Whether you choose to use a base oil, (carrier oil), wax or an alcohol as a dilution agent, it is important to understand the positive properties each substance contains. It is important to know most popular base oils and their health benefits, along with any contraindications, as well as information on perfume, alcohol and vodka, as a base ingredient; so you can make an informed choice when choosing your perfume ingredients.
Distilled water comes from the steam which is collected while boiling water. Purified or filtered water can be used as an alternative to distilled water.
Hydrosol is distilled water collected from the boiling of floral waters, such as lavender infused water. This can be purchased ready-made or you can make your own at home.
Rectified spirit or alcohol is an agriculturally based ethyl alcohol, (usually grain), which is repeatedly distilled to create a pure alcohol.
The purity level of most rectified spirits is 95.6%, however this can be difficult to purchase due to the restrictions of such a high alcohol level.
A popular choice is a rectified spirit of 75.5% ABV, (151 proof) called ‘Everclear’ as this is more widely available.
A clear, tasteless and odourless alcohol produced using grains or potatoes, this is the closest commercial alcohol to rectified spirit and readily available; as such, it is a great alternative. The process of distillation used in manufacturing vodka makes it a great fixative to stabilize scent and preserve essential oils.
If using vodka, aim for the highest alcohol level you can find. Remember, the higher the ABV the purer the alcohol.
While this is readily available, it is worth noting that it does contain 3 different ingredients; so it’s not as pure as rectified spirit or vodka. Perfumers alcohol is made up of denatured alcohol, isopropyl myristate and dipropylene glycol Solids.
Produced by worker bees, this is a natural wax that is widely used in a variety of different industries. Beeswax has a light honey scent and its health properties include:
- · Anti-inflammatory
- · Anti-bacterial
- · Forms a natural barrier on the skin which aids in healing and skin protection
- · Humectant, (attracts water which keeps skin hydrated)
- · Anti-allergenic
- · Soothes itching, including eczema
- · Vitamin A
There are different types of beeswax with the main ones available being.
1. Yellow beeswax – natural product obtained from the honeycomb
2. White beeswax – yellow beeswax which has been bleached
3. Beeswax absolute – yellow beeswax which has been treated with alcohol
Solvent extracted wax with a slight fragrance. These waxes are often used by vegans as an alternative to beeswax; however, they are quite expensive and not as widely available as the beeswax option. The most popular floral waxes are jasmine, rose and mimosa.
Shea butter comes from the Shea Nut and is widely used within the cosmetic industry. It has a slight nutty scent and its benefits include:
- · Anti-inflammatory
- · Moisturizing
- · Collagen Production
- · Vitamins A, D & E
- · Anti-oxidant
- · Anti-aging
Not as stable as a wax so will not give the same solidity to your perfume but a great option to mix with wax to create a slightly softer perfume. This can also be used on its own to create a perfumed body cream.
Raw (Virgin, Unrefined) Coconut Oil
Raw coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of a mature coconut. It has a thick consistency and, unless warm, does not resemble an oil. It has a lovely, mild coconut scent which can complement many essential oils.
When purchasing coconut oil, it is important to ensure you do not buy refined, bleached oil, always choose raw oil that is pure.
Benefits of coconut oil include:
- · Moisturizing
- · Anti-Viral
- · Vitamin E
- · Anti-Aging
- · Anti-Oxidant
- · Anti-Fungal
Carrier oils are made from vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruit. Many of the oils used as a base oil are better known in cooking however, be certain that you buy either unrefined, virgin or extra virgin when shopping for base oils in the grocery store.
There is a large range of different base oils so below I have listed the most popular oils and their benefits.
Sweet Almond Oil
A thick, sweet nutty oil that is highly moisturizing and removes impurities from the skin. This oil does not penetrate the skin well and tends to sit on the surface making it ideal for the treatment of dry skin conditions.
Light to medium density oil that has a nutty scent. This oil is quickly absorbs and very hydrating. It contains anti-aging and protective properties and can help with scars and stretch marks.
Evening Primrose Oil
A light and nutty scented oil with healing and astringent properties. Evening Primrose also has anti-inflammatory benefits.
A pale green oil with a light to medium density that has a mildly sweet scent. Beneficial properties include anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
This is a lightly scented oil with moisturizing properties. Its other benefits include Skin strengthening and circulation, regenerative, astringent and soothing.
Jojoba is very thick, waxy oil with very little scent. Nourishing and quickly absorbed into the skin. It contains anti-oxidant properties.
This is a heavy oil with a fruity scent, better known in the food industry. Olive oil penetrates the skin well and has anti-oxidant properties.
Rose Hip Oil
Rose hip is non greasy, amber colored oil with an earthy scent. Rose hip oil is regenerative and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Yellow/brown oil with a strong nutty scent. Sesame oil has anti-aging properties and is moisturizing and soothing on the skin. It is also known to absorb and remove toxins.
Strong scented oil with a high level of moisturizing properties. It has anti-oxidant properties and stimulated skin regeneration.