Before you begin to make your perfume, you must decide on what type of perfume strength you want to make – what type of perfume would like and what sort of scent does it require. There are five different perfume strengths for feminine perfumes, and three main strengths for masculine scents.
N.B: A fragrance concentration refers to the strength that a fragrance has. Perfumes with a higher fragrance concentration contain more perfume oils and less alcohol.
Parfum (Perfume) and Cologne
Perfume and cologne are the strongest scented of the perfume types. They contain between 15 – 40% of essential oils to 60 – 85% of dilution substance. As such, these are also the most expensive to purchase, but this cost is dramatically reduced when making it yourself.
Espirit de Parfum/Cologne
This is the least common strength of commercial perfumes, but works well for home producer. It is made up of between 15 – 30% of essential oils, which allows for the option of a lower cost perfume; while still retaining a strong aroma.
Eau de Parfum
This strength tends to be the most popular blend, as it carries much of the intensity of a full perfume, but is light enough for day wear and strong enough night wear. It uses between 10 – 20% essential oils.
Eau de Toilette
Using just 5 – 15% essential oil, this is a much lighter variety than Eau de Parfum and works well as a daytime scent.
Eau de Cologne
This is a light masculine scent which is generally used for daytime or work in place of the heavier scent of full Cologne. It is made using only 3 – 8% essential oils, but as masculine scents tend to be fuller bodied than feminine scents it is often equivalent to a feminine Eau de Toilette.
Eau Fraiche is more of a lightly fragranced body spray than a perfume and is typically made using water or a mix of oil/water or alcohol/water. They contain only 1 – 3% essential oils.
Common Perfume Types
Once you have decided on the strength of the perfume you wish to make, you need to decide on the composition of your scent. Do you want an oil, spray or solid perfume?
Natural perfumes can be made using liquid oils; such as almond or jojoba; solids oils, such as coconut oil or Shea butter which can be mixed with a natural wax or you can use alcohol, water or both to make spray perfumes.
Oil Based Perfumes
Liquid oils, (also known as carrier oils), are an inexpensive and popular choice for natural home-made perfumes. They blend well with the essential oils; they are easy to apply and are quickly absorbed into the skin. E.g olive oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, or sunflower oil
Many carrier oils also provide their own therapeutic properties, which work well with the individual or combined properties of the essential oils being used in your scent.
This type of fragrance is made using an alcohol base. Perfume alcohol can be used, but plain vodka works just as well and often costs considerably less. Alternatively, if you like the aroma of a particular spirit, such as brandy, whisky or rum, this can also be used but you must take care to ensure that the alcohol scent does not override the essential oils. Also, the overall scent of the oils will change slightly when mixed with a scented alcohol; so you will need to experiment if you would like to try this option.
Caution: The alcohol will evaporate once it is in contact with the air, but this does not happen immediately so this method must be avoided if the perfume/cologne is designed for someone with a current or previous alcohol problem.
Solids are the most convenient type of perfume; if you wish to carry it with you for re-application throughout the day. They are compact and do not leak making them easy to slip into a bag or pocket.
They are made using firm oils or butters and wax. Additionally, they are usually inexpensive to package as they require only a small tin or jar.
These are the most inexpensive type of perfume to make, but they are also the lightest as they contain very small quantities of essential oils compared with the stronger perfumes.
Most often, these are made only from a blend of essential oils and water, but can also be manufactured using a dilution mix of either carrier oil and water or alcohol and water.