What's a perfume oil? Is it the same as a fragrance oil?
These are not fragrance oils! These are perfume oils, meaning they are designed and diluted for use on skin, but they are not designed to be safely used in soaps, candles, etc.
Although these are "perfume" oils, the scents are intended to be totally unisex! "Perfume" simply means the concentration of scent is 20–30% of the final perfume oil (whereas "cologne" means the scent only makes up 2–5% of the final perfume oil).
What's in these perfume oils, anyway?
We use a combination of natural ingredients (essential oils, absolutes, resinoids, CO2 extracts, natural isolates, etc.) and synthetic ingredients (aroma chemicals, in-house accords, perfumers' bases, etc.) to create the scents for the perfume.
The perfume is then blended into a carrier oil mixture of fractionated coconut oil and isopropyl myristate. Don't worry, it doesn't smell like coconuts! :) The FCO and IPM are scent-free oils that moisturize skin and help the fragrance last.
Additionally, we use vitamin e oil and rosemary antioxidant CO2 in the carrier oil. These ingredients help slow down the oxidation of the perfume, which extends the shelf-life of the perfume oil.
Are these perfume oils all natural?
Our perfumes contain both natural and synthetic ingredients. There are a few reasons we formulate them this way:
First, not all notes can be extracted from nature! For non-natural things like marshmallows along with some flowers, fruits, woods, etc. we find the most creativity when our palette includes synthetic aroma chemicals.
Second, we prefer to use sustainable ingredients. For example, some varieties of sandalwood are endangered. We'd much rather make a sandalwood note using aroma chemicals than use the natural ingredient!
Lastly, we want to formulate safely. Some natural ingredients, like oakmoss absolute, can cause skin irritation even at low concentrations. As wonderful as certain natural materials smell, we prefer to use a safer synthetic alternative in cases like this.
But when a natural ingredient is used, it's listed in the ingredients list in the listing for each scent. :)
All I've got is a confirmation email. How can I find out what's happening with my order?
The order status page is the place to be if you'd like to know what's going on with your order!
Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we do! If your country is not on the dropdown list at checkout, please send us a message.
I don't like the scent/I changed my mind. Can I return or exchange my perfume oil?
Since perfume oils are used on skin, we can't accept returns or exchanges. Even if you haven't used the perfume oil yet, we can't know for certain what the perfume has been exposed to or how it's been stored, so all sales are final.
But if you're not certain whether you'll like a scent or not, we offer 1ml sample vials for you to test the perfume oils! That way you can see what you like before committing to a full size.
However, if there's an issue with your order, please send us a message! We'll see what we can do to help. :)
How do I use the perfume oil? What about the sample vials, how do I apply those?
When your perfumes first arrive, don't worry about resting! The perfumes have already been given time to macerate in our lab.
Instead of smelling straight out of the bottle, try putting the perfume oil on a small patch of skin, or dip a scent strip to sniff.
Perfume oil is meant to bloom as it evaporates in the air. Smelling out of the bottle means only the top notes will be smellable—all the middle and base notes, which form the heart and drydown of a scent, may seem totally absent.
When you're ready to start using the perfume oil on skin, patch test by applying the oil on a small patch of skin before putting it anywhere else! If there are any signs of irritation, discontinue use and wash off the oil.
A skin reaction is easier to prevent than it is to treat, so if you have an allergic reaction to one of the perfumes, a patch test is the best way to find out.
Once you're ready to use the perfume oil, simply roll the perfume on with the rollerball! If it's a sample vial, cover the opening of the vial with your wrist and carefully flip your wrist and the vial together, to put on the perfume without spilling.
If you like, apply to your pulse points (wrists, neck, inside of elbows, behind the ears, behind the knees) to experience how the scent changes throughout the day.
Breathe in deeply to smell your new fragrance, and enjoy the atmosphere it creates!
How long do these perfume oils last? How do I take care of them?
Keep the perfume away from sunlight, moisture, and heat—that means no leaving the roll on bottle next to a window, near the shower, or in a hot car.
Heat and light cause both perfumes and oils to oxidize, meaning the scent will change or possibly even fade. Moisture and humidity, like in a bathroom, can give bacteria the opportunity to grow. Rancid and/or oxidized perfume oil may become irritating to your skin.
A cool, dark drawer or cabinet is the best place to store your perfume oil. Store the bottle upright to prevent leaks.
It's best not to refrigerate the oils, because some ingredients may fall out of solution—that means you could see vanillin crystallize at the bottom or the lip of the bottle, for example, and you won't smell it as strongly in your perfume anymore.
The shelf life of these oils is at least 1–2 years without changes to the scent. Any older than that and you might notice certain notes, like citruses or green notes, start to fade or change. You can still use the oil as long as you like it. :) Every bottle is printed with the month and year that the perfume was made to help you keep track of the perfume's age.
The better your perfume oils are stored, the longer they'll last. <3
But are these perfume oils safe to use?
We follow International Fragrance Association (IFRA) recommendations for safe ingredient levels, unless otherwise noted on a perfume's listing page.
