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Monday, May 25, 2009

The Scent of Summer

I (gracefully of course!) spilled some vanilla on my hand while pretending I know how to cook the other day. The scent of vanilla reminded me of reading about someone using it as a natural perfume...hmmm...seems like there should be lots of easy ways to make perfumes at home without spending a bundle on the advertised "perfume-making kits" so I decided to check into it. (And, yes, I am probably selling myself out of my Avon perfume sales by doing this...though we have good prices if you don't want to concoct your own perfumes!)

My favorites (mainly because they were simple scents and easy to make)I found on the site

Their most basic perfume recipe is as follows:

"Ingredients: 2 cups of water and 1 cup fresh chopped flower blossoms.


In a bowl, place a cheesecloth where the edges are hanging over the bowl. Fill with 1 cup of flower blossoms of your choice. Pour water over the flowers until they are completely covered. Cover and let sit overnight. The next day, using the edges of the cheesecloth, pull it out of the bowl and gently squeeze the scented water into a small pot. Simmer the water until about 1 teaspoon is left. Cool and place into a small bottle. Making perfume this way has a shelf life of about 1 month."

They suggested using flowers that are highly fragrant such as lavender, lilac, honeysuckle or orange blossoms.

This same site gives a variety of perfume, cologne, aftershave and body spray recipes; all simple to make. I personally would think about using these as gifts though given the short shelf life (though might be a nice romantic gift for your significant other!).

Check out for organic supplies (essential oils and herbs and spices) as well as perfume bottles. You, can also find essential oils at your local natural food store or a grocery store with a well-stocked organic food section.

One final recipe for you (from given that this all came about from my vanilla "accident"!

Perfume made with vanilla extract:

Necessary items:
* Vanilla extract
* Fresh lemons
* Saucepan
* Stovetop burner (well, duh!)
* perfume bottle
* glass container
* refrigerator ( they may have pulled this from "Perfume-Making for Idiots"!)


1) Squeeze enough lemons to get 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. Add 6 drops of vanilla extract to the cup of lemon juice and stir until both ingredients mix thoroughly.

2) Add 1 cup of water to saucepan. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract mixture to the water.

3) Heat the solution on stove at high setting. Cover the pan with a lid when it reaches a boil and let boil for 2 minutes.

4) Place saucepan in the refrigerator - leave there for 5 minute to cool. [OK - I personally have always heard NOT to place hot items directly in the fridge - this is probably ok, but put it on something (hot pad, towel, etc.) instead of directly on the shelf...just to be on the safe side and to prevent harming the shelves!]

5) Remove saucepan from refrigerator. Boil the solution again by following step 3.

6) Transfer the mixture to clean glass container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

7) Pour perfume into new perfume bottle.

* Artificial vanilla extract smells stronger than pure vanilla extract.
* Keep perfume refrigerated to keep it fresh.

Let us know if you try any of these...I may have to give it a shot over Memorial Day weekend (yes, I do need a life!).

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