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How to make your own perfume?

Beauty recipes, Skin, Well-being

Perfume appeals to our emotions and memories. If you want to wear a natural perfume without synthetic substances that are harmful to your health and that reflects your image, you can make it! Learn how to create your own homemade and personalised natural perfume, which will perfectly match your personality and your desires.

What is a homemade perfume made of?

Essential oils for the 3 notes of perfume

A perfume is made of three notes. All perfumes can be broken down into what is known as the olfactory pyramid. Schematically, the notes follow one another in the following order: the top note, the middle note and the base note.

 

The top note:

The most volatile note. It can be smelled right after the perfume is sprayed and usually disappears after about ten minutes. It is a “fresh, green note” that can last up to 2 hours. They can be made up of citrus, herbal or floral fragrances..

  • Angelica root
  • Basil,
  • Bergamot,
  • Black pepper,
  • Cajeput,
  • Camphor,
  • Cardamom,
  • Chili pepper leaf,
  • Coriander seed,
  • Eucalyptus radiata,
  • Grapefruit,
  • Ho wood,
  • Laurel/bay leaf,
  • Lavender,
  • Lavandin Grosso,
  • Lemon (zest),
  • Lemongrass,
  • Litsea Cubeba,
  • Mandarin,
  • Mint,
  • Myrtle,
  • Niaouli,
  • Nutmeg,
  • Orange,
  • Parsley leaf,
  • Peppermint,
  • Pink pepper,
  • Ravensara,
  • Ravintsara,
  • Rosemary,
  • Spike Lavender,
  • Tea tree,
  • Yuzu

 

The middle note:

It develops up to four hours after the evaporation of the top note. It also determines the olfactory family of the perfume: woody, fruity, amber, floral… The middle note or heart note constitutes the soul of the perfume. It can be floral, fruity or spicy.

  • Carrot seed,
  • Celery seed,
  • Cinnamon,
  • Clary sage,
  • Clove,
  • Cumin,
  • Cypress,
  • Davana,
  • Dill,
  • Eucalyptus Citriodora,
  • Eucalyptus Globulus,
  • Frankincense,
  • Geranium,
  • Ginger,
  • Helichrysum
  • Juniper,
  • Marjoram,
  • Neroli,
  • Oregano,
  • Palmarosa,
  • Petit grain Bigaradier,
  • Roman chamomile,
  • Rosemary verbenon,
  • Rose,
  • Savory,
  • Scotch pine,
  • Tagete,
  • Tarragon,
  • Thyme linalol,
  • Ylang-Ylang complete

 

The base note:

It evaporates slowly, it sometimes lasts for several days or weeks on a garment. Its function: to fix the perfume, to make it last in time. It is the heaviest and least volatile note. These are essentially woody, sweet and amber scents.

  • Cedarwood Atlas, Ciste,
  • Lovage root,
  • Myrrh, Nard (Jatamansi), Palo Santo, Patchouli,
  • Sandalwood,
  • Vetiver,

 

The dosage.

Ideally, a fragrance should be made up of 30% top note, 50% middle note and 20% base note.

If you don’t have a structure for your perfume yet, look to scents you know and love for inspiration. You can find great ideas on the “basenotes” website, it gives descriptions of well-known perfumes.

If you want some help with the quantities, here is a free spreadsheet

 

Olfactory notes in perfumery

HESPERIDES NOTES: all the citrus notes, zest 

Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, …

GREEN NOTES: vegetal, they evoke cut grass, the smell of crumpled leaves, nature

Violet leaf, blackcurrant buds…

AROMATIC NOTES: all the beneficial and vegetal scents of aromatic herbs  

Lavender, Mint, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Eucalyptus…

FRUITY NOTES: greedy, mouth-watering and evocative of summer

Apricot, Peach, Cherry, Coconut…

FLORAL NOTES: they lead us into an intoxicating garden of flowers…

Jasmine, Rose, Neroli, Ylang-ylang… 

SPICY NOTES: mysterious, they invite us to travel and heat up all the perfume compositions  

Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, Pink pepper …

WOODY NOTES: Comfortable, powerful and warm, they bring depth to the fragrance

Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood…

AMBER NOTES: Bewitching, warm and sweet, these are sensual notes that transport us to the land of a thousand and one nights!

Vanilla, Benzoin, Tonka, Peru balm…

 

Olfactory families in perfumery

Perfumery can be divided into seven categories of fundamental odours:

The Aromatic family: made of all the aromatic herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary or lavender).

