Learn how to make perfume with our DIY guide
Ever wondered how to make perfume? Turns out, it’s not actually that hard to DIY.
If you’re bored on a rainy afternoon or can’t seem to find the perfect scent, making a custom fragrance could be exactly what you need.
You probably already have most of the ingredients at home and if you have a basic idea of perfume notes - I’d call you qualified enough to do it yourself!
Before we learn how to make perfume, let’s just run-through the basics.
When you’re adding a range of essential oils to your perfume, it’s important to keep in mind that all fragrances are designed to have three types of notes. While the oils you pick are up to personal preference, just ensure you’ve picked at least one oil that fits into each of these categories.
1. Top notes
The first impression you get from a perfume comes from the top notes. They catch your attention first, but are the quickest to fade.
Common top notes: lemon, basil, lavender, orange, mint, bergamot and grapefruit.
2. Heart notes
Heart notes or middle notes are the main scent of the perfume. They become prominent once the top notes start to fade.
Common heart notes: ylang ylang, tuberose, neroli, black pepper, geranium, rosemary, juniper, nutmeg, cinnamon and juniper.
3. Base notes
The base or bottom notes are the strongest and linger once the top and heart notes have evaporated.
Common base notes: sandalwood, rose, patchouli, amber, musk, vanilla, vetiver and cedarwood.
An ideal ratio for splitting essential oils is: 20% base notes, 50% middle notes and 30% top notes.
Some notes can fall into more than one of these categories so it's important to know that if one scent smells too overpowering, you can always add less.
What works with what?
This was the part of the DIY process that had me scratching my head. How do you know if some individual scents you adore will work with others?
One way is to do some research on your favourite perfumes and see which notes they have blended together.
If you want a bit more guidance, it turns out there are some scent combinations known to work. All of the notes in certain groups (like floral or woody) blend well together. Citrus and woody scents are a good combination. Minty scents go well with woody, citrus and herbaceous scents. Floral and citrus scents work together and oriental and floral scents mix nicely.
Woody scents are the most versatile. They blend with pretty much every other type of scent. So if you're worried about your what your perfume will smell like, woody notes are always a good option to add.
If you’re a bit of a renegade you can chuck in whatever notes you like and just see what happens! After all, it's meant to be a fun experiment.
What scents are what?
The only thing left to consider is which essential oils fall into which fragrance group.
Oriental: patchouli, vanilla
Floral: lavender, jasmine, geranium
Citrus: grapefruit, lemon, orange, lime
Woody: sandalwood, cedar, pine
Spicy: clove, cinnamon, nutmeg
Minty: peppermint, spearmint.
What you’ll need
A carrier oil (jojoba or almond oil will do the trick)
40 drops of essential oils
¼ cup of high-quality, 100 proof vodka
2 tbs spring water or filtered water
Atomiser or small spray bottle (Dark glass bottles are better as they shield perfume from light which can preserve it for longer.)
Step 1: Add a carrier oil to a glass bowl.
Step 2: Add your essential oils in the order of base notes, middle notes and finally top notes.
Step 3: Add vodka to glass bowl. Stir gently to combine.
Step 4: Add water and stir again.
Step 5: Place the funnel inside the nozzle or your atomiser or spray bottle and rest coffee filter (you can buy coffee filter paper from the shop, even if you don’t have a coffee machine) on top of funnel.
Step 6: Carefully pour the mixture over the coffee filter into the atomiser. Be patient. You will need to pour very slowly as it will take a long time for all the liquid to pass through the filter.
Step 7: Seal the bottle and leave to sit for 48 hours. Shake before use then spritz as you would with a normal perfume. Voila!
Did you already know how to make perfume? Do you ever create any DIY fragrances?