But just to be sure, always patch test the perfume oils before you wear a larger amount. If your skin is itchy, red, or irritated, discontinue use.
Those who are pregnant or nursing should not use these perfume oils. Keep these perfume oils away from children or pets.
My perfume changed color! What happened?! Is it still safe?
Some ingredients, like vanillin, can change the color of a perfume over time. This is perfectly normal, and it won't stain your skin.
However, if the perfume is left in sunlight or in a very hot place, it may change color because it is oxidizing. If your perfume has changed color and you start to experience a skin reaction such as redness or irritation, discontinue use immediately.
If you're curious or concerned about a change in color, please contact us and we can try to figure out what may have caused it. :)
What should I do if my package is lost or damaged?
Unfortunately once the package is shipped, there's not much we can do if it gets lost in transit. But if you let us know, we'll do what we can to help!
If your parcel is damaged and the perfumes arrived broken or leaking, please send us a photo of both the outside and the inside of the package! We may be able to replace the package on a case-by-case basis.
Do you make custom/bespoke perfumes?
As much as we love working on custom scents, we're unfortunately not offering any custom scent design opportunities right now.
We plan to open up opportunities for custom scents in the future—if you'd like to be notified when spots open up, make sure to follow us on social media and/or sign up for the email list at the bottom of this page! :)
How do I become a perfumer?
Perfumery is hard work, and there's no easy answer for how to become a perfumer. You could apply to perfumery schools, like ISIPCA, or training programs, like the one offered by Givaudan, to be classically trained. Alternatively, you could seek out perfumers who are looking for apprentices! You could also take the same route as our perfumer, who is self-taught, and purchase a beginner set of aroma chemicals and natural extracts to experiment with. For more ideas or suggestions, check out these online resources:
Classes and databases at the Institute for Art & Olfaction
Should I rest the perfume before using it for the first time?
Sometimes shipping can affect the scent of a perfume oil, because the bottle gets shaken quite a bit during transit. Some people prefer the scent of their perfume oil after letting the bottle rest for 24–48 hours first.
However, all OSMOFOLIA perfumes are given time to macerate before they are shipped, so these perfume oils do not need to be aged, and can be used as soon as they arrive in the mail.
Are these perfumes vegan? What about cruelty free?
Not all of our perfumes are vegan as a baseline, but almost all of them have a vegan option available if you message us before placing your order. The only animal products currently used in OSMOFOLIA scents are butter CO2 (made from butter) and beeswax absolute (made from beeswax). All scents are marked as either vegan or non-vegan in their listing pages!
None of our products are tested on animals, only people! However, we don't feel comfortable using a cruelty free label on our products, because the supply chain isn't totally cruelty free.
Are these all handmade, or are they stock scents?
These scents are all handmade! While the formula for a scent may occasionally use a perfumer's base, this is far from a stock scent, as it's part of a larger formula, and is not intended for soap or candles like a fragrance oil would be. OSMOFOLIA neither blends candle/fragrance oils nor sells rebottled fragrances.
An ingredient list for each scent is posted on the listing page, if you'd like to see what's in our products.
How are all the products priced?
OSMOFOLIA fragrances are priced not only to cover the ingredients and cost of production for each item, but also to pay for the time, work, equipment, and skill of the perfumer who makes them.
In a commitment to price transparency, below is a breakdown of the pricing for our products:
Approximate cost of ingredients per 5ml bottle: $3.75
Approximate cost of ingredients per 2ml sample: $1.10
Full size bottle & label cost: $1.78
Sample size bottle & label cost: $0.54
Approximate cost of ingredients per 15g tin: $4.80
Tin & label cost: $1.14
Production cost per bottle (ie, gloves, pipettes, lighting/electricity): $0.36
Total cost to produce and ship:
$5.89 per 5ml bottle of perfume oil
$2.00 per 2ml sample of perfume oil
$3.94 per tin of solid fragrance
Cost of shipping materials per order: $2.00
Donation to One Tree Planted (full sizes, solid perfume, and sample sets only): $1.00
Minnesota sales tax: 8.875%
Approximate profit margin after taxes:
~62% per 5ml bottle of perfume oil
~36% per 1ml sample of perfume oil
~54% per tin of solid fragrance
(Please note, though, that for full sizes, prices on the website are also a dollar lower than on Etsy, where the bump in price helps to cover the listing and transaction fees.)
I'm allergic to an ingredient/I want to request a vegan version of a nonvegan scent. Can you accommodate that?
We can often whip up a new batch of a scent with a substitute ingredient or different carrier oil, but these batches are made to order. That means the turnaround time (TAT) for orders with special formula requests usually sits around 20 business days.
But before you place an order, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes, a formula can't be adjusted; other times, the ingredients may not be available. Emailing us first is the best way to make sure you can get the scents you want!
Do you have any special birthday discounts or freebies?
Yes! Anytime during the month of your birthday, feel free to leave us a note at checkout to claim a free 5ml bottle! You're welcome to request the scent—if it's out of stock, we'll reach out to you for other choices.
Please note that we do track the usage of the birthday freebies. Abuse of the policy will result in a customer's current and future orders being cancelled.