DIY Essential Oil Perfume

essential oil fragrance

The Spruce / Caylin Harris

Getting Started

Essential oil final
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

You’ll be surprised how inexpensive and easy it is to make your own perfume. While some store-bought fragrances can be overbearing, chemical-based, and even unhealthy (they can cause headaches in some people), you don’t have to live a fragrance-free life. With a few simple essential oils, you can find a scent blend that works for you. So the next time you’re searching for a new signature scent, forget the perfume aisle and mix up your own blend instead. Here are some easy tips for how to make your own essential oil perfume.

Gather Your Materials

Essential oil supplies
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

The beauty of this project is that there are no wrong scent combinations. You have to go with what you like. If you’re not very familiar with the scents of essential oils, you can look into popular combos online before you get started. We’ll also explain a little more about how to build a fragrance as we go. Here’s what you’ll need for this version: 

  • 5 or 10 mL roller bottle
  • We used: Ylang ylang essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, and vanilla essential oil
  • Almond oil (This acts as the carrier oil)
  • Dropper or pipette (optional)
  • Dried flowers like edible rose petals or lavender

Figure out Your Scent Combination

essential oil scents
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

You want to start by choosing your essential oils. But before you get started, you need to know a few things about how fragrance works. You’ve probably heard that every fragrance has notes. In fact, most have two to three notes. There are different types of notes as well.

  • Top notes are usually the first thing you smell—they’re usually light and will evaporate. They include scents like grapefruit, lemon, lime, peppermint, eucalyptus, and others.
  • Middle notes are the very essence of the perfume. Not too overpowering, they tend to develop after the top notes. Some examples are cinnamon, clove, ylang ylang, rosemary, and jasmine.
  • The base note is often strong and musky, more complex fragrances. Patchouli, vanilla, and sandalwood are all good examples.

Combine Your Fragrances

Combine essential oils
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

Pull the top piece (with the rollerball) off of the glass base. In the container, combine 10 or fewer drops of the grapefruit, ylang-ylang, and vanilla inside. Go with your own preferences on this. But you do want to have a combination of top, middle, and base notes in your fragrance. Start small, you can always add more, but you can’t do anything if you add too much to start with. You’ll sort of just need to feel it out to find something that appeals to you. The scent is such a personal thing, that it’s hard to definitely say what will smell good to everyone. Swirl the oils in the glass together to combine the fragrances.

Add in Your Carrier Oil

Add in carrier oil
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

Carrier oil helps to dilute essential oils before they go on your skin. Two great options are fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil. They’re light and typically have little to no scent. You want something that won’t solidify. Fill the remainder of the rollerball with any dried/decorative flowers you want and then with the carrier oil until you reach the top. 

How to Store Your Perfume

Oil in drawer
The Spruce / Caylin Harris

While you might want to use your new perfume right away (and you can), it usually smells its best when you’ve given the scents time to combine. Let it sit in a cool, dark place. If you use an amber or blue roller bottle, it helps to block the light and preserve the fragrance. Since we added some pretty dried flowers to ours, we’ll be keeping it out of sunlight.

Again, do your research on and enjoy this process. There is no right answer―you have to go with your instincts and be bold in how you mix and match. As long as you remember to balance your notes within the fragrance, that’s half the battle. Most essential oil companies will offer possible scent combinations too.

These custom fragrances make wonderfully personal gifts and can save you so much money, not to mention they’re more health-friendly than the majority of store-bought fragrances. Plus, you’ll know that no one else will be wearing your unique blend. So skip the store and start mixing and matching on your own. Once you have the supplies, it’s so easy to do.