A few years ago I looked in to making an aftershave lotion, as I thought it would be an interesting project. Years later I’ve finally attempted it.

It is far from difficult; I mostly used this article as a guide. The chance to play around with fragrances was fun, however we don’t really use essential oils all that much and the price of them can be a little prohibitive, so I had a very limited palette to work with (I actually used every flavour we have: cedarwood, bergamot, lemon, and a hint of spearmint).

The main lesson I have learnt this week is that while cetyl stearyl alcohol is apparently nicer on your skin than the usual ethyl or isopropyl alcohols included in recipes, it requires an emulsifier to mix nicely.  Consequently my lotion is not the prettiest substance, but with a bit of a shake before use it is perfectly fine.

For those that are interested, a good starting point is a ratio of 1 part glycerine, 4 parts witch hazel, and 8 parts alcohol (which I used a combo of the aforementioned and unrecommended cetyl stearyl plus a bit of highly recommendable gin). Then just add the essential oils of your choosing and shake. Easy.

All in all, relatively easy, but I will probably continue to tweak my ratios in future attempts.