You mean, you can make your own perfume?

You can make your own perfume?" is exactly what I asked my friend Violet (how appropriate :)) when she first told me that she makes them herself.

I have not been that brave to try it myself but I had her concoct one for me. I love vanilla and lavender combined. Think of the possibilities! You can come up with any combination imaginable, just use the list of most commonly used essential oil, and add the ones you like.

Here is a great article that in simple steps guides you through the process and different definitions. Let me know if you come up with something interesting ;)

Making Perfume With Essential Oil

The beautiful balance of a musical harmony is created by blending a combination of notes and chords. Perfume is no different. It is also produced by combining a beautiful harmony of notes, which are used to create a chord. A perfume chord is created through the combination of notes or individual essential oils. Unlike music, the notes used to produce perfume are made up of essential oils. The four categories of essential oil notes that combine to form perfume are:

· top (or head) note, which is described as the first recognizable scent that evaporates in short time. These essential oils are typically refreshing and mentally stimulating. Commonly found in this category are bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, fern, dill, thyme, tarragon, fennel, parsley, water cress, chervil, onion, chives and the fruit oils, like peach.

· middle (or heart) note, also referred to as the main note, describes the main or dominant scent. On a paper, scent strip, this scent will retain its character for 8 to 10 hours. These essential oils are typically flowery or spicy scents that may promote emotional balance. Commonly found in this category are geranium, lemongrass, nutmeg, neroli, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, oregano, pepper, rosemary, cumin, sage, marjoram and coriander.

· bottom (or base) note, also referred to as the dry-out scent, describes the scent that remains after all other scents have evaporated. On a paper scent strip, this scent may last for several months. These essential oils are typically sweet and earthy scents that may promote inner strength and a sense of grounding. Commonly found in this category are amber, cedar wood, cinnamon, patchouli, sandalwood, fir, pine, juniper and vetiver.

· bridge note, may be added to help the other three notes blend together. Two commonly used bridge notes are lavender and vanilla.

An essential oil is typically categorized as a top, middle or bottom note, depending upon the rate with which an essential oil evaporates. Every essential oil evaporates at a different speed. In a perfume, as different essential oils begin to evaporate, the fragrance of the perfume changes. Because of this, it is important to remember which essential oils fit into each category of note.

Before beginning to create a signature fragrance, a few things must be noted. First, it is important to begin mixing oils in a room that is as odorless, well ventilated and free from drafts. Second, several tools should be collected. The following list will help you get started:
  • 1 (one) packet of absorbent, paper, scent strips
  • 1 (one) 100 ml mixing beaker
  • 1 (one) 100 ml bottle of alcohol (pure grain)
  • 1 (one) 10 ml spray bottle
  • 1 (one) glass stir rod
  • 1 (one) 3 ml glass bottle with cap
  • 1 (one) 4 ml glass perfume bottle with glass wand applicator
  • Various essential oils
  • To make a signature fragrance, you must decide which specific essential oils and which notes are preferred. The next step is to determine the concentration of each oil and note. Mix at least 25 drops of essential oils, combining essential oils from the three main note categories (top, middle and bottom). You may want to start with one main scent and use larger amounts of that one particular scent or you may want to combine an even mix of oils from all three notes.

    The fragrance levels combined will ultimately determine the type of finished product you will have.

    · Perfume is 15 to 30% essential oil and 70 to 85% alcohol and water. Of the 70 to 85% alcohol and water combination, 90 to 95% is alcohol and the remaining 5 to 10% is water.

    · Eau de Perfume is 8 to 15% essential oil and 85 to 92% alcohol and water. Of the 85 to 92% alcohol and water combination, 80 to 90% is alcohol and the remaining 10 to 20% is water.

    · Eau de Toilette is 4 to 8% essential oil and 92 to 96% alcohol and water. Of the 92 to 96% alcohol and water combination, 80 to 90% is alcohol and the remaining 10 to 20% is water.

    · Eau de Cologne is 3 to 5% essential oil and 95 to 97% alcohol and water. Of the 95 to 97% alcohol and water combination, 70% is alcohol and the remaining 30% is water.

    · Cologne Splash is 1 to 3% essential oil and 97 to 99% alcohol and water. Of the 97 to 99% alcohol and water combination, 80% is alcohol and the remaining 20% is water. Regarding the alcohol, it is important to use odorless alcohol. The most desired form of alcohol that could be used is ethanol. However, ethanol is often extremely difficult to find and even more difficult to purchase. The second most desired form of alcohol is known as "special denatured" (sd) alcohol. This form of alcohol has certain odorless additives that cannot be consumed. Unfortunately, this form of alcohol may also prove to be very difficult to obtain. In the absence of ethanol and sd alcohol, Retail liquor stores and retail liquor departments provide suitable solutions. For the purpose of perfume making, it is important to use alcohol with the least amount of odor and the highest percentage of alcohol. Three solid options are Everclear (190 proof or 90% pure alcohol), Bacardi 151 (151 proof or 75.5% pure alcohol) and vodka (100 proof or 50% pure alcohol).

    To help speed the measuring of essential oil, alcohol and water, the following guidelines may be used:

  • 300 drops of water = 1 tbs. or 15 ml
  • 100 drops of water = 1 tsp. or 5 ml
  • 25 drops of water = 0.25 tsp. or 1.25 ml
  • 20 drops of water = 0.20 tsp. or 1 ml
  • Please keep in mind that these approximate measurements were prepared using water. When measuring thinner essential oils you may find that a 1 ml pipette actually contains 40 drops and when measuring the thicker alcohols and essential oils expect to measure out fewer drops per 1 ml.

    Make a signature scent as unique as the individual wearing it and know that it is one of a kind.

    Copyright © 2007 Tawne Bachus

    Disclaimer: The information in this article is not provided by a medical professional and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician before beginning any course of treatment.

    Tawne Bachus is the current Vice President of a leading provider of undenatured whey protein, essential oils and other products for essential living. For more information on these three subjects, please visit or to purchase these products online, please visit

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