How to Make Scented Ink

Scented ink is a lovely way to perfume your letters, journal pages or other handwritten items. This project can be a little messy so it's not one for the kids.


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    Assemble the items you'll need. These are listed below under "Things You'll Need". In terms of which oil to choose, bear in mind that the oil has to be strong in fragrance to overcome the natural scent of the ink. Suitable oils include:
    • Essential oils: Patchouli, frankincense, lemongrass and cypress
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    • Synthetic scented or fragrance oils: Carnation, violet, magnolia, rose.
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    Decant 55ml (2 fl oz) of ink into the bowl.
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    In another bowl, measure out and pour one teaspoon (5ml) of vodka. Add 100 drops of the chosen oil. Mix. This step is important because unless the oil and vodka are mixed prior to addition to the ink, they won't blend.
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    Gradually add the vodka/oil mix to the ink in small amounts. Stir to combine as you add.
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    Decant the ink into the storage bottle. Use the funnel to assist the pouring.
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    Shake the mixture at the end to combine well. Should the ink and alcohol/oil mix separate during storage, always resort to shaking to recombine.


  • If also using scented paper, ensure it carries the same scent or the end effect might be too overwhelming for the poor reader!

Things You'll Need

  • Quality writing ink; darker inks will be the most successful, while lighter inks may appear too washed out once the oil and alcohol are added
  • Vodka, strongest proof possible
  • Suitable essential or synthetic oil (see list above)
  • Glass mixing bowls
  • Pipette
  • Small funnel
  • Decorative glass bottle with lid or stopper for storing ink

Sources and Citations

  • Angela Flanders, Aromatics, p. 108, (1995), ISBN 1-85732-337-8 – research source and confirmation of amounts to be used.

Article Info

Categories: Stationery