The easiest way to get started or use essential oils and essential oil blends is by the "spritz" method. A versatile and simple technique is to use an empty spritzer bottles filled with distilled water or hydrosol (floral water) and your favorite essential oil or blend. You decide on the formula depending on what you want to use in the mix.
Tips from Em - For example, I use spritzer bottles for the following uses:
» In the bathroom I have several blends for personal hydration and fragrance purposes. While all of my blends are a favorite, I use either Lavender, Outdoors or Strengthening the most often to start the day mixed with a hydrosol. I mist my hair, face, clothes and rub into pulse points. I do not like my signature scents to be intense, but rather subtle and natural smelling. I blend Lavender with Lavender Hydrosol, Outdoors with either Rose or Geranium hydrosol (depending on whether I am in the mood for a feminine or masculine undertone) and Strengthening with Rosemary hydrosol.
» In the evening and by the nightstand I enjoy using Lavender with Lavender hydrosol, Chamomile with Chamomile hydrosol, blend of both or one of the calming or relaxation oil blends and hydrosol. I spray the sheets, pillow, and my hair and/or face for a relaxing end to a hectic day or as a sleep aid.
» In the medicine cabinet, and especially during the colds and flu season, a Laveder/Tea Tree blend is never far away. I mix with Rosemary or Lavender hydrosol and use for misting linens, pillows, phones, hair, face and surrounding air to purify and refresh.
» In the footlocker try Footnote mixed with Lavender hydrosol for tired, overworked feet. That blend provides beneficial oils for foot care as it soothes and freshens.
In other words, I guess you could say I'm "spritz happy" ! Enjoy the fun and creativity of mixing your own formulas,
Q. Why spritzer bottles instead of splash-on type caps? I prefer watery formulas to be misted on because that way a little goes a long way and every precious droplet can be enjoyed. However, for men wanting to custom their own aftershave a splash cap would be a good choice.
Q. What about preservatives? If you use distilled water or witch hazel with essential oils you can get a reasonable period of use and shelf life - just don't leave it sitting around for a long time like you can with off-the-shelf products that have lots of preservatives in them. There are a number of natural preservatives that can be used for different purposes and you can visit the reference desk or natural ingredients book for information. Generally speaking, I use no preservatives for my personal use unless I add vitamin E or jojoba when I want a little extra oil for my personal fragrance spritzers. I have had no spoilage problems, although I generally use mine up in two or three months - sometimes six. If you live in a hot climate where the inside is real hot too you could put your spritzer in the refrigerator. In summary, I have found that things last much longer than may be expected, and just like any food or living material you need to be alert to signs of spoilage. Homemade spritzers used in a reasonable amount of time and kept in normal household temperatures with no preservatives or some natural preservatives should provide you with ample shelf life.
Note: You can add more or less oil as desired, however follow these considerations when using your own formulas. Test on fine linens, clothing or fabrics before use. In addition, be sure to do a skin patch test and adhere to the essential oil precautions for the oils you decide to use. The following ratios are larger than the standard 1 to 3 percent essential oil load for lotions, massage oils and general body care and should only be spritzed lightly on the skin.
For general spritzing - For example, I add the following drops of essential oil or blend to distilled water:
For after shave or application directly to the face:
» Glycerine and floral waters - use 50 to 75 percent hydrosol with 50 to 25 percent glycerin respectively, depending on preference. This makes a gentle, lightly moisturizing hydrator. A few drops of essential oil or blend can be added. For more moisturizing try adding a dab of jojoba oil too!
» Natural Witch Hazel hydrosol makes a wonderful skin freshener all by itself. It provides a mildly astringent hydrosol when toning and skin freshening are desired. It can also be mixed with other hydrosols, a little glycerin and a few drops of essential oil.