DIYdiy projects

diy project: solid perfume pocket watch locket

by Kate Pruitt

Try as I might, I cannot seem to grasp even the most basic of feminine beauty rituals. I’m constantly struggling to master rudimentary hair and makeup techniques, and my one-time foray into the “subtle” art of perfume left everyone in the room with burning nostrils.

This DIY solid perfume locket from artisanal perfumer Mandy Aftel is something I can definitely stand behind, though. Mandy only uses pure and natural ingredients to create her perfumes, and this solid scent can be easily applied with no risk of over-dousing. The old pocket watch appeals to my tomboy side, and I love its versatility; you can wear it as a necklace or pin, or simply tuck it into your pocket or purse. I can’t wait to make one and give my feminine sensibilities a little boost :) Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us, Mandy! — Kate

Read the full how-to after the jump!

Creating your own solid perfume is extremely satisfying. One of the joys of having a solid fragrance is that you can easily carry it with you, or even wear it on your body in a locket, without worrying about it spilling. I like to make perfume in small and beautiful containers that grow more precious and treasured with use. You can enjoy the experience of applying a solid perfume unobtrusively throughout the day in an earthy and sensual ritual that is quite different from dabbing on a liquid perfume. Solid perfume will scent only you, not the environment around you. — Mandy


  • 1 1/2 tsp. jojoba oil (available at whole foods and natural grocery stores)
  • 7 drops frankincense essential oil (you can get some of Mandy’s essential oils here)
  • 7 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops fresh ginger essential oil
  • 6 drops wild sweet orange essential oil
  • heaping 1/2 tsp. grated beeswax (available here)
  • eyedroppers (available at drug stores)
  • small nonmetal pan for melting wax
  • shot glass or small cup
  • small compact or pillbox for finished perfume


1. Pour jojoba oil into the shot glass. Add the drops of all four essential oils to the jojoba oil and stir.

2. Melt the heaping 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the jojoba/perfume blend.

4. Reheat for just 10 seconds, stirring.

5. Immediately pour the mixture into your container.

6. Let cool undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Suggested For You


  • Perfect! I have an old owl pin from Avon which opens to reveal a place to put solid perfume. I used to just put a cottonball in there with a few drops of esscential oils. Now I can make my own solid perfume!

  • I wonder if you photo copied a picture onto acetate and put it on the glass side if it would withstand the heat of the hot purfume. I would be cool if it worked : )

  • This is the freshest idea I’ve seen in bloggyland in a long time!!! Thank you for helping me find this years holiday gift for all my BFF’s!!

  • I just saw this idea someplace else yesterday (except in a necklace locket form–can’t remember where) and started wondering if you could use a perfume you already have to scent the beeswax, instead of essential oils. Would this work, or is it a bad idea for some reason, like the perfume reacting with the wax or something? Would love to have a perfumer’s advice on this, otherwise I might have to just give it a go. I’d love to be able to make myself a solid, travel-ready version of my perfumes.

  • im sure this is obvious but can you use different essential oil smells than what is listed above? Say, for instance, a pre-mixed perfume oil?

  • This is a great idea! I have a vintage pocket watch locket from my grandmother and this would be a perfect way to add a little something to it. Thanks!

  • I think you summed up my life in this blog in regards to your struggles with basic beauty rituals. I’m excited to try this out for sure :-)

  • A solid perfume is easy to make and you can find such charming cases to recycle on eBay or at flea markets. People love to receive them as a gift. If you wanted to make the above recipe more “fresh and green” you could substitute geranium for the ylang.

  • I do this every Christmas. As well as using old pocket watches I also use vintage compacts that I pick up at charity shops and flea markets.

  • And to answer Suki’s question, I always put a photo of the recipient on the glass side of the watch or compact. I copy the photo on good quality photo paper, cut it out and glue it in.

  • If you were wanting to make a solid version of an existing purfume, rather than an essential oil mix, how would you change the concentration to make it come out properly?

  • I love everything about this idea and tutorial.
    But, like Vicki and Rachel, I would like to know if it can be done with a parfum you have on hand?

  • I made some of these last year as Christmas gifts! But I used altoids tins I had decorated, as well as old pill boxes and Avon containers. So much fun, and everyone loved them!

  • You really can’t do this well with a perfume you have on hand and there are a few reasons: most perfumes are in an alcohol base and that doesn’t mix with the beeswax. If they are an oil-based perfume, they also don’t always blend well with the wax and it changes the texture of the perfume.
    The ratio of wax to oil is crucial. for a luxurious solid perfume — neither too hard (hard to spread) or too soft (mushy). The correct texture is like a creamy lipstick.
    Also you need extra top notes in your perfume blend because the oil and the wax tend to flatten the sparkling top notes of a perfume.
    Thank you so much for your kind words about my solid perfume DIY piece. I really appreciate it.

  • i was given one as a gift from anthropologie and love it. it stays fresh all day long. this is such a great project to be able to make gifts and turn all sorts of found objects into scent vessels!

  • You can make this perfume with other oils but it is important to choose ones that will work together and in the right proportion to one another.

