DIY Herbal Perfume Recipe

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Herbal Perfume Recipe with Essential Oils
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » DIY Herbal Perfume Recipe

I’ve been fascinated by perfume since I was a kid. Scent is intimately tied to memory and I realized that my earliest memories were tied to particular scent: my great aunt’s hand lotion that I would smell when she sang me to sleep, the smell of medicine I had to take as a baby, tempera paint from crafts my mom used to do with us when I was two years old, and so many others.

When I was six, my friend and I decided we wanted to start our own perfume business and we proceeded to try and create perfumes from flowers, water and other things found in nature. We soon discovered that mixing live plants and water in a closed jar was a great way to create a smell… just not a good one!

Fast forward to high school, and I had to save and spend my own money to buy perfume and became acutely aware of the cost of smelling like a movie star. I had one bottle of perfume that lasted me six years because I hardly ever wore it.

Toxic Perfume?

Now, as a mom with babies and small children, I’m lucky if I have time to get a shower most days and I’m more concerned with making sure my beauty products are non-toxic than smelling like a particular perfume.

That being said, with the whole not-having-time-to-shower mom conundrum, there are days when a natural perfume would be nice. Many conventional perfumes contain over a dozen chemicals that do not have to be disclosed on the label.

Since I already make pretty much all of our beauty and personal care products, I felt sure I could make perfume too. I figured I’d make it with essential oils so it would not only smell good, but have aromatherapy benefits as well.

This led me into a rabbit hole of research on the perfume industry and how perfumes are created. The good news is that while the final product took a lot of patience on my part, it was well worth it and it is most definitely cheaper than store bought perfumes (especially because I seem to have a gift for liking the most expensive perfumes at any store without seeing the price tag).

How to Make Perfume (at Home)

Most perfumes are a mixture of fragrance oils in an alcohol base. There are base fragrances, mid-tones and top notes. When you smell a perfume, the top notes are typically the first thing you smell, followed by mid and then base notes.

In making perfume, you select and add them in order from base to top.

Also, the alcohol changes the composition of the oils and as the flavors meld, they change drastically. I found that some mixtures I tried smelled amazing when I first mixed them but changed and I didn’t like them at all after two weeks. At the same time, some that I thought would be terrible reminded me of actual perfumes I loved after a few weeks.

I include my favorite recipe below, but the key is finding the oils and ratios that work for you. I recommend adding a few drops at a time of each one and keeping a journal of how many drops of each are added. Once you find your favorite blend and write it down, it is easy to duplicate.

DIY Perfume Recipe

These were the oils I used for each level of scent…

Base Oils:

  • Vanilla (I used 1 tsp of my homemade vanilla extract for this)
  • Cederwood (3 drops)
  • Vetiver (4 drops)
  • Ylang Ylang (3 drops)
  • Sandlewood (4 drops)
  • Frankincense (8 drops)

Middle Tones:

  • Rose (6 drops)
  • Lavender (10 drops)
  • Blue Chamomile (3 drops)
  • Geranium (8 drops)

Top Notes:

  • Bergamot ( 5 drops)
  • Wild Orange (3 drops)
  • Neroli (5 drops)

This is the fragrance I finally settled on that worked best for me. I got all of the oils here, but if you don’t already have them on hand, maybe consider asking a friend who is into essential oils if you could pay her a few dollars for a couple of drops of each of these oils….

NOTE: I photographed the perfume in the pretty glass bottle for Pinterest sake, but I recommend making and storing homemade perfume in a less-expensive dark colored bottle like this one to help preserve the pure scents of the oils. Also, my perfume looks blue green from the three drops of blue chamomile oil I added.. you can omit this if you prefer a more neutral color perfume, though this has not ever stained even white clothing.

IMPORTANT: While you can use the perfume right away, I really recommend letting the flavors meld for at least a month before using. It is worth the wait, I promise!

Herbal Perfume Ingredients:

  • Approximately 12-20 drops total of Base Essential Oils like: Cedarwood, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Sandlewood, etc
  • 1 tsp of [url:1]homemade vanilla extract (optional)
  • 25-30 drops of middle tone oils like Rose, Lavender, Chamomile or Geranium
  • 12-15 drops of top note oils like Bergamot, Wild Orange or Neroli
  • 4 ounces of alcohol to preserve and meld scents- I used non-GMO spiced rum

DIY Perfume Instructions:

  1. Mix all oils together in an opaque bottle to get a scent you like. Let this mixture stay in the bottle alone for a few days to let scents meld.
  2. Add the alcohol and cap tightly.
  3. Shake and put in a cool, dark place for at least a month (preferable). This is optional but helps the alcohol scent fade and the scents of the oils intensify.

 Ever made your own scents? How did it go?

This DIY herbal perfume recipe uses with essential oils and food grade alcohol for a natural alternative to conventional perfume with aromatherapy benefits.


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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


163 responses to “DIY Herbal Perfume Recipe”

  1. Christa Coffen Avatar
    Christa Coffen

    I’m addicted to your site, and recipes. I wish I had the $$ to just make my own perfume for me. A hobby. I am a huge olfactory scents gal..and dig all things scent. Scent is Life afterall. Memories. Joy. Not just to “smell good!” I wear perfume (I own one lol.. Lost a lot in a storage locker gone wrong) for ME!! And me only.. But if my bf likes it..that is ok too. 😉 lolll
    Thank you for your site, tips and tricks ..and more. Hopefully I can get into myself soon. Xxoo

  2. Ann Avatar

    My perfume smells like fresh squeezed orange juice with a hint of ylang ylang unfortunately.I used the same essential oils from PT.
    I don’t want to smell like oj.How can I fix this?
    Does anyone has an ocean breeze type of essential oils mix?I would love that.

  3. Jennifer M Avatar
    Jennifer M

    Please help me with ingredients for a ‘natural’ Giorgio cologne…..

    very eager to try the above mixtures.

  4. Ash Avatar

    may you please publish a recipe for men cologne with herbal like notes (like aramis 900) (with three notes pleae), our specie will extinct without proper cologne.

  5. Joseph Avatar

    Hi Katie!

    First off, I’d like to thank you. I know you write for women but as a man I’ve got to say, you’ve taught me a lot via your site. My girlfriend enjoys your writing as well.

    Second, do you blend all of the notes together at once simultaneously or let the combination of scents in each note “sit” for a while to concretize the fragrance?

    Much love

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      Thanks so much for reading. I prefer to let the scents in each note sit for a few minutes in between adding but don’t find it necessary to wait longer than that.

  6. Anne Avatar

    I am pretty new to essential oils and I am very interested in DIYing my own natural products. Well I was in Hobby Lobby and they have a lot of pure undiluted essential oils (Not fragrance oils) steam distilled and only one ingredient listed most(a lot of them are a product of India)they are under the name Crafty Bubbles from Bolek’s craft store. I am trying to find out more about these oils if they are an unnamed brand of another well known company?? I cannot find anyone who has used them online. Have you ever heard of or used these oils?? any information would be very helpful
    Thank you so much 🙂

  7. Sulakhan Avatar

    You didn’t mention how much oil drops need to to make how much perfume. For example, If I want to make 4oz bottle how much drops of oil I need to add.

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