I collect flowers from my garden that are in full bloom as well as accept flowers or plants from friends, especially those plants that I'm not growing. Fresh petals produce the best fragrances as sometimes the fragrance of dried flowers can be too strong. Some flowers ooze milky sap when cut, so I need to check that the plant is not classed as poisonous before extraction or fragrance preparation.
Preparing the flowers
By collecting my own petals, I am able to save the money I would otherwise spend on essential oils. However, I do use prepared essential oils and absolutes to complement the oils extracted from my flowers and plants.
I have a basic set of essential oils, absolutes and vegan fragrances as well as my home-made infused oils preparations in my workroom. Year by year, my collection of infused and essential oils and absolutes is growing.
Basics of a well-organised workspace
You can learn about making home-made oils by searching on the internet. My first perfume was basically a rose water, with some alcohol I had prepared and put in a beautiful bottle, which needed to be put in the fridge.
Then, I learned how to make oil infusions, using carrier oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and castor oil. I find that a mellow olive oil from the supermarket gives me the best results as its natural fragrance and flavour will not overpower the fragrance of the petals, twigs, leaves, seeds, pods or acorns in the jar or bottle.
If using coconut oil, select a fractionated coconut oil which will not overpower the infused petals and is liquid and transparent.
Another problem with using standard coconut oil is that it is very sensitive to temperature changes. This means that the oil solidifies in cold weather, so the infused oil preparations will solidify as well. The fractionated coconut oil does not solidify.
However, it is fine to use standard coconut oil for cosmetics or soaps as solidification is not an issue.
Petals or leafs or twigs or seeds or pods
Carrier oil or distilled water or alcohol
Jar or bottle with lid Metal bowl
Wooden spoon or stirrer Funnel
Method for oil infusions with coloured flowers, leaves, seeds, twigs
Method for oil infusions with white or light coloured flowers and petals
Method for infused waters
For making Infused Waters, instead of carrier oil, I use distilled water. Use the same process described at top for coloured flowers, seeds, cones and pods. For white or very light coloured petals, do not heat the bottle but let the fragrance develop over time and mix gently.
Method for alcohol infusions
In the case of alcohol infusions, I use 95% grade perfumery denatured alcohol from a supplier.
Glass bowl for decanting Metallic mesh strainer
Funnel PEP lab bottle
Coffee paper filter Disinfected serving or soup spoon
Once the solution is in the PEP lab bottle, make sure you label the bottle with the name of the solution and the date of manufacturing.
Generally I will use a 250ml PEP lab bottle as they are easy to handle for solutions I will be using straightaway. I use larger 2-litre PEP lab bottles for longer-term storage. It is good to have both in your workroom.
When I receive a request for a custom fragrance, or if I am creating a new fragrance, I select the different scents and smell every single ingredient I am planning to use.
When constructing an accord, I need to identify each of the various scent notes for the accord.
The scent notes can be defined as:
I will use the notes to draft and test the various scents and accords that will be the elements of the perfume fragrance I am creating.
After drafting and testing the various scents and deciding on which accords to use and the proportions of each, the next stage is to start formulating the fragrance.
The perfume is ready after two days, as the fragrance will have improved during the concoction period. Usually, I test the perfume again in case I need to do an adjustment before packaging.
All my perfumes are labelling, including the ingredient and formulation information before I carefully package and box them for transportation. Instructions on use are included. The leftover dried flower petals are used as protection and decoration.
Once packaged in a parcel, it is ready for postage.
NOTE - delivery is only within Australia.