Advanced techniques for hand-making perfumes/colognes?

Specifically, I want to know how to make (mostly using essential oils and fragrance oils) a cologne that lasts long and has a strong scent. I've tried multiple times and the scent is either weak or doesn't last. I'm not looking for formulas for specific long-lasting scents. I'm looking for methods/additives/compunds/etc. that can be used to make any homemade scent mixture stay strong and last on the skin. The most I've been able to get it to last is an hour or so with the usual essential oils, distilled water, and alcohol mixtures. What am I missing that makes some colognes stand out so strongly and last so long on the skin?


I know about the notes, high (bright, like mint, citrus, etc.). low (like musk and sandalwood), and middle (like lavender and rosemary), and I also know about bridge notes (like vanilla) that react differently in the fragrance depending on other scents present, often as connecting agents between the other aromas. I know the normal ratios of water to alcohol to essential oils, and I even know about a few ways to lengthen the shelf-life of oils and perfumes (benzoin tincture comes to mind for a homemade solution).

What I am asking specifically for is two things:

-How do I make the scent stronger on the skin, especially without just adding more oil, which makes the scent overbearing and somewhat obnoxious?

-How do I make the scent last on the skin? Abercrombie lasts a day and a half on the back of my hand(and I'm a frequent handwasher), while the scents of my oils, tinctures, and perfumes barely last an hour. Even Anne Riva oils last for 5 or 6 hours, and most of those are homemad

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Make sure you use a true essential oils and not a fragrance oils as these tend to contain a number of synthetic chemicals\additives, which are not generally listed on the labeling and are generally not suitable for use on the skin.

    Here is a link to a couple of good articles which explain the basic about " Blending Essential Oils" ( and "Aromatherapy Perfumes"

    The key to making a good Perfume\Cologne are the "Notes" of the essential oils. This means that the blending is the key to making a lasting perfume, one that smells balanced at the beginning and continues to do so as the various molecules dissipate. The best blends will usually contain a mixture of all three notes, although it is possible to blend just top and middle notes (lighter and shorter lived) or middle and base notes (heavier and more intense). It is rare that a top and base note will blend harmoniously, although it can sometimes happen.

    - Top notes are the lightest, with smaller faster moving molecules. They evaporate very quickly, so will dissipate first and often appear more obvious when you first smell a blend, then gradually disappearing. Top notes generally have a brighter, lighter energy. Typical top notes are the citrus group of oils, which reflect this bright lively character.

    - Base notes are at the other end of the spectrum. They have heavier and slower moving

    molecules and take much longer to evaporate. They will inform the character of the blend after the other notes have dissipated. Base note oils tend to be slower, often warmer, often more relaxing. Many wood oils, such as sandalwood, are base notes, but this group also includes very different oils such as ylang ylang and ginger.

    - Middle notes are, as the name suggests, between top and base notes in terms of their energy and volatility. They are often very balancing oils, although some can be relaxing and some stimulating. Many herb oils fall into this category, such as lavender, rosemary and marjoram.

    Hope this helps!

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