Head, heart and base notes
When manufacturing a scented body product using essential oils, it's important to consider all the different olfactory notes perceived by the nose to obtain a pleasant and homogeneous blend that will provide your fragrance with body, amplitude and depth. Here's a suggestion for balanced proportions of each note:
- Base note - this one is for fixing the fragrant mixture and providing a stable base to make it long-lasting: 1 part
- Heart note - this is the main scent that should emerge from your fragrance: 2 parts
- Head note - this is the more volatile scent you notice immediately after applying or spraying the mist: 3 parts
It's then just a matter of ramping up these dosages safely based on the essential oils you choose (see recipe below). They need to be diluted in a good amount of alcohol and water to produce a delicate and subtly scented refreshing mist.
Here are some examples of essential oils you can use:
Citrus fruit essences such as mandarin, sweet orange and bergamot make good head notes, as do green scents such as rosemary and eucalyptus.
Note: For optimum safety, citrus zest essences should be dosed minimally (5 drops per 100 ml. Ref: Health Canada).
For the heart note, the fragrance's core, we can use essential oils that are more floral, spicy or fruity depending on the character we want to imbue the product with: essential oils of geranium, juniper, marjoram, clary sage and ylang-ylang are good examples.
Finally, for the base note, root scents, leather, bark and woody smells are a good start: essential oils of pine, patchouli, etc.
Testing your fragrances:
One way to test your essential oil blends before making your body mist is to pour the appropriate number of drops of each oil on individual strips of blotting paper. This way, by smelling them simultaneously, you can get a sense of what the resulting fragrance will be like.
You'll need a glass graduated cylinder in which you'll combine your essential oils with 50 ml of distilled water and 50 ml of grain alcohol (with a minimum alc./vol. of 40%).
Once the solution is well blended, you will need to pour it into a brown glass spray bottle and let it rest for about a month so that it can settle and age properly.
Example of an aromatic fragrance (to be blended in a 100 ml spray bottle containing half water, half alcohol):
- Suggestions for the head note: 5 drops mandarin or bergamot essential oil.
Mandarin's scent is discreet, but its rounded and calming aromas soothe the senses.
Bergamot, on the other hand, has an energizing, zesty side: despite being effervescent and joyful, it can also have a relaxing effect.
Note: Citrus essential oils are photosensitizing, so avoid sun exposure for six hours after application.
- Suggestions for the heart note: 7 drops geranium or 4 drops ylang-ylang essential oil.
Geranium makes for an outstanding heart note. Its fragrance is frank, fresh, slightly lemony, floral and a little fruity. It reassures, bolsters, instills confidence and lightens.
The scent of ylang-ylang, headier and dense, is sensual and enveloping. It's suitable for people who like warm, floral, slightly spicy-fruity scents. Ylang-ylang has a denser scent that quickly overtakes others in a fragrance. It's therefore advisable to adopt a minimalist approach to its use, otherwise the essential oil blend will lose its harmony and roundness.
- Suggestions for the base note: 4 drops patchouli or pine essential oil.
Patchouli has a rich, spicy, earthy, herbaceous, sweet and slightly syrupy fragrance. This plant, native to Southeast Asia, yields an essential oil that gives a fragrance distinct character and body.
Pine, despite having a milder smell and being less dense than patchouli, has leathery, slightly balsamic notes likely to serve as a good base for a fragrant mist. Several essential oils can be used in combination with this one—refer to the suggestions for the heart and head notes described above.
These essential oils can be dosed according to your preferences by making slight adjustments to the suggested proportions.
Hoping to have awakened your curiosity, I wish you a pleasantly scented experience creating fragrant mists with essential oils. You now have what it takes to delve into the art of creating light and natural fragrances!
Vallières, M.C. Fabrication de produits beauté et spa, École les âmes fleurs, 2016.
René, J., Sommerard, J.C. Précis d'aromathérapie sensorielle, 2018.
Bosson, L. L'aromathérapie énergétique, guérir avec l'âme des plantes, Éds. Amyris, 2011.