The two key components of a very basic perfume are oil and a diluting agent, which is often rubbing alcohol or high-proof alcohol (vodka is a popular choice). Yes, you read that right -- vodka is the main ingredient in many homemade perfumes.
So, all you need for your very own perfume are your oils, the diluting agent and a 2-ounce glass bottle. Add your base, middle and top notes (in that order, remembering the basic 20-50-30 percent ratio) and a few drops of bridge note if you're using it. Then fill up the bottle with diluting agent, shake it well and let it sit at least 48 hours. The longer you wait -- up to six weeks -- the stronger the scent will be.
When the waiting game is over and you're happy with the product, add 2 tablespoons of water, pour it all through a coffee filter and return it to the bottle.
While you're experimenting, remember to keep detailed records and clearly label everything you make. Just using two fewer drops of one type of oil can make a huge difference in the aroma of your perfume!
For more information about perfume, take a look at the links below.
- Aromatherapy at Home. "Health Safety When Using Aromatherapy Essential Oils." (May 1, 2012) http://www.aromatherapy-at-home.com/healthsafetywhenusingaromatherapy.html
- Aroma Web. "Aromatic Blending of Essential Oils." (May 1, 2012) http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/aromaticblending.asp
- Aura Cacia. "Essential Oil Basics." (May 1, 2012) http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/ar_basics.html
- Ellison, Sheila and Judith Gray. "How to Make Perfume." iVillage, Dec. 9, 2011. (May 6, 2012) http://www.ivillage.com/how-make-perfume/6-a-144545
- Environmental Working Group. "Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne." May 2010. (May 6, 2012) http://www.ewg.org/notsosexy
- Striepe, Becky. "How To: Make Your Own Perfume or Cologne." Green Upgrader, June 18, 2010. (May 6, 2012) http://greenupgrader.com/12108/how-to-make-your-own-perfume-or-cologne/
- Totillo, Rebecca Park. "Essential Oils: Understanding Notes When Making Perfume." Heal With Essential Oil, May 25, 2010 (May 6, 2012) http://healwithessentialoil.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/essential-oils-understanding-notes-when-making-perfume/
- Vanderlinden, Colleen. "DIY Your Own Solid Perfume to Smell Great, Naturally." Treehugger, Feb. 24, 2012. (May 6, 2012) http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/smell-good-naturally-how-make-solid-perfume.html