If you grew up with some epic gentleman who fancied himself a proper shave, he may have used Bay Rum aftershave. The product has been around for over 100 years and largely smells of rum and West Indian bay leaves. Some searching online turns up many different recipes, so I tried my hand at making it. I had trouble getting true West Indian bay leaves but did get my hands on bay laurel essence which is kinda sorta related.
The recipe I found makes A LOT of aftershave. I pared it back quite a bit. However, this lead to very small quantities of some ingredients. Because of this, I weighed everything. You probably don’t have access to a scientific scale (Why do I have a scientific scale? I promise it’s not for illicit uses.), so just cut the recipe back based on your judgement. Below is the full recipe I used.
- 1/16 oz of Bay Laurel Oil
- 4 oz of Rum (your choice)
- 24 oz of Neutral Alcohol (Everclear or unflavored Vodka)
- 36 oz of Water
- 1 oz finely ground Magnesium
- Bottles to store it in with a dasher or dropper
- Label (optional)
Two ingredients pop out there as challenging: Bay Laurel Oil and ground Magnesium. Both can be purchased through a major online shopping site, however the magnesium is often in an ingot or bar form. Powder Magnesium is highly flammable and favored by fireworks and explosives makers. You might need special papers to purchase it. I opted for grinding my own from a bar.
I also opted to use a spicy rum to add some more depth but it was overpowered by the laurel. Honestly, the mix wasn’t that much to my liking but I have sent it to the other Movember teammates in Knoxville for their input. Guys, leave some comments below and let me know.