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How To Create Your Own Botanical Perfumes

November 25, 2018

How To Create Your Own Botanical Perfumes


If you enjoy making DIY gifts, and are looking for some creative inspiration this year, you will love making DIY botanical perfumes! Naturally aromatic and beautiful to look at, botanical perfumes are made with a combination of a carrier oil, such as sunflower or jojoba, along with a blend of pure essential oils. I love adding bits of dried flowers and leaves, as this makes them beautiful and adds a touch of magic. Botanical perfumes are superior to conventional perfumes because the ingredients are 100% plant based and are made in nature, not in a laboratory. They contain no toxic chemicals, while promoting the health of your skin, and providing a natural boost to your immune system, and overall mood.

The single downside of botanical perfumes is that the scent may not last as long as conventional perfumes, and may need to be reapplied.


Here are the basics of what goes into making botanical perfumes:


The carrier oil, which is your base

Carrier oils are made from seeds and nuts, including almond, olive, sesame, etc. The best oils to use for perfumes are oils with a long shelf life and little or no odor. Best choices are jojoba, sunflower, and grapeseed oil. Nut oils like almond and apricot seed can become rancid quickly, and don’t make the best choices for perfumes.


Pure essential oils create the fragrance

There are so many essential oils to choose from. Each one provides a unique health benefit as well as a potent fragrance. If you’re new to using essential oils, spend a lot of time sniffing and getting to know the different aromas. You will not only discover the oils that you like, you will also notice that your faves give you an actual buzz. Certain oils will literally light up your mood and transform your emotional state within moments. Do you want to geek out a little and know why?

Our sense of smell is connected to the most primitive part of our brain, called the limbic system, which controls our feelings and emotions. Like other mammals, our sense of smell is there to inform us about our surroundings and enable us to survive out in the big wild world. Our ability to smell is one of the foundational ways we perceive the world around us.


Add dried botanicals to your perfume bottle

Bits of dried flower petals and leaves add natural beauty and color to the finished product. An extra bonus: aromatic botanicals will slowly add to the fragrance of the perfume as it infuses over time.


Tiny crystals add a touch of practical magic

Little chips of genuine semiprecious gemstones help keep the oils mixed when you shake the perfume bottle. Many people love crystals and believe they possess healing powers, so for both aesthetic and practical reasons, I like to include crystals to these.



Professional perfumers are able to identify an incredible array of scent types and nuances. To a pro, their sense of smell is their most important asset, but they didn’t get there overnight. Dedicated practice will train your nose to identify individual fragrances; further training and practice allows you to detect nuances and variations within a single scent. I began using essential oils in 1996, and my knowledge of how they work and blend together is a continuous work in progress. The recipes that I create today are far more nuanced and pleasing than the recipes I made 20 years ago. I threw away a LOT of failed experiments. (One of the worst fails smelled like Irish Spring.)


If you’re fascinated with creating your own botanical perfumes, here are some tips:

  • Heavy scents linger the longest on your skin
  • Light, fresh scents evaporate quickly and will need to be reapplied throughout the day
  • After applying the scent to the skin, the blends reveal their layers over time as the higher notes evaporate
  • Citrus oils can cause photosensitivity; do not use before sun exposure
  • Odor intensity is a factor to consider when blending. The aroma of certain oils can overpower others when blended in a scent. It’s important to know what oils strong-arm their way to the forefront of a perfume so that you know to use a smaller amount.
  • Keep your blends simple, no more than 5 oils, when you’re first learning to blend.
  • Create your blends one drop at a time. Sniff as you go. You can always add more, but you can't take an ingredient out once it's in there.
  • Perfume blending is an art form; you will improve with practice
  • Take notes of all your creations in a notebook or journal so that you can learn from your mistakes and replicate successes. Essential oils are too precious and costly to waste, so use them sparingly.
  • Label your creations
  • Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy or with certain health conditions.

To make one perfume, you will need:

  • A small (8.5 to 10 ml) glass roller bottle
  • Organic carrier oil (sunflower or jojoba are my faves)
  • Some dried botanicals such as rose petals, dried lavender buds, rosemary leaves, safflower petals, chips of cinnamon, etc. You only need a pinch.
  • Tiny chips of semiprecious gemstones (they must be small enough to fit into the opening of the bottle
  • 15 to 22 drops of essential oils



To make:

1. Into an empty roller bottle, place 3 - 4 tiny gemstone chips.

2. Add a pinch of your choice of dried botanicals. 

3. Add your essential oils.

4. Fill the bottle 3/4 full of carrier oil, using a measuring cup with a good spout. 

5. Cover the opening with the bottle lid, and give your perfume a good shake.

6. Uncap the bottle and test the aroma. If you love it, fill the bottle the rest of the way with the carrier oil. If you need to add another drop or 2 of essential oil, do that before adding any more carrier oil. Once the fragrance is pleasing to you, finish filling with the carrier oil. 

7. Cap the bottle, and shake it well.

8. Label your creation; include what essential oils, dried botanicals, and crystals you used. 


Here are some essential oil recipes to make your own botanical perfumes


Each recipe makes one 10 ml. perfume. Note that these essential oil blends must be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to your skin. 


Forest Meditation


Field Of Joy


Clear Mind


Rose Lover


Try making your own and let us know how they turn out! 






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