How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils

How To Make Perfume With Essential Oils

By Amy Derungs

May 9, 2021


So you want to know how to make perfume with essential oils? It is really easy and you have come to the right place!

You can try my recipes (or invent your own!) to make your very own homemade perfume with essential oils. These recipes were born from years of experience with essential oils - I hope you enjoy them! 

It is a good idea to understand how scents work together. A fragrance is made up of three types of scents in different proportions: the top notes, middle notes, and the base notes. Each essential oil is suitable for a particular perfume note. 

How to Make Perfume with Essential Oils - Perfume Notes

A Reference Guide: Essential oils used in the making of perfume are classified into eight categories according to their primary scent characteristics: citrus, floral, herbaceous, camphoraceous, spicy, resinous, woody, or earthy. To help you choose the ingredients for your own recipes, I describe over 50 of these scents here and also provide the recommended perfume note with each essential oil description.

Understanding how scents work together

Understanding how scents work together is the first step in building your very own homemade perfume. A fragrance is made up of three types of scents in different proportions: firstly the top note (30%), then the middle note (50%), and lastly the base note (20%).

Let me explain:

  • Top notes are what you smell first, and they fade faster. They give the first impression of the perfume blend. The scents of the oils in this note will tend to be light, fresh, and uplifting.
  • Middle or heart notes come next and are considered the core of your fragrance. These essential oils will give the full body to the perfume blend. These are not quite as volatile as the top notes and will take a little longer to surface (typically 20-60 minutes after application). Generally these will be warm and comforting scents.
  • Base notes are what help the middle notes last longer; they accentuate and extend the longevity of the middle notes. They will be noticeable for quite a while (typically an hour or two after application) and they also slow down the evaporation of the oils from the top two notes. These will generally be very rich and also very relaxing in nature.

Essential Oils Set

These essential oils come in a beautiful gift box. It is the perfect starter kit for homemade perfume.

The set includes 30 individual 5 ml bottles: Citronella, Chamomile, Tea tree, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Cajeput, Cinnamon, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Bergamot, Lavender, Thyme, Jasmine, Cedar, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Clove, Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Ylang Ylang, Ginger, Vetiver, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Rose, Juniper, Frankincense, Geranium, and Pine Needles.

Basic Ingredients and Supplies

Here is a list of the basic ingredients that go into making any perfume from essential oils, as well as the other supplies you will need. 

  • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
  • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
  • 3 tea spoons distilled water
  • 10 to 12 drops of essential oils (guide: 3 drops for the top notes, 5 drops for the middle, and 2 drops for the base notes) 
  • coffee filter
  • small funnel
  • clean bottles of dark glass with air-tight lids

Next we will discuss exactly how to put all the ingredients together.

Make Your Own Perfume - Instructions

  1. Pour the carrier oil into a bottle. Add the base, then middle, and then the top note essential oils. Add the alcohol.
  2. Secure the lid and leave your perfume to "rest" for at least 48 hours in a dark place. The longer you leave it the stronger the scent will become.
  3. You may want to make small adjustments by adding a few drops of essential oil at this stage, but try to stick to the prescribed ratio of notes. If one of your scents is more powerful than the others, start by adding the others, then add your strongest scent one drop at a time until you’re happy with the balance, making sure the other scents haven’t been overwhelmed. Once you are happy with the scent, add the water. Shake vigorously for at least one minute.
  4. Use the coffee filter and funnel to transfer your new perfume to another bottle or decanter.
  5. Enjoy your personal fragrance!

Tips:

  • If you hold the open bottles together in your hand and waft them under your nose you can get a good idea of what goes well together. Also consider their intensity in relation to each other.
  • Smelling fresh coffee beans is great for cleansing the palate. Do this regularly as you smell different oils so that you can get the full fragrance of each scent.
  • It is a good idea to write down your DIY perfume recipes as you mix them so that you can easily recreate your favorite fragrances. And label your perfume bottles for easy identification.

    When mixing your fragrances you should always use glass containers. Plastic tends to retain fragrance particles. If you are going to mix the blend rather than just swirling a small quantity, then be sure to use a glass rod and not a metal object.

    Essential Oil Roller Bottles 10ml

    Each bottle is made of corrosion-resistant glass which makes it thick, smooth and shockproof. The amber glass protects essential oils against harmful UV rays to save it from quick vaporization.

