New Year, New Fragrance (tutorial)

Have any plans for this evening? Here’s what I’m up to (yes, yes, you guessed it: difficult to get a baby sitter on New Year’s Eve). Recently I made a wonderful spray perfume for my mom that smelled amazing using a blend of different fragrance oils. However, it’s not always necessary to blend fragrance oils. A quick and easy way to get a perfectly lovely scent is to use a fragrance oil that is already a bit complex on it’s own. All the blending is done for you, and you can get on with your fancy New Year’s Eve parties and champagne toasts at midnight!

Sweet and Easy Perfume


10 mL Cyclomethicone

9 mL DPG (Dipropylene Glycol)

10 mL 91% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol

1-2 mL Fragrance Oil

3 Mini Spray Bottles

Droppers with Suction Bulb

Small Funnel (optional)

Click here to add everything you need for this project (including the three fragrance oils I tried) to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!


ONE: Using the marked Droppers with Suction Bulb, measure out 10 mL Cyclomethicone into a container. Next, add the DPG, then in goes the 91% Rubbing Alcohol. Now you have a generic perfume base!

Adding DPG

TWO: To your base, add 1-2 mL of a fragrance oil of your choice. I made three versions of this perfume, one using Cherry Blossom Fragrance Oil, one with Cucumber Melon Fragrance Oil, and one with the newest additions from our S.O.A.P. panel, Waterlily Orange Fragrance Oil! Cherry Blossom and Cucumber Melon were both plenty strong with just 1 mL of fragrance oil added, but with the Waterlily Orange I wanted to make sure the delicate notes showed up well so I added a total of 2 mL of fragrance oil.

Adding Fragrance OIl

THREE: Carefully pour the perfume into the  mini spray bottle. I had to use a small funnel for this part, but that may not be the case for you. One batch of this recipe will fill three spray bottles a little more than 3/4 full. And, that’s it! Cap and dance the night away.

Click here for a printable PDF of this tutorial.

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  1. rita g says

    thanks for the easy to follow instructions… i followed very closely and created a lovely scent … but the scent only lingered for a very short time and then was undetectable… are there adjustments i can make that are likely to increase the amount of time the scent stays on skin or is there a specific fragrance fixative ingredient to help accomplish this? thanks for your reply

  2. Amanda says

    Thank you for the recipe !!! I’m just wondering if I can make some adjustment. What is the purpose of alcohol ? I followed this recipe & mine smelled too much alcohol when I first spray it masking the fragrance oil I added. Can I substitute the alcohol portion with DPG & Cyclomehicone ? Do I need to put any preservative if I do that ?

    • Kelsey says

      Hi Amanda!

      The purpose of the alcohol is to help the perfume absorb and dry on your skin. If you don’t want to include it, you can actually make a perfume blend out of just cyclomethicone! Because cyclomethicone is a liquid silicone, it doesn’t need a preservative. Nice and easy. :)

      To do so, add 1/10 oz. of fragrance or essential oil per 1 oz. of cyclomethicone. Shake well and apply!

      You can also switch out the rubbing alcohol for distilled water. In that case, you would need a preservative. Optiphen would work great! You can use that at .5-1.5% of the total weight of your recipe.

      -Kelsey with Bramble Berry


      Talk It Out Tuesday: Preservatives:

  3. Liz says

    Hi Soap Queen,
    I have been having fun formulating perfumes with your perfume kit. I was wondering about the perfume base. Can I buy it separatly on BB or can I make a base that is similar to it. When I looked at your perfume base to buy it seems you only sell the solid base. I would really like to be able to get the liquid one.
    Thank You, Liz

  4. Liz says

    Hi Bramble Berry,
    I ordered one of your perfume kits and read through your little booklet for making the perfume. I was wondering about how you can judge which of your fragrance oils are top, middle, and bottom notes? You talk about that in your booklet but it is not really clear in your different descriptions of your FO on BB what they are. I researched it a little on the internet but they only give that kind of info for essential oils.

    • says

      Good morning, Liz!

      What a great question. The top, middle and bottom notes of perfume can be a little confusing if you are just starting out, but I promise it isn’t super complicated!

