DIY Bay Rum Aftershave & Cologne

Natural DIY Bay Rum Aftershave and Cologne Recipe
It might very well be an acquired taste but how delicious a really good bay rum aftershave can be. Errol Flynn as a pirate good. Distinctively spicy, boozy, slightly minty and with a hint of rustic lime it's been naturally disinfecting incidental shaving nicks and toning the skin of men for ages. Now thanks to easy access to the West Indian bay tree (Pimenta racemosa), who's oil forms the basis of every good bay rum (find it all over Amazon), going DIY is totally doable and highly recommended even. Have a bottle of white rum laying around? Keep reading for the complete recipe...


As a slight warning... once you create your own bay rum lotion you may never go back to the mass produced offerings. Especially those that use synthetic perfumes to try and recreate the delicious scent of real rum. The good for you disinfecting benefits come from the use of real cloves, cinnamon and bay. After creating this finial recipe I'm definitely going to be making vats more to dole out along with a private reserve for myself. 

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Bay Rum Cologne and Aftershave Recipe
Nothing beats the real thing! Especially when it's freshly made.
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 15 drops Pimenta racemosa bay oil (found over on Amazon) or leaves
  • 5 drops essential oil of clove or 5 dried clove buds
  • 10 drops essential oil of lime or 1 teaspoon of lime zest or 1 teaspoon lime extract
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon dried cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon authentic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure liquid vegetable glycerin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • Mason jar
Feel free to use extracts found in the baking section of most stores in place of dried herbs &/or essential oils. Lime, lemon, clove, cinnamon and vanilla actually work quite well and are just as good for the skin. They're a lot easier to find locally as well. Combine the rum, witch hazel and water together and add in any dry ingredients that you may be using such as the cinnamon &/or allspice. Gently bring to a simmer then remove from heat. Cover and allow to sit until liquid has fully cooled. Taking a mason jar or any glass container with a tight fitting lid, transfer the brew and allow to sit and steep for 5 to 7 days in a cool, dark place. Remove any plant material and strain the resulting liquid through a coffee filter. Add in your Pimenta racemosa bay essential oil along with any essential oils and extract versions that you will be using. Swirl and smell. Now's the time to tweak, adding more clove oil or lime if desired. Finish by adding in the glycerin and honey as natural preservatives and added skin soothers. Decant into a glass bottle with stopper and you're done! Since this is a completely natural aftershave lotion, keeping it in a refrigerator will greatly improve its shelf life.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: About a 8 oz bottle
Finished DIY Bay Rum Aftershave & Cologne Gift Idea for Dad

Image: mam for Gave That


Anonymous said…
Great recipe, where did you get the bottle?
Gave That said…
I believe it is a recycled Pecksniff bottle. Thank you for commenting!
Rony said…
I'd like to use essential oils for the cinnamon, allspice & vanilla (don't have to strain) but you didn't give portions for that? Thank you

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