How To Make Perfume: {Recipes & Tips}

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Ever wonder about making unique perfumes and favorite scents? Here’s a collection of goodies to get things started. I have a free ebook download as well as a collection of online resources and tips. Enjoy!

BottlesHere’s a 28 page report (pdf) to download, I found this sitting in some long forgotten folder on my computer and saw it came with full rights to distribute as I wish (including give it away free).

The chapters include:

  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. What Can It Be Made From?
  4. The First Steps
  5. How To Go About Making Your Own
  6. What Supplies Do You Need And Where Do You Get Them
  7. Some Simple Recipes
  8. Selling Your Homemade Product

Here’s a sample from the report, the ingredients needed are as follows:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cup fresh chopped flower blossoms (such as lavender, lilac, orange blossoms or honeysuckle).

Now for the directions:

  1. In a bowl, put a cheesecloth (make sure that the edges of the cloth hang over the side of the bowl). Fill this with 1 cup of flower blossoms and then pour water over them until they are completely covered.
  2. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit overnight. The following day, take hold of the edges of the cheesecloth hanging over the side of the bowl and lift it up, then gently squeeze the water produced into a small pot. Now place this water into a pot and allow it to simmer until there is about 1 teaspoon left of the liquid. Allow the solution to cool, and place it in a small bottle. This should have a shelf life of about 1 month.

The report is pretty basic and might provide more info than needed (like the history or setting up a business to sell it), but it provides a great start for those wishing to delve into this as a hobby.

Here’s a recipe for a solid version that I have kicking around:

1/2 oz Beeswax
4 oz Vaseline
1/4 oz Fragrance Oil Concentrates (or use EO in amounts to aroma preference)

  • Melt beeswax and vaseline over low heat in a glass or enamel pan (could also place in a large pyrex measuring cup and heat in oven slowly–stir while melting).
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Stir in oil.
  • Pour into container and let air dry until firm.

Title

indiefixx.com

indiefixx.com

From indiefixx.com: Includes a pdf download, supplies needed to get started: 3 essential oils, pipettes or glass droppers (one for each oil, plus one for carrier oil).

From howstuffworks.com: Demonstrates how a used makeup compact can be turned into a carrying case (for solid version).

howstuffworks.com

howstuffworks.com

glamourandgraceblog.com

glamourandgraceblog.com

Locket: A solid version using beeswax, olive oil and choice of EO.

Assorted: Three different colognes made with an assortment of spices, citrus peels, vodka, EO and fresh or dried flowers: Orange Spice, Citrus, Fresh Floral. Also three different perfumes: Woodland, Sweet Summer, Refreshing.

mountainroseblog.com

mountainroseblog.com

Title

Here are a few quick tips to help them last longer:

  • First rub in a dab of vaseline to the area, then spray or dab on the fragrance. The vaseline will moisturize the skin which helps hold the scent longer than dry skin will.
  • Create layers: Use scented soaps, shower gels, lotions or even dusting powders as a first layer, then apply perfume. Either choose products that are from the same brand or a scent that will compliment what you will be wearing.
  • Apply to pulse points (wrists, behind ears, neck, behind knees, etc.).
  • Lightly spray hair, hair holds the fragrance longer than skin.

The longer it lasts, the less that’s needed (and that saves cash!).

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Published: August 10, 2007
Updated: September 21, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
43 Comments to “How To Make Perfume: {Recipes & Tips}”
  1. klz says:

    My tip: Don’t wear it. Don’t use scented candles, no potpourri, no scented lotions, no scented deodorants, no room fresheners. Everyone will be much happier that way. Too many of us have developed increasing environmental allergies. Please help us.

    • maryj says:

      you have been getting a serve kiz and it must be very difficult for people with allergies to have to breathe in whatever is floating around in the air. We need to wake up – most fragrances in products that we put on our skin, breathe from delicious soy candles or spray to cover up the smell in the loo are fake and very bad for you. The only really safe scents or perfumes come from flowers, trees and plants and these scents are expressed in the essential oil which is really the life blood of the flower, tree or plant . Not only do most of these smell wonderful but they are also therapeutic for the wearer and for anyone else who should happen to breathe them in.

