Huge Milestone...So Let's Give Stuff Away!!

sweet tea apothecary perfume giveawayMy Etsy shop says that it opened in March of 2012. That was when I opened the account, yes, but I didn't begin selling until July of that year. So here I am nine months later reaching a milestone I thought would take me YEARS to accomplish. My shop hit 1000 sales :O I'm still in shock. It's thanks to awesome repeat customers, people who decided to try perfume from the internet on a whim, and some random, much appreciated press I've received. To say thank you, I'd like to give away some bottles of perfume I've had at the ready. These bad boys have been bottled for five months...which means they smell ahhhhh-maaazing. They are the last bottles I have that feature the old labels...so they're like historic and stuff!!

Here's what I've got:

2 bottles of 15ml Remy

2  bottles of 15ml Antoinette

2 bottles of 15ml HRM Victoria

3 bottles of 5ml HRM Victoria

1 bottle of 10ml Thoreau

UPDATE: All the bottles have been claimed but I'll be doing another giveaway in the next two weeks for samples of the new girls Lenore & Boleyn as well as some other full bottles. There will be advance notice as I will post here, on FB, and Twitter in the days leading up to it.

That's 10 bottles of perfume to be given away!! If you'd like one, send me a convo on Etsy letting me know which you'd like and your address (only taking requests via Etsy so it's easier to keep track). It's first come, first served so if the one you want is no longer available, I'll let you know what the alternatives are. I will post updates to Facebook periodically. If you don't end up getting one, don't despair. The new website I'll be launching soon will have more giveaway opportunities.

Once again, THANK YOU!! Thank you for letting me run my own business doing something I love.

Sneak Peek at the New Website

This weekend I closed my shop to get caught up on orders, finally work on some new perfumes, and build a new website. Also, relax. It turns out I was a tad burnt out. Who knew averaging 300+ orders a month for 2 months while in the third trimester of pregnancy would be tiring? I KNOW NOW. Anyway, I feel loads better. And am really excited to show you a snippet of the new website. It's got scrolling pictures! It's got a fully integrated blog! It allows me to send newsletters! So many things!

sneak peak at new Sweet Tea Apothecary website

I've got all the nuts and bolts in place just have to figure out how shipping works and add in my products. Also, maybe jazz up that white background? IDK you can't see everything in this screenshot but whatever. I'll be launching soon, with new perfumes announced, so stay tuned.

New Labels are Here! And I'm Back Open for the Time Being

Dead Writers by Sweet Tea Apothecary 2I opened at 10:30am with 30 bottles of 5ml Dead Writers and 10 of the 10ml bottles. The 10s are long gone, and last I checked, there were 6 bottles of 5ml left. So I'm guessing it will sell out again but don't worry! I have glass bottles and plenty of oil in stock so if it does sell out, it will be back within a few hours or tomorrow. I also added a bigger tin of solid perfume for Dead Writers. It's now a 1/2 ounce. Changes due to everything going on:

First off, I'm no longer offering 10ml bottles of anything. They weren't as popular and they're actually way more expensive (the glass bottle part) than any of the others. Instead, my shop will now have the following three sizes of everything: 5ml, 15ml and 1/2 ounce tins of solid perfume. The Dead Writers solid perfume is $5 more than the other solids. Why? You might ask. It's because it's just so much more popular that I go through the oil a lot quicker. Supply and demand and all.

With the size changes comes pricing changes...again due to supply and demand. All 5ml perfume oils are now $20. The 15ml bottles are $30. All solid perfumes except for Dead Writers are $10. I think that makes everything a lot easier and will better allow me to cover costs of oils because they be expensive y'all.

New female labels sweet tea apothecary

Lastly, I have new labels and they're so pretty! And easy to cut out. And easy to edit. Basically. My life is going to be much easier now. In this post you'll see what the Dead Writers and the feminine labels look like. I still have to fix the male labels (Maynard and Thoreau) but they look like the girl labels only a different color and font. The solid perfume tins for the feminine perfumes will also look like the Dead Writers solid featured above just in that pretty shade of mauve with the fancy Art Deco script.

