Introduction: How to Make Infused Oil

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Making infused oils is a process of transferring flavour and scent into a carrier oil.  It can be used to add flavour to cooking oils. As well as making scent oils for use in aromatherapy, massage oils and making beauty products like soaps and lotions. 

It is a simple process of infusing flowers, herbs or spices into an oil by heating or letting it sit in a sunny spot so that  the volatile oils can transfer into the carrier oil. I will show you how I make them in this instructable.

Step 1: Materials:

  • Oil (I will discuss the different types to use in Steps 2 and 5)
  • Herbs, spices, flowers
  • Clean, dry glass jars
  • Clean decorative glass containers
  • Coffee filters, cheesecloth, sieve
  • Funnel
  • Spoon
  • Hot plate/double boiler or pan/skillet
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Sunny windowsill
Sterilize the glass jars and bottles that you will be using by running them through the dishwasher.  It is important that they are completely dry.

As you will see in the following steps a wide assortment of flowers, herbs and spices can be used in making infused oils.  Since you will ingesting or putting these oils on your body I would recommend using organic material if you can.  Better still if you can grow them in your garden, you can control what goes on the plants as well as save yourself a lot of money too.  Even a little potted herb plant on your windowsill will do.

Step 2: Culinary Oil: Preparing Herbs

Culinary infused oils are a great way to add flavour to your cooking. An assortment of herbs and spices can be used depending on your tastes and cooking style. You can use either fresh or dried herbs.  Fresh herbs will give a stronger flavour but the oil won't keep as long and needs to be stored in the refrigerator (see note below**).  I tend to make small quantities of infused oil at at time so that it will be used up quickly.

Here a few suggestions, don't be afraid to mix and match:













The best type of oil to use is extra virgin olive oil, you can also use grape seed , peanut or sunflower oil.  Walnut oil is also good if it will be used cold such as for salad dressings since it is not good for heating.

How to make:
  • Wash your herbs and dry completely**
  • Bruise or rub herbs, for spices toast them to bring out the flavour
  • Place in a clean dry glass jar.
  • Add oil until it completely covers the herbs/spices.
  • Place a lid on  the jar and close
  • Place the jar on a sunny windowsill or other sunny spot.  Swirl or shake the jar every day or so.

**It is important that no moisture is introduced into the oil as it can become rancid or prone to mold or bacteria growth. (Garlic is particularly prone to this so it should be stored in the fridge or made with the heating method in a skillet described in step 4.)

Step 3: Culinary Oil:draining and Storing

  • After a week drain off the oil into a clean dry jar using a sieve (for larger herbs) or cheesecloth or coffee filters.
  • Taste the oil to see if the flavour is strong enough
  • If you want it stronger add more herbs/spices to the oil, close the lid and place back in the sunny spot for another week.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • If you are happy with the flavour, pour the oil into a nice glass bottle, you can also add a fresh sprig of herb to make if look fancy.
  • Store in a cool dry place or better still, in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Culinary Oil: Heating Method

Heating the herbs/spices in oil is a quicker way of making infused oil and is great for dried herbs and spices since the heat helps brings out the flavour.
  • Grind dried herbs/spices with mortar and pestle
  • Place into a clean glass jar
  • Cover in oil
  • Place a lid on top of the jar (don't tighten)
  • Place the jar on hot plate and simmer for several hours (about 3hrs - warning: your kitchen will smell wonderful!)
  • Taste to see if the flavour is strong enough
  • Drain with a sieve or cheesecloth/coffee filters
  • Pour into a clean glass bottle, label and store.
For spices you can do this in a skillet or pan instead. Heat the oil and spices until the oil bubbles and spices sizzle, it needs constant stirring but should only take about 5 minutes, don't overcook.  When ready, strain and pour into a clean glass jar and let cool. When it has cooled taste to see if it is to your liking. Store.

Step 5: Massage, Bath and Scent Oils

You can also capture the scent of flowers and herbs in infused oils.  These infused oils can be used as massage oils, bath oils or can be used in making lotions, soaps or perfumes. There are several plant based oils that you can use in making infused scent oils (these are referred to as carrier oils):

Sweet almond oil

Evening primrose oil

Jojoba oil

Avocado oil

Apricot kernel oil

Borage Seed Oil

Olive oil

Various nut oils (eg walnut,pecan, hazelnut)

Grape seed oil

Various seed oils (eg hemp,sesame, sunflower)

These oils are easily absorbed into the skin (making them great moisturizers) and do not have a strong odor.  They can be bought at health/natural food stores or specialty aromatherapy stores. Some can be found at grocery stores, but try to get cold pressed oils.

The type of flowers or herbs that you can use is really up to your imagination or what you happen to have growing in your garden, here are some suggestions:


Rose, carnation, chamomile, jasmine, violets


Geranium, violets, lily, sweet pea, hyacinths etc


Vanilla bean

Citrus peel

Cinnamon bark




Using fresh over dried is usually better, also if you are getting them from your garden, cut the flowers/herbs in the morning and start making the infused oil right away if you can. You can mix different flowers and herbs together creating a variety of different scent combinations. The instructions for making scent infused oils are basically the same as culinary oils, though I wouldn't recommend using the heating method since flowers are more delicate than culinary herbs.

How to make:
  • Gently bruise, crush, or chop the flower petals, herbs, spices or peels
  • Place them into clean dry glass jar
  • Cover them in a carrier oil
  • Place a lid on the jar and close
  • Place jar in a sunny spot. Swirl or shake the jar every day or so.

Step 6: Drain and Store

  • After a week drain off the oil into a clean jar using a sieve or cheesecloth/coffee filters.
  • Smell the oil to see if the scent is strong enough
  • If you want it stronger add more flowers(or herbs etc) to the oil, close lid and place back in the sunny spot for another week.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • If you are happy with the scent pour the oil in to a nice glass bottle and label.  You can add a pretty ribbon and give it as a gift.
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