      • Perfumer Girl says:

        “The only really safe scents or perfumes come from flowers, trees and plants and these scents are expressed in the essential oil which is really the life blood of the flower, tree or plant . ”

        This statement is not true at all. I work in the fragrance industry as a perfumer, making fragrances, and you would be amazed how many naturally derived oils we cannot use because they contain allergens and toxins that would cause reactions when in contact with skin. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
        As for scents causing allergies, my opinion is that they really don’t. You either are allergic to things or aren’t. You may be allergic to some plants but it’s not because of the smell it’s because of the pollen in them. Most plants have scents that get released near when the pollen is so they attract bugs that would then carry the pollen away to fertilize the plant. So it’s not technically the scent of the plant that’s giving you the allergies in one example.
        What may however add to the increase of allergies are the pollutants we create as people from car smog to garbage incinerators and other such things.
        The fragrance industry is extremely regulated and strict when it comes to what materials can and cannot be used in making perfume. They are very aware and conscious of not only how these ingredients will affect people upon contact but also about the carbon footprint their manufacturing and use leaves. When it comes to fragrance containing products I would personally trust much more a big label company than sadly a small mom and poo shop, because big corporations (they are not all evil) have rules and guidelines they have to abide by and cannot release a product in the market unless it has passed all regulatory restrictions to make it safe (or as safe as our standards are today), while a small mom and pop shop doesn’t have anyone to report to and most of them are not even educated about what is safe to use and what is not. This is sad because I want to support small businesses but it’s risky.

    • jam says:

      Be responsible for your own environment and be civil about it. No one should change their preferences because you have health issues. See a doctor and follow his/her recommendations. It must be tough to have allergies but you learn to deal with it. Its not anyone else’s problem but your own. Help yourself first and see a doctor before asking everyone to choose products to make allergy sufferers happy.

  2. kjb says:

    kiz,

    Just because a product has a scent, that does not mean it is responsible for environmental allergies.
    Allergic reactions are attributed to any element that triggers your body’s production of histamines.
    There a HUGE difference between “fragrance free” and “non-fragranced” products. The former contains chemicals that create a masking scent that neutralizes noticable odor. So you smell nothing, but there is a chemical “scent” present to facilitate that. “Non-fragranced” products contain no masking scent and generally smell like what they are made of. If they happen to include plant or floral extracts, then that’s what you will smell.

    Are you an advocate of chemical additives to prevent these scents?
    Unfortunately, the allergen (scent), although masked, will still be present so you’ll have a reaction without knowing why.

    I don’t see any reason to terminate the inclusion of natural plant and flower extracts in our daily environment?
    Face it, we’ve become a society of hypochondriacs…so wake up and smell the roses (and hopefully you won’t sneeze).

  3. klz says:

    I think I am not the one who needs to wake up. I never said the smell of flowers makes me sneeze. I said that I found the products named in my comment a problem – those are products that ADD chemical scent – a non-natural scent. I get sick, I get a migraine.

    If you actually cared about others, you might find out that many people find the products that have artificially added scents poisonous.

    Read the list of comments on the lifehacker page that led me to your page. There are many people who feel they need to bathe in cologne, they are the problem. I will retreat to my better world now and leave you to pollute your environment. Sorry I disturbed you.

    • J'B says:

      Woah, excuse me. How can you blame other humans for a problem that is purely to do with your own body. Would you tell somebody with depression that they shouldn’t be able to take medication because the artificial additives cause other people to have allergic reactions or someome with diabetes, meningitis etc. No, you probably wouldn’t. It’s not our fault that your body doesn’t like these chemicals, take some benydryl.

      • Kristen says:

        Wow. While I agree that this conversation has gotten a bit rude on several people’s parts, I suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity myself.

        It’s not pleasant. J’B, your example of depression medication doesn’t jive because the medication goes internally and scents go externally. My symptoms from different chemical exposures (artificial fragrances and things marked fragrance free) range from a slight headache, to rashes, to depression, to a heated feeling, to my eyes and nose and throat burning, to my eyes or throat actually swelling shut. In those situations, yes, I do blame other people for wearing scents or promoting scents that cause harm to me — not so much when I’m passing a stranger on a street, but definitely when people who know me choose to blatantly disrespect my life like that.