The Woody family: it is warmer and more opulent. The major ingredients in this category are sandalwood, patchouli, cedar and vetiver. These are typical of men’s fragrances.

The Chypre family: mainly based on oakmoss, patchouli or bergamot accords.

The Floral family: it is an integral part of feminine perfumery and features ingredients such as jasmine, rose, violet, lily of the valley, lilac …

The Fern family: this is the set of lavender and woody notes associated with oakmoss, bergamot, geranium, etc. The fern category is typically masculine.

The Hesperidae family: this includes essential oils obtained by extracting the zest of citrus fruits such as bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, orange or mandarin.

The Oriental family: Gentle, powdery and vanilla fragrances. They also have a strong animal and sensual touch. They often contain musk, vanilla, amber, resin, tobacco, exotic spices and precious woods.

A base to choose according to the type of perfume

The base, which will be used to mix the EOs and absolutes, will depend on the type of perfume you wish to make:

  • Alcoholic perfume uses alcohol as a base. Easy to use, the alcohol evaporates quickly to leave only the smell of the perfume on the skin and ensures good conservation. The alcohol chosen should have high alcoholic strength and a very neutral smell so as to not alter the final product. We advise you to use undenatured 70 or 90% alcohol or vodka.
  • The oily perfume uses vegetable oil as a carrier. It is particularly well suited to sensitive and dry skin since it does not contain alcohol. It is important to choose an oil that is as neutral as possible so that it does not interfere with the notes of the perfume: jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil.
  • Solid perfume is another form of oily perfume, where beeswax is mixed in. As it cools, the perfume solidifies. It is the ideal format for travelling.

 

Composition of a perfume

Adding the essential oils

To obtain a balanced perfume, the ideal proportions are:

6 drops of EO for the base note (20%)

15 drops for the heart note (50%)

9 drops for the top note (30%)

Firstly, incorporate the oils corresponding to the base note, then add those of the heart note. Finish it off with the top note oils.

 

My personalised perfume =

Essential oils (or absolutes or aromas)

+

Support (perfume base, alcohol or oily support)

 

 

Making it

Use a sheet of paper to calculate and determine the quantity of each raw material

Practice

1/ an alcohol-based perfume

The concentration of alcohol in a perfume ranges from 15 to 40%, while for an eau de toilette it is around 6 to 12%.

 

Type of perfume

Concentration

holding

Perfume

15 to 40%

1 to several days
Eau de parfum

8 to 20%

1 day
Eau de toilette

6 to 12%

3 to 5 hours
Fresh water

< 8%

1 to 2 hours

 

 

The base recipe:

1

bowl

 

2

shaker illustration

 

 

3

filter illustration

 

Mix

30 ml of 70 °C alcohol or vodka.

+ 20 drops of EOs that combine the 3 notes of your perfume.

Shake this mixture well and leave it to allow the perfume to mature for 4 weeks in a cool place away from daylight Place the perfume in a freezer for one night

Filter the perfume through a coffee filter

It is done!

 

2/ an alcohol-free perfume

The base used is a vegetable oil which has the advantage of not drying out the skin as can be the case with alcohol.

The base recipe:

1

bowl

2

clock illustration

 

3

cosmetic bottle illustration

 

Mix the EOs that will constitute the 3 notes of your perfume. For 30ml, you will need 80 drops of EOs in total. Let the mixture rest a few days before diluting it in a VO of your choice (jojoba, sweet almond or grape seed). Add 2 drops of vitamin E

Let it rest for 24 hours before using it.

Tip: you can add 2 drops of vitamin E for better conservation of your oily perfume without alcohol.

 

3/ a solid perfume

Also called “concrete”, solid perfume is very easily made on the same basis as an oily one.

The base recipe:

1

bowl

2

bowl

3

cream pot and flower illustration

 

Melt in a water bath (bain-marie) :

10 ml of VO or vegetal butter

+ 15 ml of beeswax or soy

Add the EOs or fragrances of your choice and mix well Pour in a jar and let it harden for at least 2 hours

Use: take a little perfume on your finger and apply it behind the ear, on the wrists or on each side of the neck.