Hope you like everything!

Treat Yo' Self Two Thousand Thiiiirteeen or a Guide to My Perfumes

I haven't been writing. Here's a brief synopsis of why. *On January 29 a blog post on BookRiot, followed by The Huffington Post, about my Dead Writers perfume went viral. Nearly 400 orders were placed in my shop between then and the end of February. To put that in perspective, my previous high was 87 orders in one month...at Christmas. Usually, I get anywhere between 30-50.

*On February 16 things began to slow down to a more manageable pace (no longer working from 9am - 2am!) and my friends and family flew to Seattle to give me a baby shower! It was grand! We made onesies, everyone but me got really drunk, and my 13 year old cousin not only drew the phrase "Breast Milk Pump," but drew an anatomically correct picture that was correctly guessed in roughly 7 seconds. During this weekend we watched Parks and Recreation, specifically the episode where Tom and Donna take Ben on an excursion of self-pampering they dub, "Treat Yo' Self." This became the mantra of the weekend.

Should I get this bacon Bloody Mary? Treat Yo' Self.

Should I buy a new wardrobe even though I won't fit into anything within the next month? Treat Yo' Self.

Should we order the $100 per person chef's tasting menu? TREAT YO' SELF!

I'm one of those people who gets easily distracted by connections I make in my head and then don't voice until 10 minutes into the conversation so everyone's like, "What? How long have you been thinking of that? What kind of mental acrobatics did you do to arrive at this point?" Here it is:

I've been getting a lot of new customers to my shop who want advice on what perfumes to try. Most of them are intrigued by handmade perfume and wonder what it's like. Others are just nervous about buying perfume they've never smelled over the internet which I totally get. If you want to Treat Yo' Self to some fine perfume (see what I did there?) here is what I usually recommend.

First off... my top three selling perfumes are Dead Writers, Remy, and Georgiana. (That alone helps some.)

Antoinette: Do you like to smell like a bouquet of freshly picked Spring flowers? LOOK NO FURTHER. The jasmine, tuberose, moss, and bergamot work together to ensure that even if the winter makes you feel like you're waiting for the guillotine, you'll be transported to the Hall of Mirrors. History!

Clara: Are you a single lady who likes to hit the clubs and (gasp!) show a little ankle?! Then the sexy sandalwood and tuberose combination in this perfume will make you feel like a silver screen siren. No really. This one is basically a sex perfume. If you're trying to be sultry, this is the one you want. One warning though: I am a migraine sufferer...this is my one perfume that I can't wear because the smell is too heady for me. If you get headaches easily, don't do this one.

Dead Writers: Do you wear patches on your elbows and sit in dimly lit rooms drinking black coffee or tea smoking packs of clove cigarettes (Djarum Blacks)? If this describes you, or you're just the type of person who prefers a "dirty perfume" then put some of this on before you head out to work on that novel at the local coffee shop. Dead Writers is musky and has a stale smoke smell. It is lightened by some vanilla and heliotrope (a flower that in combination with the vanilla smells like a sweet milk creamer you might add to your tea). If you've never had a musky perfume and want to live dangerously without smelling homeless, go for the Georgiana. More on that below.

Georgiana: Are you a lady who dresses for dinner and... I can't think of anything clever, basically you are Dowager Countess Maggie Smith elegance. Georgiana literally smells like a cup of Earl Grey tea. It's my most subtle perfume and has a soft, sultry, smokiness that is perfect for an evening on the town. I wear this one when I want to be fancy. If you were interested in the smokiness of Dead Writers but don't want to overdo it with the musk, then Georgiana is the one for you. The bergamot really brightens it up and it smells more feminine.

