A good friend tried my calming lavender body oil recently, and was surprised by its calming and refreshing floral scent. The naturally scented body oil piqued her curiosity. She asked if I know how to make perfume. Vanilla perfume to be precise. She likes the idea of wearing a vanilla perfume, but finds most store-bought ones too strong. And they often give her headaches. At that moment, I pictured her dodging unwanted advances from an army of perfume ladies at a department store, like a cat trying to avoid her bath.
Of course store-bought perfumes are headache inducing. Most of them are made with chemicals and synthetic materials. Her headaches are probably a physiological manifestation of her body screaming: “Back Off! Back Off from those nasties!” (I imagine that the warning is transmitted in a robotic monotone voice.) How can I be a good friend if I don’t help her? If she wants vanilla perfume, then she will get vanilla perfume (made with all natural ingredients, of course).
Why Make Your Own Vanilla Perfume?
Why would anyone want to make her own vanilla perfume? Simple. Vanilla perfume, make with all natural ingredients, is better than the store-bought ones, because you know exactly what’s in your vanilla perfume. Store-bought perfumes often contain chemicals that affect our health. These chemicals include petroleum-based phthalates. Time Magazine said in a 2015 article that cosmetic companies like phthalates, because they “keep all the liquid’s different elements suspended and evenly distributed.” Meaning: phthalates make perfumes smell good. The same Time Magazine piece warned that phthalates disrupt our hormones. Studies have shown connections between phthalates and a host of health concerns, including developmental disorders, poor lung functions, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fertility issues, irregular hair growth and acne. Other ingredients in store-bought perfumes have been linked to “cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.”
The worst part is you often have no idea what’s in a store-bought perfume. Companies’ fragrance formulations are considered trade secrets. This means cosmetic companies are not required to reveal all the ingredients used to make perfumes. If you see fragrance, perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, or aroma in the ingredients list, it’s possible that your perfume contains harmful materials. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) said that “the average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label.” With store-bought perfumes, you just don’t know what you are spritzing on your body. You can read more about heath concerns associated with store-bought perfumes here, here and here. Now that you’re armed with this important (and scary) information about store-bought perfumes, I hope you are ready to make your own perfume – vanilla perfume.
Making Vanilla Perfume Requires Patience
This vanilla perfume receipt is super simple. But you gotta be patient. There is a 2-week waiting period for your vanilla infused oil to be ready. Please don’t even think about using vanilla extract or vanilla absolute. Most of them have a ton of alcohol, don’t use real vanilla, or use solvent during the extraction process. Also, there is no such thing as pure vanilla essential oil. Anyone who tries to sell you pure vanilla essential oil is trying to scam you. During the 2-week waiting period, don’t keep checking the vanilla infused oil. It won’t make 2 weeks go any faster. All good things come to those who wait. So true, especially when you are making all natural vanilla perfume!
For this simple and natural vanilla perfume recipe, you will need to: (1) make vanilla infused oil, (2) wait 2 weeks while the natural goodness (and scent) of vanilla is infused into the oil, (3) add essential oil: bergamot, cedarwood and anise (optional). Bergamot and anise are top note essential oil. This means that when used in a perfume, they are the first scent you will detect. A top note essential oil is also the first scent to fade. Both vanilla infused oil and cedarwood essential oil are base note oil. You will detect their scent after bergamot and anise. A base note is the last scent to fade.
All Natural Ingredients for Vanilla Perfume
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- Vanilla Beans – 1 bean. I use Kiva Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. Amazon also has Wild Vanilla Beans, Tahitian Grade A Vanilla Beans, and Madagascar Bourbon Grade A Vanilla Beans. There is no getting around it. Vanilla beans are expensive, but you only need 1 bean for this vanilla perfume recipe.
- Sunflower Oil – 3 to 4 tablespoons. I use organic sunflower oil from Whole Foods. Amazon offers Life-Flo organic sunflower oil, Baja Precious organic sunflower oil, and pure sunflower oil. You can use other light carried oil, such as grapeseed oil or organic safflower oil. But you should only use a carried oil that has a light scent, because you want the vanilla scent to come through after a 2-week wait.
- Bergamot Essential Oil – 40 drops. Bergamot essential oil, made from bergamot (a citrus fruit), has a refreshing citrus scent. You can use Plant Guru Bergamot Essential Oil, Edens Garden Bergamot 100% Pure Essential Oil, or Now Foods Bergamot Essential Oil. If you prefer a stronger citrus scent in your vanilla perfume, you can use orange essential oil.
- Cedarwood Essential Oil – 8 drops. I use Now Foods Cedarwood Essential Oil. You can also try Healing Solutions Cedarwood Essential Oil, doTERRA Cedarwood Essential Oil, or Simply Earth Cedarwood Essential Oil.
- (Optional) Anise Essential Oil – 3 drops. I use Now Foods Anise Essential Oil. You can also try Healing Solutions Anise Star Essential Oil, Plant Guru Anise Star Essential Oil, or Simply Earth Anise Essential Oil. Anise essential oil smells like black licorice. If you like the scent add no more than 3 drops, because it’s very strong. If you don’t like the licorice scent, you can leave anise essential oil out of the vanilla perfume recipe.
- (Optional) Vitamin E Oil – 2 to 3 drops. I use Now Foods/Solutions E-Oil. You can try
Sundown Vitamin E Oil, Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil, or Jason Vitamin E Oil. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Vitamin E will help prolong the shelf life of your vanilla perfume.
- Glass Container(s). Glass containers to ensure the vanilla perfume stays fresh and pure. You can try 1 oz Amber Boston Round Glass Bottle with Sprayer or 1 oz Cobalt Blue Glass Bottles with Sprayer. You can also try a roller glass bottle. If you follow my recipe, you will be able to fill about 3 to 4 roller glass bottles.
How to Make Pure Vanilla Perfume
1. Make Vanilla infused organic sunflower oil. Slice open a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds from the pod. Cup the pod into small pieces.
2. Place the vanilla bean pieces in a glass bottle. Add organic sunflower oil. I included the vanilla bean seeds too. The seeds tend to float in the oil at first, but will eventually settle to the bottom of the bottle.
3. Close your glass bottle tightly. Leave it in a dark place. The 2-week waiting period for the vanilla infused oil begins. Shake the bottle gently once every 3-4 days.
4. After the 2-week waiting period, add bergamot, cedarwood and anise (optional) essential oil into a 1 oz glass spray bottle.
5. (optional) Add vitamin E oil.
6. Use a dropper to get the vanilla infused oil out of the glass bottle. Try not to move the glass bottle when you’re extracting the vanilla infuse oil. Otherwise, you might get some seeds in your dropper too. I don’t like vanilla bean seeds in my perfume. But that’s just me.
7. Add vanilla bean infused oil into the glass spray bottle.
8. Gently shake your glass spray bottle.
9. Enjoy your all natural Vanilla Perfume.
That’s it! This is a very simple vanilla perfume recipe. Just be patient during the 2-week waiting period. This vanilla perfume is very mild. When you put it on your wrist or neck, you will first detect the bergamot and anise scent, then the vanilla and cedarwood scent will come through. The most lasting scent will be the vanilla scent. So, what do you think? Will you be giving this vanilla perfume a try? Maybe you have a good friend who likes all natural vanilla perfume too? I’d love to hear about your vanilla perfume making adventure. So reach out!