How Are Perfumes Made? A Quick Guide

Human beings have used pleasant-smelling plants to make themselves smell better for thousands of years. But the first true perfume (a concoction of essential oils and alcohols) hit the scene way back in the 14th century.

Amazingly, the process of creating perfume hasn’t changed much since that time. But how are perfumes made, and why has the creation process remained consistent over hundreds of years? Let’s find out!

How Are Perfumes Made?

The first perfumes may have been tree resins and saps, but contemporary fragrances are far less sticky (yet equally flammable). Since the 1300s, perfumes have been made by:

  1. Distilling essential oils from pleasant-smelling plants
  2. Creating a clear, scent-free alcohol base
  3. Mixing those oils with the alcohol base
  4. Letting the mixture rest and age
  5. Adding water to dilute the strong-smelling solution

Types of Perfumes

Not all perfumes are created equally, and some are far stronger than others. That’s because perfumes are great-smelling chemistry projects!

Depending on the precise amount of alcohol, oil, and water used to create a fragrance, you could end up making:

  • Perfume
  • Eau de Parfum
  • Eau de Toilette
  • Eau de Cologne

Eau de Parfum vs. Eau de Toilette

When browsing for new scents, you might soon find yourself wondering about the differences between eau de parfum (EDP) and eau de toilette (EDT).

Essentially, the primary differences between these two types of perfumes are:

  • Alcohol content
  • Water content
  • Essential oil content

Eau de toilette fragrances are heavily diluted with alcohol. Therefore, you can spray them repetitiously throughout the day without offending the nostrils of those around you.

Eau de parfum, on the other hand, contains far less alcohol and water than eau de toilette fragrances. Instead, it’s far richer in essential oils, making it a more potent and long-lasting option.

Jimmy Choo is a top-notch example of an eau de parfum that lasts for hours. Its sweet, floral scent and honey notes are bound to have you feeling as fresh a spring morning.

Remember, one spray of eau de parfum is worth about twenty applications of eau de toilette. So, while you may end up spending more on a single bottle of eau de parfum, you’re guaranteed to get your money‘s worth!

How to Make Perfumes

Perfume-making processes haven’t changed much over the last 600 years. Consequently, you can learn to make perfume at home without needing to buy any expensive equipment!

For example, anyone can make perfumes if they have:

  • Pleasant-smelling essential oils
  • A bottle of Everclear
  • Glycerin
  • Clean perfume bottles (preferably glass)

To get started, you’ll need to choose your scents. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of essential oils from which to choose. As a result, creating a unique blend is far more straightforward than you might think!

Once you know what kinds of scents you’d like to incorporate, you’ll pour a little alcohol into one of your glass bottles, then add several drops of essential oil.

From that point, you can either choose to age your concoction or immediately add water and glycerin. Aging the oil in the alcohol may be the better route, especially if you

Choose a New Scent

How are perfumes made? The answer varies depending on the precise fragrance, but most feature a combination of essential oils and alcohol. The creation process is often as simple as adding these ingredients together.

If you don’t have a signature scent (or you’re unsatisfied with your current perfumes), it may be time to branch out and try something new. Be sure to test multiple fragrances to find something that suits your tastes.

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