Monday, January 17, 2011

Make Your Own Vanilla Perfume

I've never been a big scented lotion or perfume user.  I'm not sure why, I just never had.  I'm the kind of person who finds something they like and sticks with it forever or until the company stops making it.  Which is just what has happend to my favorite perfumes and lotions.

My favorite lotion is the Bath and Body Works Plumeria scent.  It was my signature scent throughout college.  Friends said my dorm room even smelled like it.  Then about 4 years ago, they discontinued it.  I was so sad.  This past holiday season they brought it back out and I bought about five bottles to tide me over for a while!

My other signature scent is vanilla.  I've always been a huge fan of vanilla scents.  It's my all-time favorite smell.  It reminds me of cooking with my Gram.  It reminds me of something warm and homey.  I love it.  However, I've never found a vanilla perfume or lotion that works for me.  I did use Vanilla Fields for a long time, but then it changed.  I like a pure vanilla smell - not a fruity, flowery, musky one.

So I've been on the lookout for something with either of these two scents for a long time.  I've searched out making your own and so forth and never really come across anything.

Imagine my suprise and delight when I came across this post today from Natural Mommie: How to Make Vanilla Perfume.  I was so excited!! I can't wait to get home and start my own vanilla oil perfume!!

Here's what you need:
– Vanilla beans
– Vodka
– Glass jar
– Strainer {mesh, nylons or cheesecloth}
– Jojoba oil {or any oil – grapeseed, etc.}

Check your local health food store for vanilla beans or any store that sells bulk spices.  Sometimes you can find them at the grocery, but they tend to be more expensive there.  I'm also planning on using coconut oil - that should make a nice blend with the vanilla (despite my claims of PURE vanilla scent love above! =) )

1. Take your knife and gently cut down the middle of the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape your knife along the inside edge of the bean to release the paste. Drop the paste into a glass jar. Cut the rest of the vanilla bean into small pieces and drop those in the jar as well. You can use as many vanilla beans as you wish.
2. Pour vodka directly into the glass jar, on top of the vanilla beans. Add enough alcohol to cover all the bean pieces. This allows the alcohol to soak into the beans and absorb the scent of their oils.
3. Place the container in a warm, dry place and let stand for 2 weeks to 2 months Remove the lid every few weeks to test the strength of the scent. Use when ready. Strain out the small pieces of vanilla. You’ll want the perfume to be nice and smooth without any pieces that might irritate your skin.
4. Add your strained alcohol mixture back into your glass jar and top it off with jojoba oil. You’ll want to use 2-3 times as much jojoba oil as vanilla bean oil. It distills the scent, but also makes the mixture last longer.
5. Store your mixture in a cool, dry place. This will last for several months as long as you keep it from getting too hot.

The process is exactly the same as the process for making your own vanilla extract, except for step 4: adding oil.  If you wanted pure vanilla extract, follow steps 1-3 and then skip to step 5.  It's amazing and you should try it.

Something else I wanted to add is that you might want to use a dark colored glass jar instead of a clear one.  The less light that gets to the beans/alcohol mixture, the stronger, purer and better the solution will be.
I can't wait to get home today and start my own!!!


Meredith said...

Too funny! I always used Vanilla Fields too. I might actually have an old bottle around somewhere from the early 90s. *laugh* I had made the vanilla extract before but never thought to add oil. Interesting...

Post a Comment