    The roll balls are made of stainless steel and fit tightly to prevent leakage. Leakage is further prevented by the screw on plated aluminium alloy cap so you can pop one of these in your bag and keep it with you for use throughout the day.

    A glass roll-on bottle is ideal to use for essential oil perfumes.

    After you have used your mixing equipment, wash very well with a strong soap, dry, and wipe down with alcohol to remove all traces of the oils. Then wash again, rinse in clean water and dry ready for the next use.

    Cliganic USDA Organic Jojoba Oil


    100% Pure organic cold pressed Jojoba oil - no additives, no alcohol, no added-fragrance and not diluted - this is perfect to use as a carrier oil when creating your perfume.

    Essential Oil Perfume Recipes

    These DIY perfume recipes feature some of the essential oils contained in the gift box set featured earlier. 

    Citrus and Chamomile

    • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
    • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
    • 3 tea spoons distilled water
    • Top notes: 2 drops Orange, 1 drop Lemon
    • Middle Notes: 3 drops Chamomile, 2 drops Geranium
    • Base notes: 1 drop Ylang Ylang, 1 drop Rose
    Orange

    Spicy Clove Bud

    • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
    • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
    • 3 tea spoons distilled water
    • Top notes: 2 drops Orange, 1 drop Bergamot
    • Middle Notes: 2 drops Clove Bud, 1 drop Thyme, 2 drop Lavender
    • Base notes: 1 drop Cinnamon, 1 drop Frankincense
    Clove

    Geranium and Lavender

    • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
    • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
    • 3 tea spoons distilled water
    • Top notes: 2 drops Clary Sage, 2 drops Bergamot, 1 drop Grapefruit
    • Middle Notes: 3 drops Geranium, 2 drops Lavender
    • Base notes: 1 drop Cedar, 1 drop Rose
    Geranium

    Juniper Berry

    • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
    • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
    • 3 tea spoons distilled water
    • Top notes: 2 drops Tea Tree, 2 drops Lemongrass, 1 drop Lemon
    • Middle Notes: 2 drops Juniper Berry, 2 drop Thyme, 1 drop Lavender
    • Base notes: 2 drops Vetiver
    Juniper berry

    Lavender

    • 4 tea spoons carrier oil (like Jojoba oil)
    • 10 tea spoons 100% proof alcohol (like Vodka)
    • 3 tea spoons distilled water
    • Top notes: 2 drops Orange, 2 drops Clary Sage, 1 drop Rosemary
    • Middle Notes: 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Geranium, 1 drop Chamomile
    • Base notes: 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Patchouli
    Lavender

    Once you have perfected your recipe, you could also decant the precious perfume into a special bottle to keep at home. I have selected a few of my favorites here for you to add to or start your collection.

    Pretty Perfume Bottles

    Waltz&F Purple Pattern Vintage Refillable Perfume Bottle - Frosted Glass Essential Oil Bottle, 30ml

    YUFENG Restoring Ancient Ways Hollow-Out Rattan Flower Perfume Bottles Empty Refillable (Purple)

    YUFENG Heart Shape Enameled Refillable Perfume Bottle, 8ml

    Fancy Retro Round Empty Perfume Bottle Antique Small Flower Embelished, 15ml

    Shenzhao Aromatherapy Refillable Perfume Bottle, 15ml

    The Classification of Essential Oils for Perfume - a Reference Guide

    Essential oils can be categorized together based on their primary scent characteristics. Shown below is a list of some of the more popular essential oils categorized into eight aromatic groups. Scent is highly subjective, and many essential oils do not have a single dominant aromatic characteristic. Therefore, some oils can be associated with more than one scent category or fragrance family. 

    Citrus

    Bergamot The scent of this oil is basically citrus, yet fruity and sweet, with a warm spicy floral quality that is reminiscent of neroli as well as lavender oil. It is great for creating a more relaxed and happy feeling. Perfume note: Top or Middle.

    Citronella A fresh, uplifting scent similar to that of Lemon. Perfume note: Middle.

    Grapefruit This essential oil has a sharp refreshing smell. It positively affects your mood and revives the mind. Perfume note: Top.

    Lemon Lemon oil has a sharp, fresh smell. This clean smelling citrus essential oil is good for helping you make decisions and to improve your concentration. Perfume note: Top.

