I absolutely love perfume… But hate the sneezing fit, watering eyes and running nose that ensue after spraying a bottle of a fine synthetic fragrance onto my skin. I just can’t do strong smells, be it bleach or Channel no. 5!
So, I got really excited when I found out that Karen Gilbert was teaching a natural perfume course just ‘down the road’ from me. I had to take it!
I have asthma and allergic rhinitis (all year long), my nose and my skin are quite sensitive and get irritated very easily – one of the reasons why I’ve turned to essential oils and aromatherapy, a more ‘natural’ way of keeping my skin healthy and glowing.
Don’t get me wrong, essential oils are very potent and they too may irritate my nose and throat! When I’m making products, I usually wear a mask just to avoid unnecessary exposure.
So I dragged my poor foot along (yes, it’s still broken) and had a blasting day! The class was very structured and a lot of fun. Karen has a wealth of knowledge about perfumery and a vast experience in hands-on training, the perfect recipe for an outstanding practical workshop. The best part is that you make your own natural perfume!!!
We started with a bit of background but it wasn’t long until we started smelling strips and identifying the scents we liked to build our perfume from. All ingredients were natural, basically essential oils or absolutes diluted in perfumer’s alcohol base. It makes it a lot easier to work with.
We started with top notes, followed by middle and base. We ‘built’ each of these mixes separately first, and at the end, mixed them together to create the final fragrance.
My creation included:
– top notes: grapefruit, green mandarin and black pepper;
– middle: litsea, wild rose and linden blossom;
– base: vanilla, patchouli, vetiver.
I’m totally in love with my natural perfume! It’s quite heady, dense, warm and involving, just perfect for winter time. It left its scent on the bag I used when I went to the course, and my notes are all fragranced too.
Despite its obvious impregnating power, I didn’t sneeze, not even once. So guess what I will be getting my hands into more often?!