There is something very grounding and relaxing about wearing perfume oils. As opposed to the enlivening spritz of an alcohol-based perfume, the very process of applying or massaging in a perfumed oil seems to slow us down, give us time to enjoy the simplicity of an ancient perfuming beauty ritual, and be mindful of the moment.
There are times and places for both the sudden burst of a favourite alcohol eau de parfum and the slow-living beauty routine of applying a perfume oil. At Olentium, we are creating a skincare and bodycare line that mirrors the fragrance profiles of our alcohol perfumes and include face and body oils as well as oil versions of our eau de parfum. Here are some of the reasons whym and why oil perfumes make sense for fragrance lovers too.
Oil vs alcohol perfumes – their roles and reasons
The perfume diluents discussed
It is perfectly possible in oil-based perfumes to achieve the same peel of notes from top to drydown that appear in a traditionally-constructed alcohol perfume. There may be some formulating tweaks as oils are a different medium from alcohol and require a different approach; much as an artist would create different impressions of the same scene according to whether they worked in oils or watercolours.
For example, alcohol gives scent instant diffusion and radiance, depending on the perfumery ingredients deployed. But, a perfume oil tends to have a slower release of fragrance notes.
Highly-nuanced fragrance oils can be masked by the heavier molecules of the oil diluent and be rendered redundant. Many oil perfumes use jojoba or even heavier oils like coconut or sweet almond oil as carriers for the fragrance oils. These diluents and carriers are best suited to less complex fragrance blends.
The benefits of both oil and alcohol perfume
But, this depends on the chosen carrier or diluent oil. At Olentium, we use an ester of citric acid called Triethyl citrate which is a very light, dry, transparent oil that is derived from natural sources. It is sprayable from an atomiser, and dries almost instantly on the skin. It can easily accommodate a nuanced, rather than linear fragrance direction. We love it for this reason alone and because it can be applied in the same way we spritz an alcohol perfume. The best of both worlds.
What else is there to love about oil perfumes? Well, oils as a medium to transport fragrance can be beneficial to the skin. Alcohol is a carrier chosen to dilute and diffuse and has no skincare attributes above that. We don’t use EDPs to nourish or repair our skin, although we do enjoy alcohol perfumes for 25 reasons and more! So, let’s give them their due.
But botanical oils are more than carrier oils, as you can find out in our deep-dive guide on the benefits of botanical oils in body care. They impart a range of skin-friendly benefits.
We believe that choice is everything for our customers and that while alcohol perfumes dominate, there are plenty of people who love using non-volatile diluents for their perfumes. The two media can live happily together as ‘mixed media’ with their own raison d’etre and benefits to our well-being and skincare. Let’s look at some ways to enjoy oil-based perfumes.
4 Ways to Use Perfume Oils in your Beauty Regime
Enjoy your perfume oil as a well-being fragrance
Perfume oils take a little longer to get to know, especially if you are using a rollerball applicator. Ideally, with gentle fingertips massage in the perfume oil patch you have just applied. The act of warming the oil, and the warmth of your body will help release the volatile fragrance molecules within the heaver oil carrier.
This means that while you won’t get the same initial fragrance blast you do from alcohol perfumes, you will enjoy the scent evolving over time. The perfume will be with you longer during your day, and be a more intimate affair, rather than a dominating, sillage-sharing experience. Oil perfumes resonate with aromatherapy, and offer a more sensual therapeutic sensory feel on application. They also last longer and do not need to be reapplied as often, if at all during the day, unlike most alcohol perfumes do.
Apply perfume oils as a high-performance skincare oils
Botanical fragrance oils like essential oils and absolutes are often chosen with intent when used in skincare and for more than imparting perfume. Let’s take some at random to explain this: frankincense, jasmine and Bourbon geranium. The first two are known for their reparative properties. Frankincense is beneficial for mature skin, helping restore tone and even working on the visible signs of ageing, such as wrinkles. Jasmine, along with a near neighbour in skincare, rose, is ideal for sensitive, dry and mature skin, and also has a clarifying effect balancing even oily skin. Geranium plays a similar role in dry or mature skincare.
Essential oils do more than perfume and their chosen carrier oils do more than carry the scent. The combination is magic in face and body oils. Olentium Ritual & Restore Face Oil uses a blend of green floral and vanilla notes in a base of 12 botanical carrier oils each of which has a distinct role to play in helping replenishing the skin.
Layer perfume oils with other scents
Using perfume oils layered with other perfumes is one of the most creative ways to use them. Going back to our mixed media analogy, just think about the possibilities of using a perfume oil with another, or using it in conjunction with an alcohol eau de parfum.
You can have fun exploring the myriad combinations. You can happily trial out layering with an EdP of choice and arrive at a combination that’s exciting and unexpected.
Give it a try! Layering of fragrance has been in vogue quite some time. In fact, one reason Olentium offers both alcohol and oil versions is to give you the chance to explore fragrance in many forms and to your personal taste.
Use your perfume oil as a moisturiser under Eaux de Parfum/Toilette
This is a bit like layering but to aid the longevity of the alcohol perfume. If you moisturise your skin just out of the shower when it is still partly damp, and later apply your favourite fragrance, the alcohol scent molecules will be anchored in your botanical oil moisturiser and be less volatile. The oil will slow the EDPs release.
Olentium offers both oil and alcohol versions of each perfume, so you can use the same scent or opt for a complementary one and have some fun. It is not only for marketing reasons that big perfume houses create body care lines. Remember, if you choose a moisturiser (oil or emulsion version) of a favourite fragrance, the scent profile will have been adapted to suit the new carrier, as we mentioned up top.
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