DIY Perfume: How to blend essential oils for homemade perfume.

Would you like to make your own perfume? Creating fragrances from natural essences not only offers a healthier alternative to synthetic perfume, it can be an exotic, exciting adventure! The array of beautiful aromas that come to us in essential oils is like an artist's color palate, a rainbow of scents waiting to be transformed by the magic of the artist's hand--you! 

Have you heard? 

People everywhere are rediscovering the many benefits of essential oils. But essential oils are nothing new. For thousands of years, these oils have been used in many cultures for their therapeutic and aromatic qualities. Though essential oils are not a new thing, here in the west, people may think they're new, because everyone is suddenly talking about them. 

I, for one, am truly thankful for the widespread interest and growing body of research supporting the use of pure therapeutic grade essential oils to support wellness. Thanks to all the EO chatter out there, I've been introduced to something that's truly changed my life and enhanced my health and wellness for the best. 

When it comes to healthcare, these oils go far beyond the traditional treatment paradigm with its focus on mere symptom management. With essential oils, we're invited to keep moving forward to a place of optimal wellness. That's because essential oils have the ability to reach down to the root cause of things to help the body heal itself, not just physically, but also in mind and emotions.

What about you? Are you looking for ways to a healthier, happier you? Y
ou may want to consider what's in your perfume. Did you know the fragrance industry doesn't have to disclose to you all the chemicals that are hidden in your body spray, cologne, and other fragrance products. Many of these chemicals cause allergies and are toxic hormone disruptors which are harmful to the body. But I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty of all that right now. Let's just say, using essential oils to make your own perfume is a great way to dip in your toes and start experiencing the pleasures and benefits of aromatherapy for yourself. 

Essential oils are well-practiced at what they do. They come to us as natural healers and helpers, offering the same protective and healing benefits they offer the plants from which they come. When we use therapeutic grade oils to make perfume, we not only get to enjoy their natural scents, but we also reap their many health benefits. Essential oil perfume can help lift the mood, relax the body, ease tension, increase libido, energize, invigorate, and so much more!  

Amazing oils make amazing perfume...

Today, we're going use these lovely oils to make the best non-toxic, all-natural perfumes you've ever had the delight to smell! Plus, I'm going to show you how to make your homemade perfume into an adorable gift perfect for your mother, daughter, girlfriend or BFF, whether it's for Valentines Day, a birthday, Mother's Day or any other occasion. So what do you say? Let's get started, shall we!

FREE Printable!

Get my FREE pdf 
This is a comprehensive chart of 38 fragrant oils with a column showing what note each oil is, and which oils it blends well with.
To download CLICK HERE.

A few notes on blending...

Essential oils are compounds distilled from the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, seeds and other parts of aromatic plants. One essential oil can be a complex make-up of many natural chemical compounds, having hundreds of different constituents. When you blend essential oils, you are combining many natural chemical elements together.

That means those chemical compounds are going interact with one another. They could enhance, change, or even diminish some properties within the blend. This is important if you're blending oils for therapeutic value. But when making perfume, all you need to know, is that when you blend oils, they are going to change and synergize, which means you may be surprised at how they end up smelling. A newly combined blend may smell very different from the same blend after it has sat on the shelf for a few weeks. That means, you may hate a blend on day one, and absolutely love it two weeks later, or the other way around. 

Blending essential oils is like making music... 

Perfume mixing, like music, is made from notes called top notes, middle notes and base notes. When done in a harmonious way, the notes in a blend will compliment and accent each other to create something pleasing, like a harmonious chord. Take a look at the diagram below...

In the diagram, you can see that each level of notes shows a different length of time for how long that part of the aroma will last. These times are approximate. The reason for the different times has to do with how light or heavy the molecules in a particular oil are. The lighter they are, the sooner you will smell them and the faster they will evaporate. The heavier they are, the longer they will stick around. 

Let's consider the types of notes:

TOP notes (also called head notes) create the first impression of a perfume, as these are what's noticed first. Top notes diffuse quickly, lasting for up to a half hour. These tend to be light, crisp, and penetrating. 

Oils with tops notes could include: Basil, Bergamot, Cassia, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Wild Orange, Peppermint, Spearmint, and Tangerine.

MIDDLE notes (also called heart notes)
give body to a perfume and help soften and round it out. Middle notes generally make up the main body of the blend and last about 4-5 hours.

