The use of flowers as perfume dates back too far to be traced by man. At one time diseases were thought to be transmitted through bad odors, which led to the use of flowers and scents to purify the air. Religious ceremonies using herbs and resins have been used since Egyptian times. Over the centuries flowers have taken on a special meaning. In soap making, these fragrances are prized and often times hard to come by when looking for the perfect scent.
Today, most of the fragrances you buy are synthetic and do not come from flowers themselves. If you do find a pure flower extraction, it is often times very expensive. But using a technique known as enfleurage you can extract some of the scents of flowers right in your own home. To begin this process you will need to melt down enough solid unscented oil to cover the bottom of at least two large shallow plates. Each plate should have approximately 1/2 inch of the melted substance. The plates need to match so you can place them upside down on top of each other without any gaps. When the fat has solidified, score it in crisscross patterns and fill the space between the plates with the petals of highly scented flowers. If you would like you can add a bit of citrus peel, herbs or spice to accent the scent. Be very careful not to allow any of the plant parts to drop on the plates since they can introduce fungi that will spoil your perfume.