It’s not something I am proud of, but I adore smelly things! Not stinky tofu kind of things, but things that smell fantastic. I was burning a candle in my room last night, and today in the cool crisp air of a beautiful Irish Sunday afternoon, I can smell the subtle notes of clementines, strawberries, amber, benzoin, and a wee hint of spice. It’s heavenly! Then I thought, why not share with you all how to make a room spray using ingredients you probably have sitting around the house!
This recipe is pretty simple, and it is pretty versatile. In this recipe I am going to use fragrance oils, but you can use essential oils if you’d prefer. Just don’t forget to double check your IRFA recommended limits, and remember, each fragrance oil has a different recommended usage rate. When you go to look at your fragrance oils IFRA you’re looking for IFRA Class 4A:
The biggest difference between using fragrance oils and essential oils in this recipe is that the fragrance oils will hang about and dazzle your nose for a heck of a lot longer than the essential oils will. When I sprayed one pillow with the lavender and lemon essential oil blend, I found the scent only lasted for 17 minutes (of course I timed it! What kind of anal retentive woman do you think I am), and was completely gone within 30 minutes. And that was using the lavender 50/52 blend. When I used the Christmas Stocking Stash Blend, I noticed the scent hung abouts for a little bit longer, for about 45 minutes and that was mainly the cardamon and sandalwood I could smell. Now, I don’t know about you, but I like the scent to hang around and visit for a good long time. And this is why I prefer to use fragrance oils. You may not be able to notice the scent after an hour or so, but anyone who walks past you will notice it a few hours later!
The next up ingredient we’ll be using is perfumers alcohol. This is where it gets kind of funky and might pose an interesting challenge for you guys at home. When I first began experimenting with room and body sprays, I tried all sorts of ingredients and combinations to try to get what I needed. I toyed with Isopropyl Alcohol at 75% and 99%, Perfumers Alcohol, vodka (such a shame I am telling you, but had to be done!), combo’s of water and glycerine, polysorbates, and various other things. What I found worked best, was actually alcohol and a water blend. Because perfumers alcohol can be hard to source, you can use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, or even a cheap vodka as a straight swap. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of swapping perfumers alcohol with say isopropyl or vodka, is you’ll get that alcoholly scent for a few seconds then that will dissipate leaving behind your amazing signature scent!
So what makes perfumers alcohol so wickedly awesome? It is comprised of three key ingredients: ethanol (denatured) alcohol, isopropyl myristate, monopropylene glycol. The denatured alcohol has been treated to make it non-drinkable, and is the main carrier for the fragrances you’ll be adding. Due to the high alcohol content, perfumers alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving behind the awesome scents you’ve decided to make your room spray from. Ispropyl myristate is usually used to enhance the absorption speed of the formula you are making. In room sprays, this is not something you really need to worry about (just wait for the recipe in a few weeks about a boutique quality body spray!). But, monopropylene gyycol on the other hand, now this is the stuff of gold! It is a cosolvent. A cosolvent will help your fragrance oils to be solubilised in the alcohol which means you won’t be needing something like a polysorbate in your spray! Neat huh? Having the monoproylene glycol helps to control the evaporation of the alcohol so that it doesn’t dissipate too quickly which will result in a waste of your very expensive fragrance oils.
Now the coolest, awesomest thing about using perfumers alcohol, is that as long as we use 15-20% ethanol alcohol, you don’t need to use a preservative! Pretty cool huh? And because I want a higher performing product, and a product that doesn’t leave oils splotches all over the place (which was a common occurrence let me tell you! Ruined one of my favourite pillow cases gosh darnit), I am using a higher concentration of perfumers alcohol to prevent this.
The last ingredient on our list is distilled water. Feel free to use bottled water, I have used both and I haven’t noticed any difference. However; when I have tested this formula with tap water, I did notice some sediment. So play it safe and use bottle water or distilled water. Then you cap, and shake. A lot. Keep shaking. But the good news is that you can begin using it right away. You will notice that after about two days, the scent becomes a little fuller bodied, and that is perfectly normal!
- Prepare your work space by spraying everything down with ISP 75% then wiping it with a clean cloth. Be sure to lay down some parchment or greaseproof paper to protect your counter top. Fragrance oils can warp many types of counter tops! Suit up and don your safety glasses, apron, and gloves. Pretty please.
- Set up your spray bottle container, pipette, and .01g scale. Weigh in your fragrance oils, and perfumers alcohol. Cap, shake. Well. Let sit for a timed five minutes, and shake some more for a timed two minutes.
- Add 1/2 the water. Cap and shake. Let sit for a timed five minutes, and shake again.
- Add the remainder of your water, cap and shake.
- If you can, let sit for two days before your first spray, but I know you can’t wait, so run around the house and spray everything!*
*please avoid getting any of this spray on your floors as the combination of alcohol and fragrance oils can cause your floors to become crazy slippery and unsafe.
- make a bunch of teeny tiny spray bottles and gift them for Christmas! They make lovely purse additions.
- spicy and musky scents will last longer than florals or citrus. Try combining scents to create your own!