Campfire perfume alchemy

September 20, 2017

Taking perfume & potion-making a step further by adding heat – a Muddy Faces story.

petal pefume
Author: Liz, Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: summer

Tags: campfire, foraging, gift, mud kitchen, perfume, potion, reflection, sensory

Category: growing & gardens outdoor play


Step-by-step instructions and a story from the Muddy Faces family – incorporating heat into your mud kitchen and natural ingredients play.


Collect lots of petals or vegetation, using a bag or basket to collect them in.
Prepare your fire bowl or fire pit – have your fire flint and tinder ready.
Gather recycled bottles and containers for your potions to go into.

Step 1

Gather your petals.

  • After a heavy rainfall my boys discovered lots of rose petals on the ground. The smell of the petals was awesome and inspired much chatter. Then instinctively they began to gather the fallen petals.

Step 2

Use the petals to make a potion.

  • The boys took their rose petals into their mud kitchen, popped them in a pan and explained they were making perfume. Of course everyone had to have a smell. We talked about what may help the smell transfer from the petals to the water. I was expecting ideas around crushing or stirring them, but the suggestion of heating over a campfire (probably just an excuse to have a campfire) was put forward and met with much enthusiasm.
making petal perfume

Step 3

Start your fire.

  • Not unaccustomed to making fires, the boys fetched the flint and cotton wool and got a fire going. Then they practised lighting a fire again and again. Once the experience of igniting fires had been exhausted their attention returned to their alchemy.
making petal perfume

Step 4

Heat the potion.

  • The boys filled a big pan with water and placed it over their fire, which had now died down and had some lovely hot embers. The water warmed and the petals were added and the potion was stirred.
making petal perfume

Step 5

Cool and bottle.

  • The cooled liquid was decanted into tubs and bottles ready for sharing.
making petal perfume