Have you ever wanted to know how to make perfume?
On my journey to natural living, perfume was one of the first things to go as it contains known carcinogens and hormone-disrupting chemicals (source EWG). And to think I was often applying it twice a day!
After nearly a year of missing the use of a personal fragrance, I learned to make my own. Come to find out you don’t have to study in France to make it either. It’s actually very easy and inexpensive to make if you already have a handful of essential oils and dried cuts from your garden.
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How to choose a Top, Middle, and Base Note for DIY Perfume
What essential oils can be used to make perfume? And what essential oil scents go well together? Perfume making really is an art and a science. But, when you are making it for yourself it’s quite simple to choose essential oils.
In fact, it’s truly just a matter of finding out what smells good to your nose! You see, perfumes are made up of scent notes diluted in oil and alcohol. Let’s talk about perfume notes!
- Top Notes: The top notes are what we smell first and are the most volatile, meaning they fade quickly. Have you ever noticed when you diffuse certain essential oils…the scent lingers for about an hour and then it’s gone. That is probably a top note. Most citrus and florals are top notes.
- Middle Notes: Middle notes last longer than a top note and add a unique layer to the scent. Chamomile is one of my favorite middle notes as it a light floral scent.
- Base Notes: These notes attract our noses the longest. They are considered grounding and often come from trees. Have you ever applied frankincense or vetiver and noticed that the scent really sticks with you? I’ve especially noticed frankincense in my yoga mat spray, it lasts throughout the whole session. These are both examples of base notes.
Interesting Things to Know When Making Perfume
When creating your signature perfume start with the base note. Then add the middle note and last the top note.
1st – Top
2nd – Middle
3rd – Base
The top note will melt into the middle and base notes causing it to linger longer. And interestingly the unique signature perfume you create will change a little throughout the day. It really is incredible!
How long will the scent of homemade perfume oil last?
When designed well the scent of the perfume will last 8 hours or more per application.
Also, keep in mind some scents can overlap between note levels. Such as rose, it does catch you at first sniff but it doesn’t dissipate quickly, instead, it stays with you. Which is why perfume artists use it as a top and base note. Learn more in the reference guide below.
Use this perfume notes reference guide to help guide you on how to make perfume with essential oils, herbs, and flowers from your garden. Find it any more printables, checklists, and reference guides in the Simple Living Library.
Top Note: Rose
Middle Note: Chamomile
Base Note: Cinnamon
Homemade Perfume Ingredients:
⅛ teaspoon chamomile flowers
1 tablespoon vodka
2 teaspoons sweet almond oil
4 drops cinnamon essential oil
8 drops chamomile essential oil
1 teaspoon rose water
1 dark glass dropper bottle
How to Make Perfume Oil:
Add chamomile flowers and dried rosebuds to a dark glass bottle (this is the eyedropper bottles I use for perfumes). Using a funnel to pour in the vodka and sweet almond oil. Remove the funnel and add 4 drops of cinnamon essential oil and 8 drops of chamomile essential oil. Replace the funnel and pour it in rose water. Remove the funnel and close the bottle and store it in a cool dark place to infuse the perfume for 2 to 6 weeks.
OK, so the hardest part of making perfume at home is the wait!
You can use it as soon as you like but the perfume will be much stronger and last longer if you wait. (If you’re looking for a quicker option use my recipe for solid perfume. It can be ready to use in as little as 15 minutes!!)
I waited 4 weeks until I tried mine and oh my gosh I’m in love!
I adore spicy aromas like chai, clove, and cinnamon. But, I’m also drawn to soft floral scents like chamomile and lavender. (Obviously, how many recipes using those scents can you find here?)
I’m a bit addicted now and I plan to make another with my girlfriends. What a fun idea for a girls night in, making our unique batches of DIY perfume oils! So, tell me, have you made your own perfume? What notes did you put in it?
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Can we use a different carrier oil? I am allergic to almonds.
I adore your website. Thank you for all this information ❤️
Awe thanks Maria, yes fractionated coconut oil works great too!
Before I read this article, I didn’t know how to make my own perfume correctly, so I experimented. I have not worn commercial perfume for many years because I became allergic to it. What I came up with for a “fragrance” doesn’t last very long, but it smells nice for a little while. I mix rose water, avocado oil, rose essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and rose verbena essential oil. I put the ingredients in a small spray bottle and of course the ingredients separate, so I shake the bottle before I use it to mix the ingredients. Smells nice. I will experiment with your recipe. Thanks.
That sounds lovely too Debbe
Can I replace the rose water with a calendula petal infusion or leave it out altogether? I don’t have any on hand.
You sure can, that sounds lovely!