Activity:

Homemade Perfume

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What You Need:

  • Glass containers with lids (empty baby food jars, for example)
  • Plastic container with lid
  • Thin slices of orange, lemon, lime or apple
  • Kitchen herbs
  • Fragrant flower leaves, stems and petals
  • Kitchen mallet
  • Wax paper
  • Measuring cup
  • Strainer
  • Stove pot

What You Do:

  1. Your child should first collect some sweet smelling flowers from the yard. Lavender, lilac, honeysuckle and rose petals all have strong fragrances, but other flowers can work too.
  2. Help her find stuff in the kitchen that smells nice, such as thin slices of citrus or apple. Introduce her to kitchen herbs that she might not be familiar with like mint and basil.
  3. Have your child spread all of her collected food and flowers on the wax paper. Fold the wax paper over the scents and then pound them flat with a kitchen mallet.
  4. Put all the crushed items into a plastic container. She should have about a ½ cup worth of crushed foods and flowers.
  5. Next, she needs to measure and add one cup of water to the container of crushed items. Put a lid tightly on the container and leave it to sit overnight.
  6. The next day, your child should use a strainer to pour out the mixture into a measuring cup. The strainer should catch all the assorted fruit and flower fragments, and the measuring cup should have only water in it.
  7. Simmer the water in a pot on the stove.
  8. After the water cools, help her pour it into pretty glass containers. Make sure you secure the lids on the containers -- you don't want the scent to escape! Shelf life of the perfume may vary depending on what materials you used. Most perfumes will not last much longer than one month.
  9. Have your child name her perfumes. She can use each scent's main ingredient as inspiration or even her own name!

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