This week I interviewed two of my favorite SF parfumiers: DelRae Roth and Julie Elliott, who inspired me to try out an eau de cologne recipe that I had scribbled down last summer in England. I tend to have an affinity for citrus-based perfumes (I now realize that my obsession can be traced back to a three-week home stay in France when I was 11; I returned with a large green jar of citron heavy eau de cologne which I would splash it on liberally before I went to school in the misguided belief that I was highly sophisticated).
Making eau de cologne turns out to be easy. I used a recipe from Sloe Gin and Beeswax, by Jane Newdick, which is available from Amazon for $74.99. The magic lies in the quality of ingredients and the mix of oils. I am already working on my next batch, this time with more neroli and less bergamot. Read on for instructions.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- 10 drops of essential oils: citron, bergamot, and rose geranium
- 6 drops of rosemary and neroli
- 6 whole cardamom seeds
- 10 oz. vodka
- 3 oz. spring water
Essential oils can be found at most health food stores and at Wholefoods. Neroli and Rose Geranium can be harder to come by. but are available online at the Ananda Apothecary (prices range from $21.29 to $14.07). The total cost for my materials? Well under $100, with plenty left over to make more cologne.
Above: Pour 10 oz. of vodka into a bottle. Add six whole cardamom seeds, then add 10 drops of citron, bergamot, and rose geranium essential oils and six drops of rosemary and neroli. Cork the bottle, and leave it to steep for 48 hours.
Above: After 48 hours, add water, stir well, then leave to steep for at least a week.
Above: At the end of a week, use a filter paper to strain and decant into smaller jars. I used a paper towel, but since the cologne turned out a little cloudy, next time I am investing in proper filter paper.