How to Make Homemade Eau de Cologne for Men
The Gift of Fragrance
What man does not enjoy fragrance? Granted, not every man will wear aftershave or even cologne, but he will generally have fragrance in the form of a deodorant, antiperspirant, body wash or other grooming products.
The men in my family all had different likes and dislikes. One used aftershave or eau de toilette religiously, another when “going out” would wear aftershave splash and my dad, the one working in the cosmetic and fragrance industry, never wore aftershave!
These 3 recipes make great gift ideas, ladies, for the man in your life. Dads will appreciate this on Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas and just as a little “Dad, you’re special” spontaneous gift.
I have found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain.— Giovanni Maria Farina
Giovanni Maria Farina (see quote above) created the original Eau de Cologne. In a show of respect to this master of fragrance, I have put together 3 different homemade cologne recipes which step back in time to when perfume making was about natural, simple clean fragrances that awaken the senses. With Farina’s quote in mind, here are my 3 for men to enjoy.
Don't forget to give your fragrance a special name!
Fresh Cologne Recipe
You may juggle around the quantities of essential oils, just keep total drops to 58 with this amount of the orange flower water and Vodka or Ethanol. A good tip is to have a pen and a notebook handy to keep track of your blend so you will be able to recreate it easily.
Ingredients and Supplies
- 16 drops Bergamot
- 14 drops Petitgrain
- 8 drops Orange
- 8 drops Lemon
- 7 drops Lavender
- 5 drops Neroli
- 10 ml Orange Flower Water
- 230 ml Ethanol Alcohol or Vodka
- Glass Mixing Jug (makes pouring into your bottle easier, alternatively use a small funnel to fit your bottle)
- Dark Glass Container (with sealed, airtight lid)
- Pour the alcohol into your mixing jar.
- Add the essential oils one by one and mix well.
- Pour into your bottle, cap it and leave for 4 days.
- Add in the orange flower water, re-cap and leave the cologne for 2 weeks out of direct sunlight. Give a light shake daily.
- By leaving your Cologne for a couple of weeks it gives the essential oils time to combine and become more rounded.
- Apply this Cologne to your pulse points where the skin is warmest (behind the ears, inside of the wrists, base of the throat or behind the neck are all the commonly used for men and women).
Every man’s skin is different, some are more sensitive than other’s and if applying after shaving it may be too concentrate for the stimulated pores. Some men who use their Eau de Toilette on the face (the highest concentrated fragrance form) may find this too astringent as it is designed for pulse points and not the sensitive face. Also, I would recommend using it cautiously on the face due to the high amount of citrus oils (see section on sun sensitivity).
Making a range of grooming products with these essential oils is very doable if you want to layer your fragrance and make it last even longer. Homemade body wash, soap, body lotion and deodorant are some of the possibilities that may be easily made in your kitchen.
Refreshing Alcohol-Free Cologne Recipe
Ingredients and Supplies
- 2 cups of Witch Hazel Extract
- 2 oz Rosewater
- 2 oz Aloe Vera Gel
- ½ oz Vegetable Glycerine
- 10 drops Essential Oil of Choice (a few good suggestions are lavender, sandalwood, peppermint and bergamot)
- Dark Glass Jar (with sealed lid)
- For this fragrance, add all the ingredients (except the essential oil) to your container and mix well to combine. You may pop on the lid securely and give it a good few shakes too.
- Add in the essential oil and give it a mix.
- Re-cap your glass container and remember to give it a gentle shake each time you go to use it.
- To apply your cologne, just pour a small amount into your hands and gently apply to the face after shaving.
- Avoid the delicate eye area.
- This may also be used on the pulse points as in the previous recipe.
Oil-Based Cologne Recipe
This recipe was one I tweaked and changed to give the men who may favor a sensual oil based fragrance, one to try at home.
For this one it is based on a perfume recipe so the percentage of essential oils is higher at 15 % which should not be exceeded. Feel free to experiment with essential oils but keep to the total drops of 19 and remember to check out the important safety rules when using essential oils.
Ingredients and Supplies
- 6 drops Bergamot
- 5 drops Coriander
- 4 drops Neroli
- 3 drops Sandalwood
- 1 drop Cedarwood
- 10 ml Jojoba Oil
- Mixing Container
- Small Dark Glass Bottle
- Add the jojoba oil to your mixing container.
- One by one add in the essential oils carefully.
- Mix together well.
- Pour into your small glass container, pop on the lid and leave for a week before using.
- The glass containers with the droppers are ideal for this recipe with an oil base.
- To apply, use the dropper to apply a drop to the wrists, behind the ears and whatever pulse points you wish.
Oil based fragrance lasts particularly well and while it is not Cologne, I added this in for variety and an alternative for men.
Phototoxicity or Sun Sensitivity
Certain essential oils cause the skin to be more sensitive to sunlight and this may cause the skin to react and burn or damage more easily. The essential oils themselves are not harmful but when used in UV light, they may cause the skin to be more sensitive than normal.
The main essential oils to take notes of are the Citrus oils. Using carrier oils, base oils or other dilutions reduces the effects in most Citrus Scents apart from Lemon so this one should always be used with caution. For a full list please click here.
Important Safety Info
- Safety with essential oils.
The safety with essential oils must be kept in mind when using any essential oils. This gives a comprehensive guide to using these volatile oils.
History of Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne is the least concentrated form of fragrance more associated with men today. Originating in the early 18th century by Italian perfume maker Giovanni Maria Farina, he named this fragrance "water of Cologne" in honor of his new hometown Cologne in Germany.
To this day, the legacy lives on as the oldest perfume factory in the world and the house of Farina is still a family run fragrance business today, being run by 8th generation descendants of the founder. The Farina museum is situated alongside the business in Cologne and is well worth a visit if in the Rhineland vicinity.
The original light, citrus fragrance that was to be known throughout the world became a firm favourite of the famous including Oscar Wilde, Mozart and Mark Twain. Royalty across Europe were soon to commission Farina for his exquisite Eau de Cologne.
Are you convinced to try your own?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway