Pretty vintage pillboxes are very easy to find in antique shops or markets and make perfect containers for solid perfumes. Using a solid perfume is a luxurious experience in itself as the oils and waxes warm on the skin gently releasing the scent. You can blend oils and absolutes purely for their fragrance appeal or for their aromatherapeutic properties – they also make fabulous gifts!
SOLID PERFUME RECIPE
YOU WILL NEED
15ml jojoba oil
20-40 drops essential oils of your choice
Heatproof bowl or bain-marie (the same kind you use for melting chocolate)
Small spoon for stirring blend
Small container or pillbox (a 15ml lip balm jar works fine too)
STEP BY STEP
1. Measure the jojoba oil into a shot glass
2. Add your essential oils stirring gently
3. Weigh the beeswax into a heatproof bowl or bain-marie (double boiler)
4. Pour an inch or so of boiling water into a sauce pan and place over a low heat
5. Place the heatproof bowl containing the beeswax over the pan of water and gently heat until liquid
6. Pour the jojoba oil blend into the melted beeswax continuing to heat gently until everything is liquid. Be very careful not to heat for too long as the essential oils will start to evaporate.
7. Pour into your pillbox and leave to set
8. Enjoy your own personal fragrance or give away as a gift
The process of making a solid perfume is a very simple one but the fun creative part is blending the essential oils to get a finished scent. When choosing essential oils for your perfume it is best to use the woody essential oils or vanilla as a base, then adding floral or spice notes for interest in the heart of the fragrance.
In solid perfumes, light citrus top notes do not work quite so well as they disappear into the oil base and evaporate very quickly with heating.
Single floral notes such as ylang ylang, rose or jasmine can work well on their own; they are such beautiful complex fragrances in their own right.
You could try replacing some (or all) of the beeswax with a floral wax which will have a fragrance of its own and are much cheaper than buying rose or tuberose absolute.
Why not make your own vanilla oil by placing one or two chopped vanilla pods in a small bottle of jojoba. Leave for a few weeks to infuse (the longer the better) and then add the strained oil to the melted beeswax for a delicious vanilla scent.
As an alternative to a pillbox why not fill half a locket with solid perfume to wear around your neck or a small lip balm tin to carry in your handbag.
This recipe is designed to be something you can easily make at home with no special equipment. However, for a more professional and repeatable scent, I would encourage you to use a scale and weigh everything instead. There is a version of this recipe in my book Perfume – The Art and Craft of Fragrance with weighs in grammes.
For more information on weighing materials there is a blog post here: https://www.karengilbert.co.uk/measuring-safe-limits-of-perfume-materials
10 drops rose absolute
5 drops sandalwood
5 drops geranium
Fruity & Woody
10 drops orange
4 drops vetiver
2 drops patchouli
4 drops cedarwood
10 drops frankincense
4 drops sandalwood
6 drops rose
4 drops patchouli
10 drops vanilla