Whether store-bought perfumes give you a giant headache or you simply want to create your own signature scent, making perfume with essential oil is fun, easy, and adaptable. Finding the right blend of essential oils can take a little trial and error, but experimenting with combinations can be enjoyable as you find out what you do and don’t like. In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to make perfume with essential oils and the benefits of doing so.
Benefits of Making Perfume With Essential Oil
When you make your own perfume with essential oils, you avoid the nasty chemicals that are included in most commercial perfumes. Store-bought perfumes are made with artificial fragrances, which contain chemicals like ethyl acetate, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, and musk ketone, all of which can cause eye irritation. Styrene is considered a probable carcinogen, and acetone can make you feel dizzy, nauseous, and cause problems with breathing. If strong fragrances make you feel lightheaded, sick to the stomach, and downright bad, this is why.
Essential oils are also completely natural and derived from plants. You get to control everything that goes into the perfume, so you don’t have to worry about any of the chemicals that are included in the store-bought variety.
Additionally, commercial perfumes tend to be extremely strong. If you’ve ever been trapped in a car with someone wearing too much fragrance, you know how uncomfortable that can be. On the flipside, making perfume with essential oil creates a lighter perfume, so you can control just how much fragrance you get.
Creating Your Perfect Scent
While it will take you some time to figure out your favorite scent combo, you can start by understanding the composition of a scent. Perfumes typically contain base, head, and heart notes. Each type of note is important and plays a different role in the overall scent.
- Base notes: Durable and provide long-lasting scent. Earthy and woodsy scents are usually base notes.
- Head notes: First detectable notes, typically dominant for 15 minutes. Citrus scents are usually head notes.
- Heart notes: Carry the rest of the scents, detectable for 15 to 45 minutes. Floral and herbal scents are usually heart notes.
Woodsy scents include cedarwood, sandalwood, juniper, and pine. These scents are balancing and strong, often found in masculine fragrances. Citrus scents are energizing and include lemon, orange, grapefruit, and bergamot. Floral scents are classic, feminine scents and include rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, and neroli. Herbal scents can improve focus and tend to be invigorating. These scents include eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint.
While we encourage you to experiment with scents and find what you like, sometimes it’s nice to have an idea of where to start from! Here are a few simple combination suggestions to use as you start out making perfume with essential oil:
- Bright rose: 5 drops rosewood, 5 drops orange, and 10 drops sandalwood
- Calm as a cucumber: 5 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops lavender, 10 drops pine
- Strong and well-traveled: 5 drops winter fairytale, 5 drops marjoram, 10 drops cypress
How to Make Perfume With Essential Oils
The easiest way to apply essential oil perfume is in a roll-on bottle. You can mix up your blend in just minutes, and roll it onto your pulse points immediately after, or store it for later use. When making perfume with essential oil, take into account how sensitive your skin is. The following recipe errs on the safe side with a 20% concentration of essential oils, but you can use less essential oil if your skin is reactive.
You will need:
- 5ml roll-on bottle
- Essential oils (ideally one base, head, and heart scent)
- Light or unscented carrier oil, like jojoba, sweet almond, or grapeseed oil
- Add 80 drops of carrier oil to a roll-on bottle, or fill it about 80% full.
- Add 10 drops of your base essential oil.
- Add 5 drops each of your head and heart essential oils.
- Close the bottle and shake well to combine.
- Store in a dark, cool place.
- Shake again before each use, and apply to the collarbone, chest, tops of arms, or behind the ears.
Learning how to make perfume with essential oils can be a labor of love. It takes patience and curiosity to find the right scent combinations for your preferences. Yet, when you allow yourself to enjoy the journey and follow your natural intuition, you’ll find that making perfume with essential oil can be a grounding act of self-care or a fun time to play around. Either way, you’ll enjoy the benefits of essential oil and avoid harmful artificial fragrances.