Natural Jasmine Perfume recipe (formula)

Today I would like to share with you the formula for my own personal jasmine natural perfume. Formulas are not often shared so why am I doing this? Simply because over the years I have learnt a lot on the web about many topics that I am interested in, thanks to generous people willing to share their knowledge and experience.  It is in this spirit that I want to share a personal fragrance formula that I love based on jasmine.

Jasmine is a much loved flower, offering a rich and heavy narcotic floral scent with an animalic background. The sambac variety is deeper, spicier, less sweet and more intense than the grandiflorum. The grandiflorum variety showcases delicious sweet fruity notes. From an aromatherapy point of view, jasmine is uplifting, rejuvenating and energising with aphrodisiac qualities. The blooms continue to emit scent long after they have been picked from the plant. I can vouch for this – I picked a little sprig last Friday on my way to work. I popped the sprig in my top pocket and all day I was gifted with the most amazing wafts of jasmine. I kept forgetting I had it in my pocket and found myself wondering on occasion where the lovely smell was coming from! I still have the little sprig on my desk. The blooms are now completely shrivelled but are still emitting a scent – 5 days later, amazing!

Today, I collected a much larger bunch, which will keep the house smelling fantastic for days.

The following formula I do not sell. This is because I use a few ingredients that can be hard to come by and so I reserve it for my own personal use. I apologise that it is not a perfume formula that you can whip up today. If you don’t have an extensive perfumers palette you may not have some of the ingredients on hand and so will need to purchase before you have a go. In addition I have used a handmade organic peruvian cacao nib tincture (aged 4 months before filtering) and vanilla bean tincture (aged 9 months) in pure natural grape alcohol as the base for this perfume. It is well worth going to the effort of making these tinctures.

If you are not inclined to make your own perfume, I hope it gives you a little insight into the process I use to create perfume.

This perfume is what I’d describe as a rich oriental spicy floral – my favourite!

JASMINE SPICE NATURAL PERFUME

Measure in a sterilised small measuring glass (30ml glass) using disposable pipettes.

Cacao Nib Tincture 83 drops

Vanilla Bean Tincture 72 drops

To this base add the following:

Balsam of Peru eo 4 drops

Australian Sandalwood eo 3 drops

50% Opoponax absolute 3 drops (equivalent 1.5 drops)

2% Indole (natural isolate) 10 drops (equivalent 0.2 drops)

10% Blackcurrant Bud absolute 5 drops (equivalent 0.5 drops)

25% White Cognac eo 3 drops (equivalent 0.75 drops)

10% Violet Leaf absolute 4 drops (0.4 drops)

Jasmine Sambac absolute 4 drops

Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute 2 drops

Jasmine Grandiflorum Concrete 1/64 teaspoon – just under

Rose Maroc absolute 2 drops

Bitter Orange Flower absolute 2 drops

Cardamon absolute 1 drop

Pink Grapefruit eo 2 drops

Blood Orange eo 3 drops

Bergamot (bergaptene free) eo 4 drops

5% Basil absolute 10 drops (equivalent 0.5 drops)

Blood Cedarwood eo 2 drops

Stir together, pour into a bottle and allow to marry for at least a week – preferably 2 – 3 weeks. After this time, strain through a funnel lined with unbleached filter paper. Decant into a 4ml bottle.

This makes just under 4mls of perfume at around 15% concentration.

Multiply as required to scale up. For larger volumes I would recommend converting the drops to weight to ensure accuracy in subsequent replication.

Jasmine Spice natural perfume

Jasmine Spice natural perfume

NOTES ON SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS

I use Opoponax absolute – not the essential oil. There is a vast difference in smell! The absolute is much richer and deeper. It is also the consistency of syrup and so it is best to dilute before using.

Indole is a natural isolate and even at 2% dilution is quite strong – smells a bit like moth balls. It occurs naturally in jasmine and helps add a little radiance. I’ve only added a dash, so it wouldn’t hurt to leave out as there is already plenty of jasmine in the perfume. If you would like to know a little more about indole, Victoria on her blog Bois de Jasmin writes beautifully about all things olfactory.

