Fragrance Blend Ideas
- Clean linen: Lemon, lavender and lemongrass.
- Sleepy pillow mist: Lavender, chamomile and valerian.
- Spring meadow: Rose geranium and pine needle.
- Fresh morning: Peppermint, sweet orange and vanilla.
- Romantic date: Rose and vanilla.
- Cosy winter: Sweet orange, vanilla and cinnamon.
Where only two essential oils are listed, blend them in equal parts. Where three essential oils are included, blend them in the following ratio in the order that they are listed: 3 parts, 5 parts, 2 parts. Let’s take the first one as an example. For the clean linen blend, you’d blend 3 parts lemon, 5 parts lavender and 2 parts lemongrass.
You can replace everything, except the high-proof alcohol. Just keep the quantities of my recipe the same, and it will still be self-preserving.
You can use any essential oils for the fragrance blend, or synthetic fragrance oils.
The most challenging part of this recipe is finding the main ingredient – a pure alcohol. It’s easy to find a high-proof alcohol online, but it may prove more difficult to find in physical shops. Your local pharmacy is most likely to have pure ethanol, and if they don’t, they probably have everything else needed for this recipe.
You can use other high-proof alcohols like:
- Perfumer’s alcohol (more expensive)
- Royal Pure Vodka 96% (even more expensive);
- Isopropyl alcohol (which is not natural)
- Everclear (not available in South Africa)
You cannot use rubbing alcohol, because it has a strong fragrance that will overpower anything.
You cannot use consumable spirit alcohols like whisky with this particular recipe. If you want to use a low-proof alcohol like vodka (45%), you’re going to have to include a preservative and solubiliser as well, and that just makes things complicated. If you want the simplest method with the fewest ingredients, then the high-proof alcohol is necessary.
Only high-proof alcohol can preserve the product, and only high-proof alcohol can solubilise essential oils to prevent separated layers. This formula has been carefully calculated to contain over 65% alcohol, which effectively makes it a self-preserving product.
To be creative, you can replace the plain ethanol with a botanical tincture instead. You can make a homemade tincture with any clean botanical. Just ensure that the final tincture contains a minimum of 90% alcohol for this recipe. If you use a homemade tincture, you will have to decrease the quantity of water to 25g, and increase the tincture to 73g.
For example, I often substitute the plain ethanol with my homemade jasmine tincture. To make a strong enough tincture at home (that’s 90% v/v), you can infuse 5g of herbs or flowers in 95g of Ethanol 95% for about 1 week, and then strain.
Tinctures will add another subtle dimension of fragrance or colour to your base. For this reason, avoid spraying linen if you use a tincture, because the added pigment may leave stains.
This recipe allows you the flexibility to be creative – you can basically create your own fragrance blend and alcohol/ tincture combination.
Cost & Shelf Life
The cost can vary greatly depending on the essential oils you use and the price of your ethanol. The recipe will be cheapest with standard ethanol and one cheap, perfume-grade essential oil.
Whereas, if you use perfumer’s alcohol and SOil organic lavender essential oil, the cost of this recipe is R70 per 100g.
That’s how much the price shoots up if you use perfumer’s alcohol and just one high-quality, therapeutic-grade, organic essential oil. Even then, it’s still significantly cheaper than buying a retail equivalent.
This is based on the retail prices of ingredients at the time of writing in 2023.
Lasted me about: 3 months using around the house when required.
Shelf life: 1 year if stored in glass, away from direct sunlight, and made with sterilised equipment.
Time to make fragrance blend: This recipe requires you to make the fragrance blend first, instead of just mixing ready-made ingredients. You will need an extra hour while you wait for the fragrance blend.
If you love your fragrance blend, then I suggest making a bigger batch next time which you can store for a quicker process in future.
Cherry on Top
- Benefit from the aromatherapy of essential oils.
- Plant-based & vegan recipe (even my ethanol is made from sugar cane).
- No aerosols.
- Simplest method & ingredients.
- Ethanol 95%: is a pure natural alcohol which acts as the solvent, disinfectant, preservative and solubiliser in this recipe. (buy here)
- Deionised / Distilled water: is a purified, pharmaceutical grade of water that contributes to a longer shelf life of your product. Since pure ethanol evaporates quickly, the water in this recipe delays evaporation for longer lasting fragrance. (buy here)
- Essential oils: provide the natural fragrance in this recipe. (buy here)
Recommended Retail Option
If you don’t want to make it yourself, then consider buying Naturals Beauty Vanilla Room & Linen Spray. This is the best-selling room spray on Faithful to Nature (at the time of writing). The reviews are positive and, like my recipe, it is also made with a blend of alcohol, water and vanilla oil for fragrance.
I better just mention a few words of warning for those who are unfamiliar with working with alcohol. High purity alcohols, including natural alcohol like ethanol is toxic when ingested. Most pure alcohols that you buy are also denatured to discourage consumption (i.e. made poisonous to consume). Please avoid this product if you have young children at home who may accidentally ingest it. Do not apply this product to your skin as a body spray or perfume. It has been formulated as a room fragrance, and may irritate / damage your skin if applied topically. Please remember that alcohol is highly flammable! Keep this product away from your kitchen, flames, candles, heaters, electrical outlets etc.
Which fragrance blend did you use? Let me know in the comments below.