How perfumes are made?

January 4, 2022

Perfume dates back to the ancient history and has had an interesting and glorious sweet-smelling past. The word itself is Latin and derives from per meaning through and fumun or smoke. Perfumes were originally meant to emulate nature’s pleasant aromas. Natural oils were extracted from plants, pressed, steamed and then burned in order to scent the surrounding air.

Since then the scientific process of making perfume has not only evolved, but it’s been refined and improved. In modern times, many years after the first crafted scent was produced, the art of perfume manufacturing has become a global industry. Today we use all sorts of scented items daily. Soaps, lotions, candles, air-fresheners, cleaning products and, of course, personal fragrances and perfumes.

Perfume making (photo: Pexels)

To give you a better idea of how perfume is made, we’ll briefly explain the processes of modern perfume-manufacturing. You might be surprised how much work goes into making all these sweet-smelling fragrances.


Before the manufacturing process can begin, the manufacturer must gather many raw ingredients. These ingredients can include various plants, fruits, woods, grasses, flowers and even animal secretions like musk and civet. Other resources like alcohol, petrochemicals, coal and tars can be used during the manufacturing process. 

For scents that don’t occur in nature, do not produce essential oils, or are endangered, synthetic chemicals are used to emulate the scent. Many popular and hard to find scents fall into this category, that is why many perfumes often inlude at least some synthetic scents.

Perfume ingredients (photo: Unsplash)

The Creative Process Of Developing A Scent:

The process of perfume creation has only just begun after the essential oils were extracted and collected. They are then masterfully blended according to a specific formula. It can take years and hundreds of ingredients before they come to the desired formula. After the scent is finally created, it is then mixed with varying amounts of alcohol. The amount of alcohol that’s added determines whether the liquid will be a cologne, perfume, or eau de toilette.

Essential oils (photo: Pexels)


After all the ingrediens are mixed the aging process can begin. High quality perfumes are usually aged for months or potentially even years after the scent has been blended. This is done to ensure that the proper scent has been created. It is a time in which the perfume is kept still in a cool, dark area. This allows that the alcohol and the essential oils fully bled together.

Dark room and aging process (photo: Unsplash)

The end product:

The end product – the perfume, is made up of top notes – the scents that you detect first after spraying a perfume, heart notes – which serve as a buffer for the base notes, and may not smell as pleasant on their own, as well as base notes –  which create an enduring fragrance.

Perfume (photo: Pexels)