Homemade body sprays are easy to make–keep the supplies on hand and you can make them any time you want, for yourself and for gifts! The best part is that you can make them however you like them, choosing your own favorite scent or combinations of scents. I’ve made homemade body sprays as simple as adding vanilla or citrus extract to distilled water, but for a strong scent that lasts, a few more ingredients will make a big difference in the end result.
Polysorbate 20 is a “fragrance modifier” that emulsifies and disperses fragrance and essential oils into water. Glycerin helps retain scent. Alcohol is what makes fragrance emanate from your skin–or you wouldn’t know you’d put any on a few minutes after you’d done it. (The reason extracts work to make the simplest of sprays is because there’s alcohol in the extract! You can make your own citrus–or other fruit–extracts the same way you make homemade vanilla, soaking the peels in vodka. See how to make homemade vanilla.)
In my recipe, I’m using vodka for the alcohol. If you have any intention of selling body sprays, perfumes, or other alcohol-based fragrance products, please do your research. Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to sell products containing alcohol without a license. Use perfumer’s alcohol instead. As an alternative, you can also replace the alcohol in body sprays with witch hazel, which has additional soothing and refreshing properties.
I formulated this basic recipe to fit an 8-ounce container. Cut it in half, double it, whatever you need. Add more or less fragrance to suit yourself. Various fragrance oils and essential oils act differently–start on the low end and experiment until you like it. You can use any skin-safe liquid dye to add color to your spray, but be careful about adding more than a drop or two–you don’t want to stain your skin with your spray. Just use a little for some transparent tint. You can also add to this basic recipe with some aloe or Vitamin E and so on. Take it and run with it!
These measurements are by volume.
How to make Homemade Body Spray:
5 ounces distilled water*
2 ounces vodka, perfumer’s alcohol, or witch hazel
1/2 ounce Polysorbate 20
1-2 teaspoons fragrance oil or essential oil
1/2 teaspoon liquid glycerin
*Exactly how much distilled water you need to fill up an 8-ounce bottle will vary slightly by how much fragrance oil or other additions you may use. Use 5 ounces to start with then top it off at the end with more distilled water.
Measure and combine all the ingredients in a pump spray bottle and shake.
(These are some complicated directions!)
The mixture will be cloudy at first (and may even foam a little at the top) then gradually clear as the solution comes together. How long it takes to clear will depend on the specific ingredients you chose to use. Mine clears within about an hour.
You can purchase glycerin, Polysorbate 20, and perfumer’s alcohol at the same sorts of online outlets where you can purchase fragrance and essential oils and other homemade soap and beauty product ingredients. I got my Polysorbate 20 from Snowdrift Farm. (They also sell perfumer’s alcohol.) I got my glycerin from Brambleberry and my fragrance oil and spray bottles from Wellington Fragrance. (Note: Put “where to buy Polysorbate 20” in a search engine and you’ll find some less expensive places to buy it than Snowdrift Farm. Their shipping was expensive, so I probably won’t use them again.) These supplies will go a long way, by the way, and make multiple bottles of body spray.
P.S. I’m making lots of these for Christmas gifts. For gifts, tie ribbon or raffia around the bottles. Make a label with homemade paper! I also made one for myself using a combination of Sugared Citrus, Angel Cake, and Apple Pie fragrance oils. I smell like some kind of fruit dumpling.
Clover: “Get in my belly.”