How To Make Cologne With Essential Oils

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So, you want to learn how to make cologne with essential oil? If so, this recipe is for you! Similarly to my last post, where we made a DIY Eau de Perfume, success is all about selecting the correct oils. So, to make this cologne recipe, I selected a blend of essential oils that creates a more masculine scent.

My favorite thing about learning how to make perfume, so far, is that almost all alcohol-based perfumes are made the same. Once you master the technique, you’re good to go. In fact, the thing that takes the longest is actually designing your scent.

A 30ml bottle of cologne, sat next to another bottle, some lime segments and a couple of bay leaves


Fragrance blending is an artform. It can take years to perfect a good fragrance. 

Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop you giving it a go and designing for yourself. Experiment, be creative and accept that not everything is going to be perfect the first time.

That’s what I did with this recipe, and the men I know really enjoy this scent profile.

What Is Cologne?

Before I show you how to make cologne, first let’s talk about what a cologne actually is.

Cologne tends to be used for masculine scents due to its lower essential oil percentage.

Typically colognes have around 3-5% essential oils, and are therefore a lighter fragrance. That being said, colognes can be made with a feminine scent, it will just be a milder perfume.

The scent of a cologne generally lasts for around two hours making it great for everyday use but you may need to top up every now and again.

The All Important Alcohol

I decided to use perfumers alcohol in this cologne recipe, you can learn more about this by checking out our Perfumers Alcohol page

Most high street cologne brands contain alcohol. The reason perfumers use it is to make the cologne more suitable for use on our skin by diluting the essential oils. 

Alcohol is unlikely to affect the formula and also helps to disperse the oils so is a popular choice. Alcohol also helps the cologne last longer and makes it more intense meaning that others are more likely to be able to smell the fragrance.

The Essential Oils

Bay Essential Oil 

Bay essential oil has a masculine, sweet but spicy odour with uplifting properties that can help you feel less stressed and more relaxed. 

Bay is a middle note that comes through just after the citrusy lime and bergamot aroma, and is followed with the deep and woody cedarwood. 

Bay leaves have been used in perfumery for hundreds of years and have also been used to make crowns for the greats, such as kings, war heroes, and athletes. So why wouldn’t you add this king-worthy scent to a man’s DIY cologne?  

Lime Essential Oil

The Lime essential oil brings a sharp freshness to the homemade cologne, it’s the first thing you are going to smell in this cologne and it really does put a spring in your step.  

It mixes brilliantly with bergamot which is also a citrus oil along with the sweet and woody scents of the Bay and cedarwood.  

Bergamot Essential Oil

Lemony bergamot is often referred to as the happy oil. This is going to be the second top note in my cologne. 

Bergamot is one of those essential oils that keeps popping up in so many perfumes and skin care, I guess that’s why they call it the king of essential oils in the perfumery and cosmetic world.    

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Is one of the oldest essential oils to be used in perfumery. 

It’s a very grounding oil that combines beautifully with the lime and bergamot citrus notes in this cologne, by providing a warm tone.

A 30ml bottle of cologne, sat next to another bottle, some lime segments and a couple of bay leaves

How To Make Cologne With Essential Oils – Evergreen Recipe

So, you want to learn how to make cologne? If so, this recipe is for you. Success is all about selecting the correct oils to create a more masculine scent.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Maturing Time: 21 days
Total Time: 21 days 20 minutes
Yield: 30 ml
Difficulty Level: Easy
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Pour the perfumers alcohol into a container.
    30 grams Perfumer's Alcohol
    Perfumer's alochol being poured into a tinted glass jar
  • Add the essential oils to the perfumer’s alcohol.
    12 drops Bay Essential Oil, 12 drops Lime Essential Oil, 12 drops Bergamot Essential Oil, 12 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
    Essential oils are added to the tinted glass jar
  • Next, stir the mixture slowly, making sure that the oils are thoroughly dispersed.
    The cologne mixture is stirred
  • You will need to leave it for around 3 weeks so that the perfume can mature.
    The jar's lid is added
  • After approximately 3 weeks, filter the cologne through a coffee filter to remove any sediment. You may find that there is no sediment but it is best to filter just in case. 
    The matured cologne is filtered through a coffee filter
  • Finally, pour the cologne into a glass perfume bottle using a funnel. Your cologne is now ready to use.
    1 30ml (1 oz) Glass Perfume Bottle
    The cologne is poured into a 30ml glass perfume bottle
Category: DIY Perfume
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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Simple Aftershave Recipes

Aftershave is different to cologne but is a common misconception. Aftershave is intended to be used directly on the face following a shave in order to disinfect and refresh your skin with a light scent.

Aftershave typically contains only 1-3% essential oils and will only last an hour or two. If you would prefer to try an aftershave then we have some great aftershave splash recipes below.

The oils in my aftershave recipes have not only been chosen for their long-lasting yet not overpowering aroma. But also for their mood-enhancing and therapeutic values which are guaranteed to leave you with a spring in your step.

Homemade Bay Rum Aftershave

This DIY aftershave recipe may seem to contain an awful lot of alcohol, but you may be surprised to learn that most commercial brands contain synthetic alcohols that can be both poisonous and toxic, so knowing what’s in your aftershave has to be a bonus!


