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Make Your Own Perfume: Create A Unique Fragrance

There’s nothing quite like a good perfume! Everyone loves wearing a special signature scent that enhances their unique style and personality. 

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In fact, you’ve probably noticed that certain scents can remind you instantly of a person or a place. That’s because our sense of smell is closely linked with memory; more so than any of our other senses.

This also means that the perfume you wear can make others think of you whenever they smell it. It’s a great way to leave a lasting impression! The only downside is…  with the thousands of perfumes available now, there’s always a chance you’ll end up wearing the same one as someone else. 

If you want your signature scent to be uniquely yours, why not create your own?

Making your own perfume is much easier than many people realize. It’s also a great way to show off your style and personality through fragrance. 

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Another benefit is that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. You can choose to make a perfume that’s free from the ingredients that can sometimes cause adverse reactions on your skin like some commercial perfumes can. 

How To Create Your Own Scent

You don’t have to be an expert in cosmetics to make your own perfume. Before you start googling perfume recipes, it’s a good idea to think about the kind of scent you think would represent you best. 

Look for perfume recipes that give you a detailed description of the scent they will produce. Of course, it’s impossible to know exactly how a perfume will smell until you make it yourself – so you’ll have to go with your gut! 

If you’ve never made your own cosmetics before, you may be a little overwhelmed by the complicated-sounding names of ingredients mentioned in perfume recipes. But don’t worry: these are usually readily available from online cosmetics retailers. 

Also, remember that any perfume – whether you buy it or make it – will smell differently on your skin than in the bottle. When you apply perfume to your skin, it reacts with your own particular chemistry. This may mean it produces a slightly different fragrance.

How To Formulate A Perfume From Scratch

To create a perfume that’s unique to you, you need only tweak or adjust the recipes you find online. You’re in control! Of course, it may take some experimenting to get the formula exactly right – but that’s all part of the fun. 

The basics of perfume-making is actually very straightforward. You can even choose recipes based on completely natural ingredients.

Many of these will include a mixture of essential oils combined with a base oil, together with alcohol and water. A standard recipe might comprise of jojoba or sweet almond oil, ethanol, plus your choice of essential oils. 

Essential oils provide the smell in your perfume, which is actually referred to as ‘notes’. Each note is categorized according to how long it lasts on your skin.

Top notes are the most volatile, which simply means they disperse the fastest. Middle notes last a little longer, while base notes last the longest.

Bridge notes evaporate almost immediately, which is why they’re usually an optional addition. They’re generally used to “tie” the rest of the scent together.

Example Perfume Recipe

Here’s an example of a perfume blend that uses essential oils: 

  • Total essential oils: 25 drops
  • Base notes: 7 drops
  • Middle notes: 7 drops 
  • Top notes: 6-7 drops
  • Bridge notes: 1-2 drops (optional)

So, which essential oils should you choose? This is the most important part of all! Here are some helpful examples for each note (base, middle, top, and bridge):

Top notes: bergamot, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, neroli, orchid, rose

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Middle notes: clove, geranium, lemongrass, neroli, nutmeg, ylang-ylang

Base notes: cedarwood, cinnamon, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, moss, lichen, fern

Bridge notes: vanilla, lavender

Remember, the order in which ingredients are mixed will affect the scent. You should also realize that essential oils evaporate at different rates, so the smell of your perfume will change over time. 

Once you’ve made your perfume, store it in a sealed bottle made of dark glass and keep it away from heat and light. Light and exposure to air degrade many essential oils.

Another great way to create perfume is with freshly-chopped flowers. This allows you to experiment with different varieties and combinations at different times of the year. 

How To Make Perfume With Flowers

To distill perfume from flowers, get a bowl and place a cheesecloth over the top so that it reaches the rim. Then, simply place the flower blossoms on top of the cheesecloth and slowly pour water over the top of them. Cover the bowl and allow the flowers to steep overnight (like a tea!)

The next day, take the cheesecloth off the bowl and squeeze out the water into a pot. Simmer it all down until only a very small amount of liquid remains – about a teaspoon. This is your perfume!

Pour this tiny amount of liquid into a small dark bottle with an airtight seal. Store it in a cool place away from light and heat.

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And enjoy!


Annie is a self-motivated, ambitious, enthusiastic individual and a self-proclaimed "people person." Her passion for communication and problem-solving is evident in a variety of media. She currently lives with her family in Washington DC.