The Secret to Enjoying Lilacs Year-Round

Lilacs are one of the most fragrant reminders that spring is here. It is hardly a surprise that entire cities, like Rochester, New York’s Lilac Festival, celebrate its arrival every year. Yet, it seems a cruel reality the bush blooms only 2-6 weeks in early spring. With such an abundance of lilacs, on roadsides, industrial parks and maybe your yard, here is a simple way to preserve that scent by using what is already on-hand!

First, find a lilac bush and trim off healthy-looking buds from the tree. Even better, ask hard-working kids to climb a ladder and fill your basket.


Next, bring the basket inside to pluck healthy buds from the stems and leaves. During one of my girlfriends’ get-togethers, we contemplated how to simplify life and got all messy with lilac stems and oil. Many hands make light work… then again, who am I to say?  I was snapping photos the whole time!




Take healthy buds and place them in a glass container. I purchased this one from Ikea, but Target sells them as well. Fill container with lightly-scented or unscented oils like avocado, grape-seed or sunflower (available at most grocery stores). Be sure the petals are fully covered with the oil. Let sit for 2 weeks in a dark place to allow lilac oils to seep out of petals into the oil itself.

Once ready, strain oil through cheese cloth and enjoy the oil “as is” for bath oil or pillow spray. One of my favorite projects is incorporating oils like these into bath bombs. See  below for this very simple recipe!







Large quantities of the list below can be purchased through CostCo, Sam’s Club or Amazon. Incorporate essential oils with your lilac oil for your own unique scent. I love the essential oils of Young Living and DoTerra, however, I usually purchase less expensive options for big projects like this. Consider ordering essential oils from Vitacost or experiment with commonly sold extracts like almond, coconut, anise, lemon, coffee, orange, strawberry, root beer and vanilla.  My girls received snowball makers for Christmas one year.  This has been my favorite mold!


Check out the following recipe from Brightnest if you’re looking for a reliable start!  Other recipes are easy to find through Pinterest, YouTube and Google. The following is all you need:

  • 8 oz. of baking soda
  • 4 oz. of citric acid
  • 4 oz. of corn starch
  • 4 oz. of salt
  •  ¾ tsp. of water
  • 2 tsp. scent- consider essential oils or extracts (see above)
  • 1 tsp lilac oil (you just made it!) or almond or coconut oil
  • sprinkles, dried flowers, or candies to embellish your creation


Please share your enthusiasm by letting us know how this and other projects have worked. We are eager to know how flowers are preserved in your kitchen!

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