My husband and I have been mourning the death of one of our favorite products, L'Occitane's Cade After Shave Splash, and have been casting about for a replacement. Then it occurred to me that we could at least try to create a suitable substitute, since what we really need is a strongly spicy/juniper accord in a super-alcoholic splash--I can do that, I told myself. I'm no perfumer, but I figured trying once wouldn't hurt.
So I created a base of essential oils of vetiver, cedarwood, rosemary, juniper, and tea tree, blended it, and let it sit. So far so good. Today I pounded down cloves, cardamom seeds, mint, lemon peel, coriander, pepper, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, juniper seeds, and bay leaves into a rough powder in my mortar and pestle, then added a bit of rosewater, my homemade vanilla extract, and a tiny bit of almond oil and pounded again to create a paste. It smelled pretty heavenly, I must say!
I funneled the green paste into my essences, the poured in a bunch of high-proof vodka and some rum, for color, and to emulate the rum-based classic aftershaves. Now it just needs to macerate for a few weeks, then I hope to strain it and present it to my husband as part of his birthday present...that is, if it ends up good enough. We'll see!