Small, portable, and potent, solid cologne provides an effective way to ensure you always smell great – it’s also easy to make. Here’s how:
How to Make the Solid Cologne Base
Most solid colognes rely on a base of beeswax and a carrier oil. Beeswax primarily serves as a hardening agent, giving the cologne its solid form, while the carrier oil dilutes the essential oils to make them skin-safe and easier to apply.
In a double-boiler, melt 2 tablespoons of beeswax over medium heat until it turns into a clear liquid. Use a double-boiler to ensure a slow and even melting process, preventing the beeswax from scorching, which can cause unwanted changes in color or scent.
Beeswax-Free (Candelilla wax):
If you prefer a beeswax-free alternative, consider using Candelilla wax or Carnauba wax, which are plant-based alternatives. Both are harder than beeswax, so you’ll need less wax and more carrier oil in your recipe. A good starting point is to use 1.5 tablespoons of Candelilla or Carnauba wax and 2.5 tablespoons of your chosen carrier oil.
Should you want to use petroleum jelly instead of Beeswax or a plant-based wax, remember it is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons, and while it has a similar firm texture, it will create a different feel to your solid cologne. Its oil-based properties can also affect how long the fragrance lasts on your skin. You’ll need about 2 tablespoons of petroleum jelly for the base.
In both beeswax and petroleum jelly cases, ensure they are fully melted and combined with the carrier oil. Stir them continuously using a heat-proof spatula or a wooden spoon to avoid any separation. The mixture should become completely homogeneous, forming a clear and shiny liquid with no visible solids.
Interested in making other grooming products? Check out our in-depth guide here.
Essential Oil Blends
Essential oils provide the fragrance for your solid cologne. You have limitless blends to experiment with. However, it’s crucial to balance your essential oils in terms of top, middle, and base notes.
- Top notes: These are the first fragrances you smell and dissipate the fastest, such as citrus scents.
- Middle notes: Also known as “heart notes,” these form the main body of the scent and last longer than the top notes. Examples include lavender, rose, and juniper.
- Base notes: These add depth to the blend and have the longest longevity. They often contain woody or musky scents like cedarwood, vetiver, and sandalwood.
In terms of amounts, your essential oil blend should consist of around 30 drops in total. An ideal ratio might be 30% top notes, 50% middle notes, and 20% base notes, but this can vary depending on your personal preferences and the specific oils you choose.
Here are some essential oil blends popular with men:
1. Classic Woodsy Blend: This blend exudes a classic, masculine scent, with bergamot providing a light citrusy top note, cypress delivering a clean, woodsy middle note, and sandalwood offering a rich, appealing base note.
- Top notes: 3 drops of Bergamot
- Middle notes: 12 drops of Cypress
- Base notes: 5 drops of Sandalwood
2. Fresh Citrus Blend: This blend delivers a refreshing, invigorating scent perfect for summer. Grapefruit provides a tangy top note, bergamot offers a subtly sweet middle note, and cedarwood imparts a warm, comforting base note.
- Top notes: 5 drops of Grapefruit
- Middle notes: 10 drops of Bergamot
- Base notes: 5 drops of Cedarwood
3. Spicy Blend: This blend offers an oriental, warm scent that exudes confidence. Cinnamon and clove offer a spicy top and middle note, respectively, while patchouli provides an earthy, grounding base note.
- Top notes: 4 drops of Cinnamon
- Middle notes: 10 drops of Clove
- Base notes: 6 drops of Patchouli
4. Holiday Blend: This blend encapsulates the cozy and comforting scents of the holiday season. Orange provides a fresh and fruity top note, while cinnamon adds a spicy, warm middle note. Fir needle and cedarwood contribute a woodsy, forest-like base that rounds off the blend.
- Top notes: 4 drops of Sweet Orange
- Middle notes: 10 drops of Cinnamon
- Base notes: 5 drops of Fir Needle, 3 drops of Cedarwood
5. Maritime Blend: This blend imparts a fresh, sea-breeze-like scent perfect for those who love coastal or aquatic smells. Lime serves as a zesty top note, lavender adds a comforting middle note, and oakmoss gives a deep, earthy base note closely linked to traditional masculine fragrances.
- Top notes: 5 drops of Lime
- Middle notes: 10 drops of Lavender
- Base notes: 5 drops of Oakmoss
Remember, these blends are just suggestions. You may need to adjust the quantities or oils used depending on your personal preference or skin reaction. For instance, some individuals may find certain notes too overpowering and need to reduce its drops or replace it with a subtler scent.
Pour into Containers
After adding your essential oils, pour the solid cologne base into your chosen containers while it’s still in a liquid state. You can use small tins, glass jars, or even empty lip balm tubes or old cosmetic containers. Clean and dry them thoroughly before use to prevent any bacteria or moisture from contaminating your cologne.
Before pouring, stir the base with the essential oils. This helps ensure the essential oils distribute evenly throughout the mixture. Stir gently to avoid creating too many bubbles, which could potentially affect the end texture of your solid cologne.
Allow them to cool and harden (typically overnight).
Given the nature of the ingredients used, your finished solid cologne can typically last anywhere from 6 months to a year.