Homemade Vanilla-Scented Body Mist


Snowed in for two weeks, I ran out of the one thing I didn’t think about when I was stocking up. My favorite vanilla-scented body mist spray. It’s one thing to be a farmer. It’s another thing to be a farmer who doesn’t smell good.

I like to smell like cookies.

I love my vanilla-scented spray.

I was OUT. And no trip to Wal-Mart in sight.

So I looked at the back of the bottle. You know what’s in there? Mostly alcohol, water, and fragrance. Fragrance as in–vanilla!!!!!!!

HELLO! I have VANILLA. In spades.

A simple body mist can be made out of distilled water and fragrance oils or extracts. You can also add vodka or witch hazel, though if you’re using a homemade vodka-based extract (like vanilla) it’s not necessary. You’re likely to already have vanilla extract in your kitchen, or maybe orange, lemon, or peppermint. Whatever you want! You can even make your own fruit-scented extracts by soaking peach or apple peels etc in vodka if that’s the scent you’re after. You can use essential oils, too, for other scents. But me, I just wanted vanilla. And I’ve got it! I don’t have any A, C, or aloe as the storebought version touts, but I think I can live without it in a pinch. The storebought version also contains food coloring–why am I spraying food coloring on myself?

I took my empty 2-ounce bottle, filled it almost to the top with distilled water, added a teaspoon of vanilla–bit by bit. I wasn’t sure how much I would want.

You can add as much as you like–just add by increments, shake it up, spray it to test, and keep going till it suits you. You can add a few drops of glycerin if you have it–it will make the spray last longer and act as a moisturizer. I don’t have any glycerin onhand. This is a small bottle and won’t take long to use up, so I’m skipping that this time. I’m snowed in. I’ll try glycerin later.

How simple is this? It’s ridiculous. Can you believe they have the nerve to SELL this for MONEY at the STORE?! This is easy to make at home–and you can make it just how you like it. Experiment and be creative. This is practically free!

Adding one more thing to my “never buy at the store again” list.

This would make a great gift, too–I reused a bottle, but you can get new, plain little spray bottles for gift-giving purposes. Make your own label. Tie with some raffia or ribbon and put it in a basket with homemade candles…and that homemade soap we’re gonna make!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 19, 2010  

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33 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 2-19

    Since everything that is put on your skin is absorbed into the body, they say you shouldn’t put on anything that you wouldn’t eat. Well, you can eat this body mist! Love this natural idea!!

  2. 2-19

    I make lavender spray all the time, natural bug spray from cloves and peppermint and I ALWAYS have vanilla beans “steeping” in vodka so why haven’t I thought of vanilla spray?? I even scented soap with vanilla for valentines day…who wouldn’t want to smell like cookies?? I hope you don’t smell TOO good around the goats!!

  3. 2-19

    I’ve thought of this, too, but I have many body sprays yet to use up…….. but I really didn’t think it should be as easy as distilled water and vanilla! :snoopy:

  4. 2-19

    Great idea! And, how easy is that?? I also clicked on one of your posts from last Nov – making Apple Spice Simmering Potpourri. Would love to smell like cookies and my home to smell like apple pie!
    That is what I love about your site – it doesn’t matter when I find your posts, they are all still great reading….and inspiring. :)


  5. 2-19

    Awesome job, Suzanne!
    I also make home-made lotion and I’ve added that to my list of things to NEVER buy at the store again, too!!
    I found my recipe for lotion in Rosemary Gladstar’s A Family Herbal. It’s ridiculously easy, pretty much just blending oils and waters (herbal waters, aloe, etc) in the blender. CAKE.

    Yay! :fairy:

  6. 2-19

    This is more or less the recipe for linen sprays, as well. Not only can your own body smell great, but so can your sheets and towels. I was looking at a tangerine-pink peppercorn spray that was over $30 a bottle, and thought, you know — I bet that isn’t all that hard to make.
    Here is one link, but there are lots of them: http://www.snowdriftfarm.com/form_sprays.html

  7. 2-19

    How clever you are! I use vanilla spray all the time, but never thought of doing this, but now thanks to you, this is a never buy again item for me now too! I also like to use a citrus one…orange peels in vodka? Sounds easy to me, might even taste good too..LOL And let’s see..how would I get a chocolate peppermint spray…
    Oh have to tell you, I made some of the brown sugar scrub and love it! My face has never felt so soft!

  8. 2-19

    It’s really amazing once a person starts to realize how much stuff they can actually make themself! It’s very freeing and I actually feel rather stupid once I realize I can do this. We’ve been brainwashed to think that we must BUY everything at the store.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Suzanne! You really are inspiring!

  9. 2-19

    Nice! I’ll be making this soon :D Thanks.