Maynard: Do you want to smell like the frontier? Maynard has a bunch of old timey ingredients (sassafras, gin, the sweat of men who founded cities) and somehow smells like clean root beer. What does clean root beer smell like you ask? Like Old Spice and root beer... but BETTER. That's what. A gentleman friend took home a sample of Maynard from the aforementioned baby shower and told me yesterday that he "smells like a BOSS and gets looks from all the ladies." That's not to say a lady can't wear this one. I wear it sometimes when I want to be the Boss. (I'm never the boss though, guys :( Too meek.) Basically if you enjoy root beer and like to smell shower fresh, May May be your pick.

Pamplemousse: Do you like to smell like a summer cocktail, not because you're an alcoholic but because you just enjoy the scent? If you live in San Francisco, specifically the Mission, then you've heard of a restaurant called Beretta. They make a drink called Pamplemousse that is basically grapefruit juice, gin and St. Germaine (might have champagne too, can't remember). Once I discovered this drink, my weekends for the rest of the year I lived there were booked. This perfume makes me think of happier times when I wasn't pregnant and could drink delicious grapefruit cocktails and sit in the sun. On the skin: Pamplemousse has an intense grapefruit citrus smell for about 20 minutes to an hour which then melts into this amazing honey tea scent. All of my perfumes have layers and this one is probably one of my favorites to just sit there noting the smell of my wrist over the course of 8 hours.

Remy: Do you like to smell like honey and the Egyptian market? Perhaps you like something light, a bit powdery, and suitable for everyday wear. That's Remy. I wear this perfume every day. The saffron and sandalwood gives it a slight exotic spiciness that is balanced out by sweet, sweet honey. Behind Dead Writers, this is the top seller.

Thoreau: Are you a gardener who likes to take the scent of earth and tomatoes with you wherever you go? This perfume is unisex and smells like a forest or a freshly tilled plot of garden, depending on your nose. The clary sage ingredient further has a head clearing property to it - if you're a headache person, this one might be nice to sniff. If you like to smell like greenery, this one's for you.

HRM Victoria: If you're into pomp and circumstance and like a sugar scent, Victoria is your go-to. It smells like lavender and melted molasses. This one is closest in scent to what you might find at a Bath and Body Works...but there are three all natural ingredients in this one: French Lavender, Amber, and Vanilla. At BBW there would probably be at least 15 ingredients you can't pronounce. The scent is very sugary, but the lavender gives it an air of regalness (word?). Lavender was, after all, Queen Vic's favorite scent.

There you have it, my perfumes in a nutshell. Also, my new labels are done I'm just trying to figure out how to get them to print correctly using Windows 8. So if you order, you might get a label a bit different from what you see in the photos. I'm hoping to have better photos soon too, baby steps people.

BookRiot is Causing a Riot in My Shop!!

dead writers perfume cologne oil 10 mlAs an Etsy shop owner, it's always fun when you wake up in the morning to hundreds of new views to your shop that you don't normally receive. Your jaw drops to the floor and you double check the numbers several times (after rubbing your eyes of course) to make sure that this is really happening. Yesterday (and continuing today!) was such a day for me. I was fortunate enough to have the picture of a bottle of Dead Writers on the front page of Bookriot.com which in turn linked to a blog post speculating what different scents famous authors throughout history would have worn. It was brilliant! And actually something that I'm working on for the spring. So thank you so much to BookRiot for giving me such a nice shout out and a bump in business.

Here is the blog post and below are some of the writerly suggestions:

"Edgar Allan Poe: Poppies, absinthe, sandalwood, and mold

Flannery O’Connor: Church incense, soap, vanilla, ginger

Jack Kerouac: Cigarettes, cheap beer, unwashed youth, patchouli, car leather

the Bronte Sisters: Heather, sea air, vetiver, primrose, black tea"

Half Off Sale & Apologies to Canada

10 ml eau de parfum bottleFirst 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

Moving on.

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.

