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Using essential oils has completely changed my life in so many ways. I use them for everything–to support my immune system, my digestive system, my skin, sleep, before and after working out. I even cook with them! They have done nothing but improve my life for the better! And I’m constantly finding new ways to incorporate them into my routine–hence this post!

When I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease back in 2012 (Celiac Disease), that was when I started to really become aware of the ingredients that are used in so many of our everyday products–household cleaners, shampoos and soaps, makeup, perfume, etc. I started making changes right away, mostly removing products from my home that I knew had gluten in them, and then when I received a plethora of diagnoses in 2014, I really started to pay attention to every single ingredient that came into my home. And that’s also when I began my essential oil journey.

For the sake of time (because I could talk about this subject forever) let’s talk specifically about perfume (and guys, if you’re reading this, this applies in the exact same way to cologne)!

I’ve been wearing perfume since I was in middle school. That’s when I first started dabbling in makeup and all these girly things that I never had access to before. Our memories are so often tied to scent, since our sense of smell (our olfactory nerve) is in the same part of the brain that processes memories and emotions, and I can still remember different perfumes that make me think of different periods of my life. This one is embarrassing, but the Paris Hilton perfume will always remind me of high school. Burberry London will always remind me of stepping on the floor of my dorm my freshman year of college. Chanel Chance immediately brings me back to the time that I lived in England. I have so many memories tied to these scents, but the more I began to research about what is in perfume, I realized I had to stop wearing it. Right after I got a brand new bottle of Burberry Body for Christmas. It just sat there looking pretty in a bottle in my closet for years before I finally just got rid of it.

For those that are new to this sort of crunchy lifestyle, it may be hard to wrap your mind around all the harmful chemicals that are typically present in homes and how they can negatively impact our health. In fact, looking back on my whole health history, lifestyle was a big part of what brought on my autoimmune diseases. I often look back and wonder if I grew up in a home without chemicals, if these illnesses would even have been activated.

And just a quick aside–if you are new to this lifestyle and are wanting to go more chemical free, I totally recommend you download the Think Dirty App as well as the EWG App. Start scanning the products in your home and become more aware of what is in them! Knowledge is power in this situation.

Okay, so let’s dive in to why conventional perfume is bad for you before I share with you my homemade recipes for perfume using only the best essential oils out there!

There are a lot of secret ingredients that come in conventional perfumes and colognes that are not disclosed on the labels. Some of them are so harmful that they have the same equivalent of spraying your body with cigarette smoke or car exhaust. You may be thinking, “aren’t there essential oils in perfumes?” but the answer is that the fragrance found in most conventional perfumes are completely synthetic and are made in a lab. Side note: Always be wary of the word “fragrance.”

Here are just a few articles that I encourage you to check out:

+ EWG News and Analysis

+ Scent of Danger

+ Is your Perfume Poison?

I promise, I’m not trying to scare anyone! I just want you to be as educated as you possibly can about the products that come into your home, because I believe we all have a right to this information and to make the best informed choices as possible when it comes to the products that we use. And on a personal level, seeing the difference that synthetic chemicals made to my health versus now being completely toxin free is something that I truly would want for everyone!

So now that I may have sufficiently made you uncomfortable by sharing some of this information, let’s talk about the alternative and how we can use the best of the best ingredients when it comes to perfumes and colognes (I plan on having a whole separate post with recipe ideas for more perfumes and colognes coming in the future, but want to get you started with these two scents that I have made!).

I only use Young Living Essential Oils because not all essential oils are created equally. If you’ve ever gone to a health food store, I’m sure that you have seen essential oils there. The thing is, there are no FDA regulations when it comes to sourcing and creating essential oils, so although they may say that they are 100% pure, unless you really know where they came from, they may also be filled with synthetic fragrance. That’s why I trust and only use Young Living because of their Seed to Seal process. Plus I have had the privilege of visiting some of their farms and being part of the whole process! This company is committed to producing the best and most pure essential oils out there!

