How To: Strawberry Glycerine Extract

It's summer and it's strawberry season around these parts of Scandinavia. I've been waiting for the ripest, plumpest, freshest strawberries to be available so I could make this glycerine extract.

And here they are - fresh picked and deliciously aromatic.

Shall we get busy?

Glycerine Extract Ingredients

This is a very simple process and requires only
  • fresh strawberries
  • glycerine
  • preservative 

Water to Glycerine Amounts

Glycerine extracts are commonly made with dried plant materials that are reconstituted with water, then added to the glycerine.

The usual ratio of water-content to glycerine for an extract is 50/50.

For this batch I used

49.8 % Glycerine
49.7 % Strawberry
0,5 % Preservative (I used benzyl alcohol)

Even though fresh strawberry is 'only' about 92% water, I went with a 50/50 ratio of strawberry to glycerine..

Aroma Zone's glycerine extract how-to recommends adding 0,6% broad spectrum preservative, storing the final extract cool, and using within 6 months.

A few of you have asked me about this, and I'll be answering your questions about glycerine as a preservative in an upcoming post.

Meantime, here's a peek at the process of my strawberry glycerine ecxtract.

(those extra strawberries in the bowl in the background? What a shame they wouldn't fit into the jar. We simply had to eat them for dessert)


Making a strawberry glycerine extract is easy peasy.
  • Sanitize the jar and your equipment
  • Slice the strawberry
  • Weigh the strawberry
  • Weigh and add glycerine
  • Add preservative
  • Place lid on jar
  • Keep jar in a dark and not too warm area
  • Agitate the jar daily for 7-10 days

Tip: Always always measure your ingredients by weight - this is the only accurate way to be sure of your amounts in any formula.

When it's Time to Strain

Here's what you need to strain
  • Bottle for your extract
  • Funnel
  • Filter 
  • Receptacle to strain into

As soon as the liquid has run through the filter, transfer the extract to a bottle, put on a label with a date and enjoy your fabulous extract!

What to Use it For

You can use this extract in place of glycerine in any formula. It adds a delicious scent of fresh strawberry. I've been adding it to skin tonic made on a rose hydrosol base, tried it in a light cream, and in a shower gel.

Do Tell

What do you use your glycerine extracts in? Which kinds of extracts have you made - and which are your favorites?


María said…
What about a baby spritz? I've just made one, some kind of alcohol-free cologne for a friend of mine who's just given birth, a mix of strawberry, orange and lemon flesh and pineapple.
20% extract to dilute in distilled water and preserve accordingly.
No alcohol, funny scent and lovely for this summer, for boys and girls
LisaLise said…
Maria you have the best ideas! Thank you for the inspiration :)
Unknown said…
Hey, quick question...where can i find benzyl alcohol?? Ive been looking for it and i havent had any luck! Ive looked on lotion crafter and WSP... could you share with me where to get it, please?

Thank you,

LisaLise said…
Hi Marie - I buy mine form a local Danish supplier (Urtegaarden - they are in the links on the sidebar), but if you can find a preservative called Cosgard - this contains beryl alcohol and is broad spectrum as well. You could also use phenonip. Be sure to use at your SUPPLIERS recommended dosage. I hope this helps!
LisaLise said…
Forgive me -- these autocorrect thingies drive me nuts sometimes.. I wrote BENZYL alcohol above.
Kimberley Jane said…
Do you use your extracts in the heated water phase or in cool down? :)
LisaLise said…
You could go either way - depending on the extract. With strawberry, I'd go with cool down
Marina said…
I tried using this extract in face cream at 5 % in water phase.But it didn't smell strawberries at all so i increased at 30% ( I know it's sounds crazy) I thought it will be very sicky but I actually like it.Do you think it's ok a ding that much in water phase or I shall keep it in cool down at 2%?
LisaLise said…
Hi Marina - It sounds like a lot using 30%, and without knowing the other ingredients in your formula it's hard for me to comment. If you want the full benefit of the scent you might want to add it at cooldown.
Anonymous said…
Maybe you can use the spritz for young children, but ideally you wouldnt want to use it on infants less than a year old because the is the high risk of development of skin allergies to these fruits.
LisaLise said…
Hi Marie - many cosmetics ingredients suppliers carry benzyl alcohol ☺
Unknown said…
Hi Lise,

1.Glycerites are usually considered as a substitute to avoid alcohol based ingredients right,so i see you have used benzyl alcohol as preservative.Any other alcohol free alternatives to help preserve a glycerite?

