Science, Tech, Math › Science Creating Your Own Signature Perfume Scent Learn to design a DIY perfume that's just right for you Share Flipboard Email Print Maskot / Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated November 24, 2019 Perfume is a classic gift, but it's even better if the perfume you give is a scent that you've created yourself—especially if you package it in a beautiful bottle. The perfume you make yourself is free from synthetic chemicals and can be fully customized to suit your personal tastes. Here's how to make your own perfume. Perfume Materials Perfume consists of a mixture of essential oils in a base oil, together with alcohol and water. 1/2 ounce jojoba oil or sweet almond oil2-1/2 ounces ethanol (e.g., vodka)2 tablespoons spring water or distilled water (not tap water)Coffee filterDark-colored glass bottle25 drops essential oils (You can either buy them at a health store or online or distill your own.)7 drops base note essential oils7 drops middle note essential oils6-7 drops top note essential oilsA couple of drops of bridge notes (optional) The essential oils that you'll be using will form the base of your perfume, called the "notes." Base notes are the part of the perfume that lasts the longest on the skin. The middle notes evaporate a little more quickly. The top notes are the most volatile and disperse the most quickly. Bridge notes have intermediate evaporation rates and serve to tie a scent together. Sometimes other substances are added to a perfume formulation, such as sea salt (ocean scent), black pepper (spicy), camphor, and vetiver. Since essential oils evaporate at different rates, the way a perfume smells actually changes over time as you wear it. Here are some examples of common base, middle, top, and bridge notes: Base notes: cedarwood, cinnamon, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla, moss, lichen, fernMiddle notes: clove, geranium, lemongrass, neroli, nutmeg, ylang-ylangTop notes: bergamot, jasmine, lavender, lemon, lime, neroli, orchid, roseBridge notes: vanilla, lavender The order in which you mix your ingredients is important since it will affect the scent. If you change the procedure, record what you've done in case you want to duplicate a particular scent. Create Your Perfume Add the jojoba oil or sweet almond oil to your bottle.Add the essential oils in the following order: the base notes, followed by the middle notes, and then the top notes. Add a couple of drops of bridge notes, if desired.Add 2.5 ounces of alcohol.Shake the bottle for a couple of minutes, and then let it sit for between 48 hours to six weeks. The scent will change over time, becoming strongest at around six weeks.When the scent is where you want it to be, add 2 tablespoons of spring water to the perfume. Shake the bottle to mix the perfume, and then filter it through a coffee filter before pouring it into its final bottle.You may pour a little perfume into a decorative bottle, but in general, perfume should be stored in a sealed bottle, away from heat and light. Ideally, you should use a dark bottle with minimal airspace, since light and exposure to air degrade many essential oils.Label your creation. (It's always a good idea to record how you made the perfume, in case you want to recreate it later.) Perfumery Notes It takes experimentation to get the scent you want, but you can get started in the right direction by keeping in mind the type of scents associated with essential oils: Earthy: patchouli, vetiverFloral: geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, violet, ylang-ylangFruity: bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, orangeHerbal: angelica, basil, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, peppermint, rosemaryOcean: sea saltSpicy: black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, ginger, juniper, nutmegWoodsy: cassia, cedar, cypress, pine, sandalwood If the perfume is too strong, you can dilute it with more water. If you want your perfume to retain its scent longer, add a tablespoon of glycerin to the mixture.