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It may seem like the ultimate in alchemy – transforming different aromas into one stunning signature perfume – but it is not completely shrouded in mystery. In fact, you can create your own perfume, one that is unique to you. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, but you do need some ingredients before you get to choose your essential oils, and create your own blend.

You will need an alcohol base for your perfume. Vodka is a popular choice as it’s odorless, and there is always some left over for a cocktail. You will also need a collection of old perfume and cologne bottles and sprays that can be opened. These should be thoroughly washed and dried to remove all traces of old scent.

Now you need to consider the structure of your perfume before you start experimenting. A classic perfume consists of top notes, middle notes and base notes. The top note is the ‘zing’ of your perfume that will be evident as soon as you put it on, but it doesn’t as long as the others. The middle note will come into play after the top note has faded. The base note is a long lasting aroma that anchors the rest.

You will see from this that you need to structure your perfume to fade gracefully. The very best perfumes do this – they don’t just vanish all at once, as lesser perfumes do, or fade to a cheap base note. The best base notes are the heavy, warm scents such as sandalwood or patchouli. Both have an oriental aroma although patchouli is much stronger. Amber is another common base note that is suitable for most perfume types. Musk also popular and anchors a perfume very well. Note that it is synthetically made now instead of taken from an animal. Greener base notes can be found in vetiver, rosemary, cedarwood and oakmoss. Once you have decided on your base note (or notes, you can combine them) you can move on to the middle notes.

These are the aromas that give your perfume its character, and set its direction – this can be floral, classical, sensual, youthful and so on. Among the middle notes you will find the longer lasting floral scents, such as rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang. Herbal scents such as thyme, clary sage and rosemary, and spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger are all popular middle notes.

The lighter top notes can be chosen from among many floral and citrus scents – here you will find lavender, violet, mimosa – lemon, lime and orange. Let your own taste guide you in choosing the notes for your perfume, but don’t be afraid to experiment. A touch of spice may be just what your floral mixture needs to set it apart and make it your own, a hint of sensuality may be just the right note to anchor your green and woody scent to your own personality.

The real secret to blending essential oils is to use a dropper and a glass bottle. Put in your chosen base notes first, then add the rest, adjusting to get the scent you want. You will need only a few drops or less of each. Then add your oil mix to the alcohol, filling the bottle to the top. You will need a fine funnel to do this, or you can fill it with a dropper, which will take more time.

When you have created your own signature scent, you can also create your own range of products. Add it to fragrance-free products like baby shampoo for your hair and baby oil for after bath care. Sprinkle a few drops into fine arrowroot powder for talc and add to plain sorbolene for skin care.

You can also sprinkle it on patterned paper to scent your underwear drawer, on writing paper and envelopes to make your letters extra special and add to potpourri to give your home your own very personal touch.

Lastly, give your signature perfume a name. Take a leaf out of the celebrity book and use your own name and a word that inspires you. Use your computer to create labels for your products. In other words, be your own ‘It Girl’.

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The Anti-Aging Diet: 5 Things You Should Know

Have you ever wondered why some of your friends appear to age better than others? As well as looking more youthful and having higher energy levels, some people appear to avoid illness as they grow older. The causes of aging are a complex mix of different factors. Some of these you can’t influence or control, but there are positive steps you can take to slow down the natural aging process. Improving your diet is now widely believed to be one of the safest and easiest ways to retain your youth.

Billions of dollars are spent every year on creams, injections and surgery in attempts to halt the process of aging. Changing your eating habits is a cheaper and more effective solution. Switching to an anti-aging diet can improve your moods and energy levels and make you feel stronger and leaner. Eating the right foods can help your cells and organs to function more effectively, and this can reduce wrinkles and excess body fat associated with aging. The following facts will help you to understand the key elements of anti-aging diets.

Sugar is one of your worst enemies.

Governments around the world are under pressure to introduce legislation to control the amount of sugar used in food production. A single can of soda can include more than your entire daily recommended intake. Excess sugar is a threat to health at any age, but it becomes even more serious as you enter your senior years. As well as significantly increasing the risk of diabetes, sugar can lead to heart disease and cancer. Cutting back on sugary foods, soda and processed foods is one of the foundations of an anti-aging diet.

Fresh fruit and vegetables combat aging.

Eating a mix of fresh fruit and vegetables is key to retaining your youth. Eating vegetables raw can bring the greatest benefits, but steaming or boiling also helps to retain the valuable nutrients. Berries, cherries, plums and grapes are particularly rich in natural chemicals that can fight diseases associated with aging. Broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach should also feature in your diet as you grow older. If you really don’t enjoy eating fruit and vegetables, experiment with soups and smoothies to increase your daily intake.

Spices are better than most anti-aging pills.

Adding spices to your meals is an easy way to boost the anti-aging benefits. Ginger, turmeric and cinnamon all have proven benefits for health. Some studies suggest that life expectancy in Asian countries is improved by the fact that spices are used in cooking on a daily basis.

Controlling blood sugar slows the aging process.

Processed foods, sugar and some types of grain lead to increased blood sugar levels. This leads to release of insulin in the body, and can cause weight gain, inflammation of joints and loss of energy. Over the longer term, high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetes, strokes, heart disease and many other serious health problems. Eating healthy fats and foods rich in protein can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. As well as lean meat and fish, walnuts, almonds, avocados and lentils are great for keeping blood sugar stable.

Limiting and controlling inflammation is good for mind and body.

The full extent of problems caused by inflammation in the body has only come to light in the last few years. As well physical illnesses, inflammation is now thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other mental illnesses. Inflammation is a slow process, but it’s accelerated by a poor diet. Processed foods containing chemicals and additives are known to increase inflammation.


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