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.