How to Preserve the Smell of Fresh Gardenias

I love the heady smell of fresh gardenias but the blooms are not long lived and the fragrance is soon gone. I try to take advantage of our blooming bushes by sitting near them, especially in the evening when their intoxicating fragrance is stronger.

Would you like to capture this fragrance in a bottle and use it later? The best way to do so is by making a tincture. In this post, I’ll share with you, How to Preserve the Smell of Fresh Gardenias.

Things you will need:

  • 1 clean sterile half-pint size glass canning jar and lid
  • 2-3 cups of fresh gardenia blossoms, mashed
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of vodka, 100 proof
  • small piece of waxed paper, large enough to cover the top of the jar
  • 1 quart glass canning jar
  • 1 – 3 ounces of purified water
  • 1 paper coffee filter
  • funnel
  • clean decanter spray bottle, dark glass (blue, green or amber) is best


  • Remove enough petals from the flowers and cut them up using a knife or scissors so that you have enough to fill the canning jar. Use more or less as needed.
  • Stuff the petals into the glass canning jar.
  • Remove any stamen or pistils from the central core of the blossom and add them to the jar.
  • Slowly, pour the 1/2 cup of vodka over the contents of the jar while stirring.
  • Stir for about 3 to 4 minutes and add additional vodka to completely cover the organic matter in the jar.
  • Cover the top of the jar with a small piece of waxed paper and then screw the lid onto the jar.
  • Set the jar in a cool dark place for 4 to 5 days, but gently shake it for a minute or so each day.
  • After 4 to 5 days, open the jar and test the strength of the fragrance. If it is too light, recap the jar and allow to steep another week or so. If the fragrance is good or too strong, continue below.
  • Place the funnel into the quart canning jar.
  • Place the coffee filter into the funnel.
  • Slowly, pour the contents of the gardenia blossom tincture into the coffee filter and allow it to drain.
  • Add 2 ounces of purified water to the gardenia alcohol liquid and stir. If the fragrance is too strong, add enough purified water to the gardenia liquid to satisfy your sense of smell.
  • Remove the coffee filter and use the funnel to decant your new gardenia body spray into the glass spray bottle. If you still have liquid remaining you can store it in a glass canning jar with waxed paper under the lid, just keep it in a cool dark area.

I hope that you enjoy you homemade gardenia body fragrance. Keep in the mind that the quality of the fragrance depends on the amount of fragrance each blossom holds. Some plant varieties are stronger than others. It is best to use blooms that are in good shape and not those that have started to turn brown or are wilted.

If you would like to learn more about growing Gardenia bushes, you might enjoy our article The Intoxicating Smell of Gardenias.

Every Blessing,

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  1. […] Would you like to keep the fragrance of gardenias around a little longer? Read our article about how to make your own Gardenia body spray from these fragrant blossoms, here. […]

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