        And the thing is that while I have acute reactions, artificial fragrances can often cause harm to everyone — the unseen type that leads to bodily issues later on that may even seem disconnected.

        I do use natural fragrances — not often, but I do use essential oils in small doses successfully. Unfortunately, when many people think of fragrance, it is an automatic assumption that they are not using small doses of natural extracts, but instead factory derived ones.

        And Benadryl, while often helpful for some people, does not work on many sufferers.

        • sat says:

          Actually, the medications eventually do get in the water from urinating in the toilet and disposing of the materials at the site of manufacture, so it will go externally as you put it. Also, many allergens have no scent or are part of the natural world where certain hypersensitive individuals are allergic to things the majority of the world is not. I think that some of the allergens are chemicals and manmade and we should reduce our dependence on safe chemiclas and unnecessary additives. Other natural chemicals cannot be avoided as we ourselves are made of chemicals. Vitamins, phytonutrients, many other things in this world are chemicals. Lay peole do not understand what a chemical is and across the board condemn all. I feel that some of the hypersensitive persons were over exposed in infanthood to unnatural additives or stimuli (including abuse) or at the other end of the spectrum were overly-protected. Dirt is good for you in a healthy way-the soil, plants, , fresh air. Your immune system needs to learn not to overeact to non-noxious stimuli.

  4. TipNut says:

    Just so it’s clear klz, the commenter is sharing his/her views and opinions, they’re not from Tipnut (this blog).

    I’m aware that some have allergies to perfumes and scents but I don’t have full knowledge of what the triggers are. I understand it to be certain chemicals that can be present in some fragrances. In my workplace (large), scents are banned and I don’t have a problem with not wearing fragrances to work (hand lotions, perfumes, colognes, some hairsprays and hair care products are included–it’s surprising actually how many products we use daily have scent).

    But I can still live my life choosing moments where wearing perfume is appropriate and I won’t be in a closed area with allergy sufferers.

  5. Di says:

    I’m a natural perfumer, and I have to partially agree with the recommendation away from wearing it: do NOT wear perfumes to work, in airplanes, or when you know you’re going to wind up in an enclosed space with people you are not intimate with.

    I’m cringing a tiny bit at the idea of the vaseline – petroleum jelly is a petroleum product, and while cheaply and widely available, it’s made from a source that’s not really replaceable within our collective lifetimes. I might suggest something else – perhaps a very small amount of olive oil as the base, or even an unscented shea butter moisturizer would do nicely.

    • J'B says:

      Personally i think you need to calm down a bit. It’s vaseline. Not toxic waste.

      • melissa says:

        jb- I think you should read more on how vaseline comes about. It is a “waste” product of another process. It’s a petroleoum bi-product and is highly toxic to some people. Thanks Di for the suggestion of a less processed and therefore “more” natural alternative.

  6. TipNut says:

    Nice suggestions Di, I agree olive oil or shea butter would work well too.

  7. Lep says:

    Tip,

    1. Spray the stuff in the air and walk into it.

    2. If you have the non-spray kind. Put it on where you take your pulse and your wrists (std i know).

    3. THE BEST ADVICE is to either spray it in your hair or apply it there how ever you can. It does not wipe/sweat off as easy as applications on to your skin and its still in the area where a person might smell ya. Also kills how strong the scent is. For the sensitive ones out there.

  8. Linda says:

    Layering is definitely a good way, but it does require some more work than just spraying the perfume. Then again…if you want the most out of your perfume, it;s worth a try. :)

  9. Bill says:

    klz,

    what would you suggest to people who have “unappealing” body odor? you mention a plethora of products used to tame bad smells. i have yet to see a non-scented deodorant.

  10. SoCalWoman says:

    You can also spray a cotton ball with perfume and then tuck it in the center of your bra. The scent lasts a very long time on the cotton, and if someone comes long who has a problem with scented products, removing the cotton ball is easy.

  11. Amanda says:

    As for unscented deodorant, the crystal deodorants are available unscented.

  12. erika says:

    you can also out body butter on which last longer than perfume aand has more moisture

  13. Kathy says:

    Klz wrote:
    >>”many people find the products that have artificially added scents poisonous.”
    Um…so don’t eat them. That’s not what they’re for.