 

Advice

  • Do not add fruit juices to your perfume. They can accelerate rancidity and curdling.
  • Citrus EOs, especially lemon EO, are photosensitising. If you use it in your perfume, avoid spraying it on your skin during the day or exposing yourself to the sun. If you put lemon juice on your skin, it will burn in the sun.

rose flower

Some ideas of combinations to create a unique home fragrance

If you’re not sure which essential oils to combine to create your own unique fragrance, here are some suggestions:

For a floral perfume

For a perfume with oriental notes

  • Head notes: mandarin and bergamot
  • Heart notes: ylang-ylang and helichrysum
  • Base notes: cedarwood Atlas, frankincense and myrrh

For a fresh citrus-based scents

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DAIRY PRODUCTS

All yogurts (animal or plant-based) can be flavored with essential oils. In an unsweetened yogurt, add a spoonful of honey in which you’ll dilute the essential oil of your choice. For a classic flavor, add two drops of citrus essential oils. For an exotic yogurt, add a drop of Ylang Ylang essential oil. This also works for whipped cream!

EDIBLE OILS

Flavor your olive oil: for 1 liter of edible oil, add 15 drops of rosemary or basil essential oil (or 8 drops of each) to one liter of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Shake well to mix the different oils and let it rest for about a day before using it to season salads, pasta, vegetables, fish fillets, and more.

ICE CUBES!

Add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil to half a spoonful of honey, agave syrup, or mashed fruit, mix it into an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze!

Here are some quick ideas to get started

 

  • In the case of a cake, chocolate mousse, or pancakes: add essential oils directly to the batter, which is sweet and rich in fats.
  • For syrup to drizzle over your cakes after baking, or for your ice creams: mix 250g of sugar syrup with about 4 drops of citrus essence (4 drops of one citrus or 1 drop of 4 different citruses, for example).
  • Jams, marmalades, or honey: add a few drops of essential oils (e.g., lavender, thyme, or citrus essences).
  • Season a pasta dish: add 4 drops of Clary Sage essential oil to a 400g pasta dish.
  • Flavor rice: add one drop of Lemongrass essential oil to 400g of rice.
  • Enhance an apple crumble with cinnamon essential oil

The essential oils most commonly used in cooking:

 

Herbs

 

EO

Taste

Usage

Le+ santé

 

 

Garlic

Allium sativum

Odeur forte difficile à utiliser

.aïoli or garlic butter

. enhance the flavor of your sauces (tomato, dressing)

vermifuge

natural antibiotic

helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels 

Difficult to digest

dermocaustic

 

Dill

Anethum graveolens

Slightly  anised and fresh 

cream-based sauces to season fish, especially salmon

vegetables (potato, zucchini)

salads (cucumber)

 

Stimulates digestive secretions and the gallbladder

Risk of nephrotoxicity after prolonged and high dose ingestion

 

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

The essential oil of Basil has a stronger taste than the aromatic herb we know:

fruit desserts

poultry (chicken)

fish (calamari)

sauces (tomato, garlic)

pasta (garlic-olive oil, tomato)

vegetables (tomato, zucchini, coco beans)

olive oils

 

Relieves all intestinal and gastric problems Recommended for flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain

 

 

Java citronella

Cymbopogon winterianus

Acidic and lemony flavour

 

Indian or Asian-inspired dishes

marinades, sauces (coconut milk)

 

 

 

 

Coriander (seeds)

Coriandrum sativum

Earthy and slightly camphorated fragrance

savory dishes (such as hummus)

Asian and Mexican cuisine

soups (pumpkin, carrot)

sauces (tomato, béchamel, coconut milk)

rice

 

Aid for various digestive issues, bloating, and stomach-aches

 

 

Tarragon

Artemesia dracunculus

Light note

gratins, seasoning oils, and sauces (béarnaise, sour cream)

vegetable dips

meats (rabbit, beef)

 

Effective against colitis and intestinal spasms

Not recommended for use with anticoagulant treatments or coagulation disorders

 

Sweet Fennel

Fresh taste

 

gaspacho, tomato tart, fougasse, salads

Against flatulences and indigestions

 

 

Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Sweet, bitter and fresh flavor

stews

vegetables or fresh cheese

meats (game, pork, pâté, terrine)

fish (tuna, sardine)

sauces (béchamel, tomato)

vegetables (potato, tomato)

 

 

Pairs well with thyme

 

Marjoram 

Origanum majorana

 

Sunny vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers… In savory tarts or pizzas

Recommended for hypertensive individuals

Closely related to oregano with a finer flavor

 

Cornmint

Mentha arvensis

Milder flavor than Peppermint

 

Hepato-digestive stimulant

Very potent taste; a single drop is sufficient to season your dishes and drinks

Peppermint 

Mentha piperita

 

Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks

Facilitate digestion

 

Spearmint

Mentha spicata

An even milder flavor than Peppermint or Field Mint

Tabbouleh

Moroccan tea

 

If you like the scent and taste of fresh mint, we recommend using this essential oil in your dishes instead.