 

 

Indie Gift Box, New Logo Design, & Other 2013 Goodness

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who contributed to the discussion about my shop name! I had a minor freak out over whether I should keep the name or ditch it and pretty much everyone talked me off the cliff and I've decided to keep Sweet Tea Apothecary. I feel way more confident about it thanks to everyone's support...so thank you! You are all awesome. So name firmly in place, I hired a graphic designer to come up with a new logo and new labels for all my bottles. I'm hoping to roll that out in the next month so stay tuned :)

Have you heard of Indie Gift Box? It's an adorable site in which they provide a box of samples and swag from various handmade shops on Etsy and beyond. I'm working on a wholesale order for them right now which will be featured in their March gift boxes. That is a perfume themed month so if you're a perfumista, make sure you check it out!

December was insanity (thus my last post being over a month ago). I sold probably 45-50 bottles of Dead Writers and many a locket and sample pack over the course of the holiday season. January has been slower but still regular business. In my first 5.5 months as a shop on Etsy I have made over 300 sales. WOW! For 2013 my main goal is to work on good branding and start marketing myself more to online magazines. I also want to introduce more perfumes and change up my stock. Plenty to keep me busy.

Speaking of busy, for regular readers, in case you haven't figured it out (I think I made it pretty obvious) I am pregnant and due in May. I'm not one to broadcast this sort of info but I want to bring this up because Sweet Tea Apothecary will be closed from May 1 through July 7. This is a ways off but just wanted to make sure my regular customers have plenty of notice.

I think that's it for now...can't wait to show off my new logo soon!

Perfume By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

Now offering gift cards with a free sample pack! Yup. Because it's perfume. I just like to get in as many Shakespeare references as possible on a given day. It makes me feel important and classy. But I bring this up because I'm interested in changing the ol' shop name. I hate sweet tea you guys. It's really gross. I'm that person that sends my iced tea back if they put sugar in it. And I don't even feel bad about it. When I was starting out I was trying to incorporate things I liked (tea) and also come up with a super feminine name because OBVIOUSLY perfume is ONLY worn by super feminine girls. Except I'm not overly flowery myself. So now I have this super girly name meanwhile many of my customers are goths or dudes who enjoy tobacco cologne. That's not to say that all the flowery ladies that come to me aren't important, they totally are, but I've got to be more inclusive, ya know? But here lies the rub (that's two Shakespeare points in this post) a lot of people I've asked really like the name Sweet Tea Apothecary. If people like it who am I to change it?? THIS IS SO HARD!

Here are the ideas I've been ok with that some friends have thrown out there:

Lace & Pearl Apothecary (with men's labels being L&P Apothecary to tone down the femme)

High Tea Apothecary (to keep tea and the historical aspect)

or we could just stick with the old reliable and not change the name. WHAT DO I DO GUYS?!? I'm trying to decide by the end of this week because I have big things in the works for the new year and want to get in with a graphic designer before hand so that I can get some better branding, ideally by mid January.

Second reason for this post. I have had so many people come to my shop wanting to buy gifts for other people but they have no idea what scent they might like. This was especially apparent at the craft show I just participated in. So! not to worry, I have a solution! I am now offering two gift card options that each come with a free sample pack. There's a $35 option and a $50. Those two price ranges cover the cost of all items in my shop plus shipping! If your giftee (real word?) wants to go over those amounts, I would just send them an invoice for the difference. EASY! I'll add links to those probably tomorrow, I'm having internet and computer problems (I'm at a coffee shop right now).

Last important bit of news. I'M ALL BETTER! No more sickness. It's done. If you bought from me in the last month and a half or so and experienced long ship times...it was because I was seriously sick out of my mind and couldn't bring myself to leave the house let alone go to the post office on a regular basis. I should have probably shared that in my convos but I hate being whiny and making excuses to customers. I promise though that in the future I'll be more up front about such things. But now we can rejoice that I'm better and my energy levels have returned to their pre-sickness manic levels.

So yeah, health, gift card options, and possibly a new shop name. All of such stuff as dreams are made on, yo. (3 Shakespeare points).

