Fragrance blending is an art that takes time to perfect. But making perfumes is a beautiful and timeless way to express your creativity, and the results can be quite decadent!
The first step is to gather the ingredients you wish to use. It is best to choose oils that are in the same or complementary fragrance categories.
Fragrance is a wonderful thing that can elevate your mood, transport you to a memory or simply bring a smile to your face. Making your own fragrance blends is an exciting way to create a perfume that is truly unique, personal and completely your own. However, like all things, it’s important to start small and take your time when trying a new fragrance.
For most beginners, starting with a simple fragrance oil blend will be the best approach. This allows you to experiment with a combination of oils while keeping your costs low. A fragrance oil blend is just a mixture of different scents that are combined to create a unique fragrance. You can purchase fragrance oils online or at your local craft stores.
It’s also important to buy high-quality fragrance oils or essential oils that are ethically harvested and distilled. Look for labels that tell you the country of origin, whether they are organic and if the oils are cold pressed or steam distilled. You should also be aware of the amount of fragrance additives in a given oil. This is important because some fragrance additives are not approved for use in perfumes and can be harsh on the skin.
When creating a fragrance oil blend, begin by selecting a handful of your favourite fragrances that you enjoy separately. Then, use the fragrance wheel to help you choose complementary oils. For example, Dry Gin and Cypress are a perfect pair because of their complimentary woody and green notes, while Golden Santal is a great mix of floral and aromatic with its kindred amber and woody notes.
To make your perfume blends, you will need a glass roller ball bottle and some carrier oil, such as jojoba or liquid coconut oil (which has been chemically treated to remain a liquid and avoid the strong, lingering coconut smell of regular coconut oil). You can then add up to 10 drops of your chosen fragrance oils (3 top, 5 middle and 2 base) into a bottle.
Keep a Notepad
You’ll be smelling a lot of different oils and aromas while blending, so it is important to keep a notebook or notecard close by to record your progress. The last thing you want is to spend all day creating the perfect blend, only to forget the proportions! Keeping track of the ratios will help you recreate your creation in the future.
Keeping a notebook with you as you tinker with fragrance blends is also a great way to take notes about what you like and dislike about your creation. This will help you to understand what ingredients work together well and what ingredients might clash with each other. This will allow you to develop your own signature scents and create perfumes that are unique to you.
After you have blended your scent to your liking, it is recommended to let it sit for a few days. This allows the oils to settle and will oftentimes help you to decide whether or not you really love it. This is a perfume-making technique that is often used in commercial fragrances to achieve a more balanced blend.
If you’re a perfume nerd like us, then you’ll likely enjoy this book which is the perfect blend of fun and knowledge. The authors profile a wide variety of natural and synthetic materials and give juicy tidbits about the actual perfume formulae behind many famous designer fragrances. It is more of a perfume reference book than a how-to guide but it’s still a fantastic read.
Keep a Scent Blotter
Fragrance has different layers that make up a final scent and these are called fragrance notes. Each of these notes work together to create a beautiful fragrance. It’s important to keep these notes in mind when creating your own perfume blends. You want your fragrance to have a well-rounded story that starts with the top notes, moves to the heart notes and then ends with the base notes. To help you achieve this, we suggest keeping a blotter with you when you are blending your perfumes. Ariana Grande’s Cloud: A sensation on TikTok uses fragrances that have been loved by so many.
These are the white strips of paper you’ll find next to spray and scented body oil tester bottles in a perfume store. They are made from a special porous paper that will absorb the fragrance and give you a reading of what it smells like. This can be a great way to eliminate scents that may not work on you before you actually get your hands on the bottle and spend money!
Alternatively you can use a piece of cotton or paper and just add a single drop of each fragrance to the fabric. Just remember that fragrances are going to react differently on each person’s skin. Some can hide notes and others will bring them to the forefront. That’s why it is important to record everything you do, from how many drops of this and that to your impressions.
When you’re working with a new fragrance, we recommend adding 1 to 2 drops of each oil to your scent blotter and then closing your eyes and sniffing. This will allow you to see how the scents interact and will let you know which ones need more or less of each ingredient!
Mix in Small Batches
When mixing your own perfume it’s important to work in small batches. This will ensure that your fragrance is not too strong or too weak and allows you to create a custom blend of fragrance oils to suit your own personal style. It also helps to minimise waste since some fragrance oils can be quite expensive. Use a pipette and work with a few drops of each fragrance oil on the scent blotter to help you get a sense of ratios before making larger batches.
Perfume-making is an artform, and it can be challenging to find the perfect combination of scents. When experimenting with new scent combinations it can be helpful to think about what kind of mood you want the fragrance to evoke and how each fragrance element will contribute to that feeling. For example, if you are creating a fresh, energising fragrance combining the sea salt and ozonic scent of Sea Breeze with the zesty citrus of Lime & Basil will help evoke that feeling. However, adding the warm, fuzzy feeling of Orange & Cinnamon would throw off the vibe you are trying to achieve and may result in a scent that is too heavy or overpowering.
Once you have a few scent blotters that you like and have experimented with a few different ratios of fragrance oils, you can start to create your own perfume formula. Many perfumers have their own spreadsheet format that they use to create a full perfume formula, but this can be a little daunting at first so if you are still getting started try working in small batches.
Test Your Blends
While making perfume might seem simple, it’s actually a very complex process. Getting your blend right is a bit of an artform, and it’s not uncommon to have to rework your recipe quite a few times before you get it just how you want it. But it’s totally worth the effort because you’ll have a homemade perfume that smells delicious and will be completely unique to your personal taste.
It’s always a good idea to test your fragrance oil blends before adding them to a perfume bottle. Use a perfume blotter or cotton ball to apply a small amount of the blend and inhale it. This will give you a sense of how the notes will play out together, and you can see if any scents clash or are overpowered by others. It’s also a great way to determine if you need to add more of a particular fragrance oil in order to make the overall blend stronger and more balanced.
For most beginner perfumers, it’s best to start with a balanced formula that includes top, middle, and base note oils. This will ensure that you’re getting a well-rounded fragrance that will last throughout the day.
You’ll also want to consider the personality of your perfume. Will it be flirty, sensual, fresh, or musky? This will help you narrow down the options and find a blend that you’ll love.
When you’re ready to create your final perfume, combine your fragrance oil blend with a carrier oil in the desired quantity (usually about 1 part carrier oil and 2 parts fragrance oil). Cap the bottle and let it sit for a week or so to allow the aromas to meld. Then, you’re ready to wear your handmade perfume!