Bottle some Blooms: How to make a garden Eau de toilette


Bottle those blooms

Perfume is another stop on a personal scent journey. Most commercial perfumes and Eau de toilettes' are filled to the brim with irritating ingredients. If you have a fragrance sensitivity like me or care deeply about the ingredients of what you put on your body, this is an issue. 

Luckily, Eau de toilette is something we can make ourselves! Fairly easily too. I even grow some of the fragrance ingredients in my backyard. My favorite combination of flowers is rose, lilac, and jasmine for a Botanica-inspired personal scent. 

rose, lilac, and jasmine flowers

It may seem complicated, and it certainly can be if you're scent designing in a chemistry lab - but most perfumes are simply a mix of fragrance and carrier (usually alcohol). An Eau de toilette contains water as well to create a lighter scent experience.

You don’t need a lot of supplies or equipment to make your own personal scent at home. A few flowers from your garden or the grocery store will make up the aroma component. The rest is just water. Combine into a lovely little glass spray bottle and get ready to spritz!

Since this perfume is going to be spritzed directly onto skin, look for organic blooms if you can find them. A local nursery, health food store or farmers’ market is a great place to start. Lets support local business where we can!

The method I am using to distil scent from the flowers uses water. For this reason, the resulting perfume will need to be kept in a cool dark place. Make your Eau de toilette is small quantities and use within a month for best results. Keep in mind a homemade scent will not have the longevity of one purchased due to the presence of preservatives.  

harvesting petals from a rose


  • organic and herbicide free flowers or petals
  • cheesecloth
  • glass bowl
  • water
  • saucepan and stove
  • small glass spray bottle


  1. Pick the petals from the flowers you're using to make perfume
  2. Lay cheesecloth inside an empty bowl with the edges hanging out. Place your petals on top of the cloth. We are aiming for surface are here, try not to bunch or layer flower petals if possible.
  3. Pour a small amount of water on top of your petals to cover them. Ensure the edges of the cheesecloth are still hanging out of the bowl and cover the bowl with a lid.
  4. Leave the petals to soak overnight or longer.
  5. Remove the lid and gently bring the four corners of the cheesecloth together to lift the pouch above the bowl. Squeeze the cheesecloth gently to release water.
  6. Transfer flower-scented water to a small saucepan.
  7. Simmer the water over a low heat until you have a small amount of liquid suitable for your glass spritzer.
  8. Allow the liquid to cool then bottle up your perfume.
  9. Perfume made from flower petals will last about a month if stored in a cool and dark place, like your fridge if it's hot outside! 

Let me know what flower combinations you picked!

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