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What Are the Best Tips for Making Perfume?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Making perfume can be both satisfying and an art form unto itself. The process of making perfume is deceptively easy on the surface, but there are subtle actions that can be taken to help make the resulting perfume seem more professional. Things such as what types of oils are used for fragrance, the perfume base and the container in which it is stored can all make a difference in the final product. Just a small amount of planning ahead when making perfume can bring great rewards when the fragrance is complete.

The first thing to think about when making perfume is the base for the fragrance. The options are alcohol and oil. Jojoba oil is considered the best base for most perfumes, with almond oil a close second. Oils such as olive oil can impart an odd color and texture to the perfume, and they can potentially leave residue on the skin. For these reasons, olive oil should be avoided.

Many perfume recipes call for an alcohol such as vodka, but this is not what many of the professional perfume houses use. Instead, a derivative called ethyl alcohol is used. Ethyl alcohol has a much more neutral smell and will accept scents much easier than vodka.

The type of essential oils used is very important. Considering the price of the oils, a money-saving tactic is to purchase sample packs that come with a small amount of many fragrances for experimentation. Alternately, there are some health and beauty stores that sell essential oils for aromatherapy purposes. This is where the different fragrances can be sampled to see if they are appropriate.

One option for those who have a garden or access to a lot of fragrant flowers is to extract the essential oils at home. The process has drawbacks but can save quite a bit of money and some headaches. Extracting the oils either takes a very complex setup over a short time or can be done simply over a long time — in excess of three months in some cases. For particularly strong scented flowers, sometimes just adding the petals to the essential oils can be enough to add a faint undertone when making perfume.

When the perfume is finally mixed, it needs to rest. This is an important step that helps the final fragrance develop. The minimum amount of time is 48 hours, while a week is the longest recommended amount of time. The different oils will condense and become stronger the longer the perfume sits. Once it has reached the desired strength, adding a small amount of distilled water to the perfume stops it from continuing to grow stronger and locks the fragrance in place.

Finally, the perfume should be store in a container that is either opaque or dark in color to prevent sunlight from degrading the fragrances. The container also should be designed in a way so there is very little air in it above the perfume; this will help to extend the lifespan of the fragrance. A small dark container with a very tight lid is the perfect vessel for homemade perfume.

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Discussion Comments
By anon260407 — On Apr 10, 2012

What is the definition of a perfume house?

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