Plant to Perfume – Natural Perfume and Aromatherapy Workshops

Natural Perfume Making Workshops, make your own unique & completely natural, organic roll-on oil perfume, with the finest quality essential oils.

Stop, breathe gently, smile and appreciate.

There are so many beautiful scents in the air to appreciate, especially in summer, walking down the street or through the park, the air is perfumed every now and then by some flower or other coming into bloom. It always makes me stop, breathe gently, smile and connect back to my body and how I’m feeling… nature has such a sweet way of reminding us of simplicity, joy and bringing us back to the present moment.

This is one of the many reasons I love to run my events at beautiful, nature filled venues, so that participants get to appreciate the magic of the plants that yield the essential oils we then use in perfume making, and the perfumes more likely to support in the same way nature does.

Some of the amazing places I run workshops, courses and retreats are as follows:

Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Scotland, an absolutely stunning venue in the centre of Glasgow. The workshops usually take place inside the South Wing of Kibble Palace glass house which has a ‘Canary Island’ theme, so the temperature is kept at 18 degrees. I find it gets too hot in Summer and too cold in Winter, so workshops are usually in Spring or Autumn, although there is an indoor venue on site too which can be used. The Botanic Gardens are free to enter all year round. For more details on the beautiful venue see the website: www.glasgowbotanicgardens.com

Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) Gardens, currently I run workshops at RHS Rosemoor in Devon and at RHS Wisley in Surrey. They are usually day workshops, which include lunch and refreshments, and allow you some time to enjoy the exquisite gardens. I usually run them in July, when the rose gardens are still in full bloom.

Upper Vobster Farmin Somerset – Plant to Perfume is part of the weekend retreat I run at this heavenly space in North Somerset. It is possible to come for the morning of the retreat for this workshop only, but I would recommend giving yourself the whole weekend to enjoy the alchemy on offer. Upper Vobster Farm is a beautiful country property lovingly restored and created to help you take a rest from the stresses of life, somewhere where you can allow yourself to have a moment to be yourself again. They have 60 acres of land, including a 6 acre wood, which is a nature conservation area and preservation area for birds of prey. Nature, the woods and the sounds of the birds will make you stop in your tracks and feel the magic around. As well as the buzzards you may well see the resident kingfishers on the stream or by one of the ponds, or hear the woodpecker at work in the ancient oak tree. Tricia Nicholson, the owner of the farm with her husband Michael, has a fondness for roses, as do I, so this retreat takes place early in July, to catch the final bloom of the many roses planted all over the farm. In fact, this event was set to offer an alternative to the Rose Retreat I run in Bulgaria, as I know not everyone is able to travel or make that investment.

Lavender Perfume Workshop

Mayfield Lavender Farm, in Surrey, just outside London. The scent at this venue will be obvious before you even arrive at the farm, as the fresh, floral smell is carried in the air beyond the field. You will also be blessed with the truly stunning sight of the iridescent lavender as well as the gentle humming sound of bees. It is a truly inspiring setting for learning about essential oils and making your own unique perfumes, in the midst of the beautiful purple flowers under the gazebo featured in this image.

Kate Langdale’s Flower Studio in Brighton, Sussex – my absolute favourite florist. The reason I’m so in love with this place is because of the unusual scented varieties of many plants and flowers she supplies, many of which yield their own essential oil. Not only does she have some incredibly beautiful scented roses (quite rare in florist these days) but I’ve manage to purchase pink peppercorns, chamomile and scented geranium leaves in the past. It is a joy to be surrounded by such a gorgeous array of seasonal flowers when making our bespoke perfume blends. The flower studio is usually a venue available for workshops by request, and only during Spring, Summer and Autumn seasons at Winter can be a little chilly.

Field Studies Council – I run a series of workshops and courses all over the United Kingdom, in association with the Fields Studies Council, they have 28 centres all based in and around stunningly beautiful natural environments, some with accommodation on site. Dates for 2021 will be announced soon. There are also online courses available. Click here for more details on my work with the Fields Studies Council and workshops held at Field Study Centres around the UK including Devon and Suffolk.