Blackcurrant Bud absolute – I adore this, although some liken it to cat pee! I don’t smell that myself. To me it smells earthy, fruity and wine like. Only a small amount is needed to prevent overpowering.

Cognac essential oil – this has a dry, tart, wine like aroma. It is used as a modifier to add a bit of lift to the blend. It is only needed in minute amounts, unless you really want the full dry, tart experience.

Violet Leaf absolute – has a very cool, green, leaf like aroma. This has to be added very carefully, otherwise your perfume will become a very “green” scent. Just a little bit, hints to the freshness of leaves whilst adding a long dry out to the perfume.

For the citrus oils I like to keep them in the 2 – 3% range in the finished perfume due to the issues with photo-toxicity. For this reason, I also only use distilled oils (not expressed citrus oils) and choose bergaptene free bergamot. Nonetheless, I recommend that perfumes containing citrus are not applied to skin that will be exposed to the sun or UV rays within 24 hours.

Basil absolute should be kept at less than 2% of the fragrance concentrate. Here it is used at 1.5%.

I normally have the base ingredients representing a higher ratio in my formulas, however, the tinctures here are acting as a base. To help the longevity of your fragrance, make sure your skin is well moisturised with an unscented product where you will apply the fragrance. This gives the perfume something to hold on to.

If you give this a try I’d love to know how it went and what you think. Also, if you make any adjustments, I’d love to know what they were and how they turned out.

Hope you have a shiny, happy day x

P.S. 23/06/15 I just thought I’d add the following in case readers were unaware: natural jasmine absolute is restricted in commercial fragrances by IFRA due to the potential for skin sensitisation. Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute is allowed at a maximum of 0.7% in the finished fragrance and Jasmine Sambac absolute at 4%. Rose absolute is restricted to 5% of the fragrance concentrate. The above recipe has the Jasmine Grandiflorum at around 0.9% of the finished fragrance and the Rose Absolute at around 6% of the fragrance concentrate – so both are above the IFRA limits. The Jasmine Sambac is ok at around 1.8%. As this is a recipe for personal use, if you choose to make it, it is at your own discretion. If you are concerned you can halve the Jasmine Grandiflorum and Rose absolute and see how it smells.

As a precaution, I think it is good practice for personal safety to always check that online fragrance recipes are using ingredients within recommended usage limits by IFRA and if they are not, at least you are aware and can make an informed decision as to whether to go ahead and make the blend. (When I was starting out years ago I followed an online lip balm recipe. The cinnamon essential oil looked a bit too much so I halved it – thank goodness I did, because even with using half the amount of the cinnamon my lips instantly swelled to twice their size and became extremely red!

The Good Scents Company is also very good for such information.

 

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Diversional Therapy

Sometimes I like to try something I’ve not tried before, especially when I feel like I’m getting completely lost in day to day activities. So, today I’m going to indulge myself and diverge from the usual topic of natural perfume. (for those only interested in perfume – I do apologise!)

I’ve recently been following the wonderful Mr. Finch. He did a shout out for The pale Rook – a doll artist based in Norway, whose dolls are just delightful. I’ve never sewn before, but was so inspired by the work of mister-finch and the pale rook that I thought I’d have a go.

I currently have a bird in progress (based on an Abigail Glassenberg pattern in The Artful  Bird) and an attempt at a doll. The poor birds legs are dreadful, due to the fact that I used the wrong wire and couldn’t shape them very well. I secured them so superbly, I couldn’t remove and just had to persist with dodgy legs. I am in the process of figuring out appropriate leg and arm patterns for the doll. I think both will have to wait a little while for completion. But I’m pretty happy so far with the attempts.

bird body

bird body

doll body

doll body

I’ve also started a learn to draw course. I’ve never attempted to draw because I thought a natural gift was required (given that both my kids and husband can just draw). The course has been wonderful for helping me simply get pencil to paper. I’ve also discovered that it is incredibly relaxing. It is amazingly meditative and hypnotic. I plan for just 20 minutes in my evenings to draw and before I know it 2 hours have passed! Of course my youngest son is delighted that he is getting to go to bed a little later! I’m excited to be up to the part on how to draw faces. I was very happy with my first attempt at a side view of the head. I quite like the look of the constructive lines, so I left them there. Here it is:

side profile1

Where have I been?

