Divine feminine in scent form – wearing chypre perfume infuses me with deep, grounded feminine power. Creating chypre perfume with essential oils adds a healing element to the experience, heightening the fragrance to otherworldly levels.
What is chypre perfume?
Chypres are a decadent, sophisticated, wildly feminine family of perfumes that evoke early afternoon, barefoot springtime walks on beds of thick moss through old growth forests. Pronounced “sheep-ra” (a fun word to say with a languid French accent), these complex fragrances are built around woody, mossy accords from patchouli, oakmoss, and labdanum, with a citrus top note (traditionally bergamot). They are warm, woody love fests, which makes sense: Chypres were named after the French word for Cyprus, the island birthplace of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.
The chypre family of perfumes includes versions with woody, fruity, floral, leather, green, or fresh overtones. I gravitate toward the floral which adds rose, jasmine, or other flowery scents to the profile and gives the fragrance a lovely sweetness.
What is used in chypre perfumes?
Meleg Perfumes posted an exciting floral chypre formula which I adapted to an essential oil based solid perfume style. The outcome: out of this world! It transports me to a place of full-hearted, fully-realized feminine power.
Mr. Meleg’s original chypre formula:
20 parts bergamot
1 part oakmoss
2 parts patchouli
.2 parts labdanum
.3 parts rose
.3 parts jasmine or ylang ylang
.1 part alpha ionon (optional)
.1 part c-12 aldehyde at 1%
.1 parts vanillin
Civet musk to your taste
My chypre adaptation with essential oils
I made one jar of aromatherapy solid perfume, as follows.
1 drop patchouli
10 drops bergamot
1 drop vanilla extract
1 drop ambrette (a seed that has strong fixative properties and a musk-like scent)
1 drop rose absolute at 30% dilution
1 drop jasmine at 30% dilution
1 drop labdanum at 20% dilution
1 drop oakmoss at 50% dilution
½ heaping teaspoon of grated beeswax
1 ½ teaspoons jojoba oil
Making a chypre solid perfume with essential oils
Start any essential oil project by sanitizing all the equipment you’ll use. I rub everything down with isopropyl alcohol (70%).
Add essential oils to jojoba oil in a small bowl and mix until blended. I use a toothpick for this. Melt beeswax gently over a double boiler. I put a tiny ceramic bowl into a little pot with just enough water in it to reach about halfway up the side of the ceramic bowl. Once the beeswax is completely melted, pour the essential oil and jojoba mixture into it and stir until combined for about 10 seconds. Remove from heat, and pour into your perfume container. The perfume container needs to have a relatively tight fitting lid on it to preserve the essential oil fragrance. Once you’ve poured the melted perfume mixture into the perfume container, cap it and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Once cooled you will have an intoxicatingly beautiful solid perfume to enjoy for months!
Wellness properties of this floral chypre
The essential oils in this recipe combined into a deeply grounding and calming perfume, with aphrodisiac and relaxant properties. Many of the essential oils have properties that help the body as antidepressants, and help alleviate anxiety. This well-balanced group of oils has both masculine and feminine aspects, with feminine goddess oils of rose and jasmine combining with masculine oakmoss and patchouli. The overall effect is alluring, elegant, and divine.
Making dilutions of essential oils
For smaller batch formulas, like when I make a single solid perfume, one drop of an essential oil may overpower the fragrance profile. Essential oils of jasmine, rose, labdanum, oakmoss, and other heavier scents can easily overtake the perfume. The way I handle this is to create tiny bottles of dilutions. This may not be the best way to do this (if you have a better way I’d love to hear about it!) or the most scientifically sound, but it works for what I’m doing.
For the above formula, where I needed basically .3 drops of labdanum (also called rock rose or cistus), I made a 30% dilution by combining 3 drops of labdanum with 10 drops of jojoba oil in a small bottle. I mixed that well with a toothpick and then added just one drop of that mixture to the recipe.
Amping up the perfume with flower essences
After you take the melted perfume mixture off the heat, add 4 drops from a flower essence dosage bottle to amp up the healing power of the perfume. For the solid perfume I made (recipe above) I chose to add mimulus and aspen for their anxiety and fear neutralization properties. Adding these flower essences helps heighten the anti-anxiety properties of the essential oils.