2.Is the preservative needs to be added as i read glycerine itself is a preservative?
Kindly guide,as i have just started with glycerites and you have been an inspiration to start with it!
LisaLise said…
Hi Jeevana - Benzyl alcohol is a broad spectrum preservative that is ethanol free-- meaning: benzyl alcohol is alcohol free. You are correct that glycerine is a preservative but needs to be used at a higher dose if it is to function as a stand alone preservative. I am writing a guide about calculating preservatives for glycerites that I hope to finish so on and will offer in my shop as soon as it is published :)
Unknown said…
Hi Lise

Thank you so much for all this wonderful information. What about mango can we make a glycerine out of it. We have organic mangos that smell heavenly at the moment.
LisaLise said…
Hi Andry - mangos can be used! Go for it! :)
Unknown said…
Thank you Lise! What about berries ? I have read your article about the strawberry glicerite in Formula Botanica. Fruits that we won't peel,do we wash them before immersing them in glycerine? I am thinking that some moisture from water might go into the glycerite and spoil it. What is your advice? Should berries be washed and dried before they go in? Many thanks for getting back. I just saw your response!
Unknown said…
And no preservative is added into the glycerite jar right? But a preservative will be needed in the final formulation. Is that correct Lise? Many thanks :-))
LisaLise said…
Hi Andry - yes, you can use berries too. There are a couple of additional posts on glycerites with berries on this blog - try the search function. All food should be washed in demineralized/ distilled water prior to use. If you check the post here, preservative is added to the jar, when starting the infusion.
Unknown said…
Many thanks Lise! I will look it up :-)) thanks for the advice again
Nojoyus said…
Is this extract suitable for food? Or for consumption?
LisaLise said…
HI Nojoyous - these are all made with topical use in mind.
Jyoti said…
Hi Lisa...I forgot to hydrate my dried rose petals and just added in equal amount to the glycerin. What should I do now? The glycerin has taken a yellow hue from the yellow rose petals.
LisaLise said…
Hi Jyoti - you may not need to do anything at all. It is possible to create a successful glycerite from some dried materials. Monitor closely and let the material infuse a bit longer than you normally would.
Olja said…
Dear Lise,

I was wondering, why are you just cutting the strawberries in half and not mash them up? There probably is a reason, I was just wondering as to what is it :)

Thank you for your reply,
LisaLise said…
HI Olja - Great question! You could mash the strawberries if you like but I find slicing the strawberries allows for an ideal amount of surface to extract without making straining too time consuming. :)
Rosanna said…
Dear Lisa I would like to incorporate my strawberry Glycerites into my oil based lip balm. Can this be done without the glycerine departing. What can I use to help stabilise the lip balm?
LisaLise said…
Hi Rosanna - This is a great question! The answer isn't as straightforward as one might hope. There are a lot of ifs buts and maybes involved. Although some can add glycerin to lip products successfully, it is generally pure glycerin/glycerol. As soon as you have made a glycerite, water has been added and is present to some degree, so you are going to have to do some experimentation to see if it is at all possible. Start with very small amounts (under 3%) and make small batches if you want to give it a try. Best of luck with it!
Anonymous said…
Hello Lisa,
I just made my strawberry glycerite yesterday. I cut the strawberries as you recommended. When I mixed everything, some parts of the strawberries floated. Is that ok I’m afraid that they will grow fungus. Although there was a space at the bottom! Is that ok? This was my first glycerite ever.
Saba said…

Hi Lisa, if I want to make glycerite from dried roses, should I wet them first, how?
Or should use them dry, and how much glycerine should I add? Thanks that will be my second try after the strawberries.
LisaLise said…
Hello Saba,

I recommend checking out my book The Art of Making Glycerites for Cosmetics which is available at in the shop. It has calculation charts for making glycerites with all kinds of materials and tells you exactly how much water (if any) should be added for the different materials. :)
LisaLise said…
Hi Anon - Oh how exciting! yes, it is correct the strawberries will migrate to the top of the container. If you monitor the mixture and agitate it daily so the strawberries are fully covered each day (they will still tend to migrate to the top), then you should be fine. Keep the container away from direct sunlight and not too warm, but not chilled either. Let me know how it turns out! :)
Amanda said…
Hi Lisa,I have used the alcohol intermediary method for infused old before. Have you tried the alcohol intermediary method with glycerine? I'm curious and want to try it.😁
LisaLise said…
HI Amanda - I haven't tried it and wonder if it might overpower the delicate fragrances the glycerite is capable of extracting. If you give it a try, I'd love to hear your feedback on what you think.
F said…
Hi I was wondering if I can use powder to make glycerine because I bought a bunch of dried fruit powders so I was wondering if I can make use of them
LisaLise said…
Hi F - powders can be used but be prepared for a bit of a straining nightmare.
Unknown said…
Hi Lisa, I would love to incorporate this into a body scrub what would be the shelf life of this extract?
LisaLise said…
HI Unknown -- the shelf life of an extract of this type is about 2 years if made and stored properly. However - I generally recommend using a handcrafted glycerite within 2-3 months of making when it is to be used as an ingredient in a cosmetic. :)
Rubycoa said…
Hello! I have made the strawberry glycerite without the benzl alcohol. And I am trying to make a strawberry body butter. I have tried and it is sticky and does not smell of strawberries at all. I need some tips on how to make it fragrant and not sticky . Please help 😩
LisaLise said…
Hi Rubycoa - A body butter can be anhydrous or a very thick emulsion so it's hard to answer this without knowing more about your specific process and the percentage of ingredients you used. To capture strawberry fragrance in a glycerite optimally, you need fruits in the prime of their season (or frozen).