Spring is right around the corner, and now that the ground is beginning to thaw, I'm seeing blooms popping up everywhere. Not only is all the gorgeous color a sight for sore eyes, but all those flowers can be put to good use in a myriad of fun ways. One of my favorite ways to use them is by making my own flower petal perfume.
You don’t need a lot of equipment or supplies to make your own sunny scent—just some flowers from your garden (or the grocery store, if that's more your speed) and a few essential oils. Plus, since Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, this will make an awesome gift for your mom! So break out that pretty spray bottle you’ve been saving, and let’s bottle some blooms.
Note: Just be sure and plan ahead because this recipe takes a little over a week to be ready for Mother's Day.
How to Make a Fresh Flower Petal Perfume
Making your own perfume from scratch might sound complicated, but it's actually a lot simpler than you think. Most perfumes are nothing more than a mixture of fragrance (I prefer essential oils for a soft, natural scent), water, and alcohol. Simply mix them all together and spritz!
But to make homemade essential oil perfume really come alive, you can add fresh flowers cut straight from the garden. Not only does it add depth and a sense of earthiness to your perfume, but it's free and fun—always a plus, right?
If you're not the gardening type, feel free to pick up some fresh flowers from the grocery store. Look for organic blooms if you can find them since this perfume is going to be spritzed directly onto the skin. A local nursery, health food store, or farmers market is a great place to start. That way, you won't end up with chemicals and pesticides in your perfume.
You can also forage for wild-grown flowers outside in nature—just make sure you're not accidentally trespassing or taking someone else's prized buds.
My favorite flowers for homemade perfume are:
But you'll have an easier time finding flowers that are local to your area, so keep an open mind and use what you've got. Once you've selected your flowers, you can always customize your essential oils to accentuate their natural scent.
How to Make Your Own Custom Scent
When making your own flower petal perfume, the pros recommend that you layer scents to create base fragrances, mid-tones, and top notes. When you smell a perfume, the top notes are typically the first thing you smell, followed by middle and then base notes.
But when making your own perfume, you’ll want to start with base notes first and work your way up.
Think heavier, warm scents like:
Your typical floral fragrances work well here. I prefer:
You'll finish things off with uplifting top-note fragrances, such as:
Choose one or two scents from each category, and combine them until you end up with a fragrance that really speaks to you.
If that's too complicated, just skip the layering process and follow your nose. You naturally know what floral essential oils you like, so trust your instincts and choose whatever fragrance combinations you prefer. You can't mess it up, I promise.
Petal perfume supplies
—1 cup fresh flower petals
—5–10 drops essential oil
—½ cup vodka
—3 cups distilled water
—1 glass jar
—1 glass spray bottle
How to Make Floral Perfume
Step 1 | Find your flowers
Decide what scent you're going for. This is a great time to scope out your garden or head to a friend’s house and ask to use some of her flowers. You can play with different fragrance combinations. The flower petals will create the majority of the scent, but you can add depth and interest by accentuating with essential oils.
Step 2 | Soak petals in vodka
Place flower petals in a glass jar and cover with vodka. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours.
Step 3 | Mash + let sit
Using a spoon, mash the petals to release the oils, then add the distilled water. Cover and let it sit for another 7 days. Every couple of days, check on your concoction and use a spoon to mash the petals even further.
Step 4 | Strain + add essential oils
Strain the mixture into a glass perfume bottle, and add your essential oils. To use, shake the mixture to blend the oils and spritz it on your pulse points. Store your perfume in the fridge when you're not using it.
Flower Perfume FAQs
What can I do to keep the essential oils from separating?
The vodka should act as an emulsifier, which helps to disperse the oil throughout the water. If needed, add more vodka until the essential oil disappears completely when you shake the bottle.
How can I make the smell of my flower petal perfume last longer?
By its very nature, homemade perfume won't have as much staying power as the store-bought stuff. Spray your perfume on pulse points, such as your wrists, behind the ears, and your clavicle. And reapply as needed to refresh the scent throughout the day.
Will using a preservative keep my perfume from going bad as quickly?
Since this recipe contains water, it needs to be used up pretty quickly. But adding a broad-spectrum preservative will help keep it fresh longer.
How do you make perfume without alcohol?
A solid perfume or an oil-based perfume uses oil instead of alcohol to carry the scent. While it doesn't use fresh flowers like this one does, you can customize your scent using any essential oils you like.
Want to make more botanical perfume? Try this Citrus Herbal Hydrosol recipe!
Fresh Flower Petal Perfume
- 8 ounce glass jar
- Perfume bottle
- 1 cup fresh flower petals
- 5–10 drops essential oil
- ½ cup vodka
- 3 cups distilled water
- 1 glass jar
- 1 glass spray bottle
- First, decide what scent you're going for. This is a great time to scope out your garden, or head to a friend’s house and ask to use some of her flowers. You can play with different fragrance combinations. The flower petals will create the majority of the scent, but you can accentuate with essential oils to add depth and interest.
- Place flower petals in a glass jar and cover with vodka. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours.
- Using a spoon, mash the petals to release the oils, then add the distilled water. Cover and let it sit for 7 days. Every couple of days, check on your concoction, using a spoon to mash the petals even further.
- Strain the mixture into a glass perfume bottle and add your essential oils. Shake well.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has more than 20 years of practice experience. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.603
Grace Cooper says
Hello, I am trying to go clean in all areas of my life....I am 61 and finally trying to do something about all toxins. I was wondering where I could get honeysuckle or peony oils for the middle notes. I am very excited to try making my perfume. I love floral scents.
Corky Karen Goldberg-Schmautz says
I have a question.
You mention VODKA and that is the first time that I have heard anyone use Vodka. I have heard of PERFUMERY ALCOHOL, but not Vodka. Is this the kind of Vodka you would get from the liquor store?? I'm confused. Please explain as in the recipe for the scent that you have posted, it does not mention when you are to use Vodka with the oils.
Not sure if it's just me, but I don't see the essential oils in the instructions. Can someone explain to me where those go? Thank you! xx