• Seneca Green

    The recipe for perfume is brilliant, but how much alcohol do you use? I don’t want to have too much and smell like nail polish remover, or to little, and be oily instead of just perfumed. Thanks so much!

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      Thank you! To make the perfume, just put the oil 40-60 drops of oil in the 2oz bottle first, then top it off with the alcohol. It might smell a little alcohol-y at first, but once the excess evaporates, you’re left just with a nice scent.

  • Tiffany S.

    I like this idea. I’m looking for solid perfume, too.

  • Margaret Welke

    I’d use grain alcohol, not rubbing alcohol, which is carcinogenic. Also, why ise a plastic botle — bad for the environment. But a glass spray bottle, or one of those little portable perfume spritzers.

    • Jean

      A ceramic bottle is good also

  • Tiffany S.

    I agree with Margaret. IPA (isopropyl alcohol) is VERY flammable and is toxic if absorbed in significant amounts.

  • Jessie

    Great idea!! I want to make a few batches for friends and family…

    I was just wondering what i could use instead of alcohol as my sensitive skin reacts to alcohol.
    Any ideas?

    • Becky Striepe

      Does it react to all sorts of alcohol? You could try grain alcohol, like a couple of folks suggested above. Otherwise, you might try dissolving your oil in a carrier oil, like sweet almond or apricot kernel oil. I’m not sure how the spritz mechanism would handle it, but you could put it in a roller top bottle or something like this if it won’t spritz.

      • Jessie

        You know.. I’m not sure.. I just know that if alcohol is mention in the ingredients list of a product.. and especially with underarms.. which leaves me scratching like a chimp.

        Would glycerin work?

        • Becky Striepe

          Ooh it might! You could always whip up a small batch and see how it goes….maybe cut the recipe in half or something like this? If you try it, I hope you’ll report back!

  • Oksana

    You can use vodka instead of rubbing alcohol.

    • Fabricio Wong

      Vodka as regular vodka to get drunk ?

  • Darwin

    that’s a good idea…..I wonder if you wanted a citrus smell to it, what it would be like if you used flavoured vodka such as absolut madarin mixed with some oils. A lot of experimentation may be needed.

  • eugene

    instead of isophropyle alcohol which is derived from crude oil , use ethyl alcohol which was derived from sugar cane.

  • susan

    Could you use just the essential oil?

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      You definitely could, though some essential oils can irritate your skin if applied undiluted. I’d do a test on the inside of your forearm, just to make sure your skin is OK with that much essential oil. If you have problems, you could also mix your oil with a neutral carrier oil, like sweet almond, and apply that way.

  • Mandy

    I’ve been wondering about Egyptian musk. I’ve read from various sources that musk is from animals, or it’s synthetic. Yet I really want to find an even healthier alternative to the Body Shop’s White Musk for my mother. I bought her the eau de toilette which, luckily, is the safest form of it according to the Skin Deep database (rated 4)…

    I’ve created an air freshener mist/body spray with distilled water and vanilla and peppermint/mint extracts, that’s all (as opposed to vanilla essential oil which is $5 per mL) and while it smells nice, it doesn’t last. Wonder if an oil would accomplish that…

    • http://glueandglitter.com Becky Striepe

      That’s a really good question about musk, Mandy! I’ll have to look into that.

      For air freshener, we have an oil burner, which works quite well. It’s basically a glass stand with space for a tea light underneath. You put a couple of tablespoons of water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, light the tea light, and it makes the whole room smell delicious!

    • Choclolita

      nice one mandy :D ! i like it 

    • Jean

      add a little glycerin in it and it will last.

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  • Maryanne Richards

    Great idea! I’ve been wanting to make my own perfume, and just came across this article, thank you! For the folks allergic to alcohol, I wonder if diluting the essential oil with 2 oz. filtered water would work?

    • Sioux

      You might try cyclomethicone. Water will not mix with the essential oils. Also, try adding a few drops of glycerin

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  • Ash_flames23

    i actually had a question. isnt rubbing alcohol dangerous? ive read up on it and it causes inflammation of skin and all.
    and also, after 40-60 drops of oil, how much of the alcohol are we supposed to mix with it ?

  • Felicia

    Don’t forget to dilute the alcohol. Use alcohol from ethanol, it’s safe since it’s derived from plants. I went for 20% for safety. Useful calculator: http://homedistiller.org/distill/dilute/calc For those with sensitive skin, use carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond. I used 15 drops as essential oil is very concentrated liquid. It’s not safe if you don’t dilute it correctly.

  • Nate

    It’s actually a horrible idea to use rubbing alcohol as the article says. Considering Isopropyl alcohol is a common household astringent, and the idea of fragrances is to leave you feeling fresh and not smelling acidic, I recommend splurging on perfumer’s alcohol. You can get a big bottle for around $20 online. If you can’t get your hands on perfumer’s alcohol, get some high-proof grain alcohol or just standard Vodka. These types of alcohol tend to mix better with essential oils anyway.

    Also, some personal advice from experience: Try to keep your concoction clear. Color isn’t the enemy, but opacity is. You don’t want a cloudy solution, and most of the time cloudiness results from poor alcohol-water ratio. If your perfume/cologne is cloudy, you probably need to add alcohol.

    Remember, perfume is 15-40% essential oil, and cologne is usually 5-10%. These solutions also contain around 20% water. Start with less, test it, and build up. Its better to not be smelled than to be coughed at.

    Don’t hesitate to use more than one essential oil or even other liquids/solids. I know this article is intended to approach home-perfumery from a green perspective, but it completely sells short the possibilities. I’ve experimented beyond essential oils with great success. Soaking cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, roots (like sassafras) or even wood (like hickory) in the solution yields great results. Extracts too. Just be careful about oil proportions.

    Becky Striepe, you’ve got the right idea. But telling people to spray straight rubbing alcohol and essential oils on their skin without even cutting it with water is a recipe for disaster and, at least, poor results. There’s a lot of info online about this stuff, please research more in the future.

    • Brendan Cooper

      Hi Nate! This is a really old thread, but I came across it because I’m wondering what would happen if I soaked peppercorns in an already-made neutral cologne base. Do you have any tips about how much of each to use, etc?

  • http://www.sacredself.com.au Michelle Marie McGrath

    Not sure why you would want to use alcohol at all? It’s extremely astringent and drying for the skin. Far healthier to use a few drops of essential oils directly or in an organic base oils use as jojoba, camellia, coconut, sweet almond or apricot.