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DIY Beauty

DIY Natural Fragrance: How To Make Perfume With Essential Oils

by Beverly Hills MD

December 30 2019

If you’ve ever wondered how to make perfume with essential oils, you’ve come to the right place. Blending your own perfume allows you to create a luxury product for only the price of ingredients. This DIY project is easy enough to do in an afternoon on a rainy day. Read on to discover the steps to blend your own perfume with essential oils.

Benefits Of Blending Your Own Perfume

The typical perfume is a combination of water, alcohol, and the essence of a plant or flower.1 Some perfume can contain thousands of flowers within a single bottle.2 With all of those raw ingredients, it’s no wonder why perfume can be prohibitively expensive for some.

rose essential oil | Beverly Hills MDCreating a custom blend at a more manageable price point is just one reason why some people choose to blend their own perfume. Here are a few other benefits of the DIY approach:

  • It saves money (perfume can be expensive).
  • Most perfumes contain alcohol, which may irritate and dehydrate the skin.3 Creating your own allows you to leave irritants out if you wish.
  • You can be sure that the fragrance is 100% natural and non-toxic.
  • You can custom blend the fragrance to create a smell that you love.
  • Essential oils may be soothing, restorative, calming, uplifting, or relaxing.4,5 When you create your own blend, you can take these therapeutic benefits into account.

Understanding Scent Notes: Top, Middle, And Base Notes

Essential oils used in perfumes can be classified as top, middle, or base notes. The type of note has to do with how quickly the smell hits your nose and how long the smell lasts. When you make your own perfume, you want to incorporate a mix of all three notes.

Top Notes

When you open a jar or bottle of perfume, the first whiff of scent that hits your nose are the top notes. Top notes give the first impression of the perfume, so you’ll want to choose something you love.

  • Given their light molecular structure, top notes are the first to hit your nose.
  • Top notes do not linger; they are also the first to fade away.
  • They tend to be fresh and sharp.

magnolia essential oil | Beverly Hills MDExample Top Notes

  • Bergamot
  • Lemon
  • Ginger
  • Magnolia
  • Clary sage
  • Lavender6

Middle Notes

Middle notes make their appearance after the top notes fade away. These full-bodied notes make up the dominant aroma of the fragrance.

  • They linger throughout the full life of a fragrance, about 20-60 minutes.
  • These notes act as a bridge between the top notes and the base notes.
  • They make up about 70% of the total scent.
  • They tend to be aromatic floral oils or spices.

Example Middle Notes

  • tea tree essential oil | Beverly Hills MDJasmine
  • Geranium
  • Neroli
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Tea tree
  • Black pepper
  • Pine
  • Lemongrass7

Base Notes

Along with the middle notes, base notes form the foundation of a fragrance. They add depth to the fragrance by boosting the lighter notes.

  • Base notes linger the longest on the skin after the other notes have faded.
  • They make up the underlying aroma of the perfume.
  • They tend to be rich, heavy, and long-lasting.

sandalwood essential oil | Beverly Hills MDExample Base Notes

  • Sandalwood
  • Vanilla
  • Patchouli
  • Vetiver
  • Cedarwood8

The composition of the different notes in a perfume are what make a perfume unique. Without combining different scents that hit each note, your perfume may be lackluster, or one-note.

Sample Scent Combinations

When you’re playing around with scents, you want to select a mixture of essential oils that hit all three notes. A general rule of thumb is to combine fragrance oils in this ratio:

  • 30% top notes
  • 50% middle notes
  • 20% base notes

essential oil perfumes | Beverly Hills MD

Here are some scent combinations you may want to play with when you create your own mixture:

Fresh and zingy: grapefruit, ginger, vetiver

Floral and romantic: rose, lime, vetiver

Warm citrus: sweet orange, ylang-ylang, sandalwood essential oil

Sweet and light: lavender, chamomile, cardamom, cedarwood, geranium essential oil

Refreshing and bright: peppermint, rosemary, lemon, sage, juniper

Woodsy and natural: spruce, juniper, cedarwood, vetiver, bergamot

Rich and spicy: lavender, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, ylang-ylang9

How To Make Perfume With Essential Oils

There are two types of homemade perfumes: solid and liquid. The format of the perfume will depend on what you use as a base. Here are recipes for a perfume in both formats.

Solid Perfume

solid perfume DIY | Beverly Hills MDIngredients

  • 14ml beeswax
  • 45ml jojoba oil
  • 8 drops juniper berry essential oil
  • 6 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 6 drops cypress essential oil
  • 2 perfume tins, 30ml each
  • Double boiler (make your own with a small pot of water and a heat-resistant bowl)


  1. Gently melt the beeswax and jojoba oil on the stove in a double boiler.
  2. Once these are melted, stir in the essential oils.
  3. Pour the blend into the perfume tins.
  4. Allow the mixture to dry and harden.
  5. To use, swipe the solid perfume with your finger and apply to your skin.10

Liquid Oil-Based Perfume


  • 1/2 ounce oil jojoba or fractionated coconut oil
  • 2-1/2 ounces ethanol (e.g., vodka)
  • 2 Tablespoons spring water or distilled water (not tap water)
  • Coffee filter
  • Dark-colored glass spray bottle
  • 7 drops each of top note, middle note, and base note essential oils (for example: lavender, ylang-ylang, and cedarwood)


woman making perfume | Beverly Hills MD

  1. Add the jojoba or coconut oil to your spray bottle.
  2. Add 7 drops of each essential oil in this order: base note, middle note, and then top note.
  3. Add 2.5 ounces of alcohol.
  4. Shake the bottle for a minute, and then let it sit for at least 48 hours before applying it. The scent will change over time and will become the strongest at around 6 weeks.
  5. When the scent is where you want it to be, add 2 tablespoons of distilled water to the perfume mixture. Shake the mixture and then pour it through a coffee filter into its final bottle. Dark bottles with minimal airspace work best.11

Safety Considerations

Always Dilute Essential Oils

When working with essential oils, always be sure to dilute them. Research shows that some essential oils, like cinnamon bark and peppermint oil, can harm the skin if you don’t dilute them. Pure essential oils may cause skin problems including:

  • Skin irritation
  • Hypersensitivity on contact
  • Delayed hypersensitivity
  • Photosensitivity (where your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun)12

Depending on the recipe you follow, you can use vegetable oil, coconut oil, water, alcohol, or a mixture of liquids to dilute your oils. Alcohol can help diffuse and lift the scent of essential oils.13

Carrier oils help dilute essential oils so they can be used on the skin.14 Resist the temptation to leave out these ingredients or add more essential oil drops than necessary.

Do A Skin Patch Test

spraying perfume | Beverly Hills MD

Whenever you try a new skin product – especially one you create on your own – make sure to do a skin patch test before applying it to your skin. To do a skin patch test:

  1. Apply some perfume to a small, discreet area, like the inside of your elbow or behind your ear.
  2. Wait 24 hours.
  3. Look for signs of redness or irritation on the area where you applied the perfume.15

Testing your perfume on a small area first will ensure that your skin doesn’t react negatively to it. It will give you the peace of mind to confidently apply your new perfume and go out into the world with your new scent.

Learn More:
The Ultimate Guide to Anti-Aging Essential Oils
DIY Holiday Gift Giving: How To Make Bath Bombs And Homemade Soaps
How To Get Rid Of Yellow Nails At Home: Remove Or Cover Yellow Stains


Beverly Hills MD Dermal Repair Complex