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Bay Rum Aftershave

Bay Rum Aftershave

Resinous bay leaves infused in the mellow woody smell of rum
that has been aged and matured for months in wooden kegs makes
for a very masculine aftershave that you can easily make
yourself. This recipe makes a great gift for men.
Truly, the smell of this product is divine (and it is, well,
virtually good enough to drink).

Aftershave acts as an astringent and toner for the skin.
Astringents help return the skin to a slightly acidic state
after using alkaline shaving soaps. Toners soften and smooth
the skin by closing the pores, and many are antiseptic and
remove oils. Those with dry skin should follow aftershave
with a pure and plant-based moisturizer.

As surprising as it may sound, the alcohol content of
aftershave made of rum wonít be much different than that
of many commercial brands! It is hard to find commercial
aftershave lotions that are free of synthetic alcohols,
which can be quite toxic and poisonous.

Here are my Bay Rum Aftershave Formula, and an
alcohol-free alternative.

Basic Bay Rum Aftershave Formula
Raid your local health food storeís dried herb section for
this recipe, or better yet, if you live in an area where
bay leaves actually grow on trees, fill a quart mason jar
with locally picked dried leaves.

2-4 cups dried bay leaves
A few sprigs of dried rosemary (optional)
Rum, to cover

Break the dried bay leaves in half. Fill a quart or pint
mason jar with as many leaves as will fit to about 3 inches
from the top. Add a few sprigs of dried rosemary, if desired.
Add enough rum to come a good 2 inches above the leaves. Screw
on the cover, and let set for 1 month; strain.

Variation: Add a bit of grated organic orange peel, cloves,
and ginger root, as desired.

Shelf life: Indefinite.

Alcohol-Free Softening Aftershave
Some men donít like having alcohol in their aftershave. This
recipe is for them!

2 cups witch hazel extract
2 ounces rose water
2 ounces aloe vera gel
1/2 ounce vegetable glycerin
A few drops of an essential oil of your choice (such as
peppermint and eucalyptus), if desired

Combine the ingredients in a jar, and shake to blend. Pat on
the face after shaving.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Read more: Beauty, Skin Care

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
3:12AM PDT on Oct 10, 2011


5:31AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:14AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:09PM PST on Mar 10, 2010

Thank you for the article!

5:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2009

Does anyone know which variation of Bay grows at the New Jersey seashore? Pimenta Racemosa or Laurus Nobilis?

I just bought some reasonably priced, locally produced, Bay Rum in Dominica & in Antigua, but both have very little scent. (About US$4.00/bottle.

6:46AM PDT on Jul 13, 2009

I tried a variation of this recipe.I had access to 90%w/v ethanol alcohol which I diluted down to about 60%.After steeping dried bay leaves in this for a month I decided to kick it along a bit.I put about 8 FRESH bayleaves,8 FRESH lime leaves and 10 whole cloves in the blitzer blender and then made a small cup of tea by adding boiling water.When cooled sufficiently I added this to the aforementioned alcohol mix (750 ml) with a couple of teaspoons of eucalyptus oil.Let sit for a couple of days ,strain and bottle.

8:49AM PST on Nov 29, 2008

In response to Gloria Wood's question if bay laurel is the small bush with bayberries on them. I don't know. I use an essential oil of the Pimenta Racemosa plant for my bay rum. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

8:18AM PST on Nov 26, 2008

Wondering, Is bay laurel the small bushes with bayberries on them which grow near the coast in New England?

4:26PM PST on Nov 18, 2008

Bois D'Inde Original Caribbean Bay Rum is now available on and Etsy.

5:41AM PDT on Jul 16, 2008

do the leaves have to be dry?

white rum or dark rum?

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