1 Minute + 3 Ingredients = How to Make Perfume, Naturally

beautiful blonde model sniffing her wrist with a perfume bottle in handThere’s nothing like meeting your future mother-in-law only to realize that you wear the same perfume.

Not only does this mean that your fantastically expensive bottle of sweet nothings must go straight to the recycling bin, but it also brings to mind a whole host of questions.

Does he not know and has some some sort of olfactory problem? Does he just not care and would love you even if you smelled like you hadn’t showered for a week? Or maybe he likes the fact that you and his mom would be indistinguishable in a blindfolded sniff test—and in that case, you’re in a whole lotta trouble, sister.

Fragrance allergies affect 11 percent of people in the United States—roughly 34 million people. One of them is me.

To remedy such potential situations, I’m eternally on the hunt for drop-dead gorgeous scented oils, solid perfumes and strangely invisible scents that are not only distinctive, but eschew the synthetic fragrances that can leave me headache-y, sneeze-y and generally far more unattractive than a good smell could ever remedy.

As I shared previously, fragrance allergies affect 11 percent of people in the United States—roughly 34 million people. One of them is me.

With that in mind, nothing is more individual than a totally natural perfume that you blend yourself. Here’s how to make perfume, naturally!

One minute plus three ingredients and you can make perfume that’s uniquely delicious, and doesn’t mess up your hormones like a lot of synthetic perfumes I don’t care to mention.

Oh, and you can make a gigantic bottle for less than $30! You’ll need:

  1. One clean spray bottle—preferably a dark-colored glass to block UV rays so your perfume stays stable longer.
  2. One big bottle of pure cooking vanilla—organic is best, but either way just make sure there’s no sugar in the mix.
  3. One or more small bottles of essential oil—I love rose geranium, rose and lavender mixed with the vanilla; experiment to find out what you like best.

Just pour the essential oil into the spray bottle, then top off with the vanilla, shake and spritz.

Here are a few links to good organic essential oils to try:

Organic Lavender ( Lavandula officinalis) Essential Oil. 10 ml (1/3 oz). 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade.

100% Pure and Certified Organic Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil 2.3ml

Organic Rose Essential Oil (Otto) Blend 5% (Rosa damascena/helianthus annus) (10ml) by NHR Organic Oils

Rose Geranium 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 5 ml


Editor’s note: We’ve had many inquiries about natural rose and vanilla perfumes that can be purchased, rather than DIY’ed. In response, I wanted to share two of my favorites: The pure warm vanilla scent of Ecco Bella Bourbon Vanilla Eau de Parfum and the floral perfection that is USDA Certified Organic Amrita Rose Essential Oil Perfume. Both products are vegan, and eschew parabens and phthalates, artificial colors and fragrance, and artificial preservatives. And yes, they can be combined! Take a look and if you find a natural perfume that you love, please share it with me in comments. Thanks!



  1. Lisa D Drew says

    Love this. Going to try it later. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi,I need to know where to buy these oils?

  3. Hi Rachel,thanks so much for sharing the information about perfumes… I’m still confused, is there any difference between essential vanilla oil and cooking vanilla? Please,I need to know.Thank you…

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Yes, Rafiat! Essential oil is a distillation into an oil and cooking vanilla is diluted with a base. Thanks for reading!

  4. Hello! If I wanted to test smell this with lavender oil and vanilla extract, how much drops would you advise to mix both?

  5. Hello and thank you for your info and creativity…. Can you recommend or link to specific organic vanilla? Thanks!

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      I got Simple Truth organic vanilla at Ralph’s, but have tried many others as well. Just make sure no sugar!

  6. Jewel knowles says

    I am truly desire to make my own perfume oils line to sell how can start and can I purchase small roll on perfume oils empty bottle I appreciate your help I have been reading everything you say I like your advice the Lord bless you for sharing your gift of making perfume oils with me I am looking forward to hearing from you soon
    Lady Elegant

  7. Hi There Rachel. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have made it with the Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract with lavender and the last remaining drops I had of rose. It does contain sugar, but does not seem to have caused a problem…feels really lovely on my skin. Wonderful stuff!

  8. Mrs okwuchukwu confidence says

    You are all doing a great job

  9. Can I juSt use the essential oils or is there a substitute for the cooking vanille ?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      You’ll need something to put the essential oils in. If you don’t want to use cooking vanilla, I recommend cooking rosewater or even just plain distilled water will work, too!

