As a kid, I used to love Perfumes and their pretty looking bottles. I would save empty bottles and keep smelling their beautiful aroma and the magical influence it had on my mood. Sweet florals, citrusy and fruity fragrances and spicy woody tones used to set my mood for the day.
Every time I would travel, I would spend so much time at the airport sniffing different fragrances and picking a whole bunch for myself and for friends and family.
What I didn’t know that these aromatic experiences I treasured so much were actually synthetic. I was heartbroken to know the truth and to know that these commercial perfumes and body sprays which I had been spraying on myself were potentially toxic petrochemicals, some of which are known allergens and hormone disrupters.
I immediately abandoned designer perfumes and mists and started my search on how I can make my own fragrances from natural botanical extracts. With the presence of so many beautiful Organic Essential oils and Organic Hydrosols it is easy to get lost in the entire blending process. These essential oils and hydrosols are distilled or extracted from plants, fruits, barks, flowers, resin and other plant materials not only have wonderful aroma but are also known for their therapeutic benefits.
Difference between Body Spray and Perfume
The main difference between body spray and perfume is the content of essential oils and water. Body Sprays have more water and less essential oils. Perfumes have higher percentage of essential oils and less water.
How to make DIY Body spray
It is quite easy to make all-natural body spray and requires 3 main ingredients. Hydrosol works as the base for the spray, essential oil blends add additional fragrance to the mist and Alcohol helps to increase the shelf life of the spray and helps in diluting essential oils.
You can create an exotic fragrance which is perfect for date night with this recipe. This blend combines earthy tones of Patchouli with floral tones of Jasmine, Geranium, Ylang Ylang and Neroli. Adding to it, hint of fruity Bergamot gives this fragrance floral fruity tinge.
Isopropyl Alcohol / Rubbing Alcohol – 30ml
Organic Neroli Hydrosol/ Floral water – 30 ml
Essential oil – 24 drops
- Geranium Essential Oil – 8 drops
- Jasmine Essential Oil – 6 drops
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil – 5 drops
- Patchouli Essential Oil – 3 drops
- Bergamot Essential Oil – 2 drops
Vegetable Glycerin (Optional) – 2ml
- In a spray bottle, combine alcohol and essential oils and shake well to dilute. This will give you 4% solution in which essential oils are fully dissolved
- If you are adding Vegetable Glycerin add to the solution.
- Now fill remaining of the bottle with floral water and mix well.
- Spray on skin and hair and enjoy the soothing aroma of your body mist. Shake well before use.
Tip: You can also make body spray by simply mixing Hydrosols and upto 2% essential oil blend. However, this will require mixing well before you use otherwise essential oil will not blend well and it has shorter shelf life as compared to the body which contains alcohol.
Note: Be careful to step out in the sun as citrus essential oils can cause photosensitive reaction from the sun.
Body Spray Essential Oil Blends:
Blend #1: For sweet floral fragrance:
- Sweet orange Essential Oil – 5 drops
- Lime Essential Oil – 2 drops
- Vanilla – 2 drops
- Jasmine Hydrosol – 30ml
Blend #2: For Citrusy Fragrance:
- Lemon Essential Oil – 5 drops
- Rosemary Essential Oil – 3 drops
- Neroli Hydrosol – 30ml
Blend #3: For Earthy scent
- Patchouli Essential Oil – 3 drops
- Palmarosa Essential Oil – 3 drops
- Vetiver Essential oil – 1 drop
- Cedarwood Essential oil – 4 drops
- Neroli Hydrosol– 30ml
Blend #4: Spicy Mix
- Clovebud Essential Oil – 2 drops
- Cinnamon Essential Oil – 4 drops
- Ginger Essential oil – 2 drops
- Cedarwood Essential oil – 1 drop
- Orange Hydrosol– 30ml
About the ingredients:
Alcohol is added to Body spray to enable essential oils to dilute easily as essential oils do not dilute with water. Therefore, if you plan to make a body mist by just mixing essential oils with water, you will notice they will keep floating on top of water.
In order to preserve your water based spray, the alcohol used needs to have at least 60% ethanol content. For effective solubilizing purposes, the alcohol used needs to have ethanol content between 90-100% and therefore you need minimum 75% ethanol / isopropyl alcohol to use in body sprays.
Substitutes: Even though the easiest option to use is rubbing Alcohol, as some people don’t like the smell of alcohol though it evaporates in some time, you can use Vodka. Vodka has neutral smell and does not interfere with the fragrance of essential oils. Another option is to use Witch Hazel as it has same effect as alcohol and does not leave behind stinky smell.
Choosing essential oils
There are a variety of essential oils available in the market. While formulating you need to decide what type of fragrance appeals you. Do you like romantic floral fragrances or have a thing for earthy aromas? Depending on the type of aroma you like, you can pick essential oils for you spray.
- Sweet Floral fragrance: Rose, Lavender, Neroli and Jasmine.
- Woodsy fragrance: Pine, Cedarwood, Wintergreen
- Earthy fragrance: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Patchouli
- Herby fragrance: Marjoram, Clary Sage, Basil
- Citrusy fruity fragrance: Orange, Lemon, Lime
- Minty fragrance: Peppermint, Spearmint
- Spicy Fragrance: Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon
Hydrosol is the water which is left behind once the essential oil is extracted. This water has subtle smell and is good for the skin. Hydrosols have been used since ancient times for their medicinal properties as well as benefits for skin care.
Another benefit of using Hydrosols instead to distilled water is that it will keep the fragrance last longer.
Substitute: You can also use Distilled water instead of Hydrosol but the fragrance will be milder and may fade after a while.
Vegetable Glycerin and oil keeps the body spray or perfume together as it helps to “stick” the fragrance to your skin and makes the scent last longer. Vegetable glycerin also has an added benefit because of its moisturizing properties.
Adding vegetable Glycerin/oil is optional and your fragrance will still smell good. Its just reapplication of the body mist will be required.
Options for Oils: If you plan to use oils instead of Glycerin, you can use Jojoba oil, Almond oil, Apricot Oil and Olive oil. Jojoba oil is the best to use as its light weight but very moisturizing. It does not leave greasy feeling and has neutral smell which does not interfere with the fragrance of essential oils.
Storage: Keep your body mist stored in the dark cool place away from sunlight.
More about Essential oils: Essential oils are an important part of your fragrance as they will determine the aroma of the body spray. You can use your favorite essential oils and create a unique aroma. However be careful while using essential oils as some oils should not be used when exposed to direct sun, some need to be diluted, while others are not safe for use in children. Make sure you read about essential oils before using them in your body spray.
Have fun while formulating and enjoy healthy and clean body spray for your skin.