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How to Make Hyacinth Perfume

There’s no shortage of commercially available perfumes and colognes, but those aren’t short on questionable ingredients, either. Besides, maybe your favorite flower is the hyacinth, and you love it so much that you’d like to smell like it. However, hyacinth isn’t typically found among fragrances that are commonly retailed. The simple solution is to make your own. A plentiful supply of blooming hyacinths in the spring, a couple inexpensive ingredients, and a little time are all that you need to create your very own hyacinth perfume.

Cut hyacinth racemes, or bloom spikes, from the plant with a clean, sharp knife when the tiny flowers are nearly or fully open. Rinse them under a slow stream of cool water, and set them aside for an hour or two to drain well. Shake them gently to remove any remaining water.

Pluck the blooms free of all the greenery, which can be tossed onto the compost pile later. Dump the flowers into a clear plastic bag, squeeze the air out of it and set it on the counter. Repeatedly press the bagged flowers firmly with the ball of your hand so that they’re damaged, but not squashed to pulp. The idea is to bruise the petals so that they’ll more readily release their aromatic natural oil.

Place the bruised flowers into a clear glass quart jar, packing them as you go so that they fill it about ¾ of the way. Add 1 cup of grape seed or virgin olive oil, which should completely fill the jar. Cover it tightly with the lid and shake it vigorously.

Set the jar of hyacinths and oil outdoors in the bright sunshine for four weeks. Run out and give it a good shaking a couple times daily.

Bring the jar inside and shake it thoroughly. Slowly strain the contents through several layers of cheesecloth or a few coffee filters.

Pour the hyacinth oil into small dark glass jars, cap them tightly, and store in a dark, cool spot for up to six months. If you don’t have any dark jars, cover the ones you have with dark tape.

Open one of the jars of hyacinth oil and smell it. The essential oil should be sweet, heady and full-bodied. Decide whether you feel it’s too strong to use as a personal fragrance as it is. If not, go ahead and use it.

Pour a small amount of the oil into a separate glass jar if you think it smells too strong. Just dilute it with a little distilled water until you’re satisfied with the scent. Store your perfume in the same place you keep the jars of essential oil.


If you don’t have enough hyacinth blooms for your project, consider supplementing them with a few jasmine or gardenia flowers. Those heady fragrances complement that of the hyacinth perfectly.

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