Scents and Sensibility

By Lindsey Galloway

Old habits die hard, and getting the women you love to trade their favorite (chemical-laden) fragrances for more natural ones can erode into a fierce patchouli-bashing battle, despite the many exquisite aromas available these days. Luckily we have just the plan: custom-made beauty indulgences. They’ll love the fragrance and you’ll love knowing they’re using only the purest oils with no toxic ingredients.

Try any of these three easy recipes from Mandy Aftel, creator of Aftelier Perfumes ( and author of Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume (Gibbs Smith, 2004).

Balancing bath salts: Mix 1 cup fine sea salt with 15 drops each of balsam fir and clary sage essential oils. Place the mixture in a pretty jar and let sit for one week to allow the scents to blend. Be sure to fill the tub before you add the salts, as the natural fragrance will dissipate under running water.
Uplifting massage oil: Add 10 drops frankincense, 10 drops bergamot, and 20 drops rosewood to 4 ounces of jojoba oil, and pour into a glass bottle.
Stress-relieving solid perfume: Combine 15 drops geranium and 15 drops ylang-ylang essential oils with 1 teaspoon jojoba oil and let sit. Grate 1/2 teaspoon of unbleached beeswax and melt on stove. Once melted, stir in jojoba mixture and remove from heat after 3 seconds. Pour into an antique container and let harden.