My First Craft Show! EtsyRain's Handmade Holiday Show

I did it! I survived my first craft show. I've been a sickling on and off for the past few months so I was really nervous about my ability to handle being on the floor for seven hours per day, two days straight, but my body gave me a reprieve and I was ok! I got to network with a bunch of other super talented Etsians, made a few trades, supported other shops, and met fellow Pacific Northwest Perfumers. That in addition to talking to all the enthusiastic supporters of handmade who visited my booth!

 

How to Make All Natural Floral Water (You can use herbs too!)

I never understood what my grandmother was talking about when she said that ladies of good breeding should go easy on the rose water. Roses smell delicious, said 12 year old me (and also me now).

We have such a huge variety of perfumes available (often made with questionable ingredients) that it's easy to forget that throughout history when they didn't have real science LIKE WE DO they just used whatever plants and flowers were available. And now that we have all those perfumes with questionable ingredients we just want to make beauty products with whatever plants and flowers are available. Circle of life everyone.

With that said, I shall now teach you how to make your very own floral water! This recipe does not use any alcohol so this floral water (or herb water if you so desire) is good for use as a refreshing mister, facial toner, or even a pillow spray. The other great thing about this recipe is that you already have the tools you need, all you need to get is some distilled water and plant material.

Let's do this!

What you need

1 pot with lid

1 glass bowl or glass measuring cup

Distilled water (found in the water aisle at most grocery stores)

Flower petals or chopped herbs of your choice

Ice cubes

1 mason jar or empty spray bottle to store your floral water

Label

How to make floral water

Take your glass bowl or measuring cup and put it in the center of the pot. Make sure that the pot is big enough to accommodate it's size. Now, take your flower petals and spread them out around the glass bowl. How much to use is dependent on how much liquid you want. If you have a small bottle and you want to make rose water, you really only need the petals from 2-3 roses (yields roughly 4 oz). If you want to make a larger batch use more petals. If you're using chopped lavender or peppermint, etc, use enough to cover the bottom of the pot (generally 1/2 ounce to an ounce of the herbs will yield 2-4 ounces).

Now that your bowl and petals/herbs are in place, take your distilled water and completely cover the plant material (kind of like making rice or quinoa in a pot). You want enough so that the plant doesn't burn but not so much that it dilutes the flowers. Once you've got the flowers covered by water, flip the pot's lid upside down so that the handle is facing the glass bowl and cover. Again like rice or quinoa, put the stove on a high temp so that the water boils. Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer. At this point, put some ice cubes on top of the lid. You'll notice that the water condensing in the pot is slowly spilling into the glass bowl. The water falling into the glass bowl is your flower water!

I periodically check the pot to make sure the flowers aren't burning and place fresh ice cubes on top. Simmer the plants from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much liquid you want (the more you want, the longer you go). If you see that the plants are burning you can either add some more distilled water or just take your flower water and call it a day.

Once finished, carefully pour the flower water into your jar or bottle, label, and refrigerate. Keeping the water in the fridge helps it stay fresher longer and quite frankly feels AMAZING when you spray it on your skin. You don't have to keep it in the fridge, but if you don't make sure you replace it within 2-3 weeks as it can start to smell funky (there's no alcohol remember?).

For my shop, my favorite two blends that I used to sell are Rose & Peppermint, and Chamomile & Vanilla Bean. As you can see, there are countless possibilities  When using plants, make sure you check their properties so that you don't end up using anything that could be bad for your skin. Aromantic has a great list of herbs for skin care.

Featured on Offbeat Home!

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:

How to Make Your Own Eau de Parfum

How to Make Solid Perfume for Lockets and Compacts

Happy Perfuming!

Gearing Up For Craft Fairs

I just found out that I will be vending my delicious little scents at Etsy Rain's Holiday Handmade Show on Black Friday at the Seattle Center. Yup. My first craft fair. And it's on Black Friday. Go big or go home, y'all. I'm still waiting to hear about a second show I applied to which, as fate would have it, is only two weeks later. I'm going to be a busy little perfume bee the next three months which is actually good because it will distract me from the depression everyone has been telling me I'll experience due to my first winter in Seattle. It's just win win.

