So, you want to learn how to make cologne? If so, this recipe is for you! In a similar fashion to my last post where we made a DIY Eau de Perfume, success is all about selecting the correct oils.
In order to make this cologne recipe, I decided to select a blend of essential oils that create a more masculine scent.
My favorite thing about perfuming, 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.
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.
Watch How To Make Cologne
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.
Evergreen – A DIY Gents Cologne Recipe
- Pour the perfumers alcohol into a container.
- Add the essential oils to the perfumer’s alcohol.
- Next, stir the mixture slowly, making sure that the oils are thoroughly dispersed.
- You will need to leave it for around 3 weeks so that the perfume can mature.
- 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.
- Finally, pour the cologne into a glass perfume bottle using a funnel. Your cologne is now ready to use.
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)
- Break up the bay leaves and place in the jar leaving about three inches spare at the top.
- Add the dried rosemary to the jar.
- Fill the jar with the rum leaving one inch spare at the top, this will give enough room to give it a good shake.
- 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
- Pour the vodka, witch hazel and the essential oils into the bottle and shake well. Leave to mature for 24 hours before using.
- Shake well before each use and then simply tip a little into the hand and splash over the face after shaving.
- 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.
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
- Place all the ingredients in a glass bottle or jar and give it a good shake.
- Shake well before each use and then simply tip a little into the hand and splash over face after shaving.
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.
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