DIY Fragrance: How To Start Making Your Own Cologne Scents

How do you go about making your own diy fragrances to have your own personal cologne? That’s something we are going over inside this article.

Colognes and perfumes are probably the most special of gifts that you can give anyone, more so if you prepare the gift yourself. Is it possible to craft beautiful scents, colognes, and perfumes at home?

The answer is yes, because the process of creating perfumes is actually simpler than you may think. The methods and materials aren’t that expensive either.

Of course, you can always scale up your production if you feel like experimenting with signature scents. Is that a small and meaningful enterprise peeping around the corner? We think so!

The science of scents

A single perfume is a blend or mixture of different scents, with one or more scents representing a layer or level within the harmony of scents.

The various levels of scents are called “notes” and each level of notes has a different function and impact. The three levels of scents or notes are: base (or foundation), middle, and top.

Base notes

In terms of proportion, the volume of oils that produce the base notes is the highest, followed by the middle notes and top notes.

Base notes are also responsible for giving the perfume its lingering power, and this is what you smell four or five hours after the application of perfume, when the middle notes and top notes have all evaporated.

Base notes are memorable and usually milder than middle and top notes. Patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood, and musk are all used frequently as base notes for all kinds of perfumes from DIY to expensive signature perfumes.

Middle notes

The middle notes are sandwiched between the base notes and top notes. What middle notes do is they set the theme for the perfume.

In music, we can compare middle notes to bass, as bass gives body and character to music even if we don’t really discern the middle notes that much when we apply perfume.

Perfume experts also call the middle notes the core or spirit of the perfume, and they comprise the powerful layer of scents that appear when the top notes begin to fade away.

This layer of scents also determines what general category a perfume belongs to.

A perfume can be considered woody (usually the theme of long-lasting men’s colognes), floral (very common with scents for women from different age groups, but the nature and concentration of the middle notes differ depending on the target market), oriental (usually comprised of a combination of themes and some hints of spice), and so on.

Examples of scents used as the middle layer of perfumes include jasmine, ylang ylang, geranium, lavender, and coriander.

Top notes

And finally, we have the top notes. The top notes represent the fragrance that hits you first when you apply perfume. This strong layer provides a lot of impact on first application, but soon disappears after a quarter of an hour.

Take note that top notes are not the heaviest of the scent layers; it is often striking, but it remains relatively light and ethereal compared to middle notes and base notes.

The main function of top notes is to get the person interested in the perfume. The quick dissipation of the top notes is also necessary as a transitioning from the introduction of the perfume toward the core or spirit of the perfume.

Examples of top notes include clary sage, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry, and so on.

Preparation and blending guidelines

Creating DIY colognes and perfume at home would be more fun if you can follow our best practices for blending scents and oils. Don’t worry, they’re easy to follow.

1. Before buying the essential oils

Familiarize yourself with the different levels or notes, and then the commonly used essential oils for each type of note.

If possible, visit an aromatherapy or perfume supply store to sample and smell the oils yourself. Through constant exposure you will be able to understand how scents affect each other, and how interactions between notes occur.

2. Blend the oils in the proper order.

The first one that goes into the beaker are the oil/s that comprise your base notes, followed by the middle notes. The final layer will be the top notes.

In terms of ratio, the base notes should comprise only twenty percent of the total, followed by the middle notes at fifty percent, and finally, thirty percent for the top notes.

You might be wondering: why is there so much more of the middle notes than the base notes? The reason for this is that base notes often have long lingering power, and you wouldn’t want to overpower the concoction with the base notes.

3. Blend the right number of scents.

You can combine up to four different scents at once.

The ratio of your blending will determine which scent belongs to which level. There are no hard and fast rules in combining, but if you are after a particular scent, check out recipes online or in books.

4. The base notes do not correspond to the carrier oil.

The carrier oil, or the oil that combines all the different notes, usually have a very mild or almost neutral scent.

A perfect example of carrier oil for perfume would be jojoba oil. As long as the oil is nearly or virtually odorless, it can be used for making perfume.

The mixing of the different oils is also easier if you add alcohol to the mix. Surprisingly, perfume makers use ethanol (the kind of alcohol you can drink) but in high proof versions.

If you can find 80-proof or 100-proof vodka, that would be perfect for creating perfumes. The vodka will be the catalyst that allows the entire concoction to come together seamlessly.

5. Use only glass containers when creating perfumes.

Dark or colored glass is preferable especially if you are not familiar with how certain oils interact with heat and light.

Keep your raw materials and perfume-making supplies safely stored away from direct sunlight and from pets and small children. Droppers and beakers should also be stored well away from small hands and animals.