Rosemary Cineole or Verbenon

Rosemarinus officinalis

 

Meats, fish, soups Poultry (chicken, turkey) Vegetables (zucchini, garlic) Sauces

Verbenon variety: detoxifying and liver protection

Pairs well with Bay Laurel and Thyme

 

Savory (Winter)

Satureja montana

Spicy, phenolic flavour

Pizzas, saucy dishes, mefrenats

Stimulates natural defenses

 

 

Clary Sage

Clary sage

herbaceous

pasta, broths and soups

 

Pairs well with Rosemary or Bay laurel

 

Thyme Linalol

Thyumus vulgaris

Very strong taste, best used in cooked dishes

Marinades, sauces (tomato), vinaigrettes, and vegetable preparations

 

 

 

Thyme  Thujanol

Lighter taste than Thyme Linalool

meat, fish, sauces

 

 

 

 

Flowers– Fruits 

 

EO

Taste

Usage

The  +

 

Bergamot

Citrus bergamis

Tangy and sweet flavour

 

Poultry (chicken breast)

Fish (carpaccio, en papillote)

Marinades

Sauces (olive oil)

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine)

Fruit salads (citrus, banana)

Infusion (iced tea)

 

Aids digestion, prevents constipation and intestinal infections Appetite stimulant

 

Lemon

Citrus limonum

 

Desserts or beverages

Fish sauces

Cake or sorbet preparation

Flavoring plain yogurt

Meat (veal)

Poultry (hen, chicken breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Braised dishes (tagine)

Marinades (alone or with thyme, basil, cloves)

 

Cleanses and stimulates the liver. It also eases digestion and helps reduce gas and bloating

Pairs well with mint / peppermint essential oil

Geranium Rosat

Pelargonium graveolens

Floral flavour

 

Jams

Red fruit desserts (crumbles, panna cotta, muffins, strawberries…)

Creams (crème brûlée, ice cream)

Fruit salads (kiwi), pairs well with red fruits, nectarines (peach)

 

Appetite suppressant to regulate blood sugar

 

Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia

Floral, herbal scent

 

Candy, shortbread, sorbets

In savory dishes, in flavored olive oil for salads

Jams (apricot)

Pastries (crème brûlée, ice cream)

 

calming

 

Green Mandarin

Citrus reticulata

 

Sweet and tangy flavour

 

Juices or cocktails

Pumpkin soups

Poultry (poultry breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Fish (monkfish, whiting)

Pastries

 

Digestive tonic, against aerophagia Anti-inflammatory for the intestines Useful for heartburn, acidity

 

Orange (Sweet)

Citrus sinensis

Sweet and fruity

 

Chocolate desserts

Meat (beef, pork)

Poultry (duck, guinea fowl)

Fish (white fish)

Soups (carrot)

Sauces (olive oil, mayonnaise)

Pastries (cake, madeleine, cheesecake)

Creams (crème brûlée)

Fruit salads (with cinnamon)

 

Bitter tonic, against stomach spasms

Pairs well with  Cardamom or cinnamon

Petit Grain Bigarade 

Citrus aurantium

Fruity, with a flavor close to orange blossom

Fruity preparations (crumble, jam).

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine, crepe)

Creams (custard, crème brûlée, flan caramel)

Fruit salads

Infusions

Pairs well with citrus fruits (orange), honey, nectarines (peach)

 

Difficult digestion, bloating, digestive spasms, stomachaches

 

in eggnog for better sleep:

1 drop with 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of honey and 25 ml milk to drink at bedtime

 

Grapefruit

Citrus paradisi

Tangy and sweet

Avocado salads and desserts galore: tarts, syrups, shortbread, or sorbets

 

Suppresses appetite Difficult digestion

 

Lemon Verbena 

Lippia citriodora

Lemon scented

 

Dairy products, pies, fruit salads, smoothies, or infusions

Fish (monkfish, sea bass)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruit compote (peach, pear)

Desserts (ice cream, parfait, panna cotta, custard, crème brûlée)

Pastries (madeleine, shortbread, cake)

Infusion

 

Internal worms

 

Ylang Ylang Complete

 

Pronounced floral scent

Chocolate and apples

 

 

 

Spices

 

EO

Taste

Usage

The +

 

Cinnamon (bark)

Cinnamomum verum

Warm and sweet flavor

All desserts: fruits in all forms, cakes, compotes…

Braised dishes (tagine, curry)

 

vermifuge and helps combat digestive disorders, gastric pain, urinary or intestinal infections.

