How To Make Perfume/Cologne with Essential Oils

Jodie Weston Jodie Weston  |  Updated: October 4, 2021
How To Make Perfume/Cologne with Essential Oils

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Essential oils work wonders as natural remedies for many conditions. Certain smells can help you to calm down, and a combination of oils may be able to help you with pain. With just a few oils, you can also make your own perfume or cologne that not only smells great but is completely natural too.

Instead of walking through the perfume department and tolerating the overbearing scents, you can make your own to bring with you whether you’re out in the city or heading into the woods.

How to Make Perfume/Cologne with Essential Oils

Before you get started, know that this process is completely up to you. You have all the power to experiment with scents that you like and to figure out what oils smell the best.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ve got the wrong combination, but do be aware of these steps to help your scent turn out well.

Have the Right Materials

To make your perfume, it’s important to have a good bottle on standby. Some people prefer darker bottles since the essential oils help preserve the smell by keeping the light out.

Other people like roller bottles that allow you to apply the scent just by rolling it onto your pulse points. No matter what bottle you get though, it should be small, only 5-10 ml.

Beyond the bottle, be sure that you’ve gathered your preferred carrier oil, which is usually something light like jojoba, grapeseed, or sweet almond oil. This oil will add somebody to your perfume while diluting the direct scent of the oils you’re adding.

Types of Oils

Start by getting your oils together. This means having a base oil to get started, then adding in the middle tones, and finally pouring in the final scent, or “top note”. The top note is what people will smell right away when they smell your perfume. These usually fade fast and will be something like grapefruit, lemon, lime, peppermint, or eucalyptus, to name a few.

Then there are the middle notes, which will filter in afterward. These form the essence of the perfume, which adds fullness to the scent. Usually, you can choose options like cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and jasmine.

Finally: the base note. This is actually hugely important despite the fact that you won’t smell it until the very end. It’s the smell that will remain over time. You already know a few examples, but you can also try scents like wood, sandalwood, or vanilla.

Along with all of these, remember the carrier oil. This will help the scent diffuse and combine rather than leaving you with multiple different oils simply in the same bottle. They work to dilute the oil before they go onto your skin, which is why they usually have a very light scent that you ordinarily wouldn’t smell very easily.

Combining the Oils

Add your carrier oil first. You’ll have about 3 ounces of that oil. Then drip in the base essential oil. Having a dropper for this works the best so you don’t add too much or too little.

Around 10-15 drops are usually best. Go in order from there, with around 10-15 drops of your middle oil, and then 10-15 of your top oil. You can play with this combination if you would like since all the oils will end up together in the end.

If you’re worried about putting too much of any one oil in, the best advice is to start small. It’s better to add in around 5 drops to start and add in later than, to begin with, 15 and find that you’ve made the scent much too strong. Experiment with what works for you and what type of scent you’d like as you swirl the oils together.

Usually, people add in the most amount of their middle note, making this at least fifty percent of the scent. This is because the middle note will last longer without being too overpowering.

It truly depends on personal preference though and how much of one your scents you would like in your perfume or cologne. Test out the same scents with different amounts to create a new final product each time.


If you had a great scent going and then accidentally added too much of one essential oil, don’t panic. Instead of dumping it out right away to begin again, add in a drop of orange oil. This oil is meant to help cancel out other perfumes and can save your scent if you made a mistake putting too much of one scent in.

Preserve the Oils

When you’ve got all your oils in the bottle, you’re just about done. But before you store the bottle, you’ll want to add a fixative to keep the perfume lasting as long as possible. Something like Vitamin E works well for this purpose since it will keep your oils smelling great and be helpful for your skin too.

Other people prefer alcohol as a preservative. You’ll only need a few ounces in the bottle after you’re done combining everything to keep the scent. Some people like vodka because it doesn’t have much flavor, while others like the scent that a different flavor brings. If you’re not sure though, the flavorless option is usually best.

No matter what you add, be sure to mix together your scent when you’re done. Shake it up to help the fusion process begin.

Give it Time

Don’t use your scent right away to give it time to meld together. It’s definitely tempting, but you’ll want to give it time to let the scents fuse properly. They’ll smell more fragrant when you wait and will smell more cohesive. This will be the final scent.

This is a great idea considering that the initial scent may change when all the oils combine more fully together.

