How To Make Your Own Perfume – DIY Guide

how to make your own perfume

I’m sure you all have your reasons why you would want to learn how to make your own perfume. Are you interested in making perfume for personal use?. Or you are a housewife trying to make ends meet? Or maybe a student who wants to earn some extra dollars? Are you a businessman, experimenting with a new business venture? Or an employee by profession, but an entrepreneur by heart?.

Whatever situation you are in right now, if you’re looking for a means to earn extra money, and learn something new and worthwhile, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will make you equipped with a new skill that would enable you to start your business venture. I’ll show you step by step how to blend your perfume so that you can eventually use this to start your own perfume business.

I’ll share the sources for learning, and I’ll also give you a simple formula to get you start. After reading this complete article, you’ll learn how to make perfumes, which will smell like a real perfume. I guess this is why you’re here.

Fragrant The Secret Life of Scent – The Book

An excellent place to start for most people will be Mandy Aftel – Fragrant The Secret Life of Scent.  I’ve got this book specifically for myself. Mandy Aftel is known for natural perfumery, and she had us several books which include formulas, and teaching guides on how to make perfume at home. Natural scents are quite minimalistic, but a good starting point for beginners to understand how to start making their fragrances, and get a bit of knowledge in perfume creation and the list of materials.

Perfume Formula:

Mandy Aftel Formula: Amber Spicy

Base Notes:

  • 2 Drops Benzoin Absolute
  • 2 Drops Vanilla Absolute
  • 8 Drops Labdanum Absolute

Mid Notes:

  • 7 Drops Rose Absolute
  • 2 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Jasmine Absolute

Top Notes:

  • 2 Drops Fresh Ginger Essential Oil
  • 6 Drops Lime Essential Oil 
  • 3 Drops Bois de Rose Essential Oil

+ 8 ml Perfumers Alcohol

In case you are wondering where to buy oils? I have left links at the end of this article, to make it easy for you to buy the essential oils.

In terms of what you need to make perfume at home? You’ll need to buy some glass beakers to make your blends in. And you’ll need plastic disposable pipettes; you can find these on Amazon, you’ll find them quite easily.


A Brief History of Perfume

First, let me give you a quick background on how perfume started. Perfume has existed in recorded history for over 4,000 years. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fumus, which means “through smoke”. Egyptians were the first to incorporate perfume into their culture, followed by the ancient Chinese, Hindus, Israelites, Carthaginians, Arabs, Greeks, and Romans.

The Egyptians also invented glass and perfume bottles and were the first to use glass, dating around 1000 BC. In late 19th century, the early real era of perfume, the new senses created because of advances in organic chemistry. Synthetic perfume products were used in place of specific hard to find or expensive natural ingredients.

Graveson Provence France became a center for flower and herb growing for the perfume industry. The men treated leather in the same area found the smell so bad; they perfumed themselves and the leather. They were knowledgeable about making the botanical essences and were the early perfume gnosis.


Perfume Notes

Every blend of fragrance oil have three notes, top notes, body or middle notes, and bottom notes, which form the harmonious chord of ascent.

perfume notes

Top Notes:

Top notes are the first noticeable notes out of the bottle. These notes consists of molecules that evaporate the quickest.

perfume top notes

Middle Notes:

The body or middle notes are the central and characteristic overall aroma of the perfume. They last longer on the skin. These are the hard notes because they form the main body of the fragrance. They emerge as top notes dissipate.

perfume middle notes

Base Notes:

The base notes emerge as the middle notes dissipate. Because base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. You’re not perceived until 30 minutes after the fragrance is applied and lasts for several hours.

perfume base notes

Fragrance Classifications

Now let’s take a look at the fragrance classifications using the fragrance wheel. So, The fragrance wheel identifies four standard families:

  • u003cstrongu003eFloralu003c/strongu003e
  • u003cstrongu003eOrientalu003c/strongu003e
  • u003cstrongu003eWoodyu003c/strongu003e
  • u003cstrongu003eFreshu003c/strongu003e
perfume types

These fragrance families are divided into three subgroups; each group is related to next. The exception to this rule is a Fougere Family, which stands in the center of a fragrance wheel. It is a universal fragrance family as it contains elements for many of the other families. With a publication of fragrances of the world 2008, two new subgroups added to the wheel, fruity and woods. There are no secret ingredients in popular and expensive perfumes; you can have them all in the market or online.