    Look, I sometimes get migraines, which put me in bed in pain for a day or more, from perfume, so I know what it’s like, but I don’t expect other people to stop using it because I’m especially sensitive when the reality is most people are not. Not wearing strong scents in an enclosed space like an airplane is just a matter of common courtesy. If someone you’re stuck sitting near is wearing an overpowering scent, you should be assertive enough to either move or explain the problem and ask them to wash it off. People need to take responsibility for their own health.

  14. Ram says:

    I was wondering if you can guide me as I always spray perfumes on cloths rather than apply on body like wrists, behind ears, neck, behind knees, etc. and I have found how costly and nice perfume use it does not last or nobody notices I am wearing a perfume after an hour or so. So according to this blog it seems that we should use on body only. Is that correct?

    Thanks,

    • Carol says:

      Try spraying perfume in the crease of you arm (inside from elbow). This is a warm moist area and when you bend your arm, the smell will be more noticeable to you and those around you.

  15. Amy says:

    I’m only using a cologne because I can’t stand any perfume. I have an allergy, and hard time on breathing everytime i smell a very strong perfume.

  16. Ede says:

    Nice Info but I don’t have the oils what can I use instead?
    K.I.T
    Ede

  17. angie says:

    We’re can i get the oils to make perfumes

  18. Joyce says:

    You can get oils for perfume making at any craft supply store, or even some of the mystical type stores. In NH there’s a store called the mustard seed & they sell essential oils, rocks etc. Small candle making shops etc.

  19. Freda says:

    you can buy the oils at Walamrt in the craft dept.

    • Jodi says:

      Sorry, I’m not sure how old these posts are because there are not post dates, but Walmart no longer sells essential oils. Their craft department has drastically changed. They do sell several oils that have herbal names but they are for diffusers or scent burners. Please please don’t use these oils in your perfume mixes because they will most likely irritate the skin and are not natural or cosmetic grade.

  20. Barbara Correll says:

    Where do you get the pipettes or glass droppers?

  21. Cheryl says:

    Love, love, love this article.
    I’m sorry a couple of the readers have allergies to scents as many people do. I have a good friend of mine who has such allergies. I just sent her a copy of this article, beings most of these perfumes are made with natural plant and floral extracts.
    Thank you so much for sharing
    I do have one question though. You mention the perfumed lockets. I looked and could not find a link as to where to purchase empty lockets. If anyone has any idea, I would certainly appreciate the information.
    Thanks again

  22. Clarissa says:

    A question on the allege of the scents is there a serious implication on health if one continues to use the spray even wen its giving headaches whenever used?

  23. NBH says:

    Wher do I get oils to make perfume.

  24. meanjeang1 says:

    Your local health food store will also carry many essential oils and carrier oils for you homemade perfume. My favorite is plain old vanilla extract from the baking aisle at the grocery store. Just dab on pulse points and you’ll smell yummy!

  25. Brianna says:

    Ummm I don’t have cheese cloth but can I still make the perfume. :)

  26. mary says:

    I find it very rude that the”allergy sufferer” came on to make a comment about something so sweet and innocent. So….there are a lot of people allergic to Peanut Butter and Schools and Daycare centers banned it. Just because some are allergic, doesn’t mean the stores should stop selling it.

    There are some things on here that’s just not my cup of tea. I’m not going to ask you not to post because I don’t care for it.

    Please keep posting all the good things you search long and hard for, so we have something to look forward to every Wednesday.

    I love Wednesday afternoons!!!!
    Mary

  27. Polly says:

    I bought one from Avon years ago ,scraped their perfume out of locket put yours in ,simple

    • Zoe Krakowski says:

      zoek-

      I suffer from migraines from many scents. I have never had a problem moving my seat to get away from someone’s scent. Sometimes I like the scent but the odor hits my in a “spot” in my head and I know I have to do something. Some people are more or less sensitive to different smells. Usually it can be worked around. I have found that when someone “bathes” (yes, even those w/o sensitivities have know someone, somewhere) generally they do not have the hightened sense of smell. It is one of our bodies scenses, and we are not all the same in our abilities to smell, taste, see, etc. WE all need to be respectfull of those around us. If you wouldn’t like dealing with somneone who is insensitive, why whould any one else?

