The Many Uses of Fragrance Oils

Published: 09th April 2009
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Using fragrances or perfumes for a variety of uses dates back 4,000 years. One of the oldest written pieces of information on the use of fragrances is from the 9th century; a book written by an Arabian chemist, which contained more than a hundred recipes for fragrant oils, salves, aromatic waters and substitutes or imitations of costly drugs.

The number of fragrances available on the market today are numerous. People from all over the world are taking advantage of bringing their favorite scents into their homes and utilizing them in many ways, just as the ancients. Before you start making your own fragrant products, you should understand some of the basics of fragrance. This way you can search out your favorite smell or mix and blend your own.

To start, in the perfume industry, fragrance is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of 'notes', which make up a harmonious scent. These notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. First are the Top Notes, which consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. These are also called the head notes. Next are the Middle Notes, the scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impressions of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. Last are the Base Notes. This is the scent that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

Understanding the background of perfume is one thing, knowing how different fragrances make you feel is another. Because fragrance has such a powerful effect on our mood, it can be highly beneficial to choose a scent that is congruent to a goal or for a specific time of day. A person may want to avoid soaking in a lemon/lime bath before bed because the citrus scent may have too much of an energizing effect while lavender is more of a sedative. Musky fragrances like sandalwood and amber have a more sensual effect and Vanilla and Ylang-ylang can reduce stress.

What are some ways you can use your favorite fragrant oils? How about these:

1. Aroma Lamps - There are two types of aroma lamps, the first keeps the water hot with a lit candle under it and the second is electric and uses a small light bulb to keep the water hot. For aroma lamps, place a few drops of oil in the dish with steaming HOT tap water. Keep the water hot, the oils will release their scent in the hot water and the aroma vapors will fill the house.

2. Potpourri - For potpourri, just add a few drops to freshen the worn out potpourri or sachets.

3. Room and Car Diffusers - Room and car diffusers or hanging air fresheners will slowly release a fragrance. They work great for a small area like the car or a bathroom. Do not put too much oil in them as a few drops will do and last a long time.

4. Air Freshener - In a spray bottle place your favorite fragrance and use it to get rid of bad odors. For medicinal use, try lavender, it is known to keep the mosquitoes away or to relax with.

5. Laundry - Add a few drops of oil to your rinse cycle or on a used fabric softener sheet in the dryer to give your clothes the fragrance you desire.

6. Make Your Own Soap - Making soap isn't as difficult as it may seem and with all the different fragrances to choose from you can make as many varieties as you desire. There are different ways to make soap, if you are adding fragrance to cold process soap, mix the fragrance oil with a carrier oil. Blending the fragrance oil with a carrier tends to buffer the reaction when it hits the raw soap.

7. Make Your Own Candles - Candle making is fun and you can enjoy infusing your candles with a variety of fragrances. While the wax is hot and after you have added your colorant, slowly pour your favorite fragrance oil into the melted wax. When the fragrance hits the melted wax, it may cause a bit of wax to solidify briefly. Don't worry, it will remelt when you stir. Stir the wax to blend the fragrance into the melted wax. All waxes will only hold a maximum of anywhere from 4% to 10% (up to 1 1/2 ounce) of fragrance oil before you start having problems. Fragrance oils will have a much better scent throw after curing in soy wax for at least 3 to 15 days. The longer the cure, the better the throw.

You are now set with a handful of ways both quick and easy as well as fun and creative in bringing your favorite fragrance oils into your home.Elements Bath and Body supplies wholesale soap making supplies and toiletry supplies. When you're formulating your own soap, body lotion, lip balm, bath salts, or perhaps a special flax seed pillow, we have the supplies you need at wholesale prices. Visit us at www.elementsbathandbody.com for more information.


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