Introduction: Solid Perfume

Picture of Solid Perfume

This is an inexpensive and easy way to smell nice! I originally looked into this because I wanted to smell like pine trees, and nobody makes that scent (at least until Ralph Lauren gets a whiff of me). Create a personalized scent for a nifty gift.

The only ingredient that can get expensive is the essential oils, especially if you make a complex scent blend requiring an initial investment of many different essentials. Of course, there's nothing wrong with picking a single pleasant scent. One bottle of an essential oil will make lots and lots of perfume; you use only drops at a time!

You will need:
1 tablespoon Beeswax (available at craft shop)
1 tablespoon Almond Oil (or Jojoba Oil or Vitamin E - available at natural foods/health store)
8 - 15 drops Essential Oils (available at natural foods/health store)
1 container (preferably glass, ceramic or stone but plastic is acceptable)

For a cool gift, find an appealing container at your thrift store (it must be bowl-like, not bottle-like, to allow fingers to access the perfume) to make it special.

Step 1: Measure and Melt

Picture of Measure and Melt

.Put about an inch of water in a small saucepan, then put a small glass jar or pyrex bowl in the water.  Measure out the wax and almond oil into the jar/bowl and bring the water around it to a boil.

The wax will melt gradually; when it is 100% liquid, remove from heat and stir in the other ingredients with a straw (the wax will start to form solid on whatever you do your stirring with — a straw has little surface area so you lose less of the end product, and it's disposable so you don't have to clean it off).  When everything is thoroughly mixed together, pour the liquid wax immediately into your final container.  In about 30 minutes, it will be cooled, solid and ready to use.

Here, I'm making a cedarwood essence perfume to rub on my dogs' collars, so I just used a simple plastic container. The scent of cedar repels ticks, and smells good, too!

Step 2: Apply Perfume

Picture of Apply Perfume

To use the perfume, simply rub a finger around on the surface of the waxy perfume, then rub that finger on the area you want to smell good — the inside of your wrists and behind the ears works well.

Some tips for devising the ultimate scent recipe:

• combine drops of various essentials, totalling 8 -15 drops in all
• pick a primary scent and use more of that one, then one or two "background" scents, using less of each
• check out various aromatherapy sites for info on the psychological properties of various scents

Most stores that sell essential oils have sampler bottles of each one that you can use to "preview" the different scents. Open two or three up at a time and try to get a combined whiff, to find a good combination.

Some nice essentials for background scents are:
• clary sage (a slightly smoky herbal scent that's supposed to help creativity and concentration)
• orange or ginger provide a warming sensation (my wife, who is always cold, attests to this)
• ylang-ylang is a floral that isn't too sweet or girly for guys, but it's a happy smell and subtle enough for a backdrop
• cedar repels insects

Here's my personal scent recipe (and purported aromatherapy effects):
6 drops essential oil of pine (confidence)
4 drops essential oil of ylang-ylang (mood-elevating, energizing)
3 drops essential oil of clary sage (concentration and creativity)

Here's the recipe for my wife's personal scent (and purported aromatherapy effects):
5 drops essential oil of ginger (sweet and warming)
4 drops essential oil of orange (warming, mood-elevating)
2 drops essential oil of ylang-ylang (mood-elevating, energizing)
2 drops of clary sage (concentration and creativity)

Other uses:
• rub some on the seats of your car
• clean out a chapstick tube and fill for an on-the-go applicator
• make a cedar or cypress rub for feet — prevents fungus and bacteria-related foot funk
• rub on the inside of dog collars for a pooch perfume
• rub on the inside of your wallet to get rid of dirty money smell
• apply sparingly on business cards — this japanese tradition makes your card unique and memorable


rosecrowned (author)2012-11-30

Never thought about rubbing it onto dog's collars!
I love the smell of wet dogs, but I imagine a bit of pine would be a bit more welcome ;)

ryanne07 (author)2012-06-25

may i know the best brand for ethyl alcohol?? can i use food flavoring for perfumes??

BrokenArsenal (author)2012-05-11

I was thinking would it work if I used massage oil instead of essential oils?

rapiertwit (author)BrokenArsenal2012-05-12

Even if they're scented massage oils, they won't be nearly concentrated enough.

BrokenArsenal (author)rapiertwit2012-05-13

Yea I tried it and there was already too much of other oils and things added. So it was rather weak.

Mitchi (author)2011-12-31

Thanks for the great instructable! I made an awesome birthday gift for a friend who is allergic to everything, and I used some perfume oil i had from zomgsmells to make one for myself, which made it a lot more subtle than the super strong oil. I used some little plastic pill containers I picked up from walgreens for a dollar (cvs has some nice ones too, I got a cute little brown one with blue flowers on it there for the same price).

I wonder if a nice cedar citronella blend will be good for dog collars to repel ticks and mosquitoes?

Mahekun (author)2011-06-17

Thanks for this! I've had the basic recipe for the solid perfume for awhile but never was able to get the ratios for the wax vs. oil correct. This is perfect!

