top of page

Make Your Own Talismanic Perfume From Plants

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

In this blog I will discuss how to make a talismanic perfume from your favorite plants.

Perfume has had a place in history as a cleansing, healing and sacred tool for hundreds of years. Scent was thought to repel negative energy and disease. Alongside tinctures, salves, and food, colognes were employed to heal, cleanse, banish, revitalize and more.


I love working with scent in spell work, it can really bring me to a certain state of mind easily. Crafting perfume from plants provides endless learning and discovering. One part that I love about it is the act of going out in nature and finding uncommon plants to make perfume, especially using plants that you might not typically see in store bought fragrances. In this case, you can make something that is very unique to you and your practice. In addition to wildcrafted plants, you can use plants grown from a garden or even store bought dried plants.


If you are interested in learning more about spell work and perfumery you are welcome to contact me for a 1-1 mentorship session to go over the basics and even advanced methods of making talismanic perfumes and crafting spells. Please send me an email if this interests you, hayley@hazelwoodhealing.com


Ingredients needed


Perfumers alcohol or Everclear

Fresh or dried plant matter (leaves, resins, flowers, etc)

Potato ricer

Mason jars

Spray bottle or perfume bottle (5ml to start)

Dropper


Step One - Intention and Categorizing


First you will want to identify what plants would be most useful for the particular type of spell you wish to do, for example: thriving, cleansing, abundance etc. Go out in nature or your garden and ask which of these plants has a smell or character that reinforces spiritual cleansing, or allure? What about thriving? Which breaks curses? What about removing the evil eye? Write down your findings as you explore the nature around you. I learned this very useful type of inventory and categorizing from my teacher of Nordic Folk Magic, Johannes Gårdbäck.


Do this inventory with a focus on plants that are fragrant, because with this practice we are aiming to make a fragrant spray from them. In the appendix I list materials that tincture quite well and produce a rewarding fragrance.


Step Two - Tincturing


Gather your plant materials. I prefer working with fresh plant matter as it typically produces the highest quality fragrance. As an example, let's say we are making a chamomile lavender perfume. To do this I would tincture the plants separately, then blend them later (more on this below).


Once you have collected chamomile and lavender, get two mason jars. Let the plant matter sit out to wilt for about an hour. This reduces the amount of water in the plant material. Fill one with chamomile and one with lavender. Make sure to chop the plant matter before putting it in the jar. Then cover the plant matter with grain alcohol, until it just covers the material. Allow the tincture to sit for up to a day. This is very important. The majority of fresh plant matter should only be tinctured for about a day, after that you extract too much water and vegital scent which can create a gross smell. Roots, resins, wax, and soils can be tinctured for two weeks or more until the plant material has no fragrance. There is less risk for unsavory vegital smells with these.


Step Three - Straining and Charging

After about a day you will want to strain the material from the alcohol. Get another mason jar and a potato ricer. Place the ricer on top of another mason jar, make sure you have a large jar or funnel to avoid a mess. Then pour the tincture into the ricer. Squeeze the ricer until the liquid is drained into the other jar.


Now you will have a strained and lightly fragranced tincture. Test the scent by putting some on your wrist or a scent strip. You will want to “charge” the tincture many times until you get a highly fragranced alcohol. Charging the fragrance is simply taking your strained scented alcohol, adding new plant materials, then straining it after it steeps for a day or so, then repeating the process again until you are happy with the scent. We do this to enhance the lasting power on the skin and to also capture more of the plant's fragrance. Over time, after charging it many times, the fragrance begins to have more depth and complexity, even if working with one plant.


Some plant material takes up to 20 charges, others take only 2 times. With lavender, it took 4-6 charges to get a good scented tincture. Chamomile took over 10. Sweetgrass on the other hand only took two times. Get experimenting with your favorite materials, it’s part of the fun!


A note on safety, be cautious with putting concentrated tincture on your skin, some may cause irritation, especially if it is a plant that is not commonly used. Make sure that the plant you are using is not toxic. Once a highly concentrated fragrance has been made, do a patch test first before blending. You may want to dilute it with water when finishing the fragrance to be used on the skin safely. If it irritates your skin but you would still like to use it for magical purposes, I would recommend using it as an “auric” spray, a room spray, or apply to dolls or other anchors to affect your target.


Step Four - Blending

By now you should have a highly fragranced lavender tincture and a chamomile tincture. For this step you will want to blend the two together. If you are using other plants and are unsure how they will smell together, I recommend getting scent strips and comparing them side by side. Or you can simply put some tincture on your wrists and see how it combines.


Specifically for chamomile and lavender, you could put 50% lavender and 50% chamomile in a spray bottle using a dropper. If you have sensitive skin or are using high proof alcohol, dilute the blend with some water to be less harsh. I recommend starting with a 5ml spray bottle while you experiment with blends and homemade fragrances. Starting small allows for stress free experimentation. It is also easier to work with smaller quantities. Fragrances can change over time as they age, so start by making a 5ml perfume and see how it smells over the next 6 months. If you are still happy with the results, make a larger batch. Make sure to take detailed notes on how you made the blend.


Blending perfumes can get quite complex, however for our purposes my recommendation is to experiment and just see what combinations make you excited, rather than following perfumery rules about dilutions, percentages, base notes etc. When blending and creating, be open and try new things. You may be surprised what amazing smells you can create when you approach it with joy and exploration. Create from the heart.


My teacher Johannes once gave me the advice of making a perfume that produces something of the most Nytta or benefit for others. I would also recommend that you think about this as well. What can you combine that produces something that is truly valuable to you? That supports a spell that is really worth putting out there for yourself and others?


Step Five - Additions to Empower

In addition to plant matter, you can add stones, colloidal gold or silver, gold leaf, mica, inks, fossils and more to your bottled fragrance. These additions can act as additional anchors to intensify or empower your spell. This is great fun and I encourage you to get creative with what to embellish your fragrance with.


Step Six - Using it and Changing it

Using your fragrance is the last step. Employ this fragrance in accordance with your initial intention. If it is a daily cleanser to get off the grime of the day, make sure to use what you make! If it is meant to be used once monthly on the new moon, use it then.


When you start using it, does it work the way you intended it to work? Would you like to adjust the energetic presentation or effects? You can always go back into the spell and adjust it as needed.


Appendix

Some examples of fragrant material that produce a enjoyable fragrant tincture:

Bayberry (myrica gale)

Pine resin (any tree resin works quite well)

Balsam fir

Balsam poplar

Cottonwood buds

Juniper berry and leaves

Anise Hyssop

Moss and Lichens (yes they have a smell when you tincture them!)

Rose

Beeswax

Rice

Bay Laurel

Citrus peel and leaves

Lavender

Lemon Balm

Linden Flower

Mint

Sweetgrass

Rosemary

Thyme

Clay and other soils

Chamomile

Angelica root

Valerian root

Cedar

Black tea











67 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page