Making Fragrances at Home

Creating your own fragrance is a delightful and personal journey into the world of scents. By blending various essential oils, aromatic compounds, and natural extracts, you can craft a unique perfume that reflects your individual taste and style. Whether you prefer floral, woody, or citrus notes, making your own perfume allows you to experiment with different combinations to find your perfect scent. With the right ingredients and equipment, including essential oils, carrier oils, alcohol, and glass bottles, you can transform your favorite aromas into a custom-made fragrance that is both personal and unique.


  • Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils: Select oils from top, middle, and base notes.
  • Carrier Oil or High-Proof Alcohol: For diluting the perfume.
  • Distilled Water: Needed for alcohol-based perfumes.
  • Fixatives: To stabilize and prolong the scent.

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Natural Fixatives:

Fixatives in perfumery are substances used to stabilize the volatility of aromatic compounds and enhance the longevity of a fragrance. They help to slow down the rate of evaporation of the more volatile components, allowing the scent to last longer on the skin or fabric. Fixatives can be natural or synthetic, and they play a crucial role in the development of well-balanced and enduring perfumes.

  • Musk: Originally obtained from the musk deer, most musk used today is synthetic to avoid animal cruelty.
  • Ambergris: A rare and valuable substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, also mostly replaced by synthetic alternatives due to ethical and legal concerns.
  • Orris Root: Derived from the rhizomes of the iris plant, it has a woody, floral fragrance and is valued for its fixative properties.
  • Labdanum: Obtained from the cistus or rockrose plant, labdanum is known for its rich, amber scent.
  • Benzoin: A resin obtained from the styrax tree, used for its sweet, vanilla-like aroma and fixative qualities.
  • Oakmoss: A lichen that grows on the branches of oak trees, used for its deep, earthy fragrance and as a fixative.

Synthetic Fixatives:

  • Galaxolide: A synthetic musk with a clean, sweet, musky scent.
  • Iso E Super: A synthetic compound with a woody, amber scent, known for its ability to blend well with other fragrances and enhance their qualities.
  • Ambroxan: Derived from clary sage or synthesized, it replicates the scent of ambergris with a warm, sweet, woody aroma.
  • Fixolide: A synthetic musk used for its fixative properties and subtle fragrance.

Availability for Purchase:

Many of these fixatives, especially synthetic ones, are available for purchase through suppliers of raw materials for perfumery, both for professional and amateur perfumers. Natural fixatives, due to their cost and rarity, are often available in smaller quantities and can be more expensive. Suppliers specializing in natural and organic ingredients also offer a range of natural fixatives. When purchasing fixatives, it's important to consider the ethical and sustainability aspects, especially concerning natural animal-derived ingredients.

Using fixatives is an essential part of creating a fragrance that not only smells beautiful but also has lasting power. Whether working on homemade perfumes or exploring the world of professional perfumery, understanding the role and use of fixatives is key to crafting memorable and enduring scents.

Carrier Oil or High-Proof Alcohol

Carrier Oil:

Carrier oils are derived from the fatty portions of plants, nuts, and seeds. They are called "carrier" oils because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. Carrier oils are generally odorless or have a very light aroma, making them an ideal base for blending and carrying essential oils without significantly altering the scent profile of the perfume. Common carrier oils include:

  • Jojoba Oil: Resembles the skin's natural sebum, making it an excellent moisturizer.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: Light and easily absorbed, suitable for most skin types.
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil: A lightweight oil that remains liquid at room temperature.
  • Grapeseed Oil: Known for its light texture and antioxidant properties.

High-Proof Alcohol:

High-proof alcohol, such as ethanol, is used in perfume making as it quickly evaporates, leaving the fragrance on the skin. It helps to dissolve and blend the fragrance oils, creating a clear and stable perfume solution. The most commonly used alcohols in perfumery are:

  • Ethanol (Perfumer's Alcohol): Specially denatured alcohol that is safe for cosmetic use and the most common choice for commercial perfumes.
  • Everclear: A grain alcohol that is sometimes used in DIY perfumery where perfumer's alcohol is not available. It's important to ensure it's suitable for use on the skin.

Availability to Purchase:

Both carrier oils and high-proof alcohol can be purchased from suppliers specializing in cosmetic and perfume-making ingredients, health food stores, and online marketplaces. For high-proof alcohol, availability might be subject to local laws and regulations regarding the sale and use of alcohol, so it's important to check these before purchasing. When selecting carrier oils or alcohol for perfume making, it's essential to opt for high-quality, pure products to ensure the best results and safety when applying to the skin.

Using carrier oils or high-proof alcohol depends on the type of perfume being made. Oil-based perfumes use carrier oils as the solvent, while alcohol-based perfumes use high-proof alcohol. Both forms have their own characteristics and appeal, with oil-based perfumes being more moisturizing and having a more intimate scent projection, while alcohol-based perfumes tend to have a stronger sillage and evaporate more quickly, releasing the fragrance more intensely.


  • Glass Bottles
  • Pipettes or Droppers
  • Measuring Beakers or Cups
  • Funnel
  • Blotter Strips or Paper
  • Label and Pen


1. Conceptualizing Your Scent

Decide on the character and strength of your perfume. Choose essential and fragrance oils from each fragrance note category.

2. Blending

Combine base, middle, and top notes in a glass container. Adjust the ratio according to preference.

3. Dilution

Dilute the blend with alcohol or a carrier oil. Let the mixture sit for a few hours to a few days.

4. Aging

Allow your perfume to age for at least a month in a cool, dark place. Test periodically.

5. Refinement

Adjust the scent if necessary after aging. Once satisfied, transfer the perfume to a final bottle using a funnel.

6. Storage and Use

Label your perfume and store it in a cool, dark place. Homemade perfumes typically last about 6 months to a year.

Safety Considerations:

  • Conduct a patch test for allergic reactions.
  • Be aware of any contraindications related to health conditions.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

Example Recipe: Fresh Citrus Perfume


  • Top notes: 10 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Lemon
  • Middle notes: 10 drops Lavender, 5 drops Rosemary
  • Base notes: 5 drops Cedarwood, 5 drops Sandalwood
  • 50ml High-proof alcohol


  1. Combine the essential oils in a glass container, starting with base notes, then middle notes, and finishing with top notes.
  2. Add the combined essential oils to 50ml of high-proof alcohol.
  3. Shake the mixture and let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least one month to age.
  4. Test the perfume and adjust the scent if necessary.
  5. Once satisfied, use a funnel to transfer the perfume into a clean glass bottle.
  6. Label your perfume with the ingredients and date of creation.

This fresh citrus perfume features a vibrant blend of bergamot and lemon top notes, a heart of lavender and rosemary, and a warm, woody base. It's perfect for daytime wear and offers a refreshing, uplifting scent profile.

Home Made Perfume