Stop and Blend the Roses

This woman has a secret

Happy Valentine's Day! The scent of overpriced roses is in the air and in honor of the that, I want to share a few of my favorite rose fragrance blends—including the one for Bed of Roses soap.

I'd love to use rose essential oil in my soap recipes—but it's just so insanely expensive—and no wonder since it takes around 4,000 pounds of rose petals to distill one pound of oil.

So I use fragrance oil. My favorite is Victorian Rose from Nature's Garden. The scent is pretty true and I haven't had any trouble with it causing acceleration in my soap (floral fragrances tend to do that). I also use Cannabis Rose from Nature's Garden. No, it doesn't smell like pot, it's fruity and a musky. Apparently, it's supposed to be a knock-off of a Sephora perfume.

But I never use either on their own. Victorian Rose is a bit too (please pardon the expression) old lady-ish for me. I find that with most straight-on rose scents. And the Cannabis Rose is too fruity. So I have a little arsenal of rose blends that I've developed.

Rose has base, middle and top notes. It plays very nicely with others. It's great with bergamot, ho wood, juniper, bay, frankincense, chamomile, clary sage, fennel, ginger, jasmine, lavender, cardamom, mandarin, patchouli, clove, sandalwood, ylang ylang, vetiver, coriander, geranium, lemon, orange, lime, cinnamon and neroli.

Actually, I've never found any fragrance that rose doesn't work with.

And these blends can be used on your skin—just don't use full strength—you'll irritate your skin—and overpower anybody within 500 yards. Mix with perfumer's alcohol for a terrific body mist. Or add a little to the bath water for a fragrant soak in the tub.  Or sexy up some rosehip oil.

Hope you enjoy! And have a great Valentine's Day!

Bed of Roses
This is very rosy, but not fussy. The anise essential greens it up and rounds it off, making it more complex, while the black pepper gives it a little bite—without being overly aggressive.

15 parts Victorian Rose
8 parts Cannabis Rose
2 parts anise essential oil
2 parts black pepper essential oil

Black Rose
A slight variation on Bed of Roses. The anise is much more pronounced, making this almost a licorice scent, but the rose is definitely there lurking in shadow like a terribly romantic stranger.

5 parts Victorian Rose
4 parts Cannabis Rose
3 parts anise essential oil

Greenwich Village Rose Garden
Off-beat and exotic. And patchouli haters won't know they're smelling patchouli.

10 parts Victorian Rose
1 part Cannabis Rose
3 parts patchouli essential oil

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
The may chang (aka litsea cubeba) is fun surprise here. Spunky but feminine. The type of fragrance a clever, snarky soap maker/amateur sleuth like Haley Maxwell would wear.

10 parts Victorian Rose
1 part lavender essential oil
1 part may chang

Rose Tattoo
This is quite masculine. Cardamom  essential oil is expensive too, but you use such a tiny amount and the result is super sexy. Further on in the series—if things 'develop' between Haley and Detective Randazzo—she'll make him some shaving soap with this as the fragrance.

4 parts Victorian Rose
1 part cedarwood essential oils
2 parts cardamom essential oil

Do you have a favorite blend (rose or otherwise) that you've created?

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