How to Make Perfume

hands making rose colored perfume
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Mixing a bottle of your preferred size-depending on the quantity of perfume to prepare.
Aluminum foil
Coffee filter
1/2 ounce jojoba oil or sweet almond oil
2-1/2 ounces ethanol (e.g., vodka)
2 tablespoons spring water or distilled water (not tap water)
Coffee filter
Dark-colored glass bottle
25 drops essential oils (You can either buy them at a health store or online or distill your own.)
7 drops base note essential oils
7 drops middle note essential oils
6-7 drops top note essential oils
A couple of drops of bridge notes (optional)

How much do you spend on your perfume? How does it feel wearing a fragrance that millions of other people wear, too? Do you wonder what ingredients you might be spraying on your skin? Making your perfume at home can be a rewarding craft, and save you the money you would have splashed out on expensive commercial scents. You can also stand out from the crowd by creating your own unique blends. Surprisingly, you only need some vodka and essential oils to make your own perfume.

Perfume Notes

To come up with a well-scented fragrance, you need to understand the different notes of perfume. Perfumes are a blend of three levels of scent, also called “notes”. When you spray a fragrance on your skin, it moves through these notes in the following order:

Top notes—These are what you smell first when you spray perfume. They also disappear the fastest, usually within 10 to 15 minutes.

Middle notes—These appear as the top notes die off. These are the fragrance’s core, determining which family the perfume belongs to—for example, oriental, woody, fresh, or floral.

Base notes—The accentuate and fix the fragrance’s middle notes, also known as its theme. They comprise the fragrance’s foundation, making the scent last up to four to five hours on your skin.

flowers in homemade perfume oils

When mixing a fragrance, first add your base notes, then your middle notes, then finally, your top notes. The ideal ratio for blending notes is 30% top notes, 50% middle notes, and 20% base notes. Some perfumers recommend combining a maximum of three to four dominant notes.

As said earlier, perfume is made of a mixture of essential oils in a base oil, together with ethanol and water.

With that said, you can play around with the ratio to come up with your own signature perfume. It is important to note that, you can play around with various oils to come up with a unique blend.

Browse Essential Oils on Amazon

hands making perfume with flowers

The Basic Recipe For Perfume

The process begins with a carrier oil; a carrier oil is what carries the scents in a particular fragrance onto your skin. These are generally unscented and are used to dilute concentrated oils and aromatics that can otherwise irritate your skin. Common carrier oils include jojoba, sweet almond, and grape seed oil. You can also use olive oil if you don’t mind the smell. Next, you’ll slowly add drops of your base, middle, and top notes to the carrier oil. Finally, you’ll add ethanol to help merge the ingredients together. Ethanol is a popular choice because it evaporates quickly and helps diffuse the perfume’s notes. A common choice among DIY perfumers is a high-quality, 80 to 100 proof vodka.

Once you have settled on the best carrier oil and your preferred essential oils, you can start preparing your perfume.

Put the jojoba oil or sweet almond oil in a well-sterilized bottle.

Add the essential oils in the following order: the base notes, followed by the middle notes, and then the top notes in the prescribed ratios above.

hand making homemade perfume with a liquid dropper

Add 2.5 jots of alcohol.

Shake the bottle for a couple of minutes, and then let it age with time for between 48 hours to six weeks. Aging your fragrance allows the scents to mingle, and also become stronger. The scent will change over time, becoming strongest at around six weeks.

When the scent is where you want it to be, it needs to be diluted. Add two tablespoons of spring water to the scent and shake the bottle to mix the perfume.

Filter your perfume through a coffee filter before pouring it into its final bottle. Perfume should be stored in a sealed bottle, away from heat and light. You can use aluminum foil or wrapping paper to seal the clear glass bottles.

Ideally, storing a perfume you should use a dark bottle with minimal airspace since light and exposure to air degrade many essential oils thus shortening the perfume's lifespan.

Label your creation. (It's always a good idea to record how you made the perfume, in case you want to recreate it later.)

Bottom Line

Making a perfume is just simple, understand the perfume notes, and collect all the ingredients required then follow the procedure correctly. Just like that, you can have your own unique blend of perfume. Label your perfume your perfume, decorate it, and give it a fancy name if you wish. If you're really feeling ambitious, crank out a few batches and start selling them online!

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