posted November 22, 2022

Did you know that throughout the history of perfumery, deer, cats, whales, and beavers have all been used for their fragrances, variously taken from different parts of their bodies?

Were you aware that the perfume industry conducts animal tests, often painful ones that cause the  suffering and death of millions of animals every year?

Some commercial perfumes, fragrances, and colognes have animal ingredients and synthetics that have been tested on animals. You might expect this from cheap perfume brands, but some big luxury brands also follow these practices. Additionally, by law,  “proprietary ingredients” do not require disclosure to the public and could contain animal ingredients without consumer knowledge.

So why not just use a synthetic perfume? A 2016 study found that 33% of Australians reported health problems, such as migraine headaches and asthma attacks, when exposed to fragranced products—that’s 1 in 3 people! The Environmental Working Group released a report  revealing 38 secret chemicals in 17 name brand, high-end fragrance products, including chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances not even assessed for safety in personal care products.

Photo credit: Jen Gallagher

The great news is that you don’t have to avoid wearing perfume.

You can use essential oils to create an endless variety of blends offering beautiful mood-enhancing aromas. Plus, as these oils are inhaled and absorbed into your body, you may experience a few other added aromatherapy benefits, such as a naturally lifted mood, renewed energy, or relaxation.

Photo credit: Jen Gallagher

Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of the natural components in plants, possessing potent benefits and additional wellness benefits. They have been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes, as well as their spiritually- and emotionally-uplifting properties.

Primarily extracted through careful steam distillation or cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they were extracted.

Any time you hold a bottle of the most powerful, pure, and potent essential oils, you are holding nature’s pure essence, a perfect base for natural perfume.

Blending essential oils in a synergetic way will create the best scent. You may have heard of these perfume terms: top, middle, and base notes (also in music!). These notes are created by perfumers based on the volatility the scent. To create a balanced essential oil perfume, use the highest percentage of top note oils (such as orange, bergamot, grapefruit, and lime), then a good percentage of middle note scents (ylang ylang, geranium clary sage, and pine), followed by a much smaller amount of base note (frankincense, patchouli, and cinnamon).

Perfume notes unfold over time, with the top note leading, then the deeper middle notes, and finally the gradual, fixative appearance of base notes. The base note gives the deep, long-lasting scent of the perfume.

Photo credit: Jen Gallagher

Here are three simple natural perfume recipes using the top, middle, and base notes of essential oils. Each recipe makes a 10 mL perfume roller bottle (I recommend these roller bottles on Amazon). Top each combination with a carrier oil, such as organic sweet almond oil. Allow your blend to synergize for at least three days before using.

Cozy Holiday

  •  5 drops orange essential oil
  • 2 drops pine essential oil
  • 2 drops black spruce essential oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Fresh and Vibrant

  •  5 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1 drop patchouli essential oil

Sacred Woman

  •  5 drops bergamot essential oil
  •  3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop of clary sage essential oil
  •  1 drop frankincense essential oil

Treat yourself or make beautiful vegan gifts for the holidays. Get creative and experience the joy of making your own perfume and a peaceful way to have a naturally fragrant life.


Photo credit: Jen Gallagher

Jen Gallagher, educator, creator, and founder of Essential Oil Goddess and The Art of Aromatherapy Blending for Perfume Online Course,  is deeply passionate about vegan, eco-conscious living. As a former nurse and teacher, and Main Street Vegan Academy graduate, she has over 30 years in health and education. Jen is the provider of the highest quality essential oils and mentors other eco-conscious women and entrepreneurs to live their best life with essential oils. She also loves to write and travel, and has two beautiful rescue greyhound companions, and is currently studying vegan dog nutrition. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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