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How to Make Perfume for Men and Women

From behind the beauty counters of some of London's most renowned department stores, Jayne advises on skin & hair care, makeup & fragrance.

Get instructions for making your own perfume with essential oils and other ingredients.

Get instructions for making your own perfume with essential oils and other ingredients.

These eight modern fragrances, ranging from floral to oriental, are composed of therapeutic-grade essential oils and other ingredients you can trust, which means no synthetic aroma, no artificial color, and no denatured alcohol.

Use the following instructions to create your very own signature fragrance. Or, presented in a decorative bottle or atomizer, homemade perfume makes for a beautiful gift.

Don't worry if your bottle is less than elaborate; think of the simple packaging and presentation of "CK One" and "Chanel No. 5."

Don't worry if your bottle is less than elaborate; think of the simple packaging and presentation of "CK One" and "Chanel No. 5."

What You Need to Create Your Own Fragrance

  • A decorative bottle. (Clean it with detergent, rinse, and allow to dry. As an extra measure, give it a final rinse with rectified spirit.) Don't worry if your bottle is less than elaborate. Think of the simple packaging and presentation of CK One and Chanel N°5.
  • A small funnel (it should fit the opening of the bottle).
  • Essential oils, according to the recipes listed below. To avoid allergies and irritations, it’s advisable to use therapeutic-grade oils, which are available at pharmacies.
  • To make perfume oil, you'll need 10 mL of jojoba oil per fragrance. Jojoba oil has a neutral aroma and is suitable for all skin types, making it the best choice to use as a base or carrier oil.
  • For eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and aftershave, you'll need rectified spirit and either spring water, flat mineral water, or distilled water. Rectified spirit is 190-proof ethanol distilled several times for extreme purity. It’s sometimes labeled "neutral spirits" and is available in the U.S. as a product called Everclear.

How to Make Perfume Oil

Use the Exact Order

The ingredients in the following recipes are listed in the exact order they should be added. Always start with the jojoba oil, then add the essential oils in order of their notes: first the base notes, then the heart notes, and lastly the head notes. Shake the bottle after adding each oil.

How Perfume Works

In case you're wondering how fragrance notes work, the aroma you notice immediately after applying perfume is the head note (also called the top note). After 15–30 minutes, the heart note (also called the middle note) becomes noticeable. The base note emerges about half an hour later and lingers long after the head and heart notes have faded.

How to Store Perfume

Before using your perfume oil, leave it in a cool, dark place to mature for two weeks. This allows the individual aromas to blend into a balanced fragrance. It's actually a good idea to always store perfume and similar products away from light and heat so that they keep their fragrance for longer.

Perfume Oil Recipes for Women

Apart from their enticing scent, the great thing about these fragrances is that you know exactly what you’re spraying on your skin—no synthetic aromas, no artificial color, and no denatured alcohol.

Fresh Mellow Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

4 drops grapefruit

1 drop iris

1 drop narcissus

2 drops tonka bean seed

2 drops vanilla

2 drops ylang ylang

Floral Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

2 drops lavender

2 drops lime

2 drops palmarosa

1 drop rose

3 drops sandalwood

Dark, Warm Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

1 drop geranium

3 drops ginger

2 drops coriander

2 drops lime

3 drops lemon balm

3 drops patchouli

Sweet, Soft Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

2 drops grapefruit

1 drop honey

3 drops jasmin

3 drops lavender

2 drops sandalwood

Perfume Oil Recipes for Men

See further below for how to use these fragrances to create aftershave or eau de cologne.

Spicy Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba Oil

1 drop oak moss

2 drops lime

1 drop orange

1 drop vanilla

2 drops vetiver

Distinctive Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba

2 drops myrtle

3 drops petitgrain

2 drops hyssop

3 drops cedar

4 drops lemon

Tangy, Fresh Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

2 drops bergamot

2 drops verbena

5 drops grapefruit

1 drop ginger

1 drop lemongrass

1 drop neroli

2 drops Swiss (stone) pine

Casual Fragrance

Ingredients

10mL jojoba oil

3 drops grapefruit

1 drop lavender

2 drops myrtle

1 drop European silver fir

1 drop cedar

How to Make Eau de Toilette

To make eau de toilette, use the above perfume oil recipes, but replace jojoba oil with spring water, flat mineral water, or distilled water. For better solubility of the essential oils, include rectified spirit, which also acts as a preservative.

The Best Formula for Eau de Toilette

For 60mL of eau de toilette, you’ll need 20mL of rectified spirit and 40mL of water. Start with the spirit, then add the water, then the essential oils. If you don't work in this order, the finished product will be cloudy. It will still be usable, but it will look very unattractive.