Increases appetite.

Very potent oil that should not be used undiluted

Cardamom

Elettaria cardamomum

Spicy favour

Savory dishes or fruity desserts (orange, peach).

Ideal in coffee or black tea

Carrot salad

Basmati rice

 

Aids in the prevention of aerophagia

 

Clove bud

Syzygium aromaticum

 

Curry dishes

Apple desserts

Breath freshener

 

Turmeric

Curcuma longa

Savory and discreet flavo

 

Mayonnaise, rice, potatoes, or fish

 

Vermifuge

Bloating, colitis, difficult digestion

 

Ginger 

Zingiber officinale

Spicy and lemony flavor

Soups, gingerbread, shortbread, rhubarb pies

 

Useful in case of constipation, nausea

 

Black Pepper 

Piper nigrum

Spicy, hot, woody

 

for seasoning meats, poultry, sauces, and vegetables (mashed potatoes, mushrooms)

Bloating, hepatic-pancreatic insufficiency, difficult digestion, lack of appetite.

 

 

Pink Pepper

Schinus molle

Peppery, hot, spicy

 

Meats (beef carpaccio)

Poultry (duck)

Fish (salmon)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruits (apple)”

Top of Form

 

Digestive disorders, intoxication, intestinal infections

 

Digestive and Purifying Essential Oils:

  • Dill, Celery, Cumin, Fennel, Basil, Lemon, Tarragon, Mint

 

Tonic and Antibacterial Essential Oils:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon (bark), Ginger, Mint, Thyme (linalool chemotype), Lemongrass, Turmeric, Clove, Savory

 

Soothing and Mild Essential Oils:

  • Cardamom, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Lemon Verbena, Lemon, Mandarin, Bitter Orange Petitgrain, Vanilla (resinoid), Ylang-Ylang

 

 

Precautions When Using Essential Oils

First and foremost, several essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested. While essential oils like lemon or coriander can be used, it’s essential to steer clear of curly parsley oil, which is highly toxic.

Therefore, it is crucial to research each oil before adding them to your recipes. Ingesting toxic essential oils can lead to symptoms ranging from mild irritation of the mouth’s mucous membranes to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some essential oils can even cause seizures or respiratory problems.

 

At-Risk Individuals

  • Prohibited for pregnant women in the first 3 months of pregnancy, as well as infants under 3 months.
  • Pregnant women beyond 3 months and those who are breastfeeding should exercise caution in both aromatic cooking and aromatherapy. Some oils are contraindicated for them.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.

 

Essential oils can trigger allergic reactions.

 

USAGE PRECAUTIONS

 

  • Only use 100% pure, 100% natural, and chemotyped essential oils, preferably certified as organic. This ensures a high-quality product with a known chemical composition and free from pesticides.

 

  • Avoid using essential oils in baby food (up to 3 years old): firstly, some essential oils may be contraindicated for young children, and secondly, babies already have a wide range of flavors to discover!

 

  • For children under 6 years old, their palates are still developing a taste for “classic” flavors. They may not appreciate the unique aromas of aromatic cooking. It’s better to introduce them gradually starting from the age of 6, beginning with familiar flavors like citrus, for example.

 

  • Never swallow essential oils undiluted or even on a sugar cube because they are highly concentrated.

 

  • Always dilute essential oils in a fatty and/or sweet substance: honey, oil, cereal syrup, cake batter, etc. Water, broth, or milk is not sufficient; a syrupy or fatty substance is required. Dosage must be precise to the drop!

 

Sometimes, one drop too many can render the preparation inedible. So, respect some basic rules:

  • Never incorporate the oil directly into the dish with the dropper, as an accidental drop can easily happen.
  • Always dilute the drop(s) in a spoonful of fatty or syrupy substance before adding it to the preparation.
  • Follow the number of drops indicated in the recipe or, if in doubt, stick to 1 drop per dish.

Indulge in bliss