If you're in Seattle and want to shop handmade this holiday season, maybe check out Etsy Rain's show. We can talk and become best friends, you read my blog after all.

 

Yay! A Customer Blog Review

Sara James from Tin Roof Soap Co. wrote this lovely review of my Marie Antoinette perfume. Check.it.out. "I LOVE selling on Etsy.com – I have the opportunity to meet and mingle with creative souls all over the world, and I get exposed to new ideas and high quality products.  This is about one of those creative souls and my experience with her handcrafted perfume.

J.T. Siems, owner and creator of Sweet Tea Apothecary, is kind of amazing.  She has imbued her warm, stylish, smart, and creative personality into her products and her shop.  Browsing through her online storefront is kind of like visiting a Victorian-era gift shop, complete with flowers, vintage lockets, and spray perfumes.  Around the Etsy.com network, I kept finding myself drawn to her perfumes, luring me in with their whimsy (the store tagline is “Whimsical handmade perfumes and Victorian jewelry” – fitting, no?).  After reading through the descriptions of the each perfumes, with names such as HRM Victoria,Her Grace, The Duchess Georgiana, and Thoreau and historical stories to fit each, I decided to go with La Reine Antoinette, with “gentle notes of Rose, Bergamot, and Jasmine accented by fresh moss will make you feel as though you’re picking wildflowers in the gardens of Versailles.”  Swoon." Read the rest.

Woa, I'm Actually Busy.

My etsy shop has steadily been increasing in views and sales over the last two weeks. This is super amazing happy fantastic! I started selling July 6 and have hit 31 sales, I'm told this is good for a new shop so yay me! Today started out normal enough with an IM conversation with my husband. We basically only hang out together and when he's at work we talk all day online. We need to set more boundaries.

Husband: [IMing] Hey. http://www.amazon.co.uk/BIC-For-Amber-Medium-Ballpoint/dp/B004FTGJUW/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

i think we might need to get you some BIC For Her pens :P
 me: haha wtf
  why does there need to be a girl version of a pen?
  there were lots of marketing meetings involved
  i can just see them now
Husband: yep
  they were like, our studies show that women aren't buying our pens
  they're just losing the ones their husbands buy
 me: hahahahhahaha
  wait, RUDE!

Pretty much immediately after this transpired I received a rush order for two solid perfumes and a cologne oil. I've talked to you about Maynard before, well he is my pride and joy. I like Maynard more than my perfumes I think. I don't know I change my mind on which I like best pretty much every day. That lovely photo above is today's work. Between that and a few other random orders I had to fill, I was counting drops of oil all day. Totally not complaining, I love my home business.

And then because we prefer things to go full circle with closure, I received this IM around 4:30pm after we hadn't spoken in about two hours.

Husband: Since I received these pens, I've been spending a lot more time down in the basement, formerly my 'rec room' - now my cosy little writing boudoir. I giddily wile away the hours in a flounce of feathers, pearls and potpourri, but all the time writing, writing, writing. Sometimes, I'm Maeve Binchley, or Virginia Andrews. Other times, I'm in a more subtle, sophisticated mood. Then, I put on my night vision goggles and bam! Margaret Atwood is prowling through my cellar.But it's the simple pleasures that remain consistently best. I start with a quick tuck, a smidge of tape, some coral red lipstick, a nipple ornament that looks like a chandelier designed by a drunk french hippy. Then I slink up and down in front of my full length mirror dressed only in a boa, and brandishing a BIC For Her. Intense. So hot."I'd write me. I'd write me soooooo hard."

Apparently that's a real review for Bic's lady pens. Maybe go buy some?

How to Make Your Own Solid Perfume for Lockets or Compacts

Tired of TSA throwing out your perfumes or relegating them to a checked bag and spilled contents? Then have I the tutorial for you. We've talked about making perfume oil and eau de parfum, so it feels right that we should now discuss solid perfuming.

Making solid perfume is incredibly easy and fun! Once you get the process down, it only takes about 15 minutes and you're left with endless gift possibilities. You can put your perfume in a locket, compact, tin, pocket watch...seriously, any kind of small compartment will do.

