You guys, when you see how to make perfume, you will never go to the counter at the department store again.
I've been making this cologne/perfume for myself and Dave for years, and I'm going to be demoing my recipe at the Georgia Organics Conference on February 21-22! I'm also sharing those recipes here, so that conference peeps can find them later.
More vegan, DIY body care: Homemade Vapor Rub, How to Make Bath Salts, Easy Peasy Sugar Scrub
Store-bought perfumes are usually full of artificial ingredients, and what's worse is that because of labeling laws, companies don't even have to disclose all of them. Ingredients like fragrance/parfum on a label are blanket terms that can cover a wide range of ingredient combinations. Those ingredients can include lots of nasty chemicals linked to everything from severe allergic reactions to cancer. No, thank you!
Right, so that's the bad news. The good news is that you can make your own perfume or cologne with just two much healthier ingredients: essential oils and alcohol.
About Rubbing Alcohol
I use alcohol as the base for my homemade perfume because oil dissolves in alcohols beautifully. Oil and water don't mix, and a totally oil-based perfume would likely stain light colored clothes. I use rubbing alcohol - also called isopropyl alcohol - but you can also use plain ol' grain alcohol. Like Everclear.
Rubbing alcohol is rated a two in the Skin Deep Database, so I'm totally fine spritzing it on my skin in the morning. Some folks worry that this chemical can build up in the body, which is why I offer grain alcohol as an alternative.
When you spritz this homemade perfume on it will smell like alcohol at first, but don't worry! The smell fades very quickly. Dave puts his on after showering, and by the time he's dressed for work the alcohol smell is gone.
How to Make Perfume or Cologne
The directions below are a skeleton recipe for how to make perfume. You can customize your scent with whatever essential oils you like. To make the perfume that Dave and I share, I use Meditation essential oil blend from Aura Cacia.
If you don't want to experiment with mixing oils, just go with around 20 drops of your favorite oil or oil blend. Use more for mellower scents and less for strong-smelling oils. My advice would be to start with less oil than you think you need. You can always add more drops to the bottle, but you can't take drops away.
Ingredients and Supplies
- ~20 drops essential oils of your choice (see above)
- rubbing or grain alcohol
- 1 ounce spray bottle (I like dark glass spray bottles, if you can find one.)
- printable perfume label (optional)
- double sided tape (optional)
- Drop the oil into your bottle, then top off with the alcohol, leaving a little bit of head room to adjust your scent, if necessary. Add a bit more oil, if you want a stronger scent. Close the bottle, and give it a good shake.
- If you're using the label, print and cut it out, and use the double sided tape to attach it to your bottle
- Store in a dark place, like your medicine cabinet. Essential oils break down in direct light, so keeping your homemade perfume in the dark helps it smell good for longer.
So I have read a bunch of these make your own sprays. I just bought a ylang ylang roller from a carnival, but my favorite smell happens to be bath and body works aromatherapy passion (which they no longer make or sell ???), so I bought a bottle of tuberose essential oil, and a bottle of sweet almond oil (carrier oil), and got to mixing this morning. I am not exactly sure I did it right, but I found your page which allowed for the rubbing alcohol instead of vodka (I don’t like the idea of using liquor to make my sprays). But I mixed the ylang ylang roller (I will most likely just buy that in essential oil soon) and the tuberose essential oil with the sweet almond oil and the rubbing alcohol. My question now becomes, do you think this is an ok way to do this?
I'd say that if it smells good after that alcohol evaporates, then you did great!
I tried this by combining perfume and rubbing alcohol and it works wonders, just shake and spray, the only problem is that for the first 30 seconds to a minute only smell like rubbing alcohol, but after that sent evaporates it smells just like the perfume, great way to make your favorite perfumes last longer if your okay with the initial rubbing alcohol smell
Ooh that is a great tip! Thank you, Malachi!
Can you please tell if I could replace the essential oils with real flowers?
I really can't stand anything store-bought and we have loads of lovely Jasmine at our place.
Thanks already! :)
Ooh I'm not sure if that would work or not. Let me know how it goes, if you try it? I love the smell of fresh jasmine!
Hello lovely! Thank you so much for being part of my "20 gifts you can make this holiday season" roundup
I'm definitely going to make your DIY perfume as last minute little gifts :-)
Happy holidays! ?
Thank you for including my homemade perfume, Francesca!
Wow that was so easy to make! Thank you for sharing to us the directions and steps on how to make perfume using 2 ingredient! I'll definitely try this!
Amanda at LoveTheFragrance
Wow! This is so easy to make, thank you so much for the directions! And I loved making the label! :)
You are so welcome! Enjoy it. :)
I was just referring to myself as "scentsitive" yesterday because I can't tolerate heavy fragrances. This is the perfect solution, pardon the pun.
Green Diva Meg
i'm sooooooo doing this! thanks Becky! ;)
Can you put different essential oils in the same mix?
Most store perfumes are pretty complexe in scent.
You definitely can. Mix and match away!
So easy, I think I might have to do this. Would also be handy for aromatherapy on the go. Thanks, girl!
Awesome! Let me know what oil blend you use!
such a cool idea and love the label art too! i dont like the store perfumes anyway. all are too strong for my tastes. now atleast some people will be spared from my me smell:)
Haha thank you, Richa!
Jeanee @ Finely Crafted
Love that you included label art! You're a thoughtful gal, and I miss you!
Aw, thank you! I miss you tooo!