• 02/17/2024

How to Make Perfume in 4 Easy Steps

A bottle of perfume.

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If you love scents, this could be your sign to concoct your own fragrance. Whether it’s to save money from buying expensive brand-name fragrant sprays or you’re looking for a creative hobby, learning how to make perfume can be a fun and rewarding thing to do. 

Some bottles of scents cost more than a hundred dollars, but the price to make them is cheap. So, if you’re ready, roll up your sleeves, read the instructions, get the materials ready and create a unique fragrance that tells your personality. 

Understanding Perfume Notes

The process of making perfume is as straightforward as combining the ingredients. What’s challenging is familiarizing your nose with the various layers of scents that will make up the final fragrance. Yet, this is also the part where you can get wildly creative with mixing your top, middle and base notes. 

1. Top Notes

The top note is the initial odor you smell after spraying a perfume bottle. They typically have lighter aromas, like orange, lemon and lavender, to avoid irritating the nose after a few initial spritzers. The top note — also referred to as headnotes — only lasts up to 15 minutes before evaporating. Then, the next overlay of notes kicks in.

2. Middle Notes 

Heart or middle notes fulfill two purposes. First, they preserve the residual scent of the top notes. Second, they make way for the next aroma to transition into full-bodied spicy and floral smells, like jasmine, cinnamon, pine and cardamom. They make up 70% of the total scent in a bottle, so they linger longer for up to 60 minutes.

3. Base Notes 

These families of scents consist of rich, long-lasting aromas with musky, woody and earthy tones your sense of smell typically gets a whiff after about 30 minutes. The scents overlap with the middle notes to make the foundation fragrance of the perfume. They also linger the longest for up to six hours or more. Examples are vanilla, moss and sandalwood. 

How To Make Perfume in 4 Steps

Decide what notes to choose for the top, middle and base scents. If you find this challenging, use this fragrance directory to find out the three tones of your favorite perfumes and use them as guides to making your own sprays. 


  • Glycerine
  • Distilled or spring water
  • Essential oils, fragrance or infused oils or pure flavor extracts
  • High alcohol percentage vodka or Everclear

Things You Need

  • Measuring tools, like cups or spoons
  • A dropper
  • Glass jar with cover
  • Funnel
  • Colored glass bottles for the final product
  • Paper and pencil to list your recipe
  • Optional — aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you can’t get colored glass bottles

1. Sterilize Your Stuff

Any bottles, jars or stainless spoons, whether new or recycled, must be cleaned and disinfected. First, wash them with soap and water, ensuring no visible residues. Then, spray some 70% alcohol and let them dry. 

Afterward, boil enough water and use tongs to submerge your glass bottles and jars in it for 10 minutes, enough to kill any organisms or bacteria. Take them out one by one using tongs and let them cool down. 

Ensure other materials made of plastic, such as your measuring tools, are clean with soap, water and alcohol. 

2. Pour a Quarter Cup of Vodka or Everclear Into a Jar

Alcohol, ethyl or ethanol, is the main ingredient of many perfume bottles, making up between 70% and 92% of the content. A vodka or Everclear contains high food-grade ethanol, making it a good base for DIY perfume-making. 

Ethyl alcohol is an odorless and versatile substance, which means it won’t affect or alter the final scent of the perfume you’ll make. 

3. Add Your Scents

You may have already decided on the tier tones to make your perfume. First, take your base note and add 15 to 20 drops to the alcohol jar. Swirl and smell and add more if you’re not satisfied with the initial fragrance. The base note will linger the longest on your skin, so choose your favorite aroma. 

Next, add 10 to 15 drops of your middle tone. Most people usually opt for a floral scent for the heart fragrance. However, you can also pick a refreshing citrus scent of lime or an earthy aroma of ginger or go for the oils’ benefits. Citrus oils have powerful effects on the mind and body and help relieve anxiety. The most exciting part of perfume-making is the freedom to get creative with the choices of your scents. 

Finish it off with 10 drops of your preferred top note. It’s the scent people smell instantly after a few sprays, so you need to make it special. Many pick a subtle, fresh scent, like lavender or rose, for their top note. 

While mixing, ensure you take note of the recipe or how many drops of oils have been added. While the instruction here says to add 15 to 20 drops of the base note, you may find the pre-final scent too subtle, requiring you to put more. Each brand of essential oils has different chemical components, so you may have to adjust the amount depending on what smells good for you. Do the same if you’re using fragrance oils, which have stronger scents than essential oils.

If you want to make the same fragrance in the future, you can refer to your notes for the recipe. 

4. Let It Rest for up to a Month

Like wine, you need to allow time for the perfume to age and for the scents to infuse. Shake the jar to mix all the ingredients properly. Cover with a lid and store in a dark place. 

After a month, take it out and give it a sniff. Essential oils may smell great, but sometimes, the combination may be different from what you’re expecting. If you like how the amalgam of scent notes turns out, it’s a success. You can transfer it to a spray bottle and start using it. Otherwise, you may need to add more oils to strengthen a particular scent or repeat the entire process if you don’t like the final product. 

Making Your Own Perfume Is Easy and Fun

You can easily fork over a hundred dollars for a quality perfume bottle. But if you make it at home, you’ll find the process fun and money-saving. Use the instructions here as a reference to create your bottle of fragrance. Perfumes are the best products to combine your favorite scents in a spray bottle you can use daily.

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