Make your own perfume!

The power of smells to evoke experiences and feelings is surprising. Did you know that you can easily make all kinds of fragrances at home? We explain how!

” In memory, all perfumes are imperishable “, wrote Patrick Süskind in his famous novel Perfume. He is not without reason. Who has not traveled to the past after breathing a specific aroma?

Fragrances can add that subtle touch that makes home a more comfortable place to live; or become a hallmark if they are used as personal perfume.


But is it feasible to make colonies at home? It depends to a large extent on the chosen materials and production methods.

  • Aromatic water: mixture of distilled water with different essential oils. Delicate fragrance.
  • Esau de cologne: a mixture of distilled water, essential oils and alcohol. The fragrance is more intense and long-lasting.
  • Tincture: mixture of essential oil with alcohol. Due to their high intensity fragrance, they can be used as a perfume.

The essential oils not only are obtained from the flower petals: roots can be used (like ginger), leaves (egg geranium or violet), fruits (tangerine, grapefruit) or wood (cedar, birch). How to make them at home is not easy, they are usually purchased already prepared.


Certain flowers can be distilled at home in small quantities without using an alembic. Thus, a water is obtained that can be used as a natural fragrance or in more complex perfumes.

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  • Petals of the chosen flower (rose, jasmine, orange blossom, calendula)
  • A pot with a lid
  • A glass bowls
  • Distilled water
  • Ice
  • Foil


  1. Arrange the bowl in the center of the pot.
  2. Spread the petals around the bowl and pour distilled water over them until they are covered, without the water getting into the bowl.
  3. Cover the pot with its lid turned upside down. So that steam does not escape, it is recommended to seal the lid well with aluminum foil.
  4. Put the pot on the fire and, when it starts to boil, fill the concavity of the lid with ice as many times as necessary until the distilled water is used up. The ice cools the steam and this condenses the essential oil, which falls into the bowl and floats on water, also condensed.
  5. Remove the essential oil with a dropper or use this mixture of oil and water. The result is more aromatic than that obtained by boiling the plant.

The infusions of aromatic plants or spices (rosemary, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves …) also offer a good base for making homemade fragrances by adding essential oils.


Lavender lovers can prepare it in tincture or, for a sweeter aroma, use vanilla beans.


  • 250 g of flowers (lavender or other flower) or 6 vanilla beans, cut into small pieces
  • Glass jar
  • 96º alcohol
  • Strainer
  • Airtight jar


  1. Place 250 g of the flowers or the 6 vanilla beans in a clean glass jar.
  2. Add a liter of 96º alcohol (sold in pharmacies), cover and leave to marinate for a month, shaking frequently.
  3. After this time, strain the liquid and store in an airtight jar.


“Creating a perfume is an art similar to that of composing a symphony”, affirms Anne Fomalhaut in her book Perfumes and essential oils (Ed. Ocean). But the perfumer does not resort to musical instruments, but to essential oils and the variety of emotions and sensations that they awaken. A fragrance can be floral and delicate, refreshing and citrus, woody and penetrating.

To awaken the aromatic sensitivity, it is advisable to start using known raw materials that are also versatile and can be combined with a good number of essential oils, such as rose, lemon or lavender. Getting a good manual that includes formulas for making fragrances is also a great help at the beginning.

Once the techniques are mastered and the perfumer”s “nose” awakened, trying combinations of your own, either for yourself or for friends and family, can become a very rewarding quest.

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