How To Make Perfumes From Flowers

Many high street perfumes nowadays are complicated chemical concoctions. Even if they smell beautiful and floral, often unless you buy one of the more expensive brands you are unlikely to encounter real essential oils or flower absolutes. So there is something enchanting and attractive about creating your own perfumes from flowers- using real flower petals, plant materials, or absolutes.

There are several ways in which you can make your own perfume from flowers.

The first and the simplest way is to make your perfume using good quality and reasonable Essential Oils or Absolutes (which have of course been distilled from thousands and thousands of flower petals or plant material in a professional distillery.)

This is a good method to use if you are happy with a small selection of floral scents. Many flowers are unsuitable for distilling oil from as there is simply so little essential oil present in the plant/petals that you would need an unsustainable amount of them to yield even a few drops of oil; which makes them either prohibitively expensive or unprofitable to produce.

Some of the more common floral Essential oils, from oil rich flowers such as Geranium, Chamomile, Lavender and Neroli, can be bought relatively cheaply from your local health shop or favourite online stockist; so these are perfect to use to make your own perfume from flowers.

Other Essential oils or Absolutes can be bought too- such as Rose, Jasmine, Frangipani, Honeysuckle etc. These more exotic oils will prove much more expensive to buy though; so mix them with care!

The second way to make your own perfume from flowers is to enthuse some clear, unscented oil with a floral fragrance.

This is a very gentle and natural way of drawing the scent from your flower petals.

To enthuse oil to make perfumes from flowers:

1) Clear unscented oil (Such as Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil etc.)

2) A clear glass jar with a lid- a jam jar is perfect!

3) A good quantity of scented plant material. (The more scented the better, as your end result will be very subtle, as this is such a gentle method).

4) A warm place preferably with sunlight (In the kitchen next to a window is perfect here; or even outside if it is warm enough.)


Squash as many petals as you can into your jam jar, and then fill it up with your clear, unscented oil. Put the lid on and then leave the jar in a warm, sunlit place. Different types of plant materials will take different amounts of times to enthuse their scent into the oil- so it is best to carefully monitor it each day to check that the petals/leaves etc. still smell fresh.

As a general rule, rose petals are light and delicate and soon turn brown and smell a little fermented, so don’t leave these in more than two days. A tougher plant material such as twigs of rosemary, bay, or citrus skins may take quite a lot longer to enthuse.

This method of enthusion by warmth and sunlight will create a lovely light and delicate scent. You can increase the strength of the scent by changing your petals and putting fresh petals into the oil and leaving them to further enthuse. In fact, you may do this as many times as you wish- just don’t forget about your enthusing oil as your petals will begin to rot after a day or two and won’t smell good at all!

Finally, if you were feeling flush and experimental there is one more way that you could make your own perfumes from flowers, and that is- buy yourself an Essential Oil distillery and create your very own Essential oils from the plants and blooms in your own garden! How wonderful!

Do bear in mind though, you do need quite a lot of petals/plant material to create even a small amount of oil- so with a small “hobbyist” Essential oil distillery you will mainly be creating small amounts for yourself and your friends to enjoy, rather than it being a commercial operation.

The best yields from a small Essential Oil distillery come from oily/waxy plants/flowers- Citrus fruits and Rosemary being good examples. However any surplus of petals that you may have will create small quantities of unique and beautifully scented oil. So if you have a lot of fallen rose petals each year you may be in for a treat!

Good luck making your special perfumes from your own flowers...