Perfume is a thoughtful and classic gift. It's even more thoughtful when it's a custom fragrance blend poured into a locket necklace. It's also versatile - you can wear just the perfume, just the necklace, or both. There are so many pretty lockets available - this one is new and made from brass, but you could also use a vintage locket. I've experimented with a lot of recipes and developed this one that is smooth and creamy but stays solid at body temperatures. It also solves the "I love this locket but I just don't know what I would put in it" problem!
Step 1: Supplies and Equipment
- a locket - new or vintage will work, and a larger locket will be easier to fill
- beeswax - pastilles or granulated is best, otherwise be ready to grate some off of a block
- petroleum jelly
- essential oils and/or cosmetic grade fragrance oil (be careful to read the label as candle fragrances can irritate your skin)
- an eye dropper for fragrance
- a few measuring spoons
- a toothpick or something similar for stirring
- a small metal container to melt things in
- a candle warmer or double boiler
- heat proof glove or tongs to handle the heated metal
- a small tin or other container (optional) for any extra perfume
If you're making this for yourself you can choose whatever you want for fragrance. I used Amyris (about 8 drops), which is related to pine but doesn't smell like a cleaning product. My locket does smell nicely like walking through a forest when I wear my it.
If you're making it for someone else and unsure about the what oils to use, a good place to start is with a classic floral like lilac, then adding a hint of a citrus or spicy note. You can also find a lot of pre-mixed oil blends if you don't feel like experimenting. If you come up with a blend you love WRITE IT DOWN - including the number of drops of each oil - so you can easily make it again in the future!
Step 2: Perfume Recipe
Most solid perfume recipes use sweet almond, jojoba or vitamin E oil instead of petroleum jelly. That's great if the perfume is going to spend it's time on a makeup table, but since you'll be wearing the locket I've replaced the oil with something that is solid at room temperature. A locket full of perfume is a great gift, being covered in melty oil isn't.
I don't have a great thermometer, but after some science research and experimenting with combinations of skin friendly ingredients I'm confident this will stay in solid form at temperatures well above 100 degrees fahrenheit, even with up to 25% fragrance oil (based on the average melting temperature of the other ingredients.) The recipe hasn't melted in "field testing," by which I mean "when I was wearing it."
The recipe is:
1 tablespoon beeswax
1/2 tablespoon petroleum jelly
a few drops of fragrance
Step 3: Melt and Mix
Place your beeswax and petroleum jelly into your container and start melting it.
*WARNING* Melted wax is hot and flammable. NEVER leave melting wax unattended. If it starts on fire use baking soda to put it out, not water. I use a candle warmer because it's designed to keep the wax in the right temperature range. Well attended wax is quite safe, otherwise it wouldn't be sold as candles.
Once it melts together completely mix in your fragrance oil. Keep in mind that this will be less than a foot from the nose of the person wearing it. Keep adding drops until you like it. It won't change dramatically when it cools, but the scent will usually be a bit weaker.
Step 4: Pour the Perfume
My locket didn't open all the way flat, so I held it with one hand and filled one side - under filled is better than over, I ended up scraping a bit of this away to make it close. I picked up the little metal cup and poured from it (the heatproof glove comes in handy here), though you could also use a spoon to scoop and pour if you felt more comfortable with that. Hold the locket until the perfume sets. It will only take a minute or two. Then hold the locket tipped the other way and fill the other side.
Step 5: Give It or Wear It!
This recipe is probably enough to fill a few lockets. You can also pour extra into a small tin, that way you (or your lucky gift recipient!) can refill the locket as they use the perfume.
It would be easy to make a little gift set of the locket and some bath salts, soap or lotion in the same fragrance. You can find lots of recipes for bath and body products online, and it's nice to know exactly what goes into what you put on your skin!