    Lemongrass The aroma is lemony, fresh, invigorating and uplifting. Perfume note: Top or Middle.

    Lime Lime oil has a sharp, citrus peel smell. This clear smelling citrus oil can help lift depression and lighten your mood when feeling blue. Perfume note: Top.

    Orange Sweet orange oil has a sweet, fresh and tangy smell. It creates feelings of happiness and warmth. Perfume note: Top.

    Tangerine It is sweet and tangy. This zesty essential oil is a great aid to relieve stress. Perfume note: Top.

    Floral

    Blue Tansy A combination of sweet, fruity, and floral with a hint of harbaceousness. This oil is uplifting. Perfume note: Base.

    Chamomile The Roman camomile essential oil has a sweet, apple-like fragrance, while the German camomile oil is sweet and straw-like in fragrance. Both Roman and German camomile have excellent calming properties, but Roman camomile is more effective for irritation, impatience and feeling disagreeable. Perfume note: Middle.

    Copaiba This oil has a rich, warm honey scent. Promotes healing. Perfume note: Base.

    Geranium This fresh essential oil helps to balance the mind and emotions. Perfume note: Middle.

    Helichrysum The fragrance of this oil is rosy, exotic, and spicy. Said to be grounding without being heavy. It helps bring a sense of connection to those who are disconnected both from others and from themselves. Perfume note: Middle or Base.

    Jasmine Jasmine essential oil has a sweet, exotic and richly floral smell. It deeply relaxes, lifts depression and boosts confidence. Perfume note: Base.

    Lavender Lavender oil has a light fresh aroma. It is a calming, relaxing oil, which combats stress and crisis. Perfume note: Top or Middle.

    Neroli Neroli oil has a sweet, floral and slightly haunting aroma. As with lavender, this essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils. It not only has great therapeutic properties, but it also has the most incredible smell. It has a great relaxing effect on the body and mind. Perfume note: Top.

    Petitgrain It is sweet, yet tart with subtle floral and woody characteristics. This oil is uplifting, calming and balancing. Perfume note: Top.

    Rose Damask rose oil has a deep, rosy, fresh aroma. It is one of the best all-purpose oils to have around. It fights depression, grief, anger and fear. Perfume note: Base.

    Ylang Ylang It has an exotic, sweet smell. This extremely fragrant essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and body. Perfume note: Base.

    Herbaceous

    Basil The aroma is clear, light and peppery and gives a sweet, green top note to blends. This crisp smelling essential oil is often used in aromatherapy, as it awakens the mind to clarity of thought, and steadies the nerves. Perfume note: Top.

    Bay Camphorous and spicy notes marry nicely with softer sweet, fruity/floral notes. Wonderful for promoting confidence and for helping maintain courage and focus when dealing with challenges or new ideas. Perfume note: Middle.

    Chamomile  see above in Floral

    Cilantro Sharp, bright, herbaceous, green spice, fresh, sweet, citrus undertones. Elevates mood and reinforces self-confidence all while soothing emotions. Perfume note: Middle.

    Clary Sage Clary sage has a sweet, nutty fragrance, somewhat herbaceous. It is great for easing depression and nervous burn-out. Perfume note: Top.

    Marjoram Marjoram oil has a warm, slightly spicy smell. It has a calming action on emotions. Perfume note: Middle.

    Melissa Melissa oil has a sweet, fresh and citrus-like smell. It helps to bring calmness to the mind. Perfume note: Middle.

    Oregano Oregano essential oil smells herbaceous and sharp - used as a stimulant. Perfume note: Middle.

    Peppermint  see above in Herbaceous.

    Rosemary Rosemary oil has a clear, powerful refreshing herbal smell. This crisp and clean smelling essential oil is great for stimulating the brain, improving memory and mental clarity. Perfume note: Top or Middle.

    Spearmint A somewhat more subtle oil than peppermint because it contains significantly less menthol. Used for reducing stress. Perfume note: Top.

    Camphoraceous

    Cajeput This oil is extremely pungent, and has the odor of a mixture of turpentine and camphor. Perfume note: Middle. 

    Eucalyptus Eucalyptus has a clear, sharp, fresh and very distinctive smell. This essential oil helps to clear the mind and focus concentration. Perfume note: Top.

    Peppermint Peppermint oil has a fresh, sharp, menthol smell. It is used to stimulate the mind, increase mental agility and to increase focus. Perfume note: Top.

