Perfume recipe using vodka that actually smells like REAL perfume!

Jul 10 2017
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This post is about how I make my own perfume out of essential oils and vodka! So now that Joe and I have switched our entire house over to homemade household cleaners I find that most perfumes have begun to smell more and more like bug spray to me. (Weird, right?) I’ve always had rather sensitive skin which is why the first household recipe we switched to was my homemade laundry detergent but I find now I’ve become sensitive to smells too. Walking down the cleaning aisle at walmart never used to bother me but now my eyes start watering and I am in shock at the horrible smell.

Homemade, natural, green recipe for perfume using vodka, lavendar, orange and vanilla!

So, I’ve been working through a backlog of body sprays and perfumes. (I can’t be the only girl that at one point just dumped all of her bed bath and beyond body sprays in one bottle.) Eventually I finally ran out and Joe purchased me my favorite perfume one day (at $30 a bottle!) that I’ve been making last as long as possible. But it just seemed so silly to me. I didn’t know what was in that perfume and spraying it directly on my skin every morning made me nervous on top of that $30 to smell good for a little while seemed pretty ridiculous to me!

Homemade, natural, green recipe for perfume using vodka, lavendar, orange and vanilla!

So, I went looking online about how to make my own perfume. You need a carrier for your oils and everyone online says that literally any kind of alcohol will work. (I used cheap vodka cause that’s what I had.) Many recipes I found called for multiple different essential oils (like over 30 different kinds in one recipe!) that I didn’t necessarily have so, one day, I thought I would just experiment and this is the recipe I ended up with:

3.5oz vodka (or any clear alcohol)
20 drops lavender essential oil
20 drops orange (or tangerine) essential oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(don’t worry too much about exact measurements, I just filled the 4oz bottle I was using mostly up with Vodka and then added the essential oils on top before giving it a good shake)

Those little funnels I’m using in the picture have been incredibly handy, you can check them out here. I would really encourage you to try your own experiment and see what you like best too! The vanilla (at least to me) was the most important ingredient. It created a warm and sweet earthiness that the rest of the essential oils seemed to ride on. I couldn’t believe it when I first tried it and it actually smelled like REAL perfume! Do you know what I mean by REAL? I think we’ve all been by someone who literally uses straight patchouli oil on their wrists as a perfume every day and I just wasn’t ready for that. Granted, I love lavender oil so much I have actually worn it just by putting a couple of drops on my throat but it did make me smell like my grandma and, at 31 years old, I just wan’t quite ready for that yet either…

Homemade, natural, green recipe for perfume using vodka, lavendar, orange and vanilla!

I think what makes this smell so much like a real perfume is probably the tang/slight bitterness of the orange oil, the lavender makes it light and floral, the vanilla gives it that earthy sticky sweetness and the orange oil really seems to tie it together and balance them all out.

I wear this every day and just love that when I run out I don’t have to go to the store I can just mix up another batch! For awhile I used an old spray bottle but I finally purchased myself this pretty blue glass bottle I found on Amazon that I plan on using forever.

Homemade, natural, green recipe for perfume using vodka, lavendar, orange and vanilla!

The only draw back with a homemade perfume is that it does not have the hard core staying power of some store bought perfumes. (I would say it has more the staying power of a store bought body spray.) I spray it on my hair and on my throat after I get dressed in the morning and Joe tells me he loves the smell of my hair now more then ever. In the end with the cost of perfume being so high this is saving me a bundle!

Homemade, natural, green recipe for perfume using vodka, lavendar, orange and vanilla!

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  1. July 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I have made some of these also… and they are wonderful. I will have to try your exact combo too…. I used a bit different formulation. I have also experimented w/ real flower petals… making progress, but not there yet. 🙂 I cannot stand perfumes… or the perfume base in “natural” type cleaners, candles etc… so I use my essential oils too. I think have read that Vetiver oil can help the staying power, but not sure if I am remembering that correctly.. it’s been a while since I did this.

    • July 11, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing with me, I’ll have to check in to Vetiver oil! I’ve been considering trying to make essential oils myself using flower petals, every spring when our lilacs bloom I think I’m going to try it then I never manage it!

  2. July 12, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Yippee! Yep, we are two peas in a pod. The more you come away from such extreme fragrances the more you can actually SMELL stuff. Over the years of falling in love with essential oils, there are a few that bother me though. Like vetiver (above comment) and clary sage and yang ylang. Those three are all I know of so far and they actually make my head hurt. Did you know I made men’s body spray first before making my own? I stumbled across a combo that reminded me of the Old Spice stuff and cedarwood was the base. There are EO’s that provide top, middle and base notes the same a perfumes use. Citrus oils always burn off first but leafy, grassy smells linger longer. I am still experimenting and love seeing what others put together. I love your blog and signed up for the newsletter so be sure to share any new scents you come up with! Nice to meet you!

