Home-grown perfume


Create your own perfume from leaves, flowers and natural materials found in the garden.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Early Summer, Late Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Science, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Recognise which plants have scented foliage or flowers
  • Write for a specified audience 


Gather all the materials together before the activity begins.


  • Plastic cups or recycled yoghurt pots
  • Sticks or spoons for mixing
  • Access to garden with a range of plants including herbs and flowers
  • Water to add to make the perfume

Step by step

  1. Introduce the idea that some plants have leaves that have a strong smell. Some plants have flowers that are scented too. Why is this? There are also many other smells in the garden from the soil, dead leaves, compost and grass.
  2. Hand out the pots and spoons or sticks.
  3. Explain to the group that they can explore the garden to collect different smells – these can be leaves, petals or samples of soil or compost – to create your own perfume potions.
  4. Add water and mix or bash the leaves gently to bring out the scent.
  5. Come together in a circle. Ask each person to describe the smell of their perfume pot and think of a name for their perfume.
  6. Pass around each other’s pots, taking time to sniff the pot.
  7. Back in the classroom ask each pupil to write a description of their perfume. This could be in the form of an advertisment for television or a review for a magazine.

Hints & tips

  • If your garden lacks herbs, bring in some supermarket herbs and spices or fruit, such ginger, cinnamon, lemons and oranges.
  • Use this activity as part of Sensory Senations class growing topic

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Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
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