No complicated maths this time around (HECK YES) so let's get right to it!

What You Need

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. If you would like just one specific scent (lavender, jasmine, etc) it's ok to just use one essential oil.

3 pipettes or glass droppers

2 small bowls - use ceramic or glass as you will be melting the wax. I put the glass bowl over a candle and melt but you can use a stove or microwave.

Measuring spoons

1 tablespoon beeswax

1.5 teaspoons of Jojoba or Sweet Almond Oil. Trader Joe’s has a nice Jojoba in their spa section that is both affordable and great for dry skin beyond your perfuming needs.

Locket or container for your perfume

Let's Do This!

In our other tutorials we talked about a perfume being made up of base, heart, and head notes. If you need help deciding what essential oils to use and in what order, refer back to the sections "The Basics," and "How Do You Pick the Right Oils to Go Together?" in the tutorial on making perfume oil.

Alright, in this recipe, we are going to use 40 drops of essential oils. As we learned previously, the ratios of base, heart, and head are:

2 parts base : 1 part heart : 1 part head

That means we will have 20 drops of our base note and 10 drops each of our heart and head. Math, we have conquered you!

Using your pipette, count out 20 drops of your base essential oil. When finished, put the oil and the pipette aside. Next, use a clean pipette and count out 10 drops of your heart essential oil. Finally, using your last clean pipette, count out 10 drops of your head essential oil. Put your pipettes and oils to the side, they are done.

Next, measure out 1.5 teaspoons of Jojoba or Sweet Almond oil and mix with your essential oil concoction. Stir it up and sniff to make sure you like the scent. If you don't like it, toss it now and repeat the process until you've found a combination you like. If it smells heavenly, then let's move on to wax melting.

That site I mentioned earlier, Brambleberry, carries beeswax or you can find it at your local health food store. Slice off a tablespoon of beeswax and place it in your empty ceramic/glass bowl. Melt the beeswax thoroughly so that it is completely liquid. I prefer to do this over a candle but however you can melt it is fine. Once it has been liquefied, pour your essential oil/jojoba mixture in with the beeswax and stir over low heat. If you see solids form when you pour the perfume into the beeswax just gently stir it until the mixture is liquid again. Once your perfume/beeswax concoction is stirred and thoroughly liquid, pour it into your container. If you have a small locket I advise using a pipette to transfer the perfume so that it doesn't spill. Be advised that the wax will start to harden so if you do use a pipette make sure it's one you don't care about as it's hard to get wax out.

Let your locket or container sit open for the next 15 minutes. Marvel at the wonders of science as you watch your liquid perfume slowly solidify. Once it has cooled down and looks hard, close the lid. It's ready for immediate wear/use, but solid perfumes tend to smell amazing after they have sat untouched for a week. I'm not telling you what to do, but I am. Wait. It's worth it.

If your perfume comes out mushy that means you might not have added enough beeswax. The beautiful thing about making solid perfume is that if you mess up... you can just re-melt it and fix.

Clean Up

As you have no doubt noticed, melted wax is messy! Soak your bowl for a bit and then rub it down with a paper towel. Try to scoop all the wax out with the paper towel before putting it in the dishwasher.

I hope your solid perfume came out amazing and that it was a fun experience. I got into perfumery after making a solid perfume locket for a friend as a birthday gift. You never know where life will take you.

Greatest Testimonial Ever Written? Yes.

This gem of an Etsy feedback came in regarding my Georgiana perfume. This brave soul bought a 5ml bottle without having sampled it. Here's what she had to say: A smell of lace and pearls and the richly curled hair of fine ladies in an English country manor. Sweet, genteel, dignified, opulent yet intimate, it transports the mind to the chambers of Grandes Dames and the arms of noblemen. As ponies and coaches no longer deliver our parcels, I received this fragrant jewel almost as quickly as the blink of my eye.

I'm pretty sure we're destined to be best friends.

Blah & Other Mediocrities

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.