How to make perfume for a science fair project

Written by amy davidson
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How to make perfume for a science fair project
A darker bottle will help perfume keep scent longer. (perfume image by Joel Calheiros from

A perfume science project can be a great way to teach your child about how different substances evaporate depending on their compounds, as each oil in perfume is added to evaporate at different rates. If your kids love learning and doing science projects, do this easy perfume making activity with them at home.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Base oil (of your choice)
  • Middle oil (of your choice)
  • Top oil (of your choice)
  • Bridge oil (of your choice)
  • Dropper
  • Large beaker or test tube
  • Pure vodka
  • 73.9ml of distilled water
  • Coffee filter or thin toilet paper
  • Plastic or dark glass bottle

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  1. 1

    Decide on what oils you want as your base. Good oils to try for bases are sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla and cedar wood. These oils will last the longest on your skin. You can ask an employee at your local herbal shop for more options for bases, as each shop will vary with what they have available.

  2. 2

    Pick out a middle level oil to add to your mixture. These include lemon grass, ylang ylang and clove. Middle level oils will last slightly shorter on the skin than your base level oils.

  3. 3

    Pick out a top base oil for your perfume. The top base is the first aspect of your scent mixture that you will smell, and is the first one to evaporate. Popular top bases include lavender and lemon, but you can check with your local herbal shop for more choices.

  4. 4

    Decide on a bridge oil. These are important for bringing all your oils together and helping them unify and mix together properly. These oils can include vanilla or litsea cubea. It's important to choose a smell that is light and mild, because your bridge oil will always be an underlying scent in your perfume and will not fade.

  5. 5

    Mix seven drops of each of your bases together in a beaker or large test tube, using your dropper to collect oil and drop it into your container. Add three ounces of pure vodka that contains no flavours or fillers. Have an adult help with this step. Let your mixture sit for 48 hours in a cool, dark place.

  6. 6

    Add two and a half tablespoons of distilled water to your mixture, shake it up well and filter it once through a coffee filter or thin toilet paper. Pour it into a plastic or dark glass bottle. While clear glass or crystal bottles may be considered traditional for perfumes, homemade ones need to avoid sunlight, so place them in a darker bottle to preserve.

Tips and warnings

  • Play around with different mixtures, and record your recipes, so that you can make a variety of perfumes for different occasions.
  • Remember to talk to an employee at your local herbal shop, as each shop varies with what essential oils they may have to offer.
  • To add colour, you can add a few drops of natural food colouring to your perfume mixture, when you add in the water.
  • Always have adult supervision when doing this project, as pure vodka can be dangerous if ingested by a child.

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