How to make homemade perfume from essential oils

Are you in love with your perfume or cologne and would like to create your homemade perfume recipes?

Well, you might be interested to know contrary to making perfume with essential oils, traditional perfume may actually only contain chemicals that are made to trick your senses into thinking you are smelling natural scents. Scary, right?

Because of the Federal Fair Packaging Act of 1973, a loophole was created where fragrance companies don’t have to list all of the ingredients in their products, unlike every other cosmetic industry where they are required to list all ingredients on product labels.

This loophole allows cosmetic industries to use chemicals that make you feel like you are smelling lavender perfume, when it really is everything but. These chemicals can sometimes cause allergic reactions and sensitivities that can result in sneezing, rashes, runny noses, dry skin, and more.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) did a study that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 of some of the most popular name brand fragrance products. In this study, EWG also noted that a fragrance can be made from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients that can be mixed to mimic almost any smell. That’s 3,100 different chemicals!

The EWG also found that “the average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

Want to avoid all the fragrance secrecy? Essential oils have been used as perfume and cologne around the world for centuries. Whether you are using a single oil, or are mixing and matching essential oils to find your perfect fragrance, you will always have one thing — the peace of mind you are doing good to your body while smelling wonderful at the same time!

Our step-by-step guide on how to make homemade perfume with essential oils will have you creating your own signature scent in no time! Celebrities do it all the time and now you can too, only better and safer.

Editor’s tip: Why not make it a girls’ night where everyone could make their own custom perfume blend? This could be a great opportunity to teach your friends the benefits of making perfume with essential oils.

Making perfume with essential oils in your own blend

If you are interested in creating your own homemade perfume recipes, here are a few basics of perfumery to get you started:

There are top, middle, and base notes when making perfume with essential oils. Below explains what each note is and essential oils that can be classified in each category.

Top Note: the first scent you will smell when applied. These are usually lighter scents that can fade quickly.

Essential oil top notes could include: basil, bergamot, cinnamon, Clary sage, coriander, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, lime, wild orange, peppermint, Melaleuca, and thyme.

Middle Note: sometimes referred to as “heart notes,” make up the majority of the blend. You can usually smell the aroma when first applied, but usually takes 10-30 minutes to fully develop. The middle note is usually what classifies it to their fragrance family (floral, musky, oriental, fruity…).

Essential oil middle notes could include: black pepper, cypress, fennel, geranium, lavender, marjoram, melissa, rosemary, and white fir.

Base Note: are the ones that last the longest and have the greatest molecular weight. These are the notes that make the fragrance last longer and help the evaporation rates of the top and middle notes slow down.

Essential oil base notes could include: cassia, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, ginger, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, and ylang ylang.

Materials Needed for homemade perfume recipes:

  • Top, middle, and base note essential oils of your choice.
  • Glass bottle to hold your homemade perfume recipes. (You can find different bottle choices at online retailers. Some bottle options include a spray bottle, glass vial, or roll-on vial).
  • Carrier oil for homemade perfume recipes (fractionated coconut oil is recommended for best results but you could also use jojoba oil or a high proof alcohol).
  • Dropper for carrier oil.
  • Pen and paper to record drop amounts.

Instructions making perfume with essential oils:

Starting with your base note essential oil, put a few drops in the glass bottle. Record number of drops on paper.

  1. Next use your middle note essential oil and put desired drops in the glass bottle. Smell as you go along and add more if you want the middle note to be stronger. Record number of drops on paper.
  2. Drop your top note essential oils into the glass bottle. Smell and adjust your homemade perfume recipes to your desired fragrance, add more base or middle notes if needed. Record number of drops on paper.
  3. Once you have the essential oil blend as you would like it, multiply the drops in the glass bottle by 4 to calculate the total amount of carrier oil drops (or alcohol) to add next. For example, if you did 10 base note drops, 10 middle note drops, and 10 high note drops then you have 30 drops of essential oil. Multiply the 30 drops by 4 to get the amount of drops of carrier oil you need to add. In this case it would be 120 drops (30 x 4 = 120). Use your dropper for the carrier oil and put the correct amount of drops into the glass bottle.
  4. Let the blend mature for 2-4 days before using. You can still adjust and add oils to your homemade perfume after this “perfume maturing” stage to get your desired results.

Tips for making perfume with essential oils:

  • Start with a small sample of your fragrance first so you can use it as a sample. If you like it, take your recorded drop amounts and multiply them to produce a larger amount of the homemade perfume recipes
  • There are no exact recipes when it comes to making perfume because you can add more or less of whatever note to get your desired fragrance. This is where  you can have fun and experiment with your own unique scent.
  • You can have more than one type of note in your  mixture. For example, your mixture could include 3 different top notes, 2 different middle notes, and 2 different base notes. Do what smells right to you.
  • Apply perfume to skin rather than clothes. For best results, apply on wrists.
  • For a body mist, add 5-10 drops of essential oil to 4 ounces of water and shake well.
  • Have fun! Experiment and find the mixture that will make your own perfume best for you.

Fragrance Ideas:

Mix #1: peppermint, lavender, sandalwood.

This scent is fresh, refreshing, clean, and has a hint of musk.

Mix #2: Citrus Bliss, fennel, vetiver.

This scent is woodsy, sweet, and citrusy.

Mix #3: cassia, cypress, vetiver.

This is a very sweet and spicy scent.

Mix #4: basil, lavender, ylang ylang.

This is a fresh and floral scent.

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