Enjoy this guest post about DIY perfume from contributing author, Ashley Lipman!
If you look on the dressing table of any woman, you are likely to see a collection of perfumes. Whether fancy, crunchy, or anything in between, most women enjoy perfume. Then there are those of us who cannot even think of NOT wearing perfume. We are hardcore perfume junkies. We are the ladies who have perfume for everyday wear, perfume for going to the market or to run errands, and the “good” perfume. The good perfume is very expensive so you wear it sparingly. It is for weddings, major holidays, and going to a wonderful restaurant for your anniversary.
The perfume junkie
Until I became interested in the world of essential oils, I gave zero thought about what was actually in the heavenly scents I was putting on my body. Casual perfume wearers might be more careful. But a perfume junkie is likely to overlook what’s on the label to get the scent they want. Someone could hand you a sample vial of a great perfume with a warning, “this perfume has a base of sulfuric acid so do not put it directly on your neck.” And perfume junkies like us would reply: “But it won’t stain my clothes, right?”
The problem with that is that you might never actually really know what’s in a perfume, since so many synthetic fragrance blends are trade secrets, which are not required to be listed on the label. And because these blends could literally contain hundreds of individual synthetic chemicals, the ingredient list likely wouldn’t even fit on the box.
Why didn’t anyone tell me I could make my own perfume?
Yes, it is true. You can make your own perfume and customize the scent. It is a fraction of the cost, you can make how much you want anytime you want (so you never run out), and it is made with all-natural ingredients. Why didn’t they tell you? Frankly, they never told you because they want your money.
In this article, we will focus on the basics of how to make perfume, and what ingredients and supplies you need. But, keep in mind–natural perfumery is an art form in and of itself, so we encourage you to do your homework and practice, practice, practice! You will find tons of recipes that are wonderful online, and some that closely resemble popular brands. Start with these recipes, but do not be afraid to add a few drops of something different, so you customize your perfume, your way.
Tip: make notes of additions you added, and give your perfume a name. It will help you recreate it for yourself or someone you want to present with a charming gift.
What do you need to make DIY perfume?
While the images of perfumery shelves filled with essential oils, blends, absolutes, concretes, and artistic bottles may imply that you need a lot of ingredients and supplies to make DIY perfume, you can get started with just a few key items. In fact, I suggest starting with just a few essential oils until you get to know their aromatic profile, as you can always add more later as your perfumery skills get more seasoned.
You will need:
- Bottles for your DIY perfume (these come in roll on, glass apothecary-style jars with droppers, fancy bottles with atomizers, etc)
- A dropper or pipettes
- Vials or small beakers
- Alcohol (Grain alcohol is preferred) or jojoba oil for your base
- At least 3 different high quality essential oils
Tip: Buy only quality essential oils that are pure and highly rated. This will keep your perfume smelling nice longer.
Essential oils for DIY perfume:
Base notes are the first type of essential oil you will need. These are usually heavier oils or resins, with earthy, woodsy, naturally muskier scents, and natural fixative properties. This is the foundation of your DIY perfume aromatically, and keeps it smelling great for longer, naturally, and after the top and medium notes fade, the base notes remain. Frankincense, benzoin, vanilla, and oak moss are examples of base notes.
Medium notes are essential oils that add body to your blend. Their aromas aren’t always individually detectable, though they add body to the others, and are very important for the cohesiveness of the entire blend. Medium notes are often herbaceous, floral, or earthy. Some popular choices are lavender, geranium, or elemi.
Top notes are the first you’ll smell, but they are also the first to fade. These are often fruity or minty, the most common ones being your citrus, spicy, and minty aromas. Some common top notes are thyme, grapefruit, petitgrain, and peppermint essential oil.
Making your DIY perfume mixture
Note: use a vial or small beaker and your dropper or pipette
- Start with 15 ml of jojoba oil or grain alcohol in your container
- Add 10 drops of the base you chose.
- Add 10 drops of your medium essential oil (note).
- Add 10 drops of the top note.
- Stir gently (you can use a stainless steel or glass stirrer), and bottle.
Using your DIY perfume
Your oil blends will last for a very long time in the bottle, as long as you store them properly. As soon as you have arrived at your perfect blend, bottle it and store it in a cool, dark environment. You can use it right away, but if you allow it to sit for two to four months it will allow the aromas to “marry,” which will bring out the mellow properties of all the ingredients. Shake well and apply wherever you normally apply your perfume. If you also make your own skincare products, you can use your own safe and natural DIY perfume to scent your products in place of toxic synthetic fragrance oils.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started today, and by the time the holiday season rolls around, you’ll have some great DIY perfume gifts to give.
Have you ever made your own DIY perfume?
How did it come out? Have you had any DIY perfume fails that you were able to fix? Please share in the comments below!
About the author:
Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion in providing creative solutions for building brands online. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver quality content through various niches.