How to Make Bay Rum Aftershave

With its origins in the West Indies, bay rum aftershave was invented by sailors who sought to smell good after weeks on board a ship without a proper shower. While aftershave isn’t really used in such drastic circumstances anymore, it is essential to make sure skin smells and feels clean, fresh, and fragrant after a shave. Bay rum aftershave has a light spicy scent that is sure to make the wearer feel great, and can easily be whipped up at home, as an alternative to the chemical-laden store-bought varieties.

Things Required:

– 8 oz. gin or witch hazel
– 1 qt. glass jar with lid
– 2 oz. dark Jamaican rum
– 3 bay leaves
– 1/2 tsp. allspice
– 1 large cinnamon stick
– 1/2 tsp. orange essential oil
– Cheesecloth or muslin
– Strainer
– Bowl
– Airtight plastic bottle
– Funnel


  • 1

    To begin, pour the gin or witch hazel into your glass jar, and follow it up with the Jamaican rum. Swirl the ingredients around in the jar until they are well combined, and then add in the bay leaves, allspice, the cinnamon stick and the orange essential oil. Once again, swirl everything around, and then secure the lid firmly onto the jar.

  • 2

    Next, grasp the bottle firmly, and shake it vigorously until all the ingredients in the bottle are thoroughly combined. Once this is done, place the jar in a cool, dark, and dry place – let it sit for 2 to 3 weeks as all the ingredients blend into each other, and the liquids are infused with the scent and properties of the spices. Make sure you give the bottle a couple of shakes every now and then.

  • 3

    Once this time period has elapsed, you will need to separate the liquids and the spices by straining the aftershave into a bowl. To do this, you can either line a strainer with folded cheesecloth or muslin, or use a coffee filter for this purpose - simply pour the contents of the bottle through the filter and into the bowl.

  • 4

    Now you will be left with clear, liquid bay rum aftershave. Use a funnel to pour this into an airtight plastic bottle, and screw the lid on securely. Your bay rum aftershave is now ready – store it in your bathroom cabinet, and shake well before each use.

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