Multiply the oil quantities in each recipe by six to every 60mL of spirit/water.

Example: Floral Recipe for Women

  • 20mL rectified spirit
  • 40mL water
  • 12 drops lavender
  • 12 drops lime
  • 12 drops palmarosa
  • 6 drops rose
  • 18 drops sandalwood

As with perfume oil, shake the bottle after adding each essential oil, and allow to mature in a cool, dark place for two weeks before using.

How to Make Eau de Cologne

Eau de cologne contains fewer aromatic compounds than eau de toilette, which means its fragrance will be less intense and won't last as long on the skin.

Make it the same way as you would an eau de toilette, but multiply the essential oil quantities by three to every 60mL of spirit and water instead of six.

How to Make Aftershave

For a mild aftershave, use two tablespoons of rectified spirit and 50mL of spring water, flat mineral water, or distilled water in place of jojoba oil. Otherwise, stick to the perfume oil recipes as they appear above — and there is no need to multiply the quantities of essential oils.

Add the ingredients in the same order as you would with eau de toilette: first the rectified spirit, then the water, and then the oils.

Shake the bottle after adding each essential oil, and allow the mixture to mature in a cool, dark place for two weeks before using.

When altering a recipe, test it on a strip of blotting paper before adding another essential oil. This ensures that the fragrance is going in the direction you want it to.

When altering a recipe, test it on a strip of blotting paper before adding another essential oil. This ensures that the fragrance is going in the direction you want it to.

Experimenting With Your Homemade Fragrance

After you’ve made your first perfume, you’ll be in a good position to judge how you could change and improve its fragrance according to your personal preferences. You might, for example, decide that the "sweet, soft" recipe would smell better on you with orange in place of grapefruit. Feel free to experiment. You might invent your own unique signature fragrance.

When altering a recipe, test it on a strip of blotting paper before adding another essential oil. This ensures that the fragrance develops the desired character.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Jayne Lancer

Comments

Navin bafna on October 26, 2019:

What would be the shelf life of these homemade perfumes?

Ijeoma bridget israel on May 19, 2019:

Thanks alot for sharing this,was really educating and inspiring . will really try these!

PEP BRIGHT on April 02, 2019:

Thank you so much..... Before I go let me drop this question here, how what is the chemical,ingredients or item that makes body spray to last long, I.e about 24hours.

Angelsecret on August 26, 2018:

Thanks so much

Blessed on October 01, 2017:

Hie Jayne. Lovely&informative article on how to make your own perfume. It's my wish to discuss same subject further. I hope you are available for that.

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on September 19, 2017:

@Angel

Being British, I call it "balm." In the US it's generally referred to as "lemon balm" or "melissa." Thank you for bringing this to my attention—I'll change it in the article to avoid further confusion.

Angel on September 12, 2017:

What is balm in your woman's dark, warm formula? Did you mean balsa or balm ( a solid used in making solid perfume)?

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on May 26, 2014:

I'll look out for it. Thanks for the tip!

Ensorcelie from Albania on May 25, 2014:

That is a movie you must see! Really, so inspiring.

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on May 24, 2014:

That's a movie I still have to see. You really ought to try your hand at making perfume, it's very easy. The fun starts when you experiment and come up with your signature fragrance.

Ensorcelie from Albania on May 22, 2014:

I loved reading this. You see, yesterday, I watched for the 2nd time the movie "Parfum- the story of a killer" and it once again raised in me the desire to make a parfum, whatever it would be. Thank you for this post, I will take it into consideration if I ever decide to really make a parfum.

Fragrances for Men on May 20, 2014:

Fragrances for Men. Such as White Freesia, Peach Nectar, Jasmine, Osmanthus, Pink Peonies, Creamy Musk, Honeysuckle, Praline, Soft Woods.

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on May 18, 2014:

Thank you very much, Sparkleyfinger! I hope you do give it a try--I'd love to know how it turns out.

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on May 18, 2014:

Great hub, I've never thought about making fragrances, but with your instruction, I may give it a go! Voted up, useful and interesting.

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on May 16, 2014:

Thank you, Goodnews, and good luck with the perfume! Let me know how it turns out.

OSBERT JOEL C from CHENNAI on May 16, 2014:

Nice hub.. Smells Great.. Gonna try Spicy... Voted up..

Jayne Lancer (author) from West London, UK on May 14, 2014:

You're welcome, and thank you for coming by, Erorantes.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on May 14, 2014:

I like your article on How To Make PerfumeFragance. I like your small recipes for each smell. It is creative, and some chemistry involve. I like the small jars. Thank you.

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