Monday, December 17

Homemade car perfume

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About a month ago I realised I wanted my car to smell pretty and fresh and floral. It was already nice and clean, but…. it’s a car so it kinda smelled like a car (especially after being in the sun for half day).

I’m not a fan of your average perfumes, diffusers or fresheners as they’re not made with the best of ingredients. Some are downright toxic. So I set about to come up with my own home made potion. Easier said and even easier done! Over the last few months, I’ve slowly but surely build a mini essential oil apothecary at home as I started to use them increasingly more. (Have you seen my healing hand cream made with essential oils?) For the purpose of my little experiment, this time I went with ylang ylang, geranium and litsea. And here’s why.

Tales of a Kitchen / Homemade car perfume

  1. Together these oils smell AMAZING. Even I cannot believe how absolutely beautiful my car smells. During the first week, I wanted to simply drive everywhere just so I can be in the car!
  2. Smelling/inhaling essential oils does have an effect on your body. I wrote about that here.
  3. Ylang Ylang has been known for centuries for it’s energizing and aphrodisiac qualities. It is often used as an antidepressant and can have a positive effect on immune health and emotions. Ylang Ylang can help you be calm and relax, and it can especially sooth the mood at the end of a rough day. So basically, simply smelling Yland Ylang can make you happy!
  4. Geranium has been used in aromatheraphy as a holistic approach to improve physical, mental and emotional health. It can help relieve anxiety, lessen fatigue and uplift your mood.
  5. Litsea is my new favorite thing! It’s fresh, sweet and citrusy and I find it completely addictive to smell. I could literally spend my day sniffing the bottle. Litsea has been used in aromatheraphy and meditation for balance and inspiration, to stimulate energy and clear the mind.

Imagine all this in your very own homemade perfume, hanging by the mirror, in the cutest little bottle, while you drive.

To make the perfume, as luck would have it, I found this little ‘message-in-a-bottle’ type of bottle at home. I’ve had it for about 3 years, just sitting in a box. They’re about $2 for a 4 pack at Kmart or Officeworks. I then used plain ol’ kitchen thread to tie around it and made it prettier with an old friendship bracelet I got with my friends when traveling in Greece many many maaany years back.

Not only does my car smell beautiful, but because of this homemade perfume, because of all these elements that make it so special, I think of my friends every morning when I go to work and several times during the day as well.

Tales of a Kitchen / Homemade car perfume

Few tips I learned this past month:

  • I use a little bottle with a cork or bamboo lid – these will naturally absorb the oils and release fragrance in just the right amounts.
  • I don’t do anything; I don’t have to tip the bottle for the cork to infuse; when I drive, when I hit bumps on the road or when I turn left or right, the bottle will naturally move and some of the oils will touch the lid; I find that enough.
  • I don’t fill the bottle; cork and bamboo will absorb all the oils they can and if I fill the bottle it will lead to more fragrance released at any given time; this makes the oils evaporate faster and the perfume lasts less.
  • I only add 40 drops at a time; I find this lasts me two weeks and a half in summer, when the oils evaporate faster; I then leave the bottle as is for another week, as it still releases fragrance, and after about 6 days I add more oils.

Hope you end up loving this as much as I do!

Homemade car perfume


  • 10 drops ylang ylang essential oil
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 20 drops litsea essential oil


  1. Add all the oils to a small bottle and stir using a toothpick or a skewer.
  2. Put the lid on and pop it in your car!

Note. If you need to improvise a way to hang your bottle in the car the way I did, do so before you add the oils!

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