How to create your own signature fragrance in a homemade Grooming Wax
(These instructions apply to most homemade male grooming products for beards and mustaches. Though they were written as part of “An easy 2 part Mustache Wax Recipe”, and are phrased thus, they are pretty much universal in their application. It is safe to say, most of the basic ingredients in beard and mustache grooming recipes, are considered base to middle notes from a perfume perspective. Beeswax, Lanolin, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Kokum Butter, most of the fragrant tree oleoresins we use, such as Myrrh, Frankincense, Pine, Spruce and Fir saps etc., all share this common trait. This means one can use the instructions below, and the standard perfume “convention” of building a fragrance from a base accord or note, through to a middle and top note, for most male grooming product recipes. So whether your recipe incorporates Lanolin or Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Frankincense resin, or a combination of them all, the following guidelines will work just as well.)
When you have removed your mustache wax from the water bath, (Please see “Solid Moustache wax recipe” for the base recipe), while it is going through it’s “cool down” phase, is the perfect time to add essential oils that will compliment the scents of the Beeswax and Lanolin. If you have a little experience, or an idea of how you want your product to smell, you can premix essential oils before you set up the water bath, set them aside, and add them during the cool down phase. You can do any tweaking and adjusting of the scent before it cools and thickens.
Otherwise, add your choice of essential oils one at a time while it is cooling down. If it gets too thick before you have finished adding essential oils, put it back in the water bath till it is liquid again, then pull it out and continue creating the scent you desire.
Keep in mind that the hot wax will accelerate the evaporation of volatile oils, and your mustache wax will smell substantially stronger while it is hot, than when it is cool and solid. Adjust the strength of the fragrance accordingly.
I always make sure to write down the names of the essential oils I intend to use,while leaving a corresponding blank space for the quantity. Immediately after dispensing each essential oil, I mark down the quantity I added, leaving enough room to accommodate further adjusting. This way I can keep accurate track of the formula and reproduce it in the future. Remember that you can always re-melt your mustache wax at a later date and continue your work on the consistency or fragrance of your grooming wax.
There is a convention in perfume making, that one should start with the “Lower”, base notes first, and work ones’ way up to the more fleeting delicate notes when constructing a fragrance. This works well for us in this , and most other male grooming product recipes, because the Lanolin and the Beeswax and many other contributing materials are base to middle notes, and provide a great foundation to build your scent on.
Natural perfumes maturing, 2011
If you would like to flesh out your base “accord” a little more, a drop of Clove or some Labdanum will work well with the Lanolin and Beeswax. If you are lucky enough to have some Oud essential oil, that rare, exotic oil, distilled from a fungus that transforms dying wood, I have a feeling it could work very well with the beeswax Lanolin mix. Just an educated guess. Beware of its strength though! Use only a minute amount so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the scents. The same can be said of the Clove essential oil. It too is very powerful, start with only a drop. Test and see if it really needs more. You can always add a drop at the end if you think it does. Some other Base notes you could use are-Vanilla, all the Cedars, Myrrh, any type of Frankincense, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver (light hand with these!), Benzoin, Balsam Tolu, Balsam Peru, etc..
(Note, you could add only one essential oil to your mustache wax, and that could be sufficient to create a unique and well-balanced personal fragrance! This need not be a complex endeavour. It can be the beginning of an exploration of fragrance, and getting to know one essential oil in depth, is a wonderful way to start!)
Middle notes would be next. Some common middle note essential oils are Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cypress, Nutmeg, Pine and the Spruces, Neroli, Bay etc.
Some “Top” notes that might work well for a masculine scent, are; Pettigrain, lemon, tangerine, lime, Orange, hyssop, cinnamon etc.
There is extensive information online, if you seek a more comprehensive list of essential oils, where to find them and how to use them to create fragrances. Using these oils, you can create your own signature fragrance. Just remember, to Always record every drop of essential oil you add. Keep clear notes.
At this point I would like to point out the obvious, that scent is a very powerful sense. Scent is deeply connected with our emotions and memories. People will remember you by your scent and associate you with a particular scent. The therapeutic effects of aromatherapy are well researched. We are affected physically, emotionally and mentally by fragrances and essential oils. Another reason to use only natural oils and not chemical aromas.
Scent is powerful and can be used intentionally. Scent can move us, and move others. At the very least we should wear scents that we like, or scents that make us feel good. Essential oils can also be chosen for their therapeutic value as well as their esthetic impact on our senses. Even a mustache wax could be intentionally crafted for its therapeutic properties, its physical, emotional and mental effect on us. There is much to learn and explore!
In the last batch of Lanolin/Beeswax mustache wax I made, I added Frankincense Rivae essential oil, and found it worked extremely well. A few drops of Pettigrain and Neroli lifted it, and gave it a “sparkle”, while a dash of Labdanum, Benzoin and Clove lent it a creamy woody, smooth ,warm masculine base.
Explore, experiment, and most of all enjoy the process. Being a man is a special gift. Women have their natural gifts, and we have ours. Celebrate the gender you were given this time around.
And remember, always take notes.
Your future self will thank you.