  28. on Tracy M says:

    First of all, I love this post! I love all natural things and working with essential oils. This post gives me alot of useful information.
    Second of all, I don’t see a problem with calling attention to the problem of people having sensitivities and allergies to perfumes and smells. Its a very serious issue for some people and for others that it doesn’t affect, they simply don’t think about it. I am very much aware of it because it bothers me some. My mother, however, was so allergic to a couple types of perfume that her throat would close up and she would have to be rushed to the hospital. We would always have approximately five minutes for them to give her a shot and get her on oxygen to save her life. So this really isn’t something to just dismiss so easily. Lets all just be aware and helpful to each other and don’t be offended if someone needs to move one day because of our scent.

  29. Veronica says:

    Hi, you can find lockets on e-bay. and at a craft store. Michaels is where I buy mine I live in Illinois and also Joann Fabric.
    A lot of vintage shops sell lockets as well and they are lovely.
    Veronica H

  30. sat says:

    It is a little frightening that you cannot wear any scent at all, cannot eat peanut butter, cannot do things that are not criminal nor inherently dangerous like smoking. Perhaps instead of moving toward a tightly-controlled country, those that are so sensitive should have the option of working in a particular section of the office where the envioronment is controlled for their needs. while I do not want to isolate people, I also do not want my rights taken away. Where does it end? communist china and russia has everyone clothed and eating the same so all look alike and march to the tune of the state-run drummer.

  31. Candy says:

    WOW!!!! A very heated discussion here. I’m going to say something here. Whether you believe me or not, this is what I have learned. Let me first start by saying I use to make the little balloons that they put in a blocked artery, blow up, and it knocks out the blockage. So I worked in a pressurized clean room. We went through a cleaning regiment every time we entered the clean room. It took several minutes to complete the process. To help with the cleanliness. We were not allowed to wear make up, perfumes/body spray, of scented lotions. Also hair and body had to be dry for a minimum of 2 hours, and 2 hours for lotion also. Because of allergic reaction fears. Well a 10 year long test was ran on the fragrance in personal products, and it was proven time after time that once the product has dried there is no possibility of an allergic reaction. Now I’m not saying that the scent of something can not irritated some allergies, I’m saying once your cube mates perfume is dry you can not have an allergic reaction to it.

  32. Bridget says:

    After exhaustive research, multiple chemical sensitivity is not recognized as a physical impairment by any legitimate medical organization. Instead, it is classified with mental disorders.

    I am fortunate to not suffer from this but I work in a profession where I have to stay up to date on the research on this topic and I have to review placebo controlled, peer reviewed, double blind studies on it.
    I think we need to go with the best available science and keep researching. The research to date clearly indicates it is not fact based, which does NOT mean folks are making it up.

    This is not to say that some folks do not have allergies. This is not to say we want to be wearing products with genuinely toxic chemicals. This is not to say we should all run out to douse ourselves in even natural fragrances in enclosed spaces. That is unpleasant to most folks.

    This is also not saying that the folks who believe they suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity are lying. Whether it is a physical or mental impairment, they very likely experience unpleasant symptoms just the same.

    But we do have to have some balance and, unfortunately, we pretty much have to structure our own lives to be responsibile for ourselves. Realistically, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen, if necessary. I think the ADA Act is a wonderful thing for disabled folks, but like Kurt Vonnegut tried to explain, we cannot all be equal and we have to make our own accommodations.

    For example, I am blind in one eye, but I do not expect the rest of the world to be obligated to drive on my other side. If you have a sensitivity to peanuts, or you do not eat wheat, etc. you need to find the best ways to live your life to accommodate. Bring your own food. Wear a mask to filter the air, etc.

    Most of the time good friends will understand and try to reasonably accommodate the needs of others, but the general public probably will not change to accommodate every individual’s real or perceived needs. And what to do when two folks with contradictory needs are in the same environment. For example, some folks need warm rooms to accommodate their pain. Some get cold hives. But other folks have severe skin rashes from being in warm rooms.

    Just a very interesting topic. I hope we can someday figure out how to minimize our discomforts.


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