    • July 12, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Hey Kelly, I totally agree with Ylang Ylang, every now and again I’ll go into one of our local natural grocery stores and think, “Goodness, lay off of that stuff already.” There are so many to choose from I find it funny that ylang ylang is so popular! I didn’t know you made men’s body spray! I was thinking about trying that myself for my husband but I was worried he wouldn’t like it lol Thank you so much for coming by, it is great to meet you too!

  3. July 12, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I’ve never thought of making my own perfume. This is certainly easy enough. I’m definitely trying this out. Thanks for posting this. Pinning!

  4. Jann Olson
    July 13, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Wow how ingenious! Since I’ve gotten older I can’t wear perfume. It burns my eyes. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • July 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for coming by Jann! Have a great weekend!

  5. July 14, 2017 at 1:39 am

    I’m definitely sensitive to scented items, and can’t stand places like Bath & Body Works, so I haven’t worn perfume in years. But I’ll definitely have to look into this if I ever decide to go back to it. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    • July 17, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      I know exactly what you mean Leslie! The more natural we became with all of our household products the more I just can’t stand artificial scents anymore! Thanks for coming by and commenting, have a great week 🙂

  6. kddomingue
    July 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Oh! Enjoy the perfume making journet! I worked at an Aveda Institute for a couple of years. One of my duties was creating custom perfume blends for our guests using essential oils. It was, by far, one of my favorite things to do. At home versions are simple to concoct. You can use cheap voodka (for a spray) or a base oil such as jojoba (for dabbing). A master perfumer will always use a bottom note, middle note and top note in a blend. I don’t necessarily use three notes when I make a blend for myself. My favorite is a blend of vanilla absolute and tangerine or bergamot with the addition of cinnamon or cloves in the cold months. I want to add a warning here….if you use my blend be prepared to have random men come up to you and sniff you like they’re going to start licking you like a puppy dog, lol! Something about vanilla and citrus is, evidently, irresistible to the male of the species. And it’s got to be the scent….. I’m not bad for a near 60 ear old but I’m not THAT good, lol!

    • July 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      lol you made me literally laugh out loud! Thank you for the warning I’m definitely going to have to try your blend! I bet my husband will love it!

  7. July 18, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I don’t know what I loved reading more, this article or the comments. LOl Too fun! Thanks for joining the Dishing It & Digging It Link Party.

  8. July 18, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Wow, this is interesting. I never knew you could make homemade perfume like this. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight, sharing.

    • July 19, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks for coming by Theresa!

  9. July 19, 2017 at 7:39 am

    This is so special!!! I have never seen a recipe like this.. Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party 🙂

  10. July 19, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I’m with you on the smells going down the cleaning aisle at Walmart, my husband goes the other way he swears that isle will kill you. I’m just learning about oils so I will have to put this on my list of things to try. Thanks for the great post.

    • July 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      I totally agree with your husband lol! My only complaint about natural perfumes is they don’t have a lot of staying power like the ones made with chemicals, but they still smell really good!

  11. August 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Yum…I mean wonderful…Okay I mean yum too. It looks good enough to drink.

    • August 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Thanks for coming by Elise!

  12. August 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    What a great idea! I know what you mean about liking the smell of “real” perfume. . . it’s hard to be around someone who has dabbed on too much straight essential oil. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    And thanks for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  13. Tristan Price
    May 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    You can also omit the vodka,and use a carrier oil and put the perfume in a roller ball applicator. Roll a small amount on your pulse points,wrists crease of elbows,behind ears,throat,back of knees. You can get the cobalt blue roller balls on Amazon.

    • May 8, 2018 at 9:10 am

      Great tip Tristan! Nowadays I just put a drop of pure essential oil on my wrist every couple of days, love the smell of jasmine!

  14. June 17, 2018 at 2:59 am

    wow thanks a lot for sharing this never knew you could make perfume on your own

  15. October 22, 2018 at 7:03 am

    thanks for the great sharing i never knew that even i can make perfume with my own.

  16. Grace Sprank
    February 7, 2019 at 10:59 am

    A long time ago, someone told me that after making the spray, let it sit for a month so the smell lasts longer when you spray it.

    • February 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Grace, thank you for that tip I never considered that but it makes sense!

  17. Aura
    April 18, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Hi there, thank you so much for the recipe! I just prepared my own perfume using a bit less of everything as I only have a bottle of 50 ml.

    • April 18, 2019 at 12:30 pm

      That’s great to hear Aura, I hope you enjoy it!

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