Fragrance Free + A Perfume DIY

Did you know that one fragrance can consist of over 100 chemicals…

This post comes from our blog intern, Emily.

Perfume is one of my favorite things. Wandering the beauty counters of department stores and reaching for a fragrance that draws me in, first with with its packaging, then its scent to follow. I get such a nice feeling from purchasing a new perfume, sometimes its better than getting a new outfit. But after doing some research into the production of most perfumes and what the industry labels “fragrance”, this perfume love of mine has shifted. I always buy unscented laundry detergent, soap, and household cleaners because I’m aware of the dangers of  fragrance, but I was overlooking the most dangerous carrier: perfume (probably because I didn’t want to face the facts!)

If you’re similarly concerned, I recommend you read this article by Scientific American, which will give you a sense of just what makes up your perfumes.

Hundreds of toxic chemicals are lurking in common fragrances. Over time, the repeated use of fragrances in your life can he really harmful. It can encourage cancer, thyroid problems, and hormone disruption. Theses chemicals can make it into your fat tissue and even breast milk if you are nursing. According to Scientific American, a very common perfume, ‘J’Adore by Dior’ has been rated a 7 out of 10 for toxicity. Eeek! Several common perfumes don’t label the ingredients and many times the safety hasn’t been assessed.

“A rose may be a rose,” reports EWG. “But that rose-like fragrance in your perfume may be something else entirely, concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer.”

It might be a good idea to stop buying most common perfumes (save your money!) and do a little research. Find perfumes that don’t contain hazardous chemicals, are natural, and are safer. Or better yet, make one yourself! It’s a little too easy….

All you need are a few essential oils of your choice, some sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil, rosewater, and a spray bottle!


Perfume’s scents are created by different “notes”. They’re classified by the base note, the middle note, and the top note. The base note is the most rich, deep scent in the perfume. Good base scents are: rose, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla. More musky scents are great as your base! The middle note is the main scent of the perfume. It’s more mellow and usually comes out to play after the the top note. Some good middle notes are: jasmine, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, cinnamon, rosemary, and chamomile. The top note is the first impression of the perfume. It tends to be light and evaporates quickly. Some great top notes are: lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, and bergamot. Here is a great chart to reference!


The hardest part is playing around until you get a scent that you like. I started with a few drops of each at a time, and added more accordingly.  I wanted a floral, fresh, earthy, light, and slightly fruity perfume. Here’s what I created!

Base Note: Rose
Middle Note: Lavender and Eucalyptus
Top Note: Grapefruit


20-25 drops of rose essential oil

10- 15 drops of lavender essential oil

10-15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

10-15 drops of grapefruit essential oil

1 tbs of sweet almond oil

3 tbs rosewater

Add drops of essential oils into your spray bottle. Add the oil and rosewater. Gently swirl together, spray and see if you are happy with your scent. Apply it to your wrists and let it sit for a few minutes and see what happens. The transformation is pretty crazy. I loved the smell of mine initially, but when I sprayed it, different scents came in at different times. Once you’re happy with the evolution of your scent, on and off your skin, that’s it! You can be happy knowing what you’re putting on your skin is straight from the earth. It’ll be a more satisfying, longer lasting scent. You’ll probably get compliments, too!


+Have you made your own perfume before?

Follow Emily on Instagram and Tumblr.

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5 years ago

I love making my own perfume! My favorite is a grapefruit/rose blend. My secret is that I like to drop a few drops of essential oil right into my top bun before I leave home for the day. The scent lasts really long that way, and when I take my hair down it’s nice and fragrant.

5 years ago

Yeah. Í don’t like the chemical perfumes as well an prefer the natural fragrances of essential oils. My favorite one is the combination of grapefruit, patchouli and sandalwood. It’s especially appropriate for yoga.

5 years ago

Love this DIY. Rose water and grapefruit fragrances are my favorite. Thank you for the tip free people!
Keep Dreaming, Bethany Grace

5 years ago

Rose absolute is not rose essential oil. It has been washed with a solvent meaning it contains chemicals. Rose essential oil is expensive and can be hard to find. Just FYI!

Megan b
5 years ago

I made a perfume that I put in a rollerball container. The only problem is its not that strong and I’m usually the only one that smells it. And it fades pretty quickly. I may give this a try though because I love the idea around all natural perfume.

5 years ago


5 years ago

I love this idea and I have been researching different recipes for DIY perfumes! My only question is, how long will this keep? I have read that adding either Vitamin E oil or Vitamin C powder can prolong shelf life, would you recommend something to make it live longer?

5 years ago

I love making my own natural perfumes! I quit wearing the chemical perfumes years ago because they gave me horrible headaches. Now I can’t even stand the smell of them. The scents from natural ingredients like essential oils are so much better in my opinion!
I’ve been doing this for a few years, and the best thing I’ve found to extend the shelf life is adding a little vitamin E oil and about a teaspoon of natural (preferably organic) witch hazel. I’ve also found that the witch hazel helps the scent last longer on my skin.

Karen Cook
5 years ago

The last remaining toxin on my beauty shelf is my perfume. This information has helped me solve that. Also I love concocting potions!! Can’t wait to try some fragrant combinations! Thank you.

5 years ago

Thank you Destiny!

2 years ago

This looks good, but why add water? Isn’t water a breeding ground for bacteria, especially without any kind of preservative, even a natural one.