Walking through the perfume section of a department store can almost instantly trigger a headache. The scents are cloying and overwhelming. Plus there’s some nasty stuff in those commercial perfumes that you’re spritzing onto your skin and inhaling. Essential oils, especially some of the most fragrant oils like jasmine, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang, have long been used in perfume-making. But essential oils are pricey and some perfumers use cheap copycat synthetic scents instead.
How To Make Essential Oil Perfume
Concocting your own perfume can take a bit of experimentation. The scents you like may change over time. Ylang ylang was my long-time favorite but now it feels too heavy and overpowering. And patchouli completely scared me, but in an earthy blend it totally works for fall. The scents in DIY perfume are lighter wearing than traditional perfume. So no headaches, but you might need to apply more often.
My favorite way to make perfume is with a roll-on bottle. It’s easier than making a solid perfume and faster than a cologne. And you can apply it by just rolling it over your pulse points. Roller ball blends are all the rage right now for treating headaches, insomnia and other ailments, but you can just as easily mix up a lovely essential oil roller ball perfume blend.
You’ll need just three supplies:
- Essential oils
- Carrier oil: something light with little to no scent like jojoba, grapeseed or sweet almond oil
- Amber or blue 10 ml roll-on bottles
Add your essential oils to the roll on bottle. For everyday use, use a max of 10-12 drops in a 10 ml container. After you’ve drizzled the oils in, swirl the bottle to combine them. Then fill the rest of the bottle with carrier oil. Replace cap and swirl again. Apply to your pulse points to enjoy. Reapply throughout the day to experience again. Shake the bottle before each use.
How to Blend Essential Oils
I have controversial feelings about creating a formula using the traditional top, middle and base note approach. Those classifications are based on how quickly a scent evaporates. To be honest, it seems overly complicated and confusing to me. For the life of me, I cannot remember how it works or what oil is what.
In the aromatherapy class I took recently, we learned a different formula based on an oil’s blending factor, or the strength of its scent. Not to be overly dramatic, but this was kind of life changing. It makes so much more sense to me to blend based on how strong an oil is! Here’s an example for blending the 10 drops needed for a perfume with three oils:
Add the blending factors together for a total of 11.
Then you take the percentage of that total (11) for each oil. For lime, it would be 3 divided by 11 (27%). Then multiply that percentage by the total number of drops you need in your recipe (10). So 27% times 10 equals 2.7. So lime gets 3 drops.
- 3 drops lime (3/11 x 10)
- 1 drops jasmine (1/11 x 10)
- 6 drops bergamot (7/11 x 10)
- Total: 10 drops
You’ll quickly get the hang of it after you calculate a few formulas.
5 Essential Oil Perfume Blends
Jasmine and rose both have heady, floral scents. To keep them from getting overpowering, blend with almost any citrus oil. Here are three options for a flirty floral scent.
- 5 drops sweet orange
- 2 drops lime peel
- 2 drops jasmine absolute in jojoba oil
- 2 drops vanilla in jojoba oil
Citrus scents are uplifting and fresh. Roll this one on when you need an energy or mood boost. If rosemary’s scent brings to mind an afternoon of cleaning, try lavender or grapefruit instead. I always hold the essential oil bottles together in my hand and waft them under my nose before blending. That way I can see if I like a scent combo.
I love this rich, earthy scent. Don’t be scared of patchouli!
Clove will quickly overpower a blend so go slow when adding it or use a pipette.2