Click here for full details on up and coming Plant to Perfume workshops and other Aromatherapy Events. Spaces are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on what happens at a Plant to Perfume workshop, read my blog post on Natural Perfume Making.

I also run Plant to Perfume workshops for private groups and parties by request, they are a really lovely opportunity to be with friends, family and even colleagues while enjoying making your own beautifully scented perfume to take away. I am always happy to arrange events at new locations or suggest some in your area.

For a little inspiration on breathing gently and appreciation, check out the free meditations on Unimed Living health & wellbeing website.

How to Make Your Own Natural Oil Perfume and Aromatherapy Blend

Here are the notes from my Natural Perfume & Aromatherapy Workshop, for those of you who would like to make your own unique, natural fragrance, but are unable to make the workshop in person.

Introduction – It’s actually very simple to make your own natural perfume as there is no need to use any alcohol, fixers or preservatives, you can just use natural essential oils for the scent, and a nut or seed oil as the base. It really is that simple, and the rest is just play time.

So this workshop/ blog post is really about introducing you to the endless array of possibilities involved in making your own natural perfume and to let you experiment and get confident with the ingredients. There are so many amazing essential oils to choose from and the real beauty is that they actually have a huge array of benefits, way beyond the scent that you create -which in itself can have dramatic effects on the way you feel.

 

How to make your own natural perfume blend

Container ~you can make your perfume blend in any container you like, there are lots of lovely bottles to play with, I’m often searching for old vintage perfume bottles in antique shops, or waiting for friends to finish there branded fragrance so i can use the bottle but I find using a ‘rolette’ bottle (as pictured) is very practical. It comprises of a small glass bottle (10 or 15ml), a roller ball top (that releases a little oil across the skin when you pass it over), and a cap.

Lasting effect ~Natural perfume does not have the same staying power as an alcohol based fragrance, so you can carry these little bottles around in your handbag or pocket and retouch the scent throughout the day.

Recipe – for a 5% blend strength for 10ml bottle

  • 10ml base oil e.g. apricot or jojoba ~you can choose just one or blend as many as you like.
  • 0.5ml essential oils (10 drops) ~you can choose just one or combine as many as you like (see below for how to choose essential oils).

Essential oils are very concentrated and a 5% blend strength should be plenty strong enough. However, if you have sensitive skin or are making a blend for children or someone with fragile skin, then I would drop the percentage to 1% or 2.5% (2 or 5 drops in 10ml).

Instructions

perfume bottles

Measure the quantities of base oil (eg. olive or almond) and pour directly into the bottle, then drop approximately 10 drops of essential oils directly into the bottle, fix the roller ball cap and lid and give it a shake to disperse the oils evenly. If you’re using resinous essential oils like myrrh or benzoin, you will need give the bottle a shake each time you use it as they can sink to the bottom.

Make a label for the bottle so you don’t forget what it contains.

Ingredients

Essential oils and base oils have a multitude of health and wellbeing benefits, so you can either design your perfume with the focus completely on the fragrance you want and then check out the added health benefits, or vice versa: choose oils for their properties and let the scent come together that way.

Choosing Base oils

Apricot oil

I like to use cold pressed vegetable oils as they are more natural with more nutrients but they can have varying degrees of smell to them so I go for something with a light scent so as not to interfere too much with the fragrance. I would recommend almond, apricot or jojoba. You can use ‘refined’ oils which have usually been heat treated to high temperatures to remove the scent, in this case olive oil would be just great.

For help choosing a base oil click here for my webshop.

Choosing your blend

To make your unique fragrance, you need to choose the essential oils you want and the number of drops of each to use. Use some ‘scent tester strips‘ or unscented tissues to put a drop of the oils you like on, and then see how they smell together. To avoid wasting too many drops of precious oils, use separate strips or tissues for each oil you try and write the name of the oil on them, then put the strips together under your nose to see if you like the combination. If you add an oil that you don’t like with the others, you take out the strip, and try something else, rather than have to start again.

