SCENT - THE SECRETS
Have you ever wanted to add delicious scent combo’s to your own perfume or DIY skin care but wondered which aromas unite? There are so many to choose from, once you know some basics it’s really easy to pick those that complement each other and there are some amazing combinations that are simple to create.
I’ll be talking primarily about essential oils and their scents, these are extracted usually by hot steam distillation and most of the perfume industry buys it oils grown in the Grasse region in France and distilled locally in that area.
What we smell is small microparticles of the plant or flower extract and our olfactory is finely tuned to evocative and favourite scents as well as the healing powers of mother nature's apothecary.
Perfumers use a ‘note’ table as a guide for combining flower. They group into primarily 3 notes; the base, the middle and the top. The top note is the first to leave the skin and they dance on the breeze, flirting with the nose. The middle notes are the bloom and body of the mix and take a little longer to leave the skin but it’s the base notes that linger on the skin giving depth to the perfume.
TOP NOTES: basil, bergamot, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, peppermint, lemon balm, wild orange
MIDDLE NOTES: camomile, cardamom, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, cypress, fennel, geranium, lavender, rose, rosemary, thyme.
BASE NOTES: clove, cedarwood, frankincense, jasmine, patchouli, rose absolute, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang-ylang
You can pick one from each group and magic happens, the possibilities are endless.
COCO CHANEL no5
Top: Lemon mandarin orange
Mid: Rose Jasmine Ylang-Ylang
Base: Vetivert Cedarwood
Mid: Jasmine Rose
Base: Patchouli Benzoin Tonka bean
This template is a really great guide to combining and I would encourage you to experiment and go with what you love. Here are some great scents to pair with delicious and luxurious results, it’s basically combining a citrus with a full bodied exotic:
Orange & Jasmine
Lemon & Rose
Lemon & Vanilla
Lavender & Vanilla
Geranium & Rose
Rose & YlangYlang
The second method for combining scents is by looking at their actions: Uplifting & energising. Relaxing & Calming. Nurturing & Comforting.
These pairings still smell amazing but our olfactory carries the healing powers of the microparticles to the brain and magic happens, relaxation, energy, or nurture. Within this method is where we find the herbs like lavender, thyme, basil and camomile as they have properties that are beneficial for emotional and physical health. Folk medicine and the kitchen pharmacy has long held the secrets of healing scent and many of us still resonate comfort with smells from our mothers kitchen and that may be because vanilla is a warming and comforting therapeutic oil. Most suppliers will give you a guide to combining for healing properties as well as guidelines for usage and wellbeing.
Here are some simple combinations:
Mint & Lemon - Uplifting - Freshening
Lavender & Camomile - Relaxing
Orange & Thyme - Clears the mind
Rose & Geranium - Nurturing - Balancing
Pine & Lemon - Uplifting - Brightening
Vanilla & Lavender - Comforting - Warming
When mixing always use a base oil or carrier oil to dilute your essential oils and then add drops of the essential oil at a dilution of 2-3 % to the carrier oil.
What scents we love to wear is part of our uniqueness, it can be a way of speaking to those around us, saying something about our personality. You can also mix a scent that has a nurturing, uplifting or healing effect as you wear it, and it's just for you. Perfume or mixing flower and plant extracts is personal, nothing ever smells the same on another person as we all have our own distinctive skin type that alters a perfume once it's applied. There are so many combo's to try, happy mixing !