The human animal is often driven by scent. This could be the normal animal scent attraction that we all carry, or any of the quite expensive commercial products that are available.

As a viable option, you may choose to make your own perfumes. You may think at first that this is a difficult or expensive process, but it is not nearly as difficult nor as expensive as you may think.

The Basics of Perfume Making

The standard perfume consists of only 4 ingredients. An alcohol base, the fragrance, water and glycerine. This page will show how how to make unique and unusual scents.

Required Ingredients:

Vodka - with the highest percentage of alcohol possible
Everclear(r) - if you can find it (spirit distibutor)
Essential oils, fragrance oils, infusions or flavor extracts - these must be PURE
Distilled water or spring water
Glycerine - available in your local pharmacy

Optional equipment

Small glass bottles - preferably colored and small
Glass jars for mixing
Measuring cups and spoons
A dropper
A small and large funnel

NOTE: You can distill your own perfume oils or essential oils if you like, but this process requires a still which is subject to local laws and regulations and is more of an artistic skill than anything else. Additionally essential oils offer a much better scent than fragrance oils, but fragrance oils are less expensive. Finally, food flavors such as pure extracts are an excellent option.


Perfume Notes:

Top Note - The initial scent when you put the perfume on, then disappears, they include; lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, spearmint, peppermint and others.

Middle Note - The scent that appears just after the top note disappears. Scents like; coriander, palmarosa, marjoram, basil, rosemary, rose geranium, pettitgrain, lavender and others.

Base Note - The scent that appears after the middle note and is the base of the perfume, they include; patchouli, vetiver, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood and others.

When mixing perfumes, start with your base note, then add your middle and then top notes.


Scents are broken down into different families. These are floral, woody, oriental, fresh (such as citrus). You can experiment by mixing different notes or different families, but this is a process that takes a lot of patience.


Prepare your bottles by sterilizing them. You can use a dishwasher with hot water and a high-heat dry setting or boil bottles as you would baby bottles at a rolling boil for 20 minutes. Also sterilize your working tools.

Here comes the fun part!

Measure 1/4 cup of alcohol into your working jar.

The average perfume will require about 25 drops of oils in different mixtures of Top/middle/base scents.
Take your first scent:
Add a few drops.
Swirl (do NOT stir)
Add more as you like.

Move on to your second and then third scents until you are happy with the smell.

It will take a bit of experimentation to get the scent that you want, but it is well worth the work. It is a good idea to record your procedure in a "Scent journal" so that you can re-create your work later if you like.

The next step:
Once you have created signature scent, you have to age it. Place the sealed jar in a cool dark location for a minimum of 48 hours and for up to a month. This allows the different scents to mingle and become stronger. Once you have allowed it to age for an amount of time, smell it again and make sure that you are happy with the scent. At this point, you can add a few more drops of any of your top, middle or base scents to tweak it. Just remember, if you add more, you must age the perfume again.

The final step:

Once your fragrance is ready, you must dilute it.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of distilled or spring water. If you are making perfume to be used in an ionizer (spray), add one more teaspoon.
Using an eyedropper, add about 5 drops of glycerine which acts as a preservative.
Pour the finished perfume into a colored bottle (do not use clear bottles as ambient light can reduce shelf life).

You have now created your own personal signature fragrance.