Instructional Strategies, Teaching Tips and Tricks

Friday, January 26, 2018

FREEBIE! Be a Classroom Chemist: The Art of Perfume Making Just in Time for Valentines Day

Be a Famous Perfume Maker (aka Chemist)

Teacher Supplies:
  • Jars for students who don't bring in their own
  • Paper and glue for labels
  • Paper for advertising
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Supplies such as rose pedals, lavender, spices, fruits, for students who don't bring in their own
Things you need to know:

Alcohol (the rubbing kind) makes a great solvent for dissolving fragrant oils found in flowers, herbs, fruit and the like.
  1. Get a clear glass or plastic container with a lid - the prettier the better - or one of those small mason jars that are oh so popular. You'll need one per student.
  2. Have students go on a gathering field trip at home. Tell them they are going to make perfume and they get to pick the scent.
  3. Brainstorm ideas:
    1. cloves
    2. lemon peel (explain zest)
    3. orange peel
    4. flowers
    5. herbs
    6. cinnamon
    7. roses
    8. Any flower pedels
    9. ANYTHING  - who knows - they may create the next Obsession.
  4. Have students put their ingredients into their containers and cover with about 4 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.
  5. Shake twice a day for one week.
  6. At the end of the week it is ready - dab a little on and see what they think.


  1. Have students create a label for their perfume and a brand
  2. Have students make commercials or print ads
  3. Have a contest to decide who likes which scent.
Then tell them: It takes about 8,000 to 10,000 crushes roses to make one dab (barely an oz) of rose oil for perfume, but that chemists have found a way to capture the flowers
Chapin-Pinotti Perfume Scientist
fragrance. They analyze the rose molecules and make the scent by artificially reproducing the natural oils.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • PK – grade 3 students
    • K-LS1, 1-LS1, 2-LS1, 3-LS1, 2-PS1
  • Grade 4 – 6 students
    • 4-LS1, 5-PSI, 5-LS1
    • MS-PS1, MS-LS1
  • Middle school students
    • MS-PS1, MS-LS1
  • High school students
    • HS-PS1, HS-LS1
PS1- Structure and properties of matter: LS1-Structure and Function;


For the marketing aspect of this lesson please look to Great Lesson Plans on Marketing.

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