Oils with middle notes could include: Birch, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Cypress, Douglas Fir, Geranium, Jasmine, Melaleuca, Oregano, Rosemary, Rose Otto, Wintergreen, Ylang Ylang.

BASE notes give depth to and tend to ground or fix a perfume blend. They help the aroma last and hang around like the base notes in a musical chord resonate the longest. Base notes can last 8-12 hours and often times longer.

Oils with base notes could include: Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Ginger, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver.

How to measure the oils in your perfume blend...

Many novice perfume makers like to use a general guideline called the 30-50-20 rule. This is when 30% of a blend is made up of top notes, 50% of middle notes, and 20% of base notes. But how do you figure the percentages? This isn't as hard as you might think. Basically, you can think of a recipe as having 100 drops total of essential oil. Then you would put in 30 drops of top note oils, 50 of middle note oils, and 20 of base note oils. You can increase or decrease from there. For example, if you want to do total of 50 drops, you would reduce the formula by half and do 15-25-10. This method keeps things simple (for simple minds like mine)!

FREE Printable!

Get my FREE pdf 
This is a comprehensive chart of 38 fragrant oils with a column showing what note each oil is, and which oils it blends well with.
To download CLICK HERE.

Another blending method...

There's another way to blend perfume called the Four Classifications System. This comes from Marcel Lavadbre's Aromatherapy Workbook. This method utilizes four blending classifications with an order to the way the oils are added. The names of the four classifications are based on the role they play in the blend. These roles are personifier, enhancer, equalizer and modifier. Like the notes method, this method too uses different percentages for each classification that should result in a balanced harmonious blend.  

Let's consider each classification...

Personifier: Offers dominant properties with strong therapeutic action.
  • Added 1st
  • 1-5% of the blend (or 1-5 drops out of 100)
  • Contributing aromatic characteristic include: sharp, strong, long-lasting. 
  • Oils examples include: Birch, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Clove, Coriander, Ginger, Helichrysum, Orange, Peppermint, Rose, Wintergreen, Ylang Ylang

Enhancer: Enhances properties of other oils in the blend. 
  • Added 2nd.
  • 50-80% of the blend (or 50-80 drops out of 100)
  • Contributing aromatic characteristic include: not as sharp, strong, or as long-lasting as the personifier. 
  • Oils examples include: Basil, Bergamot, Birch, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Orange, Oregano, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Wintergreen.

Equalizer: Creates balance and synergy in the blend.
  • Added 3rd.
  • 10-15% of the blend (or 10-15 drops out of 100)
  • Contributing aromatic characteristic include: softer and not as sharp, strong, or as long-lasting as the personifier. 
  • Oils examples include: Basil, Bergamot, Cypress, Fennel, White Fir, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Myrrh, Oregano, Rose, Sandalwood, Thyme.

Modifier: Adds harmony to the blend.
  • Added 4th.
  • 5-8% of the blend (or 5-8 drops out of 100)
  • Contributing aromatic characteristic include: mild and short fragrance.
  • Oils examples include: Bergamot, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.

So there's the two popular methods for blending oils, the Notes Method, and the Four Classifications Method. I hope you found that helpful. Now, let's talk about making perfume!

Instructions for DIY perfume...

Making up your own perfume scent is a lot of fun. Below, you'll find suggestions of oil combinations to try, but first, here are some general instructions for making your very own unique perfume scent...

What you'll need:

1/3 oz. glass roll-on vial (10 ml) (white or black lids)
Essential oils* (top / middle / base notes)
Carrier oil (jojoba oil recommended)
Separate droppers for each oil 15 ml droppers, 5 ml droppers
Pen and paper to record recipes

*Note: Be sure to use only pure therapeutic grade oils that have been tested for purity and potency. These are the safest to use and will offer the highest quality aroma for making perfume (as well as offer possible therapeutic benefits as a happy side-effect). Click HERE for information on what company I buy my oils from. If you're curious about buying these oils at wholesale prices, click HERE. If you'd like to talk to me personally about any questions you have regarding getting these oils, click HERE to send me an email.


1. Before you begin, arrange your oils in groups by top, middle, and base notes. Place a clean dropper in each bottle and be sure not to mix them up as you work. It’s best to replace each lid immediately following use so as not to cross contaminate an oil with another.

