April 10, 2021

Making Sprays from Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils are easy and cheap to use, but without mixing some of the more volatile top notes with alcohol, they're not able to evaporate and 'wear off' in the same way the designer and niche fragrances they're inspired by do and change over time. Because of this, dupe oils can seem flat and not very complex at first sniff, but given the proper treatment, they'll last a lot longer and give you a far superior fragrance.

If you're looking for fragrance oils to use check out our post on the best vendors here, or sign up with Perfume Parlour using this link for 10% off.

Creating a spray from a clone oil or inspired by oil is actually very simple. There's a lot of misinformation on the web about what it takes and how to optimise it to get a couple of percentage points better projection, longevity, etc from the spray, but it mostly boils down to diluting the oil with another liquid to it can be forced through a spray mechanism without clogging.

Some people choose to do this with vodka, others who are trying to avoid alcohols on their skin choose witch hazel.

The most common — and by far the easiest — method is to buy perfumer's alcohol.
It's a mixture of alcohol as well as some fixatives and performatives that help make sure the oils are completely dissolved, extends their lifespan, and controls the speed at which the alcohol evaporates to give the longest lasting scent.

You'll also need a spray bottle. These can be anything from reused kitchen spray bottles to glass perfume bottles like I'm using below. The cheapest and most fool-proof option when starting out would be the incredibly cheap but durable 50ml mist bottles from amazon (at the time of writing, they're just £13 for 20 - find them here).

Clear Perfume Bottle Sniff Test
Elcoho 20 Pieces Clear Spray Bottles, 50ml

What you'll need

  1. Fragrance oil
  2. Perfumer's Alcohol (or similar substrate e.g. witch hazel)
  3. Spray bottle (here are our favourites)
  4. A funnel or pipettes for transferring the liquids

That's it! And the whole process should take no more than two minutes.

Sniff Test - Spray From Oil - Start

Getting Started

This time we're going to be creating a spray from a Bleu Noir oil from Universal Perfume and Cosmetics. The glass perfume bottles I have are 15ml and I'll be using 5ml of fragrance oil to create a very strong 30% version of the fragrance.

If you're just starting out, I'd suggest a 20% concentration (that's usually about the same as many designer and niche fragrances, sometimes a little stronger) so at those percentages you should be able to create something very similar to the real perfume the oils you bought were inspired by.

The Bleu Noir oil from UPC while very accurate doesn't have the best longevity on my skin, hence why I'm upping the volume of oil in this blend.

1. To start with we need to assemble everything we'll need and decide on a strength concentration.
Most fragrances available are at or below 20% in concentration due to IFRA guidelines for the components.

For heavier, darker, fragrances 20% should probably be the upper limit unless you want to irritate passers-by on the street. Lighter fragrances can be upped higher than 30% but it really does depend on the fragrance — test with smaller amounts or in a bottle you can add more diluent to if you're unsure.

Fragrance Concentration Percentage Guide

2. Once you've decided on the strength of your fragrance, you're going to want to measure the full amount of oil into your spray bottle.
Fortunately in my case it was just a full 5ml bottle so no measuring required, but you may need to do this with a pipette or measured eyedropper. Accuracy isn't hugely important at this stage but I generally tend to aim to under-measure since a fragrance that's too strong might be unusable, but one that is a little light can be made up for later with an extra spritz.

Sniff Test - Spray From Oil - Pouring Oil
Sniff Test - Spray From Oil Measuring The Alcohol

3. Now all that's left is to add the alcohol. I'd recommend leaving some space in the bottle purely because we're going to want to shake it in a minute to ensure it's fully mixed. A small gap is fine, just so there's some air in there to move the liquids around.

Once this is done, seal the bottle and shake vigorously.

You can enjoy your fragrance straight away, but there's one more step you need to take for your fragrance to really come alive! See below 👇

Let it rest

4. Some fragrance compounds can take some time to fully dissolve, and sometimes it can take up to a week for the ingredients to fully and evenly distribute and get to know each other in the bottle.

While a lot of fragrance experts suggest waiting for as many as 12 weeks for the fragrance to 'mature' and macerate in the alcohol, in our experiments we see that as having diminishing returns after a few days. Unlike other liquids that require resting (such as whiskey or wine) the fragrance doesn't age in the same way and the receptacle it's in will be designed not to impart any other fragrances or chemicals, unlike the prior examples.

Ageing fragrances is generally a myth UNLESS the compounds were designed to break down into other more complex molecular structures on contact with either alcohol or sunlight for example. This is so incredibly rare however, that it's almost not worth talking about except that several D2C perfume brands claim the ageing process as part of their unique offering (we suspect that's nonsense, but a topic for another post potentially).

Now, you've created an incredible spray fragrance, at the perfect strength, and saved yourself potentially hundreds of pounds in the process!


If you have any questions or need help turning your oils into spray perfumes or aftershaves, comment below and I'll answer every question!

Perfume Parlour 10 Off Pink Weekly Releases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the ClubSign up and save 30% on Perfume Oils

Instantly get EXCLUSIVE deals on perfume oils from the big suppliers, as well as giveaways, new perfumes before anyone else, and more of our industry leading testing and comparisons.