08-01-2012, 06:28 PM
#1
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I liked the scents of Captain's Choice, and Dominica Bay Rum aftershaves, but thought that the prices I paid for them were a bit excessive. I decided then to try my hand at making my own bay rum aftershave using a recipe I had stumbled across from The Art of Manliness
The recipe is as follows:
4 Ounces Vodka
2 Tablespoons Jamaican Rum
2 Dried Bay Leaves
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1 Stick of Cinnamon, broken in pieces
Fresh Zest from a Small Orange

Mix all ingredients, let sit for two weeks out of light in warm environment in a sealed glass container. At the end of two weeks, strain through a coffee filter.

For my ingredients, I began with these:
[Image: 20120718_214548.jpg]
Note: I wasn't sure if there would be a difference between dried bay leaves and fresh bay leaves, so I went ahead and made separate batches, one with dried, one with fresh. It should also be noted that I used ground allspice.

Here is what my two batches looked like after mixing the ingredients. The fresh bay leaf batch is on the right:
[Image: 20120718_220025.jpg]

Initially, both smelled strongly of alcohol, mixed with allspice. Not a day passed over the two weeks where I didn't pick up the two bottles and agitate them. I was extremely eager for them to be done. At the end of the two weeks, both batches looked like this:
[Image: 20120801_190019.jpg]

Here are both batches being filtered through plain coffee filters into glasses. I required only one straining to remove all sediment. YMMV:
[Image: 20120801_190618.jpg]

Here are the two batches, back in their original jars. As you can see, the batch with fresh bay leaves turned out to be slightly darker. I suspect this is because more oil was extracted from the fresh leaves, compared to the dried. However, in regards to smell, both batches smelled completely the same:
[Image: 20120801_205540.jpg]

Each batch produced just over 100mL. I'm not very good at describing smells, but the orange definitely over-powers this scent, with the spiciness as an afterthought. Pictured below is the fresh leaf batch, which I will be trying out tomorrow after I shave. I plan on trying both batches as they are, and both batches with glycerine in them, comparing differences between the two and will update this post when complete.
[Image: 20120801_210348.jpg]

For future batches, I would like to substitute lime for the orange, make a batch with no fruit, and make a batch with a pinch of pipe tobacco, at the suggestion of others.

Enjoy!

-Grant

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 08-01-2012, 06:39 PM
#2
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Very nicely documented. Keep us informed on how it feels after using it.

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 08-01-2012, 07:01 PM
#3
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Add lemon or grapefruit instead of lime. I noticed you left out cloves. Why?

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 08-01-2012, 07:11 PM
#4
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(08-01-2012, 07:01 PM)ChiTownCliff Wrote: Add lemon or grapefruit instead of lime. I noticed you left out cloves. Why?

I completely failed to notice they were missing! 'Add cloves' to my future batch attempts also goes on the to-do list!

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 08-01-2012, 09:23 PM
#5
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Grant, thanks for the info and good luck.

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 08-01-2012, 09:32 PM
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(08-01-2012, 07:11 PM)Grant_Atwood Wrote:
(08-01-2012, 07:01 PM)ChiTownCliff Wrote: Add lemon or grapefruit instead of lime. I noticed you left out cloves. Why?

I completely failed to notice they were missing! Add cloves to my future batch attempts!

Skip the cinnamon too.

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 08-01-2012, 10:42 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Nice tutorial,sir.Im not a big lover of Bay Rum,but you gave me an idea.
Thanks a lot,sir!

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 08-02-2012, 06:21 AM
#8
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Looks very nice and probably smells great. Thank you.

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 08-02-2012, 09:39 PM
#9
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thanks for a great step-by-step. I'll look forward to your ongoing reporting on this.

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 08-02-2012, 10:59 PM
#10
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My Better Half keep telling me to tidy up the booze cupboard... seems like this is the right way to go about using up the last of the rum Biggrin

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 08-03-2012, 09:22 AM
#11
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Don't give this man a sample.

Seriously, this sounds very interesting.

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 08-04-2012, 04:49 PM
#12
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Excellent recipe and how-to, Grant.

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 10-07-2012, 02:55 PM
#13
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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Everything sounds good except the Bay Leaves.


Bay Leaves are Bay Laurel Leaves (Lauruas Nobilis) and used for a number of things (Cooking, astringent, soap, folk remedys, ornamental plant.)

West Indies Bay Leaves (Pimenta Racemosa) are the Leaves used in Bay Rum. (It is probably used in the same manner.) But, it is much more fragrant and aromatic than the Bay Laurel Leaves. It has notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg with hints of vanilla and cardamon.

So you may need to buy some Pimenta Racemosa Essential Oil.

I am currently in the process of making my own Bay Rum but, I have also included some pepper for some added spicyness.

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 10-07-2012, 03:25 PM
#14
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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Sounds like something cool to try. I'm on it.

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 10-07-2012, 03:38 PM
#15
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Intriguing but this seems to be lacking in moisturizing effects, unless I'm mistaken )which I probably am).

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 10-07-2012, 09:47 PM
#16
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Josh, no you're not wrong. Traditional BR is just scent and alcohol, and extremely fleeting. I mention that on my web site- how to make Bay Rum isn't a secret- it's historical. What I remember from my childhood was gone immediately after it evaporated. But before it was gone, smelled fantastic.

I make some of that just for me with that same scent and of course, the 'skin stuff'. It's not on the site so you can't twist my arm for it! Biggrin Yes, smells great, lasts slightly longer than the scent of my childhood, then it's out of the way for the cologne of choice.

Maybe someday I'll offer it; if I think I have the room for additional stock. Right now I don't.

------------

Gents FWIW, if you can get fresh Pimenta Racemosa leaves to steep it has a significantly different scent than the essential oil. Much spicier than EO w/o adding anything additional. It also works significantly differently, but I'll let you discover that for yourselves. Every once in a while I take my PR leaves out of the freezer to smell to refresh my nose/brain.

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 10-12-2012, 06:54 PM
#17
  • Grumpy
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  • DisneyLand
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Where would I find the Fresh Leaves?

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 10-16-2012, 12:17 PM
#18
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Not trying to be a wise guy, but Florida, maybe Louisiana, The Caribean. But the leaves will make a different product than what you expect; nor will it "act" anywhere near the same when you begin to add other scents. It gets gross! Oh, my freezer too is a small source of PR leaves. I was sent some by a friend with a tree. I wish I could capture the scent of the leaves! Fantastic scent!

Other than those areas where the tree grows, leaves aren't available.

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 10-17-2012, 09:45 AM
#19
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(10-07-2012, 09:47 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Josh, no you're not wrong. Traditional BR is just scent and alcohol, and extremely fleeting. I mention that on my web site- how to make Bay Rum isn't a secret- it's historical. What I remember from my childhood was gone immediately after it evaporated. But before it was gone, smelled fantastic.

I make some of that just for me with that same scent and of course, the 'skin stuff'. It's not on the site so you can't twist my arm for it! Biggrin Yes, smells great, lasts slightly longer than the scent of my childhood, then it's out of the way for the cologne of choice.

Maybe someday I'll offer it; if I think I have the room for additional stock. Right now I don't.

------------

Gents FWIW, if you can get fresh Pimenta Racemosa leaves to steep it has a significantly different scent than the essential oil. Much spicier than EO w/o adding anything additional. It also works significantly differently, but I'll let you discover that for yourselves. Every once in a while I take my PR leaves out of the freezer to smell to refresh my nose/brain.

WHat you do offer to the public is fantastic!

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 10-17-2012, 04:51 PM
#20
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Glycerin and some unscented Witch Hazel would give it some properties to help the skin.

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