What You Need To Make a Perfume – The Ingredients

how to make perfume

Fragrance Oil:

The fragrance oil is the key to any perfumery product. A perfumer creates it based on a design or profile perceived to be acceptable to the target market. Sometimes a unique combination of 10 to 100 ingredients to meet a defined fragrance profile, intended for a specific need.

Oil Soluble:

Another main component of making perfume is what I call vehicles. Vehicles are carriers in which fragrance oil solubilize, or it is purst. There are two significant solubles used in the market today for the perfume.

  1. Hydroalcoholic system: These solubles make use of perfume grade ethanol, alcohol, and water.
  1. Oil-based solubles: Such as jojoba and sweet almond oil
perfume oil soluble

Fixative:

Fixative is another vital ingredient. These are additives that enhance the lasting power of fragrances. Fixatives are mainly used in hydroalcoholic perfumes.


Hydro Alcoholic Fragrances

Let’s take a closer look at hydro alcoholic fragrances. These fragrances are what we commonly have in the market today. They are distinguished by the level of fragrance oil used.

Eau de Parfum:

EDP has the highest concentration of fragrance oil, ranging from 15 to 25 percent.

ear de parfum ingredients

Eau de Toilette:

Next is Eau de Toilette, with 8 to 15 percent of fragrance oil concentration.

eau de toilette ingredients

Eau de Cologne:

Eau de Cologne can be used more liberally with 3 to 8 percent fragrance oil, but it may not last as long as the first two.

eau de cologne ingredients

Body Splash:

Body splash with 2 to 4 percent fragrance oil concentration can be used liberally all over the body, and often contain additives such as emollients and humectants.

splash ingredients

After Shave:

Aftershave is a significant fragrance product in the male market, but with high water percentages and only 1 to 3 percent fragrance oil. Use this post-shave astringent and fragrance refresher often with the stinging effect.

after shave ingredients

Now that you know the difference between Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Eau de Cologne, Aftershave, and Body Splash. Let’s now begin the process of making your hydro alcoholic fragrance. Today we’ll make a 100 ml Eau de Parfum solution with a 15% fragrance oil concentration.

Let’s start with ingredients:

  • 15 ml of fragrance oil
  • 0.5 ml or 12 drops of fixative
  • 3 ml of Dipropylene Glycol or DPG
  • 75 ml of perfume grade ethyl alcohol
  • Distilled water equivalent to the amount needed to complete the 100 ml solution.
  • Perfume grade colorant if you want to add color to your perfume solution.
how to make perfume

Now for the Laboratory Equipment:

  • A 200 ml Erlenmeyer flask
  • A 10 ml graduated cylinder.
  • A 100 ml graduated cylinder.
  • A 250 ml beaker and Glass Stirrer
  • A 100 ml amber bottle.
  • Three 10 ml perfume bottles and two 35 ml perfume bottles

Now let’s get down to business. Pay close attention to the step by step procedure.

1

FRAGRANCE OIL

STEP ONE
perfume oil

Using the graduated cylinder, measure 15 ml of fragrance oil. Then pour the fragrance oil into the Erlenmeyer flask.

how to make perfume

Now with the equipment and ingredients in front of you, follow my lead:

Get the 10ml graduated cylinder and measure 15 ml of fragrance oil; that means you will have one full 10 ml of the graduated cylinder and another half or 5 ml. After measuring, pour the fragrance oil in the Erlenmeyer flask.

2

FIXATIVE

STEP TWO
perfume fixative

Using the glass stirrer, add 0.5 ml or 12 drops of fixative to the fragrance oil in the Erlenmeyer flask, then stir. The fixative will enhance the lasting power of the fragrance.