Oh my goodness, it has been 5 months since I last blogged.

So where have I been? Well, earlier this year I was offered a job that was basically too good to knock back. The offer also coincided with me questioning where I wanted to go with making natural perfume. The problem I have is that I come up with lots of ideas and wonderful new blends, however, the whole labelling and product photography limits my ability to release these new perfumes in a cost effective manner.

I don’t have the skills to take my own decent product photos and printing labels has been a real pain. I don’t seem to be able to work out how to do my own labels and all printers (local and online) that I have contacted seem to have very large minimum orders. So, I feel quite restricted in being able to release new fragrances. I’m also not particularly good at marketing my perfumes. Workshops I’ve been to, seem to suggest bombarding people with constant Facebook and Twitter updates, newsletters and almost daily blogging. Personally, I hate receiving a never ending stream of marketing tactics from anyone.

So, I simply let the natural perfume business hum quietly in the background and allowed myself the chance to become immersed in the job I was offered. Well, yesterday I put in my resignation. For many reasons, the job wasn’t what I had hoped it would be and I found myself frustrated. When you also receive sad news that a person you know has just died in a horrific car accident leaving behind a young family, you just think dang it, life’s too short to be frustrated every day.

my daily walk to work has come to an end

My daily walk to work has come to an end – instead I shall simply head straight back up the 194 stairs when I reach the bottom!

I prefer flexibility in my life and so I have returned to my usual casual clinical and research work. This gives me more space to work with my natural perfumes as well as to be open to other creative possibilities. In fact I’ve decided to learn to draw – I will tolerate child like stick figures no more!

When I first began my natural perfume journey one thing I noticed was a distinct lack of perfume recipes. Most were simple aromatherapy blends and anything more than a basic blend never seemed to perform well on the skin. It takes a fair bit of time and experimentation to get a perfume how you want it, so naturally no one wants to share their hard earned formula. However, I’ve decided that instead of releasing new blends I concoct, I will occasionally share an actual formula on my blog. Am I worried someone will take that formula and start their own brand? No. Good on them if they do and can make it work. In fact I’d be flattered if someone thought one of my formulas was good enough to start their own brand with. Formulating the blend is but one small piece of the puzzle. The ability to market is a huge part of the process to becoming successful. Also, some people will copy initially to get an understanding of the process but once they learn the new skills and gain confidence, I believe most would then branch out by tweaking the formula to meet their own specific needs or simply do their own thing. What I would hope people would take away from me sharing my own formulas, is an appreciation for what goes into a natural perfume.

So, keep an eye out on this blog. I have a couple of blends I think are worthy of sharing. I’m thinking a spicy jasmine and a truffle tuberose.

Truffle Tuberose

Truffle Tuberose

New labels and mini bottles

I recently updated the sample vial labels and added 4ml mini eau de parfum bottles to the èrlithe natural perfume range. I’ve shared photos via Facebook and Instagram but forgot about the blog!  The minis are currently only available for sale at the Mona markets, Hobart where I’ll be for the last time this year on Saturday 5th April 12-5pm. So if you are in Hobart this weekend make sure you drop by the MONA and say hi! If you can’t make it, don’t fret! I’m hoping to get the 4ml minis listed on my online store by the end of this month. The mini’s are currently packaged in limited edition printed cotton muslin drawstring bags. All in all very cute if I do say so myself xx

èrlithe natural perfume 4ml mini eau de parfums

4ml mini eau de parfums

èrlithe 4ml mini's with printed cotton bag

èrlithe 4ml mini’s with printed cotton bag

èrlithe sample set with new labels

èrlithe sample set with new labels

èrlithe natural perfume sample vials

new labels for èrlithe sample vials

 

MoMa: Mona markets, Hobart Tasmania

Yesterday was a fabulous day!

