Most do-it-yourself perfume recipes call for vodka and essential oils. These items can be expensive if you don't already have them in your home, or can take time to locate if there isn't a liquor store or essential oil retailer in your city. Perfume can be made without these items, in a few simple steps. This recipe is also great for making room and fabric sprays.
Choose different flowers, herbs and spices to make your perfume. If you are using flowers or petals, you need about 2 cups worth. You can chose flowers or herbs from your garden, and add in items from your kitchen, like vanilla or ginger. Experiment with different scent combinations.
Add 3 cups of cold water to a saucepan or tea kettle. Bring it to a light boil, as if you were going to make tea, but not a full, roiling boil. A good indicator as to when your water is hot enough is when bubbles start to form on the bottom of the pot, but the water isn't yet boiling.
Add your flowers and spices to the bowl. Pour hot water over top of them. If you are adding any extracts like vanilla, make sure you wait until the water has cooled to room temperature as not to evaporate the fragrances. Cover the bowl. You can use plastic wrap or a large plate or pot lid. You want to let the flowers steep until the water is room temperature or cooler, at least 30 minutes to an hour. Think of it as steeping tea.
Test your perfume for fragrance. If it is too strong, add more water. If it isn't strong enough, you can pour the contents of the bowl into a saucepan and slowly raise the heat (do not boil!) and add more flowers.
When the perfume has cooled to room temperature, strain the flowers off. Pour your perfume into your clean bottle and store in a cool, dark place. Use it on your body, or use it as an air freshener in your home.
Storing in a cool, dark place will help the spray retain its smell longer.
Don't boil the water, as it can evaporate the scents from the flowers.
A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.