Using flowers, herbs, and plants to make your own scented oils is a wonderful use of plants, and a great way to use simple ingredients to make natural scented oils. Making your own scented oils means not relying on the store to find the scent you want, and not wondering what that chemical compound you can't pronounce is doing in that expensive bottle of scented oil you bought from the store. Find out more about making your own scented oils here.
Things You'll Need
- Plants, herbs, flowers, or powders
- Essential oils
- One or more of these oils: jojoba, almond, olive, grapeseed, or macadamia
- Vitamin E oil
- Small dark bottles
Visit your local health food store and spend a little time with the essential oils. Don't limit yourself to making a "one scent" oil, although the one scent oils like lavender are perfectly lovely. Also think about scents that go well together. Have you ever noticed how jasmine and vanilla are frequently paired? You may want to have one fragrance only, or you may want to take the time to develop your own scent, blending different fragrances. Perhaps you'll be brave and want to develop your own signature scent.
Purchase essential oils only. Oil mixes with oil. Water based fragrances will not. Go organic when you can. They are a little more expensive, but if you are going to the effort to make your own oils, do you really want to have chemical in it? Don't settle for oil blends. Use pure essential only and you'll be happier with your scented oil.
Decide on a carrier oil. The oil, when used to hold fragrance, is called a "carrier" oil. Most have little scent, others have more. Almond oil has a slightly sweeter scent. That is not a bad thing, if you want a slightly sweeter fragrance. Jojoba is a wonderful rich silky oil with little fragrance. If you buy oliveoil, you'll want to go with the light oil, rather than the darker richer oil. Grapeseed has a light fragrance, is light in color, and is a lighter oil. If you are unsure, buy small bottles of several and decide for yourself through experimentation. Remember, if you decide not to use it for making scented oils, you can always cook or bake with it!
Choose the right time to make your oil. Don't try to do it when your kids, partner, work and phone need your attention. Making scented oils is a great way to relax and enjoy yourself in a quiet activity. Or, invite someone to do it with you if you want to have a bit more fun and conversation.
Prepare your materials in a clean work space. Make sure you have your small bottles and caps, and that they are clean and dry. If you are going to make a larger quantity of the same oil to fill several bottles, you'll need a larger bottle for mixing.
Measure the oil depending upon your own personal preference. But, 40 to 50 drops of essential oil per 100 ml of carrier oil is generally sufficient. If you are using fresh or dried plants, you'll want the oil to cover the plants and herbs completely. The more plants and herbs you add to the jar, the more oil you'll want to add.
Once you have your oil, fragrance (or plants) and Vitamin E in the jar, shake it well and allow the mix to sit . If you've used essential oil, your oil will be scented after only a few days. If using plants and/or herbs, you'll want to let it sit in a warm place without direct sun for at least 14 days.
Strain the oil to remove plants and herbs. While they look pretty in the oil, they can turn rancid, even with Vitamin E for a preservative. Use a good fine strainer. Cheese cloth works too, but remember, you are dealing with oil. Some of it will be attach itself to the cheesecloth and you'll lose some of your precious oil to the straining process. Tip for straining: place the strainer over the top of a funnel to prevent spillage.
Oils make wonderful gifts for any special occasion. Decorate the jar and give it along with some candles, candies, or wine to make a special gift. Or be selfish and keep them for your own special indulgence.
Tips & Warnings
- *Hint: When you take your trip to the store to buy your fragrances, take a handful of coffee beans and sniff the coffee bean between smelling fragrances. Coffee beans cleanse the smell from your nose and sinus cavity.
- Essential Oil of Bergamot, while it is is a lovely fragrance, is a photosynthesizing. Be careful about using this in an oil. Applying the oil and then going outside can cause harm from the sun. If you want to use this, use it under the light of the moon only.
- Whenever you give a gift of oil, be sure to provide a list of ingredients. You may not know if they have an allergy, but they will. And if they do experience a break-out, knowing what is in the oil may help them identify the problem.
- Never heat your oil directly over a flame or burner. You will ruin it. If you want to warm you oil, place the bottle in cup of hot water, or in a warm spot.
- Stay away from Castor, or baby oil when making your scented oils.
- Never use metal or plastic. Metal can discolor oils, and plastic just isn't right. Gas and ceramics are your best options.
- Important note: Oils can go bad (also known a rancid). To prevent this from happening, add 500 IUs of Vitamin E for every cup of oil.