  • If you are looking for a good place to get supplies go to http://www.thesage.com, the website is a little outdated but easy to navigate. They have pre-made lip balm solutions(soy or vegan) that work great as a solid perfume when you add your favorite essentials or fragrance oils. They carry a large selection of essentials and fragrance oils as well. Its fun to browse their online catalog! Check them out!

  • I sell handmade perfume filled lockets and pillboxes (made with vintage lockets and boxes) as part of my jewelry line! It’s such a nice way to smell lovely all day long and they’re instant keepsakes.

    Hope everyone has fun making their own!

  • What a wonderful idea in such a beautiful container. I am an Aromatherapist I will be trying this myself definately the combinations of oils are endless in a project like this.

  • As someone that is totally allergic to perfume/manufactured scents this is such a refreshing post that all products used are natural!
    Essential Oils = all good
    Scented Oils = perfume in oil = very sick me
    So thank you for the very cool post and thank you to Mandy for her use of natural products and explaining that solid perfumes scent “you and not the room”. Just loved this!

  • Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this! I’ve seen tutes on it before but not from an expert like yourself. Thanks! I’d love to make some for my sister but she is allergic to ginger. Really, really allergic. Is there any alternative to the ginger? Or is it just a case of getting to a blend that appeals to the senses? I love Jo Malone perfumes and they all seem to be so fresh and natural. The Pomegranate Noir is my favourite. I’m a Jo Malone nut. This tutorial could drastically cut my J.M. addiction! Thanks for that too!

  • Dear Nina

    You could leave the ginger out or substitute it with some pink or black pepper essential oil if you want to include a little spice.

  • am I the only person who winced as she mixed and poured on that pretty book cover? I just kept imagining perfume all over the place…

  • srsly amazing, i’m totally doing this – i’m always looking for creative and cheap steampunk ideas and now i cant wait to grab a bunch of vintage lockets and pocket watches and gift them out. thank you!

  • This is awesome! Question: if I put it in a locket necklace, will the heat from my body cause the beeswax to melt?

  • Just had another thought…I bet it would work really well if you poured it into an empty chapstick tube…that way you could “roll” it on to apply directly to the skin!

  • This was a great tutorial:) I was just wondering what the actual name of the pretty book was (and I winced along with the other ladies too:P) Thanks for this post:)

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE! This is so cute. And so perfect for the summer, when you just want the slightest hint of a fragrance without being overwhelming or offensive ;) We shared it with our readers this week on our weekly blog roundup! See the post here: http://bit.ly/nHiEzL

    xo, Thursday Girls

  • @Mandy Aftel- where did you get the little wooden spoon with the bumble bee on it?

  • You could make different blends to suit different situations and times of day eg. One to perk you up during the day …. Or a calming one if you are stressed …a night time blend for sleep etc the possibilities are endless … You would need to refer to sn aromatherapy guide to see which ones are good to use directly on skin as some are not suitable even though they smell great .

  • Where is everyone finding (reasonably priced) old pocket watches to use for the project? I’m at a loss. And I’ve never seen any at our local flea market. Thanks!

  • This is fabulous! Thank you. I bought my daughter a small, beautiful marble hinged container that was filled with solid patchoulli fragrance long ago. She now lives in another province and when I smell patchoulli, I melt. She returned the jar to me a couple years ago, so I could smell her in its emptiness and feel close to her… (dorky I know… but I loved it!) Well I guess it is time to re-fill and re-re-gift it!

  • Love this! is there a resource anywhere for answering issues while making solid perfume? This worked perfect in the right size locket, but when I try to fill a slightly larger container the recipe is not easily “doubled” and it came out once too waxy which blocked the scent, and once too oily.


  • I love this idea! I only wear a specific perfume but would really like to use this idea . What about a lip gloss instead if perfume? Di you have a good recipe for that?

  • Really love this and want to try it. Just tried to print it out and got four pages, none of which contained the directions. Wish there was a print it button attached to your DIY projects.

  • In response to Rachel, I think that you would NOT be able to use regular perfume in this because it is mostly alcohol, but if you had oil perfume concentrate, that would work. You could also add just a little extra bees wax to firm it up more, let it set up, and then scoop out little balls of it. Make a bracelet or necklace with an open-lace spherical locket, fill the cage with the perfume balls…scented jewelry.

    • if any of you ladies are just starting out go to Bramble Berry and they have all the ingredients for making soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc…then watch Soap Queen TV on you tube where Anne Marie has tons of videos’ to watch making these products..She is the owner of BrambleBerry and I have found her to be the best….good luck! victoria

  • Thank you for this. My mum had a solid scented perfume when I was a kid that I absolutely loved. For years I have searched for a solid scent that I liked, but now instead I can make my own!

  • I love this idea and I am curious though if worn, will body heat melt the solid? Or what if it’s a hot summery day??

  • Hello
    I love your article, and I am keen to try it. My question is: Is the scent going to be as long lasting as the liquid perfume? Thank you.

  • What a lovely idea, and your tiny pocket watch-like containers are delightful! Can I ask where you got these? I’d love to try this!

    Thank you (found this post via Pinterest by the way).

