How to Make Alcohol Based Perfume

by Genae Valecia Hinesman ; Updated September 28, 2017

This is one of the most basic methods of creating a personal fragrance. It is based on the premise of building a scent from any three essential oils that appeal to you and using alcohol as a "fixative" for the scent. A fixative in perfume making is the substance used to hold the separate elements together and in suspension within the formula. Fixatives also help preserve the fragrance and make it last longer. Nearly all commercially sold fragrances are created using alcohol as a fixative. The ingredients listed here will yield a very light perfume, suitable for a woman, that will "mature" within one full day. More complex fragrance methods may take several weeks to be completely ready for use. The simplicity and speed of this method will have you feeling like a pro in no time. Have fun as you explore the enjoyable and ancient art of perfume making.

Items you will need

  • Measuring cup (made of glass with a pouring spout)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Distilled water
  • Perfumer's alcohol or Vodka
  • Eyedropper
  • Any "sweet" fruit-based essential oil (such as apple or peach)
  • Any "citrus" essential oil (such as bergamot, lemon, lime, neroli)
  • Any "floral," "earthy," or "wood" essential oil (such as sandalwood, amber, rose)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Funnel
  • Perfume decanters/bottles with removable caps
  • Labels
  • Pen or pencil
Step 1

Pour 2 cups (about 500 ml) of water into the measuring cup.

Step 2

Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of perfumer's alcohol or vodka to the water.

Step 3

Take your eyedropper and place 10 drops of your chosen sweet fruit essential oil, 10 drops of your citrus essential oil, and 5 drops of your floral/earthy/or wood-based essential oil to the contents of the cup.

Step 4

Stir the combination for a full minute with your wooden spoon.

Step 5

Use your funnel to transfer the liquid mixture to a glass decanter. Permit the perfume to "settle" for up to 24 hours before initial use. Label your perfume with its name and date of creation.


  • You are encouraged to make this perfume for yourself, then to use it as only a template for later creations. Experiment with your own fragrance mixtures to find the scent that is perfect for you using similar measurements and quantities.

    Maintain a notebook to record your favorite combinations and formulas for your signature scents so that you will be able to make more of them whenever you wish.


  • Adding one or two drops of food coloring is optional for these or any perfumes. If you choose to add color, remember to use very little. Larger amounts may stain your skin or clothing.

    Avoid placing your new scent in direct sunlight or extreme heat. Keep it in a cool and dark area to extend its shelf life.

    It is illegal to sell perfumes made with vodka or other potable liquors. Such perfumes are for personal and private use only. If you are considering marketing your fragrances, use perfumer's alcohol instead.

Photo Credits

  • The Stock Exchange

About the Author

Genae Valecia Hinesman, former banking executive, entrepreneur and fashion model, began writing professionally in 2002. She is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied business, finance and exercise physiology. Her articles featured in Living Healthy: 360, Life 123, the American Chronicle and Yahoo Voices.