  10. Shruti india says

    Nice article ! I am thinking of trying to make a batch for myself. Just wanted to know the experiences of people who have tried it. How long does the perfume stay to be sensed by the one who is wearing it ? I mean how many hours ?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      It depends on your blend, but I’ve found it to last about 4-6 hours. Let me know what blend you choose!

  11. Festus Christopher says

    This is great. God bless you realy good!

  12. confidence says

    Nice write up. Blees you

  13. janet letley says

    Do you haves any “recipe” for a good foamy liquid hand soap using natural ingredients and pure essential oils?

  14. Fiona Farrell says

    Thank you so very much.I just ordered vanilla,lavender and rose. I will put a few drops of lavender and rose in a bottle then fill up with vanilla extract is that right?God bless you.Sincerely Fiona

  15. Thank Rachel for help!, I am perfume freak, and my manager allergic, she warned me if I wear strong perfume then she will fire me..lol, so this will help… 🙂

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      OH don’t get fired!!! 🙂 I think the vanilla is a nice base for a unisex perfume, then see what you can layer on top of it. Let me know if you find a blend you love and I’ll share! Thanks Dev 😉

  16. Super cool, can u please guide me what oils are best to created men’s natural perfume, or is there any other gr8 idea in your creative mind for men’s natural perfume..thanks in advance.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Thanks! I love sandalwood, spicy scents. I think the best idea is to go to a natural foods store and just take a few minutes with the essential oils smelling the ones that smell best to you–those will also smell best ON you! 🙂

  17. janet letley says

    I am making a room spray using essential oils and alcohol. The alcohol is only 60% so therefore alcohol and water. Will the oils successfully emulsify in this. Also will it remain “cloudy”, What can we do to get it clear?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Hm, I haven’t used something that has water as a base, so I’m really not sure. Sorry Janet!

    • Hi Jane, I also make room spray using essential oils, methanol and water., for them to emulsify together u have to dissolve the essential oils with menthol crystals, then add a cap of catalyst to it and mix them together. Add a drop of water to it, it will turn milky. You can then add ur water and methanol and the whole mixture will mix evenly without a trace of the essential oil and water

      • methanol is extremely toxic and can cause blindness or death … it can be absorbed through the skin. If you are really using methanol, obtain a chemical data sheet and study it carefully.

  18. i really like the scent of vanilla, so im happy that it’s in the recipe. but i also want something a little floral. All i have at home is rosehip oil and tea tree oil. do u the the rose hip oil would work or should i go out and buy something else?

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Hm… I am not sure if that will be floral enough, you should try it and then add a few drops of something else if you need more. Let me know what you end up with!

  19. Wonderful. I’d like to see more. I jus started reading up on and trying my hand at perfume making. And also on natural stuff for my dread locs.Thanks.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Oooh cool please let me know what recipes you try, I love hearing about perfumes! Dreadlocs (sp?) I do not know, do you need something with emollient qualities? Have you tried coconut oil…

  20. The Madagascar vanilla I found that lasts a while is Nielsen-Massey, and it does contain sugar which I haven’t found to be a problem at all.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      I’ve never used one with sugar, because I was concerned that it would be sticky on the skin. How does it feel?

  21. Different brands of vanilla extract last different amounts of time. (the amount of time the scent lasts during the day, not the amount of time the bottle lasts) I found Kroger brand to not last very long, but high quality Madagascar vanilla lasts longer. How long does your vanilla brand last (during the day)? So far I’ve only been using the vanilla by itself, but I’m going to try adding bergamot and clary sage, a mix based on a book I’ve been reading.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Ooh that sounds like an AMAZING mix. I use essential oils in mine but I feel like the underlying vanilla scent does last most of the day. I use organic vanilla with no sugar btw. Let me know how that blend smells, once you’ve made it!

  22. How much does it make? It would be easier to try it if you included the quantity

  23. Sorry, I am guy and searching for to create male perfumes, accidentally came to this site for curiosity and this site is amazing…. Great work. now please forgive me if this is off beat topic but do you know how to make natural male perfumes? I am obsessed with perfumes and now this made me worry that how this chemicals made difference in my life. Thank you for creating amazing site with amazing words.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Great to hear from you Dev! The scents can be whatever you want them to be! I think the main thing would be to pick something that you feel comfortable wearing as your base, maybe coconut extract? Again, make sure that it has no sugar. Then experiment with essential oils that smell good to you. Perfume doesn’t have a gender 🙂 Let me know what you come up with and thanks so much for reading, and commenting!