Now the play time really takes off, you might find that you put 3 oils together eg. rose, lavender & myrrh, you like the smell of the lavender and rose  but you can’t really smell the myrrh, in this case you could try 2 or 3 drops of myrrh as it is more subtle in scent compared to the others.
It pays to be organised here, so that when you have your perfume ready on the strips, you know which oils you want and how many drops of each to add to the bottle. Depending on your ratio you can go a couple over or a couple under the 10 drops, the drops sizes can vary anyway so it is just a guide.

If you only have one or a few essential oils to play around with, then this is not a disadvantage, start with a couple of your favourites and build from there.

Keep it simple. There are so many possibilities and different essential oils to choose from that it can feel a bit overwhelming, don’t make it complicated. Try using 3 oils to begin with and pick a top, middle & base note, this is a good formula used in perfumery to give a well rounded scent (see my previous blog for details on top middle & base notes). If you start to get confused get some fresh air, and come back to it.

Don’t aim for perfection, the magic of using these natural ingredients means the blend will change with time, different people will pick up different scent notes, and when you wear it on your skin it will unfold throughout the day, so just trust when you’ve put something together that it will be great.

The following blogs will help you to choose which essential oils to put into your fragrance:

The Art of Blending Essential Oils

A List of the most popular Essential Oils, their Uses and Cautions

Blending Essential Oils using Top, Middle and Base Notes.

 

Workshop

If you would like to attend a Natural Perfume Making Workshop in person, or arrange one for a group then click here for further details including up and coming dates.

natural perfume making workshop      IMG_4026

Recipe inspirations and practical uses for the ‘rolette’ bottle:

You can use this exact same principle to make oils for health related purposes that  still smell amazing. I have used the 5% blend strength in the recipes, but if you are using on children, people with a delicate disposition or sensitive skin I would use 2.5% (5 drops in total).

See if you can spot the top, middle & base notes in these examples:

Nail oil ~apply on the skin just before the nails begin to grow, this area supports healthy nail growth, as it is where the new nail is being formed.

nail oil

Nail oil recipe, this for a 5% blend strength (10 drops of essential oil in 10ml base oil).

Ingredients

  • 5ml organic macadamia oil*
  • 5ml organic almond oil*
  • 4 drops of myrrh essential oil (helps to heal dry, hard and cracked skin)
  • 3 drops of rose essential oil (deeply nurturing, nourishing and hydrating)
  • 3 drops of mandarin essential oil (great for the skin and gives the scent a lift)

*If you can’t use nut oils due to allergies then I would suggest using organic apricot, olive or argan oil instead.

 

Anxiety, stress, panic attacks ~with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your wrists or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms coming on.

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic olive oil
  • 4 drops of neroli essential oil (soothes & calms nervous system)
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil (relaxing, clearing & calming)
  • 3 drop of frankincense essential oil (supports breathing gently)

Hay fever ~ with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your chest or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms.

Chamomile

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic apricot oil
  • 5 drops of benzoin essential oil (soothing, comforting)
  • 2 drops of chamomile essential oil (anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory, soothing, calming, helps with itching)
  • 3 drop of orange essential oil (to give the scent a lift)

Nausea, morning sickness ~ with a soothing, calming blend you can roll across your wrists, tummy or even under your nose as a preventative or when you feel symptoms. The recipe here is for a 2% blend strength which is suitable in pregnancy, but you can increase it to 5% if it is for perfume use.

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic apricot or olive oil
  • 2 drops of neroli essential oil (soothing, relaxing, calms nervous tension)
  • 1 drops of cardamom essential oil (refreshing, soothing, calming)
  • 1 drop of spearmint essential oil (refreshing, soothes feelings of nausea)

Colds & sinus problems ~with a blend of powerfully clearing respiratory oils you can inhale the blend or roll across your chest & neck, e.g. eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme.

IMG_4499

Ingredients

  • 10ml organic olive oil
  • 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil (clears respiratory system, very anti-microbial)
  • 2 drops of peppermint essential oil (clearing & calming)
  • 4 drops of thyme essential oil (powerful anti-microbial, clears mucus and great for chesty coughs)