Formulas for Making Perfume

Making perfume is a simple technical process. Scents are added to a base of alcohol and water in most perfumes. Oil can be used for specialized oil-based perfumes. The type of perfume you are making will define the percentage of scents to base.

  1. Types of Perfume

    • There are several different types of perfume. The percentage of scent oils will vary depending on the type of perfume you are making. Perfume is between 15 and 30 percent scent oils. Eau de perfume uses between 8 and 15 percent scent oils, while eau de toilette uses between 4 and 8 percent scent oils. Eau de cologne uses even less, between 3 and 5 percent, and the lowest concentration is a cologne splash, which uses between 1 and 3 percent.

    Perfume Base

    • Perfume is primarily alcohol and water. The preferred alcohol for perfume making is odorless ethanol. Ethanol is grain alcohol, which is regulated as an alcoholic beverage and is difficult to get in many places. In fact, in some states it is illegal. SD alcohol, or "special denatured" alcohol is odorless grain alcohol that has additives to make it undrinkable. It also can be very hard to find. In a pinch, some alcoholic beverages can be used to make perfume. Everclear, or 95 percent pure grain alcohol--illegal in many jurisdictions--will work well if available. In some places, 100 proof, or 50 percent alcohol, vodka is available and can be used to make perfume. Some sites selling essential oils for perfume have recently started selling a perfumer's alcohol called "40d."

    Making Your Own Scent

    • Making a pleasing perfume is a complicated process that requires an understanding of how scents blend together. Many find it easier to start with existing scent formulas and add minor changes. To make your own scents, you will need essential oils. These are highly concentrated scent essences of various substances. An example of a common perfume scent formula that can be easily customized is to add sandalwood, musk, lavender, rose or other floral scents to a base formula that uses 20 drops of benzoin, four drops labdanum and one drop of vanilla with the appropriate amount of base to make the kind of perfume you desire.

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