Now it’s time for Experiment No. 5 from Mandy Aftel’s book, Fragrant: Frankincense Solid Perfume. This perfume claims to be all about Frankincense – but the true star is the amazing deliciousness of Fir Absolute. Heaven! This smells like a walk in the forest in the best possible way.
Here’s what you need to create Frankincense solid perfume:
- Jojoba oil
- Grated beeswax
- Frankincense essential oil
- Balsam fir absolute
- Lavender absolute
- Frankincense CO2
*Out of courtesy to the author, I’m leaving off the amounts of each raw material. You can find them in her book.
- Box grater (for grating beeswax)
- Measuring spoons (for beeswax)
- 80 ml lab casserole (for melting beeswax)
- 10 ml graduated beaker or cylinder
- Glass eyedroppers (1 per essence)
- Small glass of alcohol for cleaning eye droppers (place them in it upright after use)
- Curette (for scooping viscous fir absolute out of jar)
- Stirring rod
- Hot plate (can also use stovetop)
- ½ oz tin (for storing perfume)
- Paper towels
- Cover your work surface with paper towels.
- Add the Jojoba oil to the graduated beaker.
- Next, measure out each of the essences into the beaker of oil. Start with the fir absolute. It’s incredibly viscous (like tar) – so what you need to do is use the curette to scoop out a drop-sized blob of it, and then stir it into the oil. It won’t dissolve – that’s ok. It will melt when you add it to the beeswax. Then, use the eye droppers to add each of the other essences.
- When you are done with an eye dropper, place it in the glass of alcohol, and pump it a few times to clean it, and leave it sitting full of alcohol. This will prevent cross-contamination and also dissolve any EOs left on the dropper to make clean up easier.
- Once you have your oil blended, switch to working with the beeswax. Measure out the grated beeswax into the lab casserole.
- Hold the lab casserole full of grated wax over the burner until the wax melts. You don’t want to burn it, so keep the temperature at “medium” or lower.
- When all the wax has melted, quickly pour the essential oil blend into the liquid wax. Working over the heat, stir the blend into the wax for about 10 seconds until it’s a smooth mixture. The fir absolute should melt just fine! It may leave some sediment, but that’s okay – it still will look fine as a solid perfume.
- Finally, pour the molten perfume into the ½ oz tin, cap it, and leave it alone for 15 minutes to solidify. Don’t touch it or you’ll burn yourself and/or mess up the nice smooth surface. Finis!
How did it work? How does it smell?
Oh my stars in heaven, this stuff smells AH-mazing! You really get the fir absolute, supported faintly by the lavender. It’s very sweet and balsamic, almost edible. Love, love, love it. This was a more challenging solid perfume to create simply because working with the fir absolute is a hassle – but WOW, is it worth it! The frankincense I can’t detect as much – but interestingly, this DOES remind me somewhat of the way a chunk of frankincense resin smells (sweet, balsamic, piney). Whereas Frankincense EO doesn’t have precisely the same character as the resin itself. So it’s almost like this is a recreation of the raw material. But, frankly, better. Did I mention I am now in love with fir absolute? It’s strangely edible. A magical edible pine forest of wonderfulness.
Notes on Notes
- Frankincense EO, Organic, Aftelier – Pinenes. Piney. Turpentine, but cleaner. Pinesol. After it’s been on the strip awhile, it mellows and becomes soft, balsamic, nicer. On the Aftelier web site, this is described as, “This essential oil, from boswellia neglecta, is my favorite frankincense for perfumery. This light, but tenacious, base note is fresh and fruity with hints of lemon.”
- Balsam Fir Absolute, Abies balsamia, Canada, White Lotus Aromatics – Sweet, jammy, edible, balsamic, pine forest
- Lavender Absolute, France, Liberty Naturals – Beautiful. Soft but also very intense. Blanket quality. Calming. Herbaceous. Cooling. Soothing.
- Frankincense CO2 Select, Somalia, Wild Harvest, White Lotus Aromatics – Similar to the EO but more pleasant. Piney. Still very pinene-y but more ethereal.
Next time I get Frankincense, I want to use Enfleurage. They seem to be Frankincense experts and I’d love to sample their stock. I’d like to try the Frankincense from Oman, boswellia sacra.