Adding fragrance to your home creates a pleasant atmosphere and may add health benefits, but candles can be messy and their open flames can be dangerous. Electric burners that use only oil and water eliminate the mess and risk, but the oils are often very expensive. With a carrier oil and some fragrance or essential oils, you can make your own burner oils at a lower cost. You can also customize the fragrance to match your preferences.
Use Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils
Essential oils are plant or resin extractions, usually made by a distillation process, that provide concentrated oils with the same benefits as those of the plants. Because this process takes large quantities of herbs, flowers or other plant parts to create, essential oils are usually very expensive. Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are generally synthetics, so they are usually less expensive. When you are using them solely to scent the air, fragrance oils work as well as the essential oils; in fact, their scents generally linger longer than those from the more volatile essential oils.
Choose a Carrier Oil
Carrier oils do just what their name implies -- they carry the scented oils so that you use less of the more expensive fragrance or essential oils. Some recipes for burner oils recommend di-propylene glycol which is usually available online, but you can also use more readily and organic available oils, such as grapeseed, sweet almond or apricot kernel, usually found in craft stores. You can also use sunflower oil from the grocery store. You can use other vegetable oils as well, but you want to verify that they don't add a scent of their own to the mix.
Mix Up Some Burner Oils
Making burner oils is a simple process of mixing carrier and scented oils. Add a layer of newspaper or some plastic sheeting to your work surface to soak up accidental spills.
Things You'll Need
Non-reactive container for mixing
Essential or fragrance oils
Step 1: Blend a Personal Scent
If you are making your own personal scent blend, mix your essential or fragrance oils together first. Start with one or two drops of each different scent until you like the balance. Citrus and vanilla with cinnamon or clove notes makes for a pleasant and clean-smelling room.
Step 2: Measure the Oils
Measure 4 ounces of your carrier oil into the mixing bowl.
Step 3: Add Fragrance
Add 80 drops of fragrance oil or 12 drops of essential oil
Step 4: Blend the Oils
Stir the oils together thoroughly. Check the strength of the fragrance and add more scent as needed. You can also mix fragrance and carrier oil in equal parts; this ratio will be too strong for essential oils.
Make Your Own Fragrance-Infused Oils
Essential and fragrance oils are usually easy to find, but you can also make your own from herbs and plants from your own garden or the craft shop. Also, ask your local florists about flowers that they might be discarding.
Things You'll Need
Canning jars -- half-pint or pint
Herbs or flowers
Soup pot or Dutch oven
Perfume vials (optional)
Prepare the Jars
When blending herbs and oils, take care to prevent mold formation. Begin by sterilizing the jars; immerse them in boiling water for 5 minutes and then remove them to cool and dry.
Prepare the Herbs and Oils
Check to ensure the herbs do not have water on them. Add the herbs or flowers to the bottom of the jars. Cover the plant additions with carrier oil.
Infuse the Oil
Put the lids on the jars and tighten them. Place the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat off and allow the jars to stay in the water until the water has cooled to room temperature.
Ready the Oil for Use
Set your jars in a sunny window for three or four days. After that, move them to a cool, dark place for three weeks.
Strain the cured oil through cheesecloth to remove the leaves, flowers or seeds. Blend different infused oils with the eyedropper and vials to personalize your scent.
Undiluted essential oils should not be applied directly to your skin, so wash it off promptly if you spill any.
Sunlight causes the burner oils to deteriorate quickly, so store them in a dark place in dark glass or other non-reactive containers.
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- Africa Imports: How to Mix and Blend Your Own Fragrance Oils
- SpaFromScratch.com: How to Make Essential Oils
- Rookie: Make Your Own Fragrance
- AromaWeb: What are Carrier Oils?
- AromaWeb: Carrier Oils -- Properties and Profiles