      A top note is a scent that is perceived immediately upon the application of the perfume. The scents tend to be ones that are described as fresh and sharp. Citrus and ginger scents are some of the common top notes used in a perfume.

      A middle note is a scent that you smell as soon as the top notes disappear. These are the the main body of a perfume and tend to be more mellow floral notes like lavender and rose scents.

      A bottom note is one that is a bit deep and holds all the scents together and one that isn’t typically perceived until 30 or so minutes after the perfume has been applied. These tend to be heavier scents and many base notes of perfumes are musk-type scents.

      I hope this helps to explain it a bit more. And, if you are interested, here are a few books that Bramble Berry carries that go more in-depth about perfumes, aromatherapy, etc.:

      Aromatherapy Companion Book:

      Aromatherapy For Women Book:

      Perfume, Splashes And Colognes :

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  5. Nina says

    So you have showed 2 ways of making a spray perfume; (1) cyclomethicone and DPG and rubbing alcohol and FO; (2) water and polysorbate and rubbing alcohol and FO. How do these products differ (I mean in texture, skin feel or the time the fragrance leaves on skin etc…)? And why don’t you use preservative in the White Ginger and Amber recipe although there is water? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Nina!

      Either perfume recipe is going to be wonderful on the skin, and it really depends on personal preference. I liked the DPG/Cyclomethicone recipe, while some of the gals in the office swear by the rubbing alcohol, water and polysorbate recipe.

      I’d make a small batch of the water/polysorbate/rubbing alcohol recipe since it sounds like you have the ingredients for it, and if you like it, you can stick with it. If it doesn’t work for you, then you can try the other recipes.

      The reason we don’t use a preservative in the White Ginger and Amber recipe is because of the alcohol (it makes it pretty impossible for any mold or bacteria to grow). But, you could of course add in a preservative to be extra safe. We suggest adding it in at around 1% of your recipe.

      I hope this helps! :)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  6. Nina says

    Hi Anne-Marie, what do cyclomethicone and DPG do in this recipe? I don’t have DPG, can I replace it by Polysorbates?

    • says

      Good morning, Marcy!

      Typically we don’t color perfume, but if you are wanting to, I’d try out a little bit of an oil-soluble colorant. You might check to see if there are any frosting colors are oil soluble. We don’t sell any that are liquid but that’s what you’re looking for.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Tracy says

    Is there anything else you can substitute for DPG? I like to use more organic substances and try to stay away from anything that is a biproduct of propylene glycol.

  8. edie says

    Does this need a preservative? I noticed in one of the SQVs that Optiphen was used – of course, I saw that after I had placed my order!

    • says

      Hi Edie!

      What a great question! You don’t need to use a preservative in this perfume, because there is no distilled water in it. In our other perfume recipes, we used a preservative (like Optiphen) because we included distilled water as an ingredient. Any time you have water in your recipe (except CP soap) you will want to add a preservative to make sure no microbes or bacteria start growing. I hope this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  9. says

    Wow, this is amazing. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at perfumes, and coming up with my own “signiture scent”, but it intimidated me. You de-mystified it for me, thanks, I can’t wait to try it! Also, I love Brambleberry’s Almond Biscotti FO so much. I bought one bottle and made SO many bath treats for my family for Christmas. This scent really goes a long way, great value.
    Thanks, Anna

    • Anne-Marie says

      Thanks for the positive note Anna. I’m so glad that you were able to make delicious treats for your family with Almond Biscotti. It is such a yummy scent isn’t it?! =)

  10. Zala says

    Happy 2013 to you and your family, Anne- Marie! May this year bless you again with a healthy and beautiful new life!

    About this recipe; I don’t have Dipropylene Glycol, but I do have Propylene Glycol. Do you know if it would be possible to use that instead?

    Thank you for this new recipe and thank you so much for all the recipes, tips, ideas and uplifting words of the past year. I do appreciate it very much!

  11. Sharon says

    Thanks!!!!!! Another good one!!!! BTW, Does this require shaking before using????? I’ve seen some recipes that will require the bottle to be shaken before each use.

    • Anne-Marie says

      It doesn’t – that’s the joy of using the high grade alcohol. It acts likes a lovely mixing agent.