How to make perfume with essential oils

Essential Oils or Absolutes are used in the production of the better quality commercial perfumes – although it is always good to check, as many of the lower end ones do not contain many real absolutes or essential oils. The reason for this is partly because the real thing is expensive; however there are also limitations on the allowed concentrations of certain ingredients for cosmetic health reasons.

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If you make your own perfume with Essential Oils you have the advantage of knowing exactly what has gone into your new perfume – and also of course you can mix and match your fragrance to your heart’s desire – creating a brand new perfume with real essential oils that is perfect for you and the image you want to project out to the world.


To make perfume with essential oils you will need:


Essential oils of your choice: Lovely smelling examples include Lavender, Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Cinnamon Bark, Orange, Lime, Grapefruit, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Clary Sage, Mint, Lemon, Jasmine, Neroli, Bergamot, Frankincense...Some of these can be pricy, stick to Lavender, Geranium, Citrus fruits and Mint if you are on a budget!


Optional: Some good quality cosmetic grade synthetic fragrance oils, to mix with your essential oils to create a stronger perfume that is safe to use on the skin.


A base for your new perfume. If you would like to make a perfume that is like the perfumes in the department stores, then you will need to buy a “perfumers base” from a perfume making website online – these are fairly inexpensive and contain denatured high proof alcohol and usually glycerine or other preservatives and perfume fixatives.


If you would like to make a perfume with essential oils that is perhaps more traditional (in the style of the Ancient Egyptians/Greeks) and also more easy to purchase from your local shops then you might like to try an oil based perfume. For this you will need some Sweet Almond Oil/Jojoba Oil, Moringa Oil...Any kind of unscented oil really, it doesn’t matter which!


A glass jug or jar to mix your perfume in! It doesn’t have to be glass but if you don’t happen to have a perfume studio, and you are attempting to mix perfumes in your kitchen or have pets then there is always the risk that a hair or something may fall into your perfume – if your container is glass then you can make sure that it is clean – especially if the perfume is going to be a gift for someone else!


A beautiful bottle to put your special new Essential Oil perfume into. A jam jar will do if desperate...But I personally think that your new bespoke perfume with real essential oils deserves something a bit more special than that!

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How to make perfume with Essential Oils:

The actual process of making your perfume with your favourite Essential Oils is actually a very personal thing – so I am not going to tell you exactly what to do – you must listen to your nose and try to create a blend that you personally love!


As a basic guideline though, begin by creating your “jus” which is your concentrated mix of essential and fragrance oils (your base will be mixed with these later on, when you are happy with your combination.)


Add new essential oils drop by drop. A pipette is useful here, but not essential – most essential oil bottles are topped with a dropper.


Go slowly and carefully, especially with particularly pungent essential oils such as wood resins and spices. Remember, you can always add more; it is harder to take it away! (and Essential Oils can be expensive, you don’t want to waste them.)


Take care that you are following the concentration guidelines on the label of your essential or cosmetic grade fragrance oil. Although you can’t come to much harm with most essential oils, they are there for a reason – something like Nutmeg essential oil for example is perfectly safe to use in small quantities, but can actually be quite toxic if taken to extremes. You don’t want to risk a nasty rash of even in extreme cases, liver damage.


If you want to make like a real professional then you might like to consider making sure your perfume contains a combination of top, middle, and heart notes. This will help to make sure that your perfume has a more complex and interesting personality, and also that it has some staying power; as base notes such as Sandalwood essential oil etc. last a long time and act as fixatives for your new perfume. (You can read all about perfume notes in other articles here at designyourownperfume.co.uk).


When you are happy with your essential oil perfume combination/”jus” it is time to pour in your chosen perfume base and mix well.


Now all you have to do is bottle your new creation – and enjoy your signature fragrance made with real Essential Oils! If you’re anything like me you may like to decorate your bottle with a pretty organza ribbon or something like that.


Important points to consider:


·         Make sure you buy genuine and good quality Essential Oils that you know are going to be safe on your skin (in the correct quantities, of course).


·         Check the back of the labels on your Essential Oils as it will tell you the safe concentration levels. Normally it will say something like 5%, which means that this particular Essential Oil is safe to be used as up to 5% of the total liquid volume of your perfume. For instance, this means for 20ml of perfume no more than 1ml of the perfume must be this particular Essential Oil, the remaining 19ml must be made up of your perfume base or other fragrance oils.


·             TIP: If you’d like a one note perfume and you would like it to be stronger, consider buying a good quality cosmetic grade fragrance to top up with, as these are usually allowed at higher dilutions than most Essential Oils. So if you wanted to make a highly scented rose perfume, use 1ml of Rose Essential Oil for 20ml of perfume, but then top up the scent with your cosmetic grade fragrance oil as per the dilution instructions on the bottle.


·         If you are using beautiful real Essential Oils, do remember that they are potent things. It is always a good idea to try out any new beauty product (even a homemade one!) in a small dose at first – just to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.


I hope this has explained a little about how to make perfume with Essential Oils. Perfume making is a lot of fun, and who knows, you might just hit upon your perfect signature scent. Best of all, no one else will be wearing it, you will be truly unique!


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