  • 3 cups of dried or fresh bay leaves – (enough to fill a quart or pint mason jar leaving 3 inches at the top)
  • A few sprigs of dried rosemary or sprigs.
  • Rum – white or dark it doesn’t matter – (enough to cover)


  1. Break up the bay leaves and place in the jar leaving about three inches spare at the top.
  2. Add the dried rosemary to the jar.
  3. Fill the jar with the rum leaving one inch spare at the top, this will give enough room to give it a good shake.
  4. Place in a cool dark place to mature for 4 weeks, and then strain into a glass bottle or decanter and use.


The color and the fragrance of this aftershave will vary a lot depending on the strength of both the rum and the bay leaves.

DIY Cool Splash Aftershave


  • 1 floz (25ml) Vodka – gives a great cooling feeling
  • 9 floz (250ml) Witch Hazel – a sedative and astringent, very soothing
  • Glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid
  • 3 drops of Bay essential oil – antiseptic and bactericidal
  • 3 drops of Lime essential oil – uplifts the spirit, cooling and refreshing aroma
  • 3 drops of Bergamot essential oil – mood enhancer
  • 3 drops of Cedarwood essential oil – antiseptic and astringent, masculine aroma, aphrodisiac


  1. Pour the vodka, witch hazel and the essential oils into the bottle and shake well. Leave to mature for 24 hours before using.
  2. Shake well before each use and then simply tip a little into the hand and splash over the face after shaving.
  3. If you are using a clear glass bottle, store it in a cool dark place to preserve the essential oils.


Citrus oils can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so don’t use them if you’re likely to be exposed to the sun.

Aftershave Splash

If you don’t like the thought of putting alcohol on your skin, then this alcohol-free after shave will be perfect for you.


  • 2 cups of Witch Hazel
  • 2 oz of Rose water
  • 2 oz of Aloe vera gel
  • 1/2oz of Vegetable glycerine
  • 10 drops of Peppermint essential oil


  1. Place all the ingredients in a glass bottle or jar and give it a good shake.
  2. Shake well before each use and then simply tip a little into the hand and splash over face after shaving.

Final Thoughts

I really like the fresh, masculine fragrance of the Evergreen gents cologne. It’s refreshing, and not too heavy either. I find a lot of men’s cologne can be very, very strong with heavy aromas. My husband used to use a cologne that I always found a little oppressive for my nose. So when he ran out, I replaced it with this. It’s much lighter, and he can use it daily without any complaints from me!

But if this isn’t to your taste, I totally recommend designing your own fragrances. I’ll tell you one thing, it really isn’t easy! But, if you have the patience for it, it’s super satisfying when you make something that smells amazing!

At least we have one benefit of perfume making. Once you’ve designed your scent profile, the actual making of it is soooo easy! I don’t know about you, but that’s music to my ears.

If you wanna stay up to date with all of my crafts, posts, and even some exclusive deals, consider signing up for our newsletter. We’re also super active on social media. So if that’s your thing, check us out on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter

How to Make Perfume At Home – A Guide For Beginners

Sit back and relax as I show you how to make perfume using my tried & tested blends. Each recipe comes with its own video, I love them, and I hope you do too.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting


Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (8 Comments)

  1. Would the Benzion substitute Musk? I know the former is fixative but also the latter. Nowadays Musk come from plant sources.
    Also when you use 30gm of alcohol, is this equivalent to nearly 38ml ?
    Thanks for explaining this to me.

    • Hi Aluchi,

      Yes, they are both good fixative you could use here. I think it would depend on whether you prefer the smell of one over the other. And yes, 30gm is roughly 38mls if we’re talking strictly alcohol.

      Hope this helps!

      • Hello Angel,
        I am just starting out my DIY perfume aftershave etc…
        1- What is Mason jar?
        2- Also for Bay leaves which one? The one for cooking or the sweet caribean West Indian Bay leaves? Not s ure where to find it though.
        3- again where to get dried sprigs of rosemary? Can normal rosemary in grocery store work?
        I fond other recipes of Bay rum are different so not sure which one is the original Bay Rum. Some other Youtubers add cloves, grated ginger …
        Lastly, you mentioned either white or dark Rum , but each has different scent light?
        Your comment please is appreciated.
        Thanks again

        • Hi Aluchi,

          1 – A mason jar is a thick glass jar with an airtight lid. It has a rubber ring that ensures air can’t get into the jar. Anything made of glass that sounds like that, you can use it.
          2 – You should really use grocery store bay leaves. They don’t make for a good aroma. I would recommend the west Indian bay leaf.
          3 – I would try to use one that is quite aromatic. I would try the grocery store stuff, but if it isn’t punchy enough you might want to find a specialist herb supplier (which will also help with finding the bay leaf).

          As for the rum, honestly, It’s just personal preference. Traditionally, it was probably made with dark rum, before they switched to using stainless steel. However, if you make it and prefer the light rum, then that’s OK too.

          Hope this helps and good luck with your perfumes!

  2. amazing, I have been making perfumes for a couple of years and felt that Im missing something. well after watching your videos i now know what the missing link is. I did not let sit for 3 weeks and then strained through a coffee filter. thanks for that info this is a hugh breakthrough for me.

    Anne5 stars


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