Can You Make Essential Oils At Home?

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rose oil infusion
Rose Oil Infusion

So is it possible to learn how to make essential oils at home? The short answer is yes you can make homemade essential oils and I will explain more on that in a moment.

First I want to give you a short overview of what essential oils are because there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the subject.

Essential oil is concentrated oil that is known to contain the essence, or aroma, of a plant. While essential oils have been used in perfumes, cosmetics and incense for decades, aromatherapy has revitalized people’s interest in these wonderfully fragrant, soothing oils as a way to promote calmer or more positive moods based on smell.

Aromatherapy uses the aromatic compounds found in plant extracts that are known to have medicinal properties. The smell of other plants may increase a person’s sense of calmness and others may even have an uplifting effect on the mind.

My essential oil use chart explains all about the popular oils and shows you the best places to buy them.

So is it possible to make essential oils?

You’ll find that making your own diy essential oil can save you a bit of money and you’ll also be certain of the aromas you’ll be getting, however… Be prepared for a high initial cash outlay!

Because making your own pure essential oils at home involves a distilling process, and this means purchasing or building your own still! While it is possible to make your own still from various items around the home, it may be safer to purchase a home still from an online store. Something like one of these alcohol stills from Amazon will set you back over a hundred dollars but could be viewed as a nice investment.

Having said that, if you intend to build a home still, you can find the parts you need in a home-brew store or the specialist section in a hardware store. For in-depth directions, I found  this book on Amazon The Secrets of Building an Alcohol Producing Still.

So DIY essential oil is quite a technical process as described in another book from Amazon The beginners guide to making essential oils at home.

Alternatively, the oil infusions below cost very little and give great results, and they are far easier than trying to make your own essential oil and I use it for my diy incense sticks all the time.

Start With This Traditional Oil Infusion Process

homemade essential oil

Let’s face it a home still is not something that you want to invest in if you just want to have a little try at this. Distillation is also a fairly modern method for making essential oils.

So as a beginner we recommend that you start with an alternative and more traditional oil infusion process. An oil infusion will give you very nice fragrant results, and although not as strong as distilled essential oil you can vary the strength for your needs, and you will not need to dilute.

The key to making good oil infusions is choosing the right materials. You’ll need to use pale colored oil that has a mild scent that won’t overpower the flowers, herbs or spices you intend to use with it. Olive oil, jojoba oil, safflower oil, almond oil or canola oil can often work very well.

Choosing Herbs For An Oil Infusion

You can use almost any garden herb when you make your own essential oil. You should use the leaves and flowers, but avoid using any woody stems or branches. Always chop the leaves to release their scent before you add them to the oil. The most popular are lavender, rosemary, peppermint, thyme and lemon balm.

Choosing Spices:

Perhaps the most common spices found in essential oils are the most aromatic. The most popular seem to be cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and cloves.

You will need to crush the spices to release their aromas fully before adding them to your oils with a mortar and pestle.

Choosing Flowers:

Scented flowers are very popular additions into many homemade essential oils. You can decide to use one or a combination of flowers in your own oils. Be sure you use the petals only as these hold much of the fragrance you want.

Cut the flowers while they are still not completely opened and remove the petals for use in your oils. Most fragrant flowers are fine to use in essential oil, such as roses, carnations, frangipani, hyacinth, lavender, violets, marigolds and plenty of others.

Basic Rose Oil Infusion

You can make your own infusions from rose petals.

making a rose infusion
  1. For nice infusion make sure you pick from buds where the buds have only partially opened. You should only need 1/4 cup of petals.
  2. Place the petals in a plastic zip-lock bag and seal the bag. Use a wooden mallet to tap the petals gently. You only want to bruise the flowers a bit to release the oil and fragrance.
  3. Place the bruised flower petals into a glass jar and pour 1/2 cup of your chosen base oil over them. Seal the jar and shake it well to help the oil from the flowers blend with your base oil. Leave the jar aside overnight.
  4. When the flowers have been steeped in oil for 24 hours, strain the oil and discard the petals. Repeat the procedure again with another 1/4 cup of bruised petals and allow these to steep in the oil overnight.
  5. Test the aroma of your homemade essential oil after the second batch of petals has been discarded. If you prefer stronger smelling oil, repeat the procedure for a third time.
  6. When the fragrance has reached a point that is strong enough for your liking, strain the oil into a dark glass container. Seal it tightly and store it away from sunlight until you need it.