MeanLynn (author)2011-02-11

This is amazing. Thank you so much! I cant wait to whip up a batch as I was wearing a few of my oils straight but found many to be too strong.


dexez (author)2010-02-14

 I have a problem with the essential oil, in Romania (where I live :D), we don”t have essential oils, only volatile oils, for aromatherapy.
Is that a good substitute?
I know there is the mention on the label that it cannot touch the skin.  
If not I”ll have to make my own bamboo essential oil, and I don”t know where i can get the plant :P

strmrnnr (author)dexez2010-02-15

I believe that they are one and the same.

The label warning is precationary due to the fact that the product is a concentrate in an alcohol base, and concentrates of anything can be dangerous if misused.

TANZMEISTER (author)strmrnnr2010-02-24

They are not one in the same!
They are however similar in the same manner that vanilla extract and imitation vanilla extract have the same chemical formula.  However, the atoms are arranged in a different order.

Be aware that some of the desired essential oils like peppermint which is cooling to the skin.  As a volitile oil (such a misnomer in chemistry) will cause irritation sufficient quantity.

Use the metasearch here on Instructables or a search engine to learn how to create your own essential oils. 

Often times it is as easy as taking high proof ethanol alcohol (i.e. Everclear) and letting your desired organic oil rich substance sit in it for a couple of months.  Others require being dropped into boiling water to release the oils, or soaked in a base oil (i.e. mineral oil).  The last general category that I'm aware of require distillation from a neutral oil/spirit to get a high enough concentration of the desired oils (this is unnecessary for most plants and flowers).  Though should you build a distillation apparatus I would recommend looking into the "theory" of brandy making, *wink wink*. 

rattyrain (author)TANZMEISTER2011-02-03

Imitation vanilla does not have the same chemical formula; it only has vanillin, the main flavor/aroma chemical found in vanilla. It's missing all of the other good stuff.

patcholi1961 (author)dexez2010-03-05

Volatile oils are a synonym for essential oils. Be aware of the therapeutic properties of the oils which you will be using. For example Rosemary is a stimulus, great for morning use to help you wake up but not wonderful if you feel like relaxing. Most essential oils can be used on skin. The warning on the bottle comes from the fact that very few should be used on skin in their pure state, but need to be diluted in oil, alcohol or another substance before use.

rose8890 (author)2010-02-12

I tried your ible and it smells great! However, after I put it on my wrists, the scent only lasted about 10 minutes. I used soy wax and olive oil because I already had those. Do you think that's why the scent didn't last?

DClotfelter (author)rose88902011-01-23

You stop noticing the smell yourself after a short time just like any smell. It does last though. The first time I wore solid perfume i thought the same thing, but one of my coworkers commented on my scent many hours after I put it on.

lycoris3 (author)rose88902010-03-07

because the perfume is missing a VERY important but VERY expensive ingredient.  I don't remember what it is called, but the best perfumists use it, and it comes from whales.  People's lives have been changed for the very better because of it.  If I remember correctly, the animals do not have to be killed to get it. Again though, it's expensive to get.  
Look it up if you wish, but I read it in a book somewhere.

citizen251 (author)lycoris32010-03-23

I think you are thinking of Ambergris.

lycoris3 (author)citizen2512010-04-02

That's it, thank you! btw, interesting profile pic.

mohegan (author)2009-11-22

ok...I really want to smell like pine trees but I cant find anything about it accept this. I'm kind of young, and don't have the resources or skills nessacary to create this. Does anyone have any segestions? =/

tofuttibreak (author)mohegan2010-07-28

If you can't make a perfume like this, you might want to try doing what I do with essential oils. Buy the one that you like and first make sure that you aren't allergic. You can dip a pin head in the oil (you just want a tiny amount) and touch it onto your forearm, then wait 24-48 to make sure that no rash occurs. If you aren't violently allergic, it should be fine. Put two drops of the oil onto your hair brush before each brushing. If you brush a couple of times per day, you will always smell of the scent you like.

panks (author)tofuttibreak2010-11-21

Love the brush idea! Brilliant! Thank you :)

Batness (author)mohegan2010-01-05

Health food stores like Whole Foods sell Pine and Cedar oils, and you can get beeswax at a craft store like Joann's or Michael's. You don't have to have the Almond Oil; you can use Olive Oil! Most people already have some of this cooking oil at home.

As for containers, sometimes you can just reuse one you already have! Old lipbalm pots work great.  You can usually ask someone older to help you melt the beeswax and add the oils; it doesn't take much time.

CarlzAmez (author)2010-10-11

lol..iv always wanted solid perfume...but now im too scared to make it, in fear of getting my skin burnt off by the essencial oils..:/...<3

Draighean (author)2007-01-21

Solid perfumes are so much nicer than commercial fragrances. A couple words of caution: when dealing with essential oils be careful. Research to ensure the dilution you intend to use is skin safe. I've heard a lot of good information about Martin Watt's knowledge of essential oil safety. For example "Oils such as expressed bergamot can cause a lifelong condition known as photosensitisation. Oils like peppermint and cinnamon bark can actually burn the skin if they come in contact for too long." If you intend to use them on pets be cautious. Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils and even inhalation can cause liver problems (google lavender cat for more information). Have fun, but be safe.

