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  1. #1

    Default Make my own cologne

    Hi all!

    I'm new to fragrances and got the idea to make my own cologne. The main purpose with this cologne is to treat some minor skin problems that I have, since some of the ingredients have antimicrobial effect. But of course I want it to smell good as well. Right now I'm preparing tinctures. Further I plan to blend these fragrances:
    ginger tincture
    thyme tincture
    fenugreek tincture
    cumin tincture
    lemon peel tincture
    Eventually I'll add a little essential oil from grapefruit and lemon. The cologne would be for everyday use.

    What do you think? Will it smell good? Will it be too macho? I want it to have a male smell, but as I'm a medical student I don't want it to be too strange or romantic, but just simple and good.
    Last edited by sababa.sababa; 22nd February 2010 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    I think the cumin might make it smell a bit, umm, too Taco Bell-like. Ginger and Lemon is an interesting idea.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Thanks for the comment!

    Yeah, cumin and fenugreek is perhaps the more tricky part of the recipe. The herbs I want to have in the cologne, due to its antimicrobial effects are thyme and fenugeek. I suppose that a fairly classic combination for a cologne would be ginger as base note, thyme as middle note and some citrus fragrances as top notes. Fenugreek might perhaps be a little odd, but maybe a dash of cumin would bind all the fragrances together...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Only one way to find out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    You're absolutely right...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Curious to know how it turns out. Do post your results.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Sure, but it'll take some weeks until the tinctures are ready for use.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    I think you'll find that tinctures of the ingredients are going to be rather weak and have poor longevity. Essential oils themselves don't have great longevity (there are a few exceptions, the traditional base notes like cedar, patchouli, etc - but they don't project much at all)and tinctures almost always have weaker longevity than the essential oil counterpart.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Thanks for the information!

    Would glycerol make the tincture based cologne last longer? I've already thought about adding glycerol to prevent the skin from drying out.

    I found that ginger isn't a base note, but rather a top note. Therefor I've made a new version of my cologne recipe:

    Top notes:
    cumin tincture
    lemon peel tincture

    Middle notes:
    thyme tincture
    fenugreek tincture

    Base notes:
    bay leaf tincture
    cinnamon bark tincture
    Last edited by sababa.sababa; 23rd February 2010 at 04:19 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    The reason that tinctures are not as long lasting as essential oils is because of the lower concentration of fragrance compounds. Glycerin might slow down evaporation, so it will probably last longer, but also will the perfume initially be less strong. 'Glycerin is used as a moisturiser and humectant, but unless you combine it with fatty substances and water it will not prevent the skin from drying out.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Thanks for the comments!

    In a month or two we'll see how it turns out.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    That's really intersting sababa... how's it going now? any progress?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    The cologne mixture smells good. I made a hydrogel and put the cologne in it. As janmeut assumed, the smell disappears soon after applying the gel. Here are the recipes I made:

    Final cologne recipe:
    3 drops patchouli
    2 drops lemon
    2 drops grape
    2 ml thyme tincture
    4 ml bay leaf tincture
    5 ml cinnamon tincture

    Hydrogel recipe (similar to kissel):
    100 cl glycerol 85%
    10 cl starch
    20 cl water
    2 cl cologne mixture

    Blend water, starch and glycerol. Heat gently while stirring. Let it cool and add the cologne mixture. Blend. Put it in fridge or add some preservative like e.g. sodium benzoate or benzoic acid to prevent the gel from being attacked by microorganism. It should be enough to just add 1 cl preservative and the blend once more.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Freezer would actually be a better storage place than fridge.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    Fenugreek is probably a mistake to use. (I see that you've eliminated it.) While it is excellent as a food spice, it is not wise to use it in perfumery. A tincture of it will seize up your blend; it will become cloudy and separate. I advise against using it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    saababa, this is a little off topic, but have you looked into Manuka honey as a topical antibiotic? It works VERY well, and you can also buy Manuka and Tea Tree oil for their antibiotic properties, which could possibly be used in a cologne, IDK. Manuka honey by its self, used as a mask to treat the affected area, also has properties that improve skin condition besides its antibiotic properties.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Make my own cologne

    The tea tree idea is a good one - there is also a lemon scented tea tree oil on the market which has all the anti-microbial action of the usual variety but smells less harsh and could contribute to a nice top-note for this.

    Im troubled by the use of cinnamon though - it is notorious for causing skin problems - nice as it smells I really dont think its a good idea to put on already problem skin. Bay leaf is similarly implicated in causing skin problems, though to a lesser extent.

    Rather than making your own lemon peel tincture (which will contain the furocoumarins that make the skin sensitive to UV) I would recommend you buy some lemon oil that has been distilled: the distillation process removes them so it will be safer and still smell lovely.

    For the base note, why not try a little frankincense oil? It works well from a smell perspective with lemon and tea tree and also has anti-microbial properties of its own.
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