how to make vanilla perfume {diy}

Ever since The Body Shop reformulated their vanilla perfume from smelling like actual vanilla beans that was really lovely and caramelly in the early 90s to their current flowery vanilla that’s on their shelves now, I’ve been on the hunt for a “real” vanilla perfume oil. And I haven’t found any. Mostly because they’re mass produced and made with synthetics and don’t smell anything like vanilla perfume should.

Soooo since my site was down last night I went on the hunt for vanilla perfume yet again. I found some  “original” but no I’m not paying $40 on ebay for a 15 year old bottle of original body shop vanilla perfume….ew.

I decided I wanted to try and make my own and found and easy DIY I thought I’d share!

  • – Knife
  • – Vanilla beans {costco sells them in tubes – 10 beans for around $12-$15}
  • – Vodka
  • – Glass jar
  • – Strainer {mesh, nylons or cheesecloth}
  • – Jojoba oil {or any oil – grapeseed, etc.}


1. Take your knife and gently cut down the middle of the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape your knife along the inside edge of the bean to release the paste. Drop the paste into a glass jar. Cut the rest of the vanilla bean into small pieces and drop those in the jar as well. You can use as many vanilla beans as you wish.

2. Pour vodka directly into the glass jar, on top of the vanilla beans. Add enough alcohol to cover all the bean pieces. This allows the alcohol to soak into the beans and absorb the scent of their oils.

3. Place the container in a warm, dry place and let stand for 2 weeks to 2 months Remove the lid every few weeks to test the strength of the scent. Use when ready. Strain out the small pieces of vanilla. You’ll want the perfume to be nice and smooth without any pieces that might irritate your skin.

4. Add your strained alcohol mixture back into your glass jar and top it off with jojoba oil. You’ll want to use 2-3 times as much jojoba oil as vanilla bean oil. It distills the scent, but also makes the mixture last longer.

5. Store your mixture in a cool, dry place. This will last for several months as long as you keep it from getting too hot.

Found here. Image via.

About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

14 thoughts on “how to make vanilla perfume {diy}

  1. Nope, but I’ve made my own vanilla extract this way..well minus the straining and jojoba. :)

  2. You could skip the wait and just use a pure vanilla extract (naturally flavoured – Mexican is wonderful) with jojoba oil. You can also skip the jojoba oil altogether – for a quick scent, whenever I bake, the teaspoon I use for vanilla ends up with a tiny bit of vanilla in it after adding it to my recipe. I usually will take that and apply to my neck and wrists. Smells yummy all day :)

    Another option in place of jojoba oil would be (virgin) coconut oil – great for the skin, smells good too, and the combination of coconut and vanilla is a good one!

    1. Thanks for your comment Emily! I have a few bottles of really nice Mexican vanilla extract. I never even thought about using it as a perfume!

      And I love my coconut oil as a moisturizer – feels so nice on.

  3. If you have a Henry’s or Sprouts or some place that sells bulk spices, you can probably get your vanilla beans for way less money.

  4. So excited to try this out. I was known for smelling like The Body Shop’s Original Vanilla when I was in high school and was crushed when they decided to change their vanilla line (something about their supplier’s stock running out). I’ll have to try the added coconut oil – my two favs, vanilla and coconut… mmm!

  5. Hi Amanda,
    Have you tried it yet? I did a quick search to see a follow up to this and couldn’t find one. I wonder how it worked? Did it smell authentic?


  6. There is a company on Ebay that sells vanilla beans, both Madagascar and Tahitian. You also get free beans according to the amount you spend. Alot less than Cosco. Just thought I share with you all :-)

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