I’ve never been big on wearing perfume, especially once I discovered all the weird and toxic ingredients in them. But Stan really, really likes when I wear pretty fragrances, so I promised I’d learn how to make my own. I was kind of blown away by how easy they are. Check it out:
- 2 oz cobalt glass bottle with mister — the amber or blue color filters the light, keeping your perfume stronger for longer.
- 10-20 drops body-safe fragrance or essential oil(s) — see step two for details
- 4 tbs vodka — the higher the proof, the better, but don’t use anything flavored. I had this bottle in the freezer for a while, so I used it.
- 2 tbs water, distilled
- funnel (optional, makes adding the vodka to the bottle easier)
- pipette (optional, makes adding the fragrance oil easier)
- latex gloves (or similar, if you’re allergic)
A note about supplies: You can purchase most of these supplies through From Nature With Love, my go-to for bath & body supplies.
Step One: Place the funnel on the amber glass bottle, and add the vodka to it. Do not add the water. You’ll do that in step five.
Step Two: Put on your gloves to protect your hands (fragrance oils can irritate your skin). Using a pipette, add your fragrance or essential oil(s). If you purchase your essential oil from a natural foods store, they will most likely have a dropper-type top so you won’t need a pipette. But if you are using a fragrance or essential oil purchased from a soapmaking supply store, be sure to also order pipettes.
How much fragrance/essential oil should you add? It’s hard to say because oils vary in strength and your preference will be different than someone else’s. Generally, it’s safe to add up to 25% of a fragrance/essential oil to your perfume mixture. However, fragrance and essential oils also have a “maximum use level,” regulated by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). For example, the Amazing Grace oil I used here has a maximum use level 25% for perfumes because it is the “extreme” concentration (I found that info here). This means I can use up to 1½ tablespoons for this mixture (though that might overflow the bottle). I started with about 15 drops, but it isn’t very strong, so I will probably add more.
What’s the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil? Essential oils are natural, made from the pure essence of plants, whereas fragrance oils are manmade. If you want a truly natural perfume, use essential oils. Don’t be afraid to mix scents!
Important: If you are purchasing fragrance oils, make sure they are “body-safe.” Some fragrance oils are made only for candles and can cause skin irritation.
Step Three: Cap your perfume and shake it up.
Step Four: Label your perfume and store it for two days in a dark, dry area, like a closet.
Step Five: Add the water, shake it up, and store for two more days.
Step Six: Unscrew the cap and replace with the sprayer pump. You may have to trim the end a bit to make it fit. Try to leave it as long as possible, so you can get the perfume at the very bottom of the bottle.
Step Seven: Shake, mist and enjoy! If you need to add more fragrance or essential oil, do so carefully, as they are very concentrated. Be sure to shake the perfume before every use, as the contents may separate.