2. Keeping in mind the 30/50/20 rule (from above), let’s start with approximately 4/6/2 (top/middle/base) to obtain a starting sample (that's about 12% of the full recipe). Then if you like it, you can multiply for a larger amount. (You can use more than one oil for each note. For example, you might put in 2 different base notes, 3 middle notes, and 2 top notes).

TIP: When considering different combinations, you can group the bottles together and sort of wave them all together under your nose to get the gist of what they might smell like combined. Of course the final product will smell different when combined and placed on you skin, but this method is a good starting point.

3. Start with your base note essential oil(s), adding them directly to the roll-on vial or another glass bottle. Be sure to record the exact number of drops and oil selections used.

4. Next, add the middle note oil(s). Sniff as you go. You can add more or less, depending on how strong you want your middle note to be. But keep in mind the need for balance. For this small sample, you may want to limit variances to only 1 drop more or one drop less. Remember to record what you do.

5. Last, add your top note oil(s). Smell and adjust your perfume as you like, remembering the importance of balance.

6. Once you have the fragrance as you like it, multiply the total number of essential oil drops in the roll-on bottle by 4 to calculate the total amount of carrier oil drops to add next. For example, our sample-size formula above would be a total of 12 drops x 4 = 48 drops of carrier oil. Use a clean dropper for the carrier oil and add them in. Place the roller cap and lid on the bottle and gently roll the bottle in your hands to mix. Test some on your wrist to see if you like it. Keep in mind, a new blend can smell quite different in the beginning then it will smell after maturing a couple days to a couple weeks. Reserve your final opinion for after it matures.

7. Allow the mixture to mature 2-4 days or up to a couple weeks before using. After it matures, if you’re not happy with the results, you can still add oils to adjust it to what you want.

A few combinations to try...

(Listed in order from base, middle, to top notes, as indicated in the above directions)

1. Frankincense, Cassia, Orange
2. Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Peppermint
3. Ginger, Clary Sage, Lemongrass
4. Frankincense, Jasmine, Lavender
5. Cedarwood, Cardamom, Cassia, Orange 
6. Frankincense, Rosemary, Lemongrass
7. Ginger, Geranium, Marjoram, Lime
8. Vetiver, Cardamom, Lime, Marjoram 
9. Sandalwood, Clove Bud, Orange, Tangerine 
10. Cedarwood, Marjoram, Orange

FREE Printable!

Get my FREE pdf 
This is a comprehensive chart of 38 fragrant oils with a column showing what note each oil is, and which oils it blends well with.
To download CLICK HERE.

Wrapping it up...

So, you've made some amazing perfumes, you've let them sit on the shelf a couple weeks to mature (and you still love them), so now you want to give them as gifts. Perfect! Here's a marvelous way to wrap them! These little gift bags are a cinch.

What you'll need:

(I made the gift bag in these photos from materials I already had on hand. The links below lead to similar products, though not exact).

1 muslin 3x4 inch jewelry bag per roll-on bottle
Label punch for making different size paper labels
Rose and gingham cardstock (this link leads to a book with 2 similar papers to what's shown here - look closely at the cover, you'll see them)


Step 1: Using a label punch (the one at the link above has 3 settings) cut out one large label, and one medium label for each gift bag. I like to mix floral patterns with gingham or stripes.

Step 2: Using a medium hole punch, place holes in the top center of each label. (The link above leads to a set of 3 different size hole punches). String the bakers twine through the button so the button is centered on about 24 inches of twine. Then lace the ends of the twine through the holes in the labels. 

Step 3: Place the roll-on perfume vial inside the bag. Pull the drawstrings tight, then wrap the twine around the opening of the bag twice. Cinch it up tightly and tie a bow at the front of the bag just behind the labels.

Now your perfume is ready to give away! So cute, and so easy! 

Let's chat: Do you have a perfume blend with essential oils that you simply love? Do share! I'd love to hear about it in the comment below.

Until next time...

Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,

"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."

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  1. I love that little gift bag! It would make for such a perfect essential oil carrying case. The gift tags are super cute as well! :)

  2. This is really useful! I used essential oils for making homemade fabric softener, and I fell in love with them. Now I want to prepare my own perfume, and I hope I will be able to do it, thanks to your advice.

  3. Hello Melody,
    Your article is very nice. Essential Oil can used in different ways like perfume,massage oil , Aromatherapy. Thank you for your nice share.