So far I have relied on the internet to take my natural perfumes to the world. Yesterday was the first time that I went out in public to showcase my natural perfumes in person. The reason I have not ventured out to showcase my perfumes is simply because I felt that the average market did not have the right vibe. It’s not necessarily about selling my perfumes (although that is always awesome!), it’s about sharing my love of natural ingredients and botanicals and helping to educate and show people an alternative to the common synthetic perfumes.

When I was offered a spot at the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) markets (MoMa) for 2014, I was both excited and nervous. Nervous because I had not done this before and excited because I saw it as the perfect venue in which to share my love of botanical based natural perfumes. This years theme for the markets is the “River Derwent Heavy Metals Project: an ongoing art-science collaboration bent on tackling the problem of pollution in the River Derwent”. For me and my perfumes, the connection to their theme is this: if we choose products/perfumes that are full of synthetics and chemicals such as parabens, phthalates etc, not only are these chemicals absorbed into our bodies they are also excreted into the environment. How? Directly: via the sink as we wash them off our bodies and also via the sewer as we excrete some of the toxins out of our bodies into the toilet bowl.

The MONA markets only operate each Saturday 12-5pm from January 18 – April 19. I am not there every week and so did a reconnaissance mission to the markets prior to having to set up a stall. All nerves and fears were instantly put at ease. The vibe is unreal. There is a very palpable generous and welcoming atmosphere. You get the sense that you have been invited to the museum owners backyard to just chill out, enjoy some fabulous food and beverages, and relax on pink bean bags whilst listening to music. So, wherever you are in the world, this place is an absolute must to visit!

These are a few photos taken on the reconnaissance mission:

monahobart5

monahobart6So yesterday was my debut at the markets. The staff were amazing: welcoming, friendly, super organised and helpful.

It was interesting to discover that the vast majority of folk who checked out my stall did not know what natural perfume was. So, it turned out to be a perfect opportunity to educate people regarding natural perfumes. I was also really delighted to get amazing positive feedback. It was great to see people’s immediate reactions and it was such a relief that I got no “yucks”! It was also interesting to see that all the perfumes were enjoyed, but one just shone a little ahead of the rest yesterday: 010 geranium bourbon, vanilla and botanical musk.

So thank you to all the people who dropped by and tried my perfumes yesterday, thank you for my new likes on Facebook and thank you to the staff of Mona Hobart.

Here are some snaps at the markets:

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Strawberry Tincture

Tincturing is something I’ve been experimenting with since the arrival of my vast amount of 190-proof, natural grape alcohol. My latest tincture experiment I thought I’d share with you is a strawberry tincture.

I took some freeze dried strawberries and placed them in a sterilised glass jar. I covered them with the 190-proof natural grape alcohol and gave it all a bit of a shake for a couple of weeks. The freeze dried strawberries transferred their colour and aroma over to the alcohol quite quickly, so I possibly could have removed them a bit sooner. I filtered off the strawberries and now have a beautiful strawberry smelling alcohol to use as a base for future perfumes. I’m finding the strawberry aroma adequate after just the one lot of strawberries. In fact, it’s a lot stronger than I had anticipated.

Late last night I opted to use my strawberry tincture to make a perfume rather than going to bed early! I’ve been contemplating what approach to take to make a Tuberose perfume for myself for a little while now and so thought I’d see how the strawberry base works. I’ve never been partial to Honore des Pres Vamp A NY bubblegum take on Tuberose preferring Aftelier’s tempering of the sweetness with Cepes Absolute in Cepes & Tuberose, but over time I am actually starting to appreciate the cloying sweet component of Tuberose.

