DIY Your Own Solid Perfume to Smell Great, Naturally

Solid perfume in antique looking bronze cases.

Tara Aveilhe / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ounces solid perfume
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20

We've all been there: on a bus or in a meeting with someone who has decided that if one spritz of perfume or cologne is good, then ten must be better! Whenever I'm in one of those situations, I'm never thinking "wow, what a great floral scent!" I'm usually thinking how much better actual flowers smell than whatever perfume the person is wearing.

In addition to my dislike of the cloying scent of most commercial perfumes, a look at the ingredient list does nothing to improve my opinion. On average, commercially-produced perfumes contain anywhere between 10 and 250 ingredients, including:

  • Ethyl acetate
  • Acetophenone
  • Acetone
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Phthalates

In addition, an article published by Rodale highlights a study in which ten popular commercially-produced perfumes contained ingredients that caused everything from allergic reactions to possible sperm damage and hormone disruption. Sexy, eh? I'm pretty sure we can do better.

What You'll Need

Tools

  • 1 small glass bowl
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 storage container of your choosing

Materials

  • 1/8 cup sweet almond or olive oil
  • 1/8 cup beeswax (use soy if vegan)
  • 10 to 20 drops essential oils

Instructions

In general, there are four scent families you'll be working with, as shown below:

  • Fresh scents include: herbs, lemon, orange, bergamot, lime, and grapefruit.
  • Floral scents are pretty self-explanatory. Think rose, lavender, sweet pea, lily of the valley.
  • Oriental scents tend to be warm, spicy, more exotic. They add a lot of depth to a perfume, and include vanilla, cardamom, and clove.
  • Woodsy scents include sandalwood and cedar. These are often associated with more masculine scents, but can be a great addition to a more feminine perfume as well.
  1. Choose Your Fragrance

    The trick comes in developing your own personal scent profile. You can go with a single note fragrance, such as lavender, patchouli, or sandalwood, which can be absolutely heavenly. Or, you can have fun combining fragrances to come up with something all your own

  2. Heat Oil and Wax

    Once you've decided on which fragrances you want to use, add equal parts of oil and wax together to small glass bowl. Carefully place glass bowl in medium saucepan partially filled with water, and heat until the wax is just melted.

  3. Cool, Then Add Essential Oils

    Remove glass bowl from the saucepan and warm water, Let cool, then add between 10 and 20 drops of whichever essential oils you've decided to use. Stir well.

  4. Pour and Set

    Pour liquid mixture into your container(s) of choice and set them aside for about a half hour to set up.

Container Ideas for Solid Perfume

A woman holds an empty heart shaped silver lock necklace.

Dougal Waters / Getty Images

You can reuse several items from around the house to hold your perfume. Lip balm tubes that you've cleaned well can be filled and make very convenient travel perfumes. Old lockets, breath mint tins, and old make up compacts also make great options. If you're making a lot of perfume, look online for perfume making supplies -- you can often find plenty of options for tins and containers that way.

It's easy, and it smells SO much better than most of that artificial stuff.