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How To Make Your Own Essential Oils and Perfumes

Making essential oils is done by extracting the natural oils from herbs and/or flowers. These extractions can be made with oils or alcohol.

Extracting Oils with Oil

Oil attracts oil, bringing it out of the leaves and flowers. Therefore, one relatively easy way of extracting essential oils is to soak them in oil.

  1. Use a non-metal container – a ceramic crock works well – and pour in enough pure olive oil or safflower oil to cover the botanicals.
  2. Set aside for 24 to 48 hours.
  3. Strain the mixture, gently pressing the leaves or flowers to release more oils.
  4. Add more fresh flowers or leaves to the already fragrant oil and repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Continue to repeat this process an additional six to eight times or until your essential oil is of the desired strength.
  6. Store tightly sealed bottles in a cool, dark place. You can add the oil to baths, lotions, potpourris, aromatic waters, soaps, or candles.

Extracting Oils with Alcohol

Another easy method of obtaining herbal fragrances is to soak botanicals in alcohol. You should use undenatured ethyl alcohol. If you can’t find this, using vodka is acceptable, but do not use rubbing alcohol.

The process is the same as extracting with oils. The fragrant alcohol you create can be used as is, or it can be diluted with some water. These extracts also make a great base for perfumes. Most perfumes contain a large amount of alcohol because it evaporates from the skin quickly, thus giving you a blast of fragrance.

To remove the oil from the alcohol, place the container in the freezer. The oil will congeal on top of the alcohol – which won’t freeze – and can be scraped off.

This method is very good for delicate flowers like jasmine, as it won’t burn the petals like steam distillation does.

Pure Essential Oils

This most useful of herbal oils can be added to perfumes, bath soaps, lotions, and used with other fragrant items. These are extracted by steam distillation. Using the right equipment, an incredible amount of botanicals, and much persistence, you can distill pure essential oils. However, it is much easier to buy them, and there are many reputable sources, both locally and online.

Perfumes, Colognes, and Toilet Water

For making simple perfumes, colognes, and toilet water, all you will need are essential oils, alcohol (undenatured or vodka), and a fixative (storax oil, sandalwood oil, or orris root).

Keep in mind the basic principles of blending. Create the perfume around a central scent, and then add complimentary or contrasting fragrances to build and enhance it. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

The following recipes are created by combining all ingredients in a glass bottle, shaking well, and setting in a cool dark place for several weeks to allow the fragrances to blend and fix.

Make Your Own Healing Medicines From Plants Found In Nature…


Scent of Roses (Let blend at least four weeks before using)

  • 1 cup alcohol
  • ¼ cup rose water
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary oil
  • 2 tablespoons rose oil
  • 1 tablespoon storax oil

Herb Scent (Shake occasionally while setting to improve fragrance)

  • 1 cup alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon basil oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage oil
  • 1 teaspoon dill oil
  • 1 tablespoon sandalwood oil

Lavender Cologne (Combine and enjoy after setting several weeks)

  • 1 pint alcohol
  • ½ cup lavender
  • 2 tablespoons lavender oil
  • 1 tablespoon storax oil

Lemon Perfume (Fragrance grows stronger with age)

  • 1 cup alcohol
  • 2 tablespoons lemon oil
  • 1 tablespoon citronella oil
  • 1 tablespoon sandalwood oil

Spicy Essence (Let set two months, then filter and store in a sterile glass bottle)

  • 1 cup alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon clove oil
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon oil
  • ¼ cup orris root

Other Uses for Oils

Candle Scents – Add any of these scents these to wax for candle making.

  • Bayberry oil
  • Clove oil
  • Mint oil
  • Rose oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Lemon oil
  • Other aromatic herb oils

Scented Soaps – Just before pouring soaps into molds, add any of these for a sweet aroma while bathing.

  • Lavender oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Rose oil
  • Rose Geranium oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Clove oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Sassafras oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Lemon oil

Perfumed Ink – Add a little flair to your calligraphy by adding a bit of perfume to it. Two to three teaspoons of a strong infusion added to a bottle of ink should do the trick. A piney scent would be great for Christmas, the sweet essence of roses for ideal Valentine’s Day, or the essence of violets for perfect for Mother’s Day.

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  1. Listen everyone…an essential oil is made ONE of three ways…CO2 extraction, steam distillation or chemical extraction…what this woman is talking about (and this really burns my rear as I am an herbalist/certified aromatherapist) is macercation in which SOME of the oils of the plant material are extracted and is an HERBAL extraction, NOT an essential oil. There is a difference as macercation (oil based and any oil will work, but mind you, the shelf life is about 3 months) is great for the smell and does give you SOME of the benefits but not all and ONLY works with flower petals or some of the strong herbs such as rosemary, basil, etc…great for flavoring and cooking with but of little value otherwise…Alcohol extraction is called a TINCTURE and I have yet to see the ‘oil’ of the plant material freeze on top of vodka…this is how you make herbal medicine and using iso alcohol is a big NO NO has it can create health issues unless you burn the alcohol off and is typically only used to make ‘resin’ from certain plants and I would personally use Everclear to make it this way…Vodka works well with woody plant material or plant material that is tough such as some types of leaves…you have to use something less than 100 proof for flower petals otherwise you destroy the chemical constituants that you are trying to extract…

    • Notice in her recepies she uses the word OIL and not essential oil…there is your clue…

      • Ummmm notice the title? Make your own “essential oils”. There’s only one quip about making essential oils and the author says its easier just to buy them. There’s your clue.

    • Thank you I was going to try to make my own ESSENTIAL OILS, to use medicinally because I thought you could do this cheaper, I was going to use the crock pot method, with oil and various plant pieces, but that to I assume does not make the pure essential oils, for medicinal purposes either correct, would they work well for diffusing (such as lavender to help children sleep).
      You are correct the title was very misleading.

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