Have you ever tried to make your own perfume? It’s actually pretty easy. Of course, it takes a lot of trial and error to get the right scent combination. But you can make your own perfume oil for a fraction of what you would pay in a store. And you will have your own unique, personal fragrance.

Here are some tips:

Use a base that will not degrade quickly, so your scent does not spoil over time. Jojoba oil is the best base I’ve found for home perfume-making use. It’s actually a liquid wax. It’s odorless and has a bright yellow color. Sweet almond oil is also good. It won’t last quite as long as jojoba oil, but it is colorless and odorless.

When possible use essential oils instead of fragrance oils. What is the difference? Essential oils are natural and have some health benefits, although certain EOs can be very costly. Fragrance oils are synthetic. If you want to make another batch of your perfume, and you want it to smell the same, you are better off with essential oils. A real rose is a rose is a rose. A synthetic rose may smell different depending on the manufacturer of the oil.

With that said, there are some fragrances that are not available as essential oils, and there are some essential oils that are prohibitively expensive. Peach, for example, or ocean air, would require the use of a synthetic fragrance oil. Rose and jasmine are very expensive for anyone just starting out. Experiment to find combinations you like best.

Read a book on aromatherapy. You can create scents to suit your mood. Make a fresh, citrusy, uplifting scent to brighten your spirits. Make a warm, exotic scent when you have a hot date. Learn the physical properties of essential oils to learn about their possible health benefits. There are some essential oils that you should stay away from. Reading up on essential oils is a must before using. Never put essential oils directly on your skin. They must always be diluted with a carrier oil.

Write down each time you experiment. You don’t want to discover your perfect scent and not remember the exact recipe. Keep track of what oils you used, where you sourced them from, how many drops you used, the date, and whatever other information you think may be useful, like weather conditions or room temperature.

Keep your fragrance in small amber or cobalt glass vials to protect it from light.

Try this basic recipe to start:

3/4 oz. jojoba or sweet almond oil
10-15 drops of essential oils

For example, try a classic combination like 10 drops lavender, 3 drops sweet orange, and 2 drops ylang ylang. Put the top on your bottle and tip back and forth gently to blend.

Test a little on your forearm and keep checking the scent as it will likely change over time.

Good luck.