Clean Beauty Tips & Techniques DIY Solid Perfume With Beeswax and Essential Oils By Olivia Young Olivia Young Twitter Writer Ohio University Olivia Young is a writer and green living expert passionate about tiny living, climate advocacy, and all things nature. She holds a degree in Journalism from Ohio University. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 3, 2021 Treehugger / Jordan Provost Share Twitter Pinterest Email Clean Beauty Products Tips & Techniques Overview Working Time: 5 - 7 minutes Total Time: 10 - 15 minutes Yield: 2 ounces Skill Level: Beginner Estimated Cost: $25 DIY solid perfumes are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to the artificial brews you'd normally find in the fragrance aisles of a department store. Behind their decadently pretty facades is typically an array of atrocious ingredients: alcohol, tar, petrochemicals, coal. Even animal secretions and fecal matter are often used in mainstream scents—including designer brands. It's no surprise, considering their grisly makeup, that some have had adverse effects on the nervous systems of mice in studies. DIY solid perfume consists of three main parts: a carrier oil, beeswax, and essential oils. All ingredients are safe and natural. Still, essential oils should never be applied to skin at full strength (such is the role of carrier oil). Always perform a patch test on your hand or arm first to make sure it doesn't cause irritation. What Is a Carrier Oil? A carrier oil is an unscented base oil used to dilute potent essential oils and "carry" them safely onto the skin. Common types of carrier oils include grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and virgin coconut oil, although coconut oil is scented. Creating a Custom Blend Madeleine_Steinbach / Getty Images You can keep the scent simple and base your recipe around just one essential oil, or you can play perfumier and create your own blend. When mixing essential oils for DIY perfume, it's important to first get to know your "notes." Top notes set the stage with light, herbal, or citrusy scents like bergamot, orange, peppermint, or eucalyptus—nothing too powerful. Middle notes should make up half or more of your blend and provide a solid foundation for your fragrance. Lavender, rose, and jasmine make great middle notes. Base notes are the final notes that appear once the top notes evaporate. They should be deep, rich, musky or woody, and long-lasting, such as patchouli, sandalwood, and vanilla. You can pick three to six essential oils to mix or go the easier route and choose a pre-blended synergy. What You'll Need Equipment/Tools Double boiler (or a medium saucepan and small glass or metal bowl) Stainless-steel spoon Tin or jar, for storing Ingredients 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice 1 tablespoon beeswax pellets 30 drops essential oils of choice Instructions Prepare Your Tools and Ingredients Treehugger / Jordan Provost Fill your saucepan (if you're using a double boiler, use the larger pot) partially full of water. In the smaller bowl, combine your carrier oil of choice and beeswax pellets. It's important to use a glass or metal bowl that won't melt. To speed things up when it comes time to add fragrance, measure out your 30 to 40 drops of essential oil ahead of time, pre-mixing scents if you wish. Keep the essential oil in a small cup or ramekin until later. Melt the Beeswax Treehugger / Jordan Provost Place the small bowl of beeswax pellets into the saucepan so that the bottom of the bowl is submerged in the water. Heat over medium and allow the hot water to melt the wax. This should take five minutes or less. Add Fragrance Treehugger / Jordan Provost Once the beeswax is melted, remove from heat and stir to mix the wax and carrier oil. Pour into a tin or glass jar and let it begin to cool for about one minute before adding essential oil. Gently stir in your essential oil(s) of choice, then immediately place a cap or lid on the jar or tin so that they don't evaporate. Let your DIY solid perfume cool for about five minutes before using. Apply to Skin To apply the solid perfume, simply swipe a finger across the surface of the perfume and massage the fragrance into your skin. Limit application to your wrist first to confirm that it won't spark an allergic reaction. If it doesn't, you can apply the perfume to the back of your neck, your chest, or the insides of your elbows. You can even apply a bit to the ends of your hair. Store Your Solid Perfume Store your perfume in a closed tin or glass jar for six months to a year. Check the shelf life of the carrier oil you used; when an oil goes bad, it can produce a sour odor. Vegan Variation Beeswax helps the perfume set into solid form, but for a vegan variation, you can use candelilla wax instead. Candelilla wax is derived from the leaves of the candelilla shrub found throughout the Southwest U.S. and northern Mexico. Like beeswax, it's odorless, nutrient-rich, has a high melting point, and makes for a great skincare stabilizer. It is, however, twice as dense and stiffening as beeswax, so you should use only half the amount you'd typically use of beeswax (which, for this recipe, would be half a tablespoon). Frequently Asked Questions What's the best ratio of aromatic notes? Many recommend following a ratio of 3:2:1, with top notes making up the bulk of your fragrance and base notes making up the least. The idea is that you'll smell the top note first, but it will quickly evaporate. How long will the scent last? Top notes disappear within an hour or two, but middle notes stick around for up to four hours. Base notes can linger all day. What makes this DIY solid perfume better for the environment? Solid perfume made only of natural ingredients keeps harmful chemicals out of waterways that sustain aquatic life and feed a vast network of mammals. It also helps protect air quality by keeping artificial fragrances made from petroleum out of the atmosphere. As a bonus, DIY perfume can be made zero-waste. View Article Sources "Influence of Fragrances on Human Psychophysiological Activity: With Special Reference to Human Electroencephalographic Response." Scientia Pharmaceutica. 2016. "Acute toxic effects of fragrance products." Archives of Environmental Health: An International Journal. 2012.