    Rosemary see above in Herbaceous.

    Tea Tree The scent is similar to peppermint or eucalyptus. This essential oil is used mainly for medicinal purposes. Perfume note: Top.

    Spicy

    Black Pepper It is a strong and sharp spicy oil and is faintly reminiscent of clove oil, yet more refined. This warm and spicy essential oil helps to increase warmth of the body and mind. Perfume note: Middle.

    Cardamom Cardamom oil is sweet, spicy and almost balsamic in fragrance. Due to the aromatic power it holds, cardamom has the benefit of helping those going through mental stress, depression or any other mental health issue. Perfume note: Middle.

    Cinnamon Cinnamon leaf oil has a warm, spicy musky smell. It fights exhaustion and a feeling of depression and weakness. Perfume note: Middle.

    Clove Bud Warm, sweet and aromatic. Said to attract wealth, prosperity and a positive atmosphere. Perfume note: Middle or Base.

    Coriander Coriander oil has a sweet, spicy, warm smell. Helps to ease the mind and fight fatigue. Perfume note: Top.

    Fennel Fennel essential oil is sweet, yet somewhat spicy and peppery with a licorice-like (Anise) note. Can be helpful provide mental stimulation, clarity and focus. Perfume note: Middle.

    Ginger It is a strong smelling oil - spicy, sharp, warm and with a hint of lemon and pepper, which smells of actual ginger. Perfume note: Base.

    Nutmeg Nutmeg oil is sharp, spicy and rather musky in aroma. It stimulates and invigorates the mind. Perfume note: Middle.

    Thyme The aroma of thyme is pungent, warming, spicy and agreeable. Perfume note: Middle.

    Vanilla A sweet familiar scent. Comforting. Perfume note: Base.

    Resinous

    Benzoin This oil has a sweet, warm and vanilla-like aroma. This resinous oil has a great calming and uplifting effect on the mind and helps to comfort the sad and lonely. Perfume note: Middle.

    Frankincense Frankincense has a woody, spicy, haunting smell, a little bit camphoric, but very pleasant. This essential oil has a wonderfully calming effect on the mind and helps to create inner peace. Perfume note: Base.

    Myrrh Myrrh oil has a warm, slightly musty smell. Works on increasing your spiritual self. Perfume note: Base.

    Woody

    Cedar It has a soft, woody and "pencil-like" smell and has a faint undertone of sandalwood. This clean smelling, balsamic oil does not only help calm and balance energy, but also promotes spirituality. Perfume note: Top or Base.

    Cinnamon see above in spicy.

    Cypress Cypress oil has a woody, slightly spicy and refreshing masculine smell. This clear and fresh smelling essential oil is a great boon to use during times of major upheavals and changes in your life, as it restores calm, soothes anger and making your life flow better. Perfume note: Middle.

    Fir Needle It possesses a fresh, woody, sweet, "forest" aroma. It is used to ease anxiety, tension, and "winter blues". Perfume note: Middle.

    Juniper Berry It has a fresh, clear but slightly woody aroma. Used to help stimulate and strengthen the nerves and bolster the spirits in challenging situations. Perfume note: Middle.

    Pine Pine oil has a fresh forest smell. It is very useful to relieve mental and physical fatigue. Perfume note: Base.

    Sandalwood The oil has a woody, exotic smell, subtle and lingering. It creates a calming and harmonizing effect, while reducing tension and confusion. Perfume note: Base.

    Earthy

    Patchouli Patchouli oil has a rich musky-sweet, strong spicy and herbaceous smell. It is great for fighting depression and anxiety. Perfume note: Base.

    Spikenard Spikenard Essential Oil is very deep, rich, earthy and woody. It is calming and relaxing. Perfume note: Middle.

    Vetiver It has an earthy, musty smell - much like the smell of a damp forest floor. This essential oil has a wonderful effect on the mind and body and is useful to dispel irritability, anger and hysteria. Perfume note: Base.

    In Conclusion

    Make your own perfume cheaply and without the harmful additives found in store bought scents. There are so many essential oils on the market - DIY perfume combinations are practically endless! These days good quality essential oils are readily available. Carrier oils and empty perfume bottles are also easy to find so experiment and have fun mixing your very own signature perfume! 

    I am sure you will find interest in "How To Make Perfume With Essential Oils Without Alcohol".