You may find that the scent you end up with isn’t something that appeals to you. This is a better option than applying the scent and suddenly finding that it doesn’t smell the same as it did when you first made it. During this time, store the scent in a cool, dark place for around 2 weeks. This will block the light and preserve the smell.

Extra Tips

Just have a little fun with the process. Test out different combinations of different scents until you find a combination that you enjoy.

You don’t have to have the same number of drops for each scent either. Add only a few drops of one scent and more of another to see if you prefer that smell. The entire process really is up to you.

Solid Scents

You also have the option to make a solid scent instead of a liquid one. Use around 4 tablespoons of beeswax for this purpose, melting it in a boiler over low heat. Let this mixture cool and add in all the rest of your usual oils to get the smell you would like. You can put this in a tube to be applied to your skin once everything hardens.

Overall Benefits

You may be wondering if it’s worth it to make your own essential oil blend. You do need to think about what scents you want after all, but there are actually many benefits to making your own perfume or cologne combination.

For instance, your scent will be completely natural. This means that they won’t be harmful to your skin. Without the chemical preservatives, your fragrance won’t last as long, but you can always add fixatives and other natural extenders to help your scent last over time.

Perfume Blends

Starting out might be difficult. There are so many essential oils out there, not to mention all the combinations between all of them. You may not know what oils you should start with and what type of oils will combine to make a certain scent. As you begin making your perfume or cologne then, here are a few options to help you out.

Floral Scents

Many people like floral scents, but you want to make sure that you don’t go with something that’s too overpowering. It can be easy to add in too much of one heady scent, which is why citrus oil is an important addition to these recipes.

Try out 5 drops of sweet orange, and 2 drops of lime peel, jasmine absolute in jojoba oil, and 2 drops of vanilla in jojoba oil. You can also do 2 drops of rose absolute, 4 drops of sandalwood in jojoba oil, and 5 drops in bergamot for a different scent.

Earthy Scents

For something a little less obvious and something richer and earthier, you can add in some deeper scents like 3 drops of patchouli and palmarosa, 1 drop of vetiver and neroli, and 4-5 drops of cedarwood. These types of scents work for any outing without being too overbearing.

Citrus Scents

There’s nothing better for your mood than some citrus. These are uplifting and fresh, but do be careful not to make a combination that’s too similar to cleaning products that you’ve used before. Try out 5 drops of lemon, 3 drops of rosemary, and 2 drops of neroli or 4 drops of sweet orange.

Perfume Bars

If you’re making a bar, try out a combination of jasmine, clove, and vanilla, or lavender, rosemary, and lemon. Be sure to add the beeswax to these bars to get them to solidify, and remember: all of these recipes are only suggestions. The number of drops is a great place to begin, but you can add in as much or as little of a scent as you would like.


As you begin the process of making your perfume or cologne, there are a few things you should keep in mind so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

First off: never ingest any of the perfume oil. This isn’t for internal usage, and should only be applied to your skin. Make sure that you never spray your scent in your eyes by mistake.

For those of you who are pregnant or have a skin condition, ask your doctor too if using your combination is safe. Anything with citrus is known to irritate sensitive skin. Having high or low blood pressure will affect your choice of oils too.

If you have high blood pressure, avoid stimulating essential oils like basil, rosemary, and thyme. With low blood pressure, on the other hand, sedating essential oils like clary sage, ylang-ylang, and lavender are best left alone.

Beyond health precautions, you may also want to avoid getting perfume on everything in your house when you’re making your creation.

Try washing your hands after handling everything to stop oil from getting on fabrics or in your eyes by mistake.

During the creation process, remember that a little bit of oil goes a long way too. These are highly concentrated scents and will be far too overpowering if you dump in too many drops all at once. Because they’re so concentrated, test out just a little bit on a small portion of your skin to be sure there are no adverse reactions.

After all of this, make sure that you keep every one of your oils out of reach of both children and pets.

Those essential oils should be stored properly in a dark place to keep them smelling great for as long as possible anyway, so it shouldn’t be too hard to store them somewhere that small children and pets can’t get to.


You want a unique scent that smells great without being as overpowering as the perfumes and colognes that you smell when you walk down the aisle in the store. Instead of buying scents until you find the one you like, try making your own.

Test and experiment to see what oils you prefer and how they work together. The right combination will smell wonderful whether you’re going for a night out or for a walk through the park.

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