So, late last night I had the idea of a fruity Tuberose, chocolate truffle type perfume. I included Cepes absolute but in a trace amount only, added Cocoa absolute to a base of Vanilla, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Sandalwood and Benzoin and then made a heart of Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Bulgarian Rose and Linden Blossom. I chose Linden Blossom as it has this amazing fruity rum ‘n’ raisin like vibe and I took a punt that this aspect would marry nicely to the strawberry base, Cocoa absolute, earthy Cepes and sweet Tuberose. For the top notes, I’m using citrus with a dash of Peppermint for subtle freshness. So far so good. The strawberry is actually the first thing I smell, with a definite rum ‘n’ raisin back note.

I also thought I’d give a little pictorial update on the Vanilla Bean Tincture. Here it is, looking dark and delicious!

Vanilla Bean Tincture

It was with much excitement (for me!) that my natural grape alcohol arrived today. A whole 20L of it! This alcohol is 190 proof and comes from the Barossa Valley in South Australia and will now replace the denatured ethanol 95PGP4 that I have been using in my perfumes to date.

I recently bought some lovely plump and gorgeous smelling organic vanilla planifolia beans from Papua New Guinea. Somewhere in my internet travels I came across the following information on tincturing vanilla beans by Steffan Arctander: coarsely chop 125 grams of beans and place in 1000 grams of 95% alcohol. I’ve adjusted the quantity to suit my needs. Here is a photo on day 1:

Vanilla Bean Tincture

Vanilla Bean Tincture

So now I patiently wait …. for around 6 months, giving a daily shake. When I think it is ready, I will then filter it. I am hoping that the final result will smell lovely like the Vanilla Bourbon CO2 from Madagascar that I currently use.

Tincture Time!

Tincturing is something I’ve been keen to do for some time, however, I’ve been rather limited by the alcohol situation. I’ve been using denatured alcohol and as it costs $40 per litre (not including postage), I’ve not wanted to experiment with wild abandon.

That is all about to change! I now have a permit to purchase pure natural grape alcohol which is en-route from the distillery as I type!

Tonight I pulled out and filtered a couple of my denatured alcohol tincture experiments that have been doing their thing for many months. I’m pleased with the results and look forward to doing these with my natural grape alcohol in larger quantity.

tea and rice tincture

The beautiful dark tincture is of a french earl grey tea. An insanely beautiful tea by Tasmanian tea company the art of tea. This tea is laden with bergamot, hibiscus flowers, sunflowers and rose petals. The tincture is almost a complete perfume by itself! On the skin the florals are the first to appear enveloped by a lovely light tea aroma before leaving behind a subtle smoke and balsamic aroma.

And on the right – in stark contrast to the dark tea tincture is a lovely clear basmati rice tincture. This doesn’t last very long on the skin but definitely lends a creamy, basmati rice note to the alcohol.

I’m looking forward to sharing my tincture adventures and some great new fragrances.

Preview! 070 cognac & espresso natural perfume

I am always experimenting with new perfume blends and being pretty fussy, many only make it as far as the bin! However, one blend that I have been working on for awhile and allowing to ‘age’ really grabbed my attention upon recent evaluation. I am super excited by the result. So excited that I have decided to add it to my range. I am hoping to release 070 cognac & espresso in February/March 2014!

070 cognac & espresso is my first natural perfume for men. It is a dignified, sophisticated, rich and utterly delicious blend of natural ingredients. These images sum up the inspiration for this perfume.

070 cognac & espresso natural perfume opens with citrus and spices of saffron, ginger and galangal to a rich coffee and rose heart supported by a sophisticated base of cognac essential oil, tobacco absolute, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla and labdanum and will be made in a base of pure natural grape alcohol. (When it is available for sale it will be in a different bottle to that in the photo below).

To not miss this perfumes release date, simply like èrlithe’s Facebook page – on the right side panel of this blog or sign up for the newsletter at èrlithe.

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas! xx

070 cognac and espresso natural perfume by èrlithe