  24. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you so much for this article. I am incredibly excited to start making my own fragrances. Just one question, the vanilla extract you refer to, is that the standard vanilla extract that you often buy in small (essential oil size) bottles in health shops. We don’t get a wide selection of speciality products where I live and the vanilla extract I buy here (for cooking) seems quite concentrated and strong. Is this the same vanilla you are refering too? Thanks so much, Jane

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Thanks for writing, Jane! The vanilla extract is, indeed, cooking vanilla! I use organic and have found that those brands typically don’t use sugar; whatever brand you choose, make sure there is no sugar in the mix, just vanilla and alcohol. You can also dilute with other cooking extracts like coconut to get the scent you like. Let me know how it goes!

  25. Hi there, I was wondering how long do these perfumes tend to last?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Normally I use a bottle in about a month, but I’ve kept a bottle for about three months and did notice that at the end of that period the scent started to become more musky. Let me know how it works for you!

  26. Hi Rachel,I just started trying out making my own perfume.but I have a problem;it stains my clothe seriously and also when I sprayed it at the back of my neck it refused to dry up nd was kinda oily,I had to blend it into my skin.I used vanilla flavor essential oil with ethanol,methanol and glycerin in making it.wen I tried in out on my clothe,it stained.please what do you think is the cause of these and can you tell me what to do to stop d stains?do I add water to it or something?what do I do?cos I intend on going public with it,as in,making it for public use and I wuldnt want an embarrasing situation of it staining their clothes

  27. Swaroop Acharya says

    Thanks For your Video.

    I want to make Non – Alcoholic (Natural) perfume spray. Which Solvent can i use with Essential oil or fragrance?

    Swaroop Acharya

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Great! The base that I use is actually organic vanilla, which has an alcohol base. This is USDA Certified Organic and natural. Did you want to avoid alcohol entirely? Please let me know and I’ll try to find you a non-synthetic alternative. Thanks!

  28. By just using essential oils to make my own perfume , will it make stains on my clothes

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Essential oils are all different, some are clear and some are dark. Also, depending on the base you use, the perfume will be clear or tinted. I use a vanilla extract base which is darker but I have never found that it stained my clothes. I also have made perfume using a rose extract which is clear so you could try that if you are concerned. Thanks for reading!

  29. I really appreciate your site hope that I can get some ingredients in making the perfume and fragrance combination thanks and more power

  30. I wanted to make my own perfume, can you please tell me if where can I buy those ingredients. And also please teach me more procedures in making a perfume in a simpliest way.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Sure! You can buy organic vanilla extract and essentials oils at natural foods stores or online. I found mine at Whole Foods Markets. This is the simplest recipe I know of, just add essential oils to the extract until you get the scent you like. Let me know how it goes!

  31. ethnie clarke says

    I tried making a fragrance. I used Ylang Ylang and Lavendar with Organic Vanilla. Its nice and warm…I am going to try the Rose Geranium. Thanks again!!!

  32. ethnie clarke says

    Hi, I love your video…its very straightforward. I just started searching how to make my own perfume. I purchased grapefruit, cedarwood, lavendar, orange, frankinsense, myrrh, rosemary, cinnamon, clove, lemon, mandarin , ylang ylang, patchouli, cypress, tea tree, peppermint, I am not sure how to combine them. thanks for your help.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Wow. That is a LOT of essential oils. I would start by just opening the bottles and sniffing the caps. See what you like best together, and then group the bottles like that. Then take your base–vanilla or rose extract, when I’m mixing–and add a few drops, sniff, then add some more. Do it gradually, but write down what you do so you remember. I’m jealous–I never have that many oils on hand at once! Let me know what your best recipe turns out to be!

  33. i really appreciate you writing about making your own perfume.as someone with severe scent allergies, i look forward to my pillow smelling pretty! i had no idea vanilla could work for a scent…but it makes sense. just a comment; i wish you hadn’t had described someone who smells bad as a ‘back-alley bum’. this kind of negative language feels out of place in the positive society you’re creating, and unnecessary to make your point. the culture of homeless-shaming disappoints me.

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      That totally makes sense! I was using that and not even thinking about the implications. I’m going to go in and edit that now. Thanks for pointing that out, Nicole!

  34. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank
    you, However I am encountering difficulties with
    your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    • Rachel Sarnoff says

      Thanks for the props, and for the head’s up. I’m going to fix the RSS today. Meanwhile, if you subscribe you’ll get updated, if you want to go that route. Thanks for reading Mommy Greenest!

  35. Its a great idea


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