Okay, so let’s finally dive into these perfume recipes and how you can make your own at home, knowing that only the best of the best ingredients are in them!

Homemade perfumes are typically your choice of oils (base note, middle note, and top note) in an alcohol base. When you smell a perfume, top notes are typically the first to reach your senses, followed by the middle notes, followed by the base.

Here are some examples of base notes:

  • Vanilla extract (homemade is best!)
  • Cedarwood
  • Sacred Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Frankincense
  • Vetiver

Here are some examples of middle notes:

  • Rose
  • Jasmine
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • German Chamomile

Here are some examples of top notes:

  • Bergamot
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Lime

Of course, you an experiment every which way that you want, but you’ll want to make sure to include at least one base note, middle note, and high note. And that’s exactly what I did for the two perfume bottles that I filled in this picture.

In the larger one, I made a combination of Vetiver (20 drops), Jasmine (15 drops), Bergamot (10 drops) and Lime (5 drops). For fun, I stuck some dried rose petals into the bottle, which will give it a subtle infusion. I’m a big fan of flowery smells when it comes to what I wear, Jasmine in particular!

In the smaller bottle, I made a combination of Sacred Sandalwood (8 drops), Grapefruit (8 drops), and Neroli (4 drops) and again I added dried rose petals.

It’s fun to experiment with different combinations of scents when you make your own perfumes. The thing is, what might smell good when you first start filling your bottle will change over time as the oils infuse with one another, and with the alcohol. So what started as something you loved may change to something you’re not so sure about, and the other way around–a scent you’re not 100% on may smell perfect after it has had time to infuse with the alcohol. Or you may just get it perfect the first time, which I feel like I definitely did with my first bottle (the jasmine one). I’m finding the second one has too much neroli in it so next time I’ll likely cut down or change the oils in it somewhat.

After you have combined your oils into your perfume holders (I got mine from Whimsy and Wellness) I recommend you letting the oils just sit together on their own for up to 48 hours, allowing them to infuse with one another. And then after that 48 hours is up, you can add the alcohol of your choice.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Spiced Rum
  • Vodka
  • Tequila

I mean truly, you could really use any alcohol. In my recipes I chose tequila because I actually have some allergies to what certain alcohol’s are made out of, and I know tequila is one that I am fine with. Since I’ll be spraying this on my skin, and our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it, I wanted to make sure that I was using something that wouldn’t harm my immune system.

After you add the alcohol, it is best to give your perfume a month to really set and infuse. The oils will truly mix with the alcohol, and the alcohol itself will lose whatever scent it may have had on its own. It’s hard to wait, especially when you are excited about it, but so totally worth it! I love these pretty bottles, but I have some larger amber glasses where I’ve made larger quantities, so I can just add it to my perfume bottles once they are empty instead of having to make some new perfume and wait another month before they are good to go!

You can also add some dried flowers to your mix for some extra fun and subtle infusion. I did dried rose petals, but some others I recommend are hibiscus, calendula, lavender, and chamomile.

So there you have it! That’s how I make my own homemade perfume using essential oils!! I love knowing that only pure ingredients are going on my body and supporting my emotions and immune system. I mean, it not only smells good, but these oils are actually supporting us as we wear them! It’s a win-win all around!!

When I first started changing out all the products in my home, I was nervous that perfume would be gone for good. Like I said, I like to smell good, and love wearing yummy scents. But what a relief to know that I don’t have to give that up, and rather than use something that is harmful to my immune system, I can use something that instead boosts it up!!!

What kind of scents are you into?! I would love to know cause like I said, I am preparing a second post full of different scent options and would love to hear some of your ideas!

If you want more information on essential oils, please feel free to reach out to me at kelly@kellyhalsch.com

If you want to get started with your own oily journey and be part of the most amazing community (and I’ll be there to walk with you every step of the way) just click here to get started!

Happy perfuming, sweet friends!

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