Many people don’t consider themselves fully dressed if they haven’t spritzed on a bit of fragrance before stepping out the door. Perfumes, eau de toilettes and colognes not only make you smell nice, but they can speak volumes about your personality and style. Floral perfumes evocative of fresh cut red roses are some of the most popular fragrance varieties on the market, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get your hands on a bottle. Here’s how to make your own perfume using summer flowers from your garden.

Choose a Scent
The best part about making your own perfume is the freedom you have when it comes to which flowers you’ll use. As long as you have access to a garden (a neighbor’s, a friend’s or a family member’s will do if you don’t have one) or a florist, you won’t be lacking blossoms. But which ones work best? recommends using roses, jasmine, violets and plumeria for your fragrances, just like professional perfumers do. They’re often readily obtainable and very aromatic. You could also consider using lavender, daisies, lilies or honeysuckle. It’s up to you!

Stall of roses' petals at flower market of Chogan door. by Daniel VillafruelaPhoto by Daniel Villafruela

Gather Your Materials
TLC style recommends gathering about 1 ½ cups of flower petals to make the perfume. Keep in mind that you can use all one type, a mixture of several or even incorporate non-floral elements, like pine needles or fruit. You’ll also need 2 cups of distilled water, a pan, a stove, a piece of cheesecloth and a container to store the finished product in. A glass food jar that’s been rinsed well will work just fine, but you can find decorative bottles at many stores.

Get Cookin’
Before you begin, wash the flower petals thoroughly to make sure there are no fertilizers, dirt or pests attached. Place the petals in the pan with the distilled water and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the petals in the water for about two hours, checking to make jasmine sure that nothing boils over and that there’s still plenty of water in the pan. Let it cool afterward before straining the liquid through the cheesecloth to remove the solid bits. Transfer the liquid into your container and you have a homegrown fragrance to use as you wish!