3

Dipropylene Glycol (DPG)

STEP THREE
dipropylene glycol

Now for the third step, add 3 ml of DPG to your solution. Use the graduated cylinder to make sure 3 ml of DPG. Pour the DPG together with the fragrance oil and the fixative to your solution. DPG is used to moisturize and reduce staying in perfume.

4

ETHYL ALCOHOL

STEP FOUR
perfume alcohol

For the fourth step, using the 100 ml graduated cylinder, measure 75 ml Perfume grade ethyl alcohol, and add it to your solution in the Erlenmeyer flask, then stir.

how to make perfume
5

DISTILLED WATER

STEP FIVE

Since this is a hydro alcoholic fragrance, our fifth step includes pouring distilled water into the formula.

Pour the solution to the 100ml graduated cylinder, then add the necessary amount of distilled water to your solution till it reaches 100 ml, to yield the 100ml hydro alcoholic perfume. Pour it back to the Erlenmeyer flask, then stir.

6

COLORANT (OPTIONAL)

STEP SIX
perfume color

If you want to add color to your perfume, you can do so by adding a perfume grade colorant.

Pick a color of your choice, get your glass stirrer, dip it in your colorant, and add less than a drop to your perfume solution, then stir.

Well, you have now officially blended your perfume, but you can’t use it yet.

7

AGING AND CHILLING

STEP SEVEN
perfume aging and chilling

So finally, After mixing all the ingredients, the solution is allowed to stand for several days to several weeks. For storage during aging, place your perfume in a glass amber bottle and seal it well.

u003cstrongu003ePerfumery Tip:u003c/strongu003e Amber bottles help protect the perfume from degrading effects of heat and light.

Put the bottle inside a sealed plastic bag to avoid contaminating the food in the refrigerator.

Refrigerate perfume for seven days, or store in dry room temperature for 14 days; because this will eliminate alcohol-stink traces and improve the scent.

8

BOTTLING

STEP EIGHT

Now your perfume is ready for bottling. For Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette, containing 10% or more fragrance oil, the glass models are recommended. Ordinary plastics cannot be used, since high concentrations of fragrance oil may react with plastic.


So That’s it, and that’s how to make perfume for beginners at home in a simplistic way. Where you don’t need a fancy education, you don’t need to go to perfume school for years, to do very basic perfumes at home. You don’t need a fancy scale; all you need is a glass beaker, some pipette, and an experimental mind. So, just have fun with it and see what you can come up with.


Perfume Learning Resources

The Diary of a Nose

The book I want to mention is Jean Claude Ellena – The Diary of a Nose. This book gives you some basic ideas of different Accords, such as a paracord pineapple accord, and various types of apple, green apple, red apple, etc. So that’s a useful book for the Accords.

The Molecular World of Odors

Then the more technically detailed book for geeky kind of serious people, Scent and Chemistry: The Molecular World of Odors. This one’s quite expensive and goes into a lot of details. It’s chemistry-based, things that most people don’t need to know unless you’re super into chemistry and science, and understand its technical side.

There is some interesting information in this book about specific perfumes and percentages of certain materials that they used, but it probably won’t be of interest to most people. As I say, unless you’ve got a comprehensive knowledge of chemistry, or you want to understand more than the scientific part of perfumery, rather than experiential with the nose and with feeling.

Perfumery: Practice and Principles

Another well-known book is Perfumery: Practice and Principles by Robert R. Calkin. So this is another one that goes into quite a lot of details, not for beginners. They’re more advanced books for people who want more in-depth knowledge. But I would say  Mandy Aftel – Fragrant The Secret Life of Scent. It is the best place to start for beginners.

Where to buy Oils?

Natural Oils from Europe or Australia:
Hermitage Essential Oils

Natural Oils (USA):
Eden Botanicals

Synthetic Aroma Molecules (USA): 
Perfumer’s Apprentice 
creatingperfume.com 

Synthetic Aroma Molecules (UK):
Pell Wall 

Natural Oils (UK):
Bristol Botanicals – Home 

Perfumers Alcohol (UK):
Buy Perfumers Alcohol Artisan Alcohol UK -Base for blending fragrances

Perfumers Alcohol (USA):
Perfume Alcohol 


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