    ~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

    • yes you can use pill boxes anything with a hinge on it…I am not associated with this blogger but I have made these things myself..you can look on Esty or anywhere like that and find people who sell things like empty pocket watches or boxes…have fun…


    Beeswax will permanently ruin anything utensil you use, I learned the hard way. Plan accordingly.

  • Look out for items you can fill with this perfume at garage sales and second hand stores. You cannot use commercial perfumes to scent this. Everything you use has to be oil soluble. You also have to be careful with the beeswax, (you can use natural soy wax if you are vegan) so have lots of paper towels on hand to wipe out your bowls when you are done (you will need very hot water to get it all out).

    You can use a disposable bamboo stick (the ones used for kabobs) to stir your ingredients. Never allow oils or beeswax to go down your drains, it will clog and cost you $$$ to have a plumber fix it.

  • Thanks for this tutorial! I’m allergic to a lot of synthetic perfumes, but I have found quite a number of essential oils that don’t irritate me. Trouble is, you can’t really apply them “neat” to the skin and so need to dilute them somehow first. A carrier oil seems the most intuitive, but it’s messy.

    I’ve used petroleum jelly to create a semi-solid fragrance medium before. All you do is *carefully* heat a small amount of it in a stove-safe pan or container until it is liquid and add essential oils. Pour into a tin or solid perfume container. I wouldn’t keep this in a pocket, though, as body oils might soften the petroleum jelly and leak out.

    Wrome: Probably if you are very careful, you can add drops of your favorite perfume to the solid as it cools. I don’t know how hot the jojoba/beeswax mix will get, but I think most perfumes have alcohol in them. Personally, I’d be leery about adding anything with alcohol to anything hot. Certainly keep the perfume away from the heating element you use to melt the mix.

  • I’m thinking of putting the mixture in a small open container inside of a small bad & keeping it in the linen closet.

  • Just made this with a group of young girls who each chose their own selections of fragrances. What FUN! We added the same mixture of essential oils to unscented body lotion, too.
    For the kids, I bought containers from http://www.specialtybottle.com …they carry a big selection of cute containers with twist off lids and such for a reasonable price.

  • this sounds like a great gift idea! I was wondering whats the NAME OF THE green BOOK you have in 2 of the pictures. Thanks!

  • Could I substitute clover for frankincense? If not clover, is there something else I could use?

  • I’m going to do this with my best friends little girl, her mother will love it for Mother’s Day. Thank you! Also, I wish you could come up with other scents for us – I would love something like the Moroccan Bazaar febreeze her mother loves. I think the main scents were ginger and nutmeg.

  • Hello …can you please give the book title and author…when I clink on your link…nothing comes up for me….

  • Perfume in the pocket watch case is very nice but the platter is the eye catcher for me. I love that platter.

  • Looking forward to trying this as I already make a beeswax based hand salve for dry cracked skin that my dad invented. Craftybubbles.com which is Bolek’s Craft Supplies has many different essential oils, beeswax and some plastic containers.

  • I’m a trained aromatherapist and have made many of these. In mines I used not beeswax but amber wax that I had lying around from a trip to Morocco, it was so luxurious! I’d also recommend adding some glycerin as the texture is not so gritty, and playing around with blending different oils.

  • I use to have a perfume holder like this . I have 3 pocket watches that no longer work and I think they just may get a face lift ! thanks for sharing!!!

  • I really like this idea. Any idea on what other oils I could mix with a lavender oil? Or could I just have one with only lavender?

  • Now I can do something w all the old pocket watches that I’ve inherited from my husbands family. Some are empty already, some can’t be fixed, so I can gut them. My question is. what is the melting point on this? I mean, if I do want to actually put it in my pocket? I would put a lip gloss/balm in mine….

  • it would be best not to add you essential oils (EOs) until right before you pour into locket. Heat can weaken aroma and lessen the benefits of your EOs.

  • I have “heard” but never tried, that you can use a unscented lip balm from the drug store, and melt it down (I would use a glass and the microwave or dbl boiler, then add my perfume…then you stir, stir, stir and pour it into your container..I haven’t tried this yet, but I am going to…Other wise Anne marie on Soap Queen TV has a great perfume tutorial..She also owns the store BrambleBerry and they sell every ingred, you need for making soaps, lotions, body butters, lip balm, lip stick, etc…I love them!

  • i would like to use my own fragrance ? Is this possible? I don’t want to waste my perfume if it won’t be successful. Thanks!

  • If you don’t have old watches lying around, where would one get some? Thanks!

  • I’ve just joined Pinterest – and am so excited to see this. Will be scouring my local charity shops (thrift store in the usa) for old pocket watches…

  • Just follow the easy tutorial and you will have your own vintage looking pocket watch locket filled with wonderfully smelling perfume solid or you can make a few of these to give away as gifts. I promise you that any woman is going to love receiving this DIY gift.

  • As a “beginner” diy-er I was pleased with this. What I would say is to make sure you definitely use grated beeswax. I used beeswax pellets and tried to melt them in the microwave. It took so long that my microwave actually over-heated and stopped working! I moved onto melting it in an egg poacher too, and quadrupled the recipe, so I got four batches in one go.