10ml bottle, close the lid of the bottle and shake it up gently to let the oils mix in with each other.
Now, YOU HAVE TO WAIT A WEEK! Sorry, Eau de Parfum oils and alcohol like to go to the dance just as much as the perfume oils. Don't deny them! Put your bottle in a dark place for a week before adding the alcohol.
After the week has passed, check your oil blend to make sure you like it. If you do, let's move forward. If not, chuck it and try again. Blending essential oils for fragrances can be challenging, don't always expect to get it on your first try.
Get your bottle of blended EOs, your funnel, measuring cup, and alcohol. Over the sink, pour out 7ml of alcohol into your measuring cup. Once you have this, stick your funnel into the bottle of EOs and pour the alcohol into the funnel. This minimizes the mess and is nice because you don't have to sit hunched over counting out 140 drops with a pipette. Put the lid back on your bottle, shake it up, and put the bottle away. You didn't really think you'd get away with waiting the month did you?
What You May Notice About Your Eau de Parfum
After your month has passed, smell your concoction. Does it have a strong odor of alcohol? That's generally ok. Test it out by spritzing a little on your pressure points. The alcohol smell should dissipate after a few seconds and your gorgeous perfume notes will be left behind. If, however, the alcohol is all you smell after some time has passed, you might have put in too much alcohol, you might not have a good blend of EOs, or it's possible that you need to let the perfume sit a bit longer. While Eau de Parfums are ready to wear after about a month, I've found that the 3 month marker is the sweet spot. After 3 months, these perfumes really shine.
You now know how to make two varieties of perfume. For our next Tutorial Tuesday (which may not be on a Tuesday, let's see how ambitious I am), let's learn how to make solid perfume, shall we? Stay tuned.