Sensual Massage Aromatherapy Oil Infusion

Some aromatherapy oils are excellent to use as a sensual massage oil to help heighten the senses. For this infusion you will need approximately 1/4 cup of mixed jasmine flowers, lavender flower and grated vanilla beans.

  1. Place 1/4 cup of jasmine flowers, lavender flowers and grated vanilla bean into a zip lock bag. Tap the flowers lightly with a wooden mallet to bruise them and release the fragrances.
  2. Place the flowers into a glass jar and pour 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil over them. Seal the jar and shake well.
  3. Leave the oil aside for 48 hours for the flowers to steep.
  4. After 48 hours, strain the oil and discard the flowers. Pour the oil into a dark glass container and store in cool, dark place until needed.

You should find that the aroma is quite subtle, but will become more pronounced when the oil is heated slightly by the natural warmth of your skin during a sensual massage.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to make your own essential oil and infusions. If you’ve tried to make your own essential oil or infusions at home or if you have alternative homemade essential oil recipes you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.

For more information on essential oils, take a look at my comprehensive essential oil guide.

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Angela Wills

About Angela Wills

SavvyHomemade is a true passion for me and my family, its where we've been busy sharing inspirational DIY craft ideas since 2008! With over 30 years of handcrafting and creative experience, the dream is that this information will make life a little easier for others whilst also doing a little towards protecting our planet. More About Angela Wills »

25 thoughts on “Can You Make Essential Oils At Home?”

Discussion (25 Comments)

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Im haven’t tried it before but it could be possible. To be honest it seems like a lot of work for a fragrance, I normally reserve my best oils for skin care and bath products. If you want to have a go at this I would suggest trialing it on a very small scale first to see how it goes, and I would love to hear more if it works well for you. Sorry, I don’t have more info on this, perhaps I can investigate and put on my post schedule this summer.

      Reply
  1. Can’t wait to try this to make rose oil. Why do the EO companies say it takes 22 pounds of rose petals to make 5mL of EO and your recipe only calls for 1 cup?

    Reply
    • Hi Monica,

      I think there might be a bit of confusion here. The recipe is for an oil infusion, which is a wonderful ingredient with many different applications. However, it is not exactly an essential oil and certainly not as potent. Making a true essential oil involves the use of a still, and as I said above this can be quite a costly investment. Instead, I offer the alternative of an oil infusion.

      Nevertheless, I would definitely still give the oil infusion recipe a go!

      Reply
  2. Was JUST thinking I needed more rosemary essential oil. And I have a big ole patch of rosemary in my backyard! I hope this works!
    Great post! Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  3. I have made rose oil and i use it on my hands, especially overnight with cotton gloves, the problem i have is the oil separates and i am left with a brown liquid at the bottom. What am i doing wrong ? I am doing the infusion method .
    Ann

    Reply
  4. What an interesting article! So many people talk about buying essential oils and which ones are the best, etc. I am sure we could all learn a thing or two and value the essential oils we buy WAY more if we first try to distill our own at home. Thank you!!! ????????????

    Reply
  5. Great article! You just gave me an idea what to give my mom soon. She loves roses, so I’m pretty sure she will enjoy this one too! 🙂

    Reply
  6. You gave wonderful tips for home made essence without any cost. I liked and will always use it and remember you each time

    Reply
  7. This is a great method; thanks for sharing. We have honeysuckle, jasmine, and gardenia plants, and we recently added some rose bushes to our garden. I am excited to try this.

    Reply
  8. Great information! My husband got me roses to celebrate selling our house and now I get to keep their scent around much longer with this oil infusion. My rose petals are steeping in canola oil in the window sill as I type!

    Reply
  9. Had no idea how to truly make them yourself! Super info here, gonna try some of this with my jasmine, and perhaps gardenia. Have a bunch of rosemary I’m going to give a go at also! Thanks for sharing…

    Reply
  10. I enjoyed this article. I learned a lot. Although, I was trying to learn about how to make essential oil (as implied in the title), maybe a more suitable title would be make your own oil infusion? Thanks for the great read, regardless.

    Reply
    • Hi Annie, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and I get what you mean about the tittle… I added ‘can you’ to hopefully make it more relevant… Thanks for the input 😉

      Reply
  11. Hi,
    I really liked your article. I am planning on using jasmine flowers and steep them in almond oil. For how long will it stay good?

    Reply
  12. Thank you Angela for making this post. There’s a lot of info online about essential oils but rarely does someone cover making oils from scratch like you have here. Much appreciated!

    Reply

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