Shut Up Now (author)Draighean2008-11-12

*whips up batch of cinnamon for enemy*

san3091 (author)Shut Up Now2010-02-11

 Lol, sounds effective, although I cant imagine how you would actually get that on the enemy's skin.

lycoris3 (author)san30912010-04-02

you send an unmarked package on their desk and let them use it.  no fingerprints on package or anything!!!

Shut Up Now (author)lycoris32010-04-08

Haha i don't even remember writing that.. 1 1/2 years go by fast!

lycoris3 (author)Shut Up Now2010-04-20

funny eh?  just reading it is still funny.

lycoris3 (author)Shut Up Now2010-03-07

* concurs and follows suit *  smiles evilly........

lycoris3 (author)lycoris32010-03-07

then thinks again and checks my karma meter.......and abandons the revenge perfume....

sunshiine (author)2010-03-07

This is right up my alley! Thanks!

gellocks (author)2010-02-14

 This is absolutely WONDERFUL!!  Thanks for sharing!!!!!

Qcks (author)2010-02-13

Actually this is an interesting Instructable, but It's not really a perfume. It's actually closer to a lotion. Including a small amount of glycerin will help the wax to be soft.

elizabethd22 (author)2010-02-12

 Great instructable! The small jar in the picture looks like a soapstone jar, about 2" across, available from Ten Thousand Villages. They come in various shapes and colors, each one handmade, and even new they only cost $4. So if you're having trouble finding something at a thrift store, check out a Ten Thousand Villages store or go to

mikebook (author)2009-12-16

 Do the scents intensify as it ages, as with other perfume applications? Do they need to be stabilized once in the beeswax? What about using Fragrance Oils instead of essentials?

hishealer (author)mikebook2010-02-12

I know the essential oils are volatile, meaning they will evaporate away with age.  And also make sure, as the author said, that whatever oils are safe for the skin, just ask the clerk.  If they don't know something so simple, walk away; it is so not worth a rash later.

bonecholampworks (author)2010-02-11

Forgot to mention!
There are a few sellers on ArtFire that sell small DIY kits for these sort of things, complete with bottles, little tins, etc, including a choice of oils...I had considered buying one, this instructable might kick start me!

I did a quick search on the above mentioned site & came up with lots of nice options:  search terms:  oil, kit

bonecholampworks (author)2010-02-11

So simple, yet so wonderful!  Thanks for the instructable!!!
<now, where is that incredible bottle of Sandalwood I had stashed away...>

strawberry (author)2008-05-02

Wow, this is a great way to make my BPAL go further! Thanks, and awesome job!

mousewrites (author)strawberry2010-02-11

My thought exactly.

(wow, old post, I know. :) )

thepelton (author)2010-02-11

Several things.
1.  I work with a young woman who loves licorish.
2.  I once told her that when I was living in San Diego, that fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) grows as a weed in vacant lots, and smells and tastes of licorish.  (I'm unsure of the spelling of "licorish".) 
There is a scent source for you. 

bitterbierce (author)2010-02-11

I just wonder if you can use a small, spent, solid glue stick,  to carry it in a convenient form in your purse or whatever... 
To do so, clean it, make a cylinder around the plastic thread base and plug the thread with a rod.   Pour the mixture in and remove the mould and rod when cold. 
    A spent lipstick could also do the trick.

hishealer (author)bitterbierce2010-02-11

Or lip balm tube!  Great idea!

CozmikDawn (author)2010-02-11

A really good place to get essential oils and other supplies is called AzureGreen. They have everything you need for perfume making. Great and easy instructable, I'm going to recommend this to every one!

Madrigorne (author)2010-02-11

I just bet you could pour this into an altoids container! ( I heart them and use them for everything)

Batness (author)2010-01-05

This is a pretty good and stable solid perfume base; in fact if you add a little more oil to it, you can have a decent lip balm base as well! I used avocado oil and this is amazing.

As for the user asking if stabilizers are needed, I haven't needed any. Although vanilla scents will make the base turn darker over time, but that's just the appearance; the perfume will still work just fine! I have also used fragrance oils, but just make sure they're body and skin safe ones; candle oils frequently aren't meant to be put on skin.

Rahlan (author)Batness2010-02-06

Any advice on 'measurement' changes when using 'fragrance' oils instead of essential oils?  I'm assuming that since they aren't  pure, then they aren't as strong... but that should also mean that it takes more than a few drops for the same strength of fragrance. (?)    What ratios did you use when you substituted 'fragrance oils'.
Thanks for your help.

Batness (author)Rahlan2010-02-06

I don't have an exact ratio myself since I just "eyeball it" until it's at a strength I need. I usually only need a few drops per "lip balm tube (.15 oz?)" for essential oils, but I'd add a few extra if the scent is faint; essential or otherwise.

bordeaux (author)2009-11-30

I found this easy to make. I didn't have almond oil, so I substitutes with olive. It still worked great and I'm loving it!

About This Instructable




Bio: Just emerging from my paranoid phase.
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