The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfume with Essential Oils: Tips and Recipes

I would love if we could approach this subject from the “real perfume” point of view, rather than a craft project. Somehow, when it comes to perfumes… I really don’t feel like wearing something that smells like my little niece put it together. Are we on the same page? Great! So let’s dive into how to make perfume with essential oils:

Why Should You Do It

  1. Because the idea is just so beautiful- becoming your own perfumer or the Nose. Exploring the magical world of smell and becoming an artist. And your art? Well it’s absolute unique composition made for you and you only. Unless, of course you would like to gift it or sell it.
  2. The ingredients in the bottle of the store-bought perfumes cost a fraction of the retail price. The rest is packaging, advertising, sales, profit and tax. And with the money you would save on making your own, you could afford to buy some really exotic essential oils that go far above your regular lavender smell.
  3. You can rest assured that all ingredients are natural and high quality- because… Well, you made it.

What Will You Need

  • Distilled water of bottled spring water
  • Pure alcohol, or the closest you can get to that- vodka with highest alcohol volume would do too
  • Essential oils
  • Glass bottle, preferably colored. You can get really creative here, check out this options on Etsy, or just use your old perfume bottle
  • Notebook- to record the formulations. One extra drop is enough to change the whole aroma. And when you create the masterpiece, the last thing you want- is to forget was it one or three drops of your dominant essential oil

Make Your Own Perfume

First, decide on the strength of the perfume: eau de perfume is lighter than perfume but lasts longer than eau the toilette. And also on general idea of what would you like? Something spicy, floral or seductive? In the list that follows you will find oils separated into feminine and masculine notes but that is not the rule, of course. There are no rules, and sometimes the best women perfumes has masculine notes (and vice versa). Some of the notes are both feminine and masculine on that list…

The best thing is simply to follow your nose and intuition. Think about your perfume as an art. A beautiful painting is made of fine undertones, the highlights, the shadows all blending together in harmony. Also, know that the perfumes evaporate. The note that evaporates the fastest is the top note; not so fast- middle; and if it’s slow- it’s called a base note. That means that your perfume won’t smell the same when you first put it on, after few minutes and throughout the day. And lastly, it’s really up to you how many essential oils you will put. Your perfume can be as simple as using your favorite oil mixed with alcohol and water… But where is fun in that?

Although perfumeries will never give away their formula, they are always offering some clues on their mixtures. You can use your favorite perfume as guidelines, for instance:

Chanel No5 
Top notes: Aldehydes, Ylang-Ylang, Neroli, Bergamont and Lemon 
Middle notes: Iris, Jasmine, Rose, Orris Root and Lilly-of-the-valley 
Base notes: Civet, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, Moss, Vetiver, Vanilla and Patchouli

Here are some articles to inspire you in your perfume making, good luck!