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How to Make Organic Perfumes

Updated on February 4, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

If you love fragrance, want to be earth friendly, but can't afford a ton of money knowing how to make your own organic perfumes may be an option you should consider.

It really is quite simple and uses just a few ingredients. Although it may take a while for you to mix the perfect scent, you can be sure that you will learn plenty in the process. Who knows? You may find you have a real talent for it and it can turn into an income for you.

Why Organic?

Using organic ingredients as much as possible in your fragrances just makes sense. Conventional perfumes are full of a variety of chemicals and chemical residues. All though they are found in small amounts they could build up over time and cause health problems for you over a period of time.

Some of the substances of concern are:

  • Petroleum products
  • Phthalates
  • Herbicide, insecticide, and fertilizer residues

These materials have been linked with birth defects, cancer, and other health problems. What better reason to learn a new hobby?


How to Make Organic Perfume at Home

You really don't need to set up a room in your home to look like Dexter's Lab. With just a few ingredients and some patience you can be wearing your fragrance in a month or so.

Choosing Materials for Scent

You will be using vodka as a base. When you add things to vodka the alcohol in it draws out the scents and flavors of these items. Consider the following for scent:

  • Cocoa nibs
  • Citrus peel
  • Ginger
  • Bay leaf
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • Vanilla pod
  • Cedar chips
  • Pine needles
  • Rose petals

As you can see, you can use almost anything to add scent. Use organic essential oils to round out the fragrance and make it more complex. Use no more than two or three essential oils to start. Simplicity is best while you are learning. Use no more than 10 drops all together for ¼ cup of vodka.

Instructions for Making Organic Fragrance

  • ¼ c vodka
  • Organic essential oils of your choice
  • Herbs, flower petals, wood chips, and other materials that have pleasant scents (keep these organic if possible)
  • Distilled water
  • Covered glass container
  • Dark perfume bottle
  1. Place the vodka in a glass container. A mason jar works well for this.
  2. Add the chosen material or materials to the vodka. Again, use only one or two to start. When you have more experience you can experiment with more complex formulas.
  3. Now, add a few drops of essential oil.
  4. Cover the jar tightly and store in a cool, dark place for at least a month.
  5. Toward the end of the month try a bit of the fragrance every couple of days to see how it smells. When it is as strong as you want it is done.
  6. Strain out any solids using cheesecloth and a sieve.
  7. Add distilled water, one tablespoon at a time if the scent seems too harsh.
  8. Put the perfume in a pretty, dark bottle and display it proudly.

Scent Combinations to Try

If you aren't feeling particularly inspired consider some of these combinations.

  • Vanilla bean, tangerine essential oil, neroli
  • Cocoa Nibs, cinnamon stick, patchouli
  • Coffee beans, coco nibs, vanilla, cinnamon
  • Rose otto, tangerine, ylang ylang

Where to Find Essential Oils

Finding essential oils is usually not too difficult. Most health food stores carry a variety of them and there are hundreds available online.

When you first begin learning how to make organic perfume you may want to stick with the oils that you can find locally. This way you can sniff each of them and find the aromas that you like. Also be sure to read the descriptions and what they are used for. Making a perfume that is uniquely your own is great but making one that uses aromatherapy to balance your emotions is even better.

For example, tangerine and rose are a nice combination to the nose. Tangerine essential oil lifts moods and makes people happier while rose balances the emotions. This is a great combination to wear to a stressful office meeting, wouldn't you say?

Creating your own organic perfumes helps you to express your individuality in a unique way. While others may look for perfumes that express their individual style they can only hope to find on that they like and not more than a few million other people wear. Making your own ensures your individuality; no one will be wearing it except for you.


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    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      I would like to try this method.

    • Karine Gordineer profile image

      Karine Gordineer 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      This is a helpful hub, Marye. I've made my own perfumes before using oil as the base but I've never tried using vodka. I will have to give this a try!

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 6 years ago

      really great hub. My girls and i are making perfumes and soaps for fun. Looking for fun recipes. Thanks for a cool hub.

    • BrightMeadow profile image

      BrightMeadow 7 years ago from a room of one's own

      Fascinating. I will have to try this.

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 7 years ago from Canada

      MMhhh. Never heard of organic perfume. I like to try things so I might mix several scents! hehe

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Ooooh- SO want to try this. And with cinnamon, cocoa nibs, and vanilla. Mmmmmmm. Awesome Hub!

    • profile image

      gogogo 7 years ago

      Very useful for anyone who likes making their own, and written very clearly, easy to follow. Thanks

    • Steph Harris profile image

      Steph Harris 7 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

      This is a very useful hub, it is nice to make your own perfume, I love the smell of cinnamon and orange together and vanilla, neroli and a little chocolate. I have never thought of using cacoa nibs before. VERY INTERESTING. Thanks for writing this hub Mary:)

    • Rebekah  Nydam profile image

      Rebekah Nydam 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      This was helpful :)