  10. 2-19

    Another great idea! Have to try this one too! The first two things on my grocery list for this weekend are vodka (for the spray and vanilla flavoring) and beer (for beer bread). Think anyone would believe that I don’t drink either of them?

  11. 2-19

    Remember the post you did about the goats trying to eat your hair and clothes, etc.? Now we know why….YOU smell like cookies!!!!

  12. 2-20

    I am SO doing this, I’m thinking vanilla and orange. I’m excited! have a great weekend.

  13. 2-20

    The first “perfume” my Mom told me she ever used was a dab of her mothers vanilla extract behind each ear.

  14. 2-20

    You can get vitamin E in little gel tablets. Just poke with a pin and squeeze the liquid E into the vanilla spray and shake well.

  15. 2-20

    You can also get liquid aloe and add it. It is wonderful. The aloe helps if you want to use it as a body mist right after the shower while your skin is wet. It’s like an all natural spray on lotion.

  16. 2-20

    There are a lot of thing you can make at home. It’s cheaper plus you have much better idea what’s in them. Here are some more recipes, like the recipes for lip balm and facial mask. The pages are in Swedish. If that translator in the end of my message (or other translators you can on the internet) doesn’t seem too helpful, just ask me.



  17. 2-20

    Awesome! I’ve stripped a lot of body stuff way back to the basics (I “shampoo” with baking soda, etc.) in suspicion of weird, 6 syllable ingredients – but this I could still do! Thanks!

  18. 2-20

    Would somebody please explain the vodka connection? Is it a substitute for alcohol? And how did vodka get discovered for these types of uses?

  19. 2-20

    Maria,the first commentor makes a good point! Does’nt it make sense that homemade skin products ARE better for your skin? I know my skin has reacted in a good way to the homemade honey/lemon facial wash and the homemade vanilla,brownsugar body scrub I made. Also, our boddies react better to some of the homemade foods without all the icky additives doctors warn us about. And,homemade cleaning supplies are safer too! I say go homemade for a healthier lifestyle.

  20. 2-20

    Awesome! I have the homemade vanilla extract. A google search I did about 2 years ago for how to make that, is how I first “found” you and this great blog. Thanks

  21. 2-20

    Jerry: I am not exactly positive about “why vodka”. Here’s what I think is going on. Both the vodka and the rubbing alcohol type alcohol in these recipes act as a preservative for the scents, oil, what ever you are using. In body sprays and linen sprays, as the alcohol of any sort evaporates it helps diffuse the scent into the air, so more people can smell how pretty you smell,I guess.

    Did you know that you can use plain rubbing alcohol the exact same way as the very expensive “Fabreeze” type fabric sprays and it will get rid of any “lingering odors” as they say, without any added scent.

    Anyway, when we started looking for alcohol to soak our vanilla beans in, we (we in the corporate sense, I personally haven’t done the vanilla bean trick yet ’cause my sister did and I have a nice bottle of her extract to use. Thanks, sis.) needed an edible substitute. Most grain alcohol have a distinct taste. Think Old Grandads or Tullymore Dew (Heaven’s own, according to my husband who takes his Irish heritage rather seriously sometimes.)

    So the ladies went for something relatively flavorless, clear and, if you shop the sales, inexpensive. Then, I think the reasoning went “Since you can put it your body and it is pretty safe to eat, it would probably be better to put on your body than rubbing alcohol.” As far as cheaper for the linen sprays and such, that don’t directly touch your skin, I am not sure. But I also think that the vodka has a little more “heft” to it than rubbing alcohol and would help the scent to linger longer. Could be out to lunch on that one though. Maybe someone with more knowledge could help.

  22. 2-20

    I never cease to get great ideas from your web site. Thanks

  23. 2-20

    Well, I didn’t think of it and I say you are brilliant! I did think to use cooking oil as makeup remover, though. I was buying coconut oil but it went way up in price so I tried the inexpensive cooking oil. Voila!! It works like a charm and is super frugal.

  24. 2-20

    I have a friend in Estonia. She says they don’t have “rubbing alcohol” in Scandinavia, Baltic republics nor Finland. They use vodka the same as we use Rubbing (isopropyl)alcohol. When they get sick, she said, they rub vodka on their feet and then put on wool socks to help with a fever.

    I think rubbing alcohol is like a lot of things. It’s a petroleum chemical that’s been marketed to be used to replace a natural ingredient. In years gone by, people made their own alcohols. They knew how to distill it and remove toxins that could bind you. Then the the Government got into it (think Revenuers!) and declared that people couldn’t make their own hooch any more (no taxes being collected that way). So people needed a cheap source of alcohol and the chemical industry was there with “rubbing alcohol”.

    You CAN make it at home, but you’d need to invest in a still and you’re walking a fine line with the DATF. I think there’s still laws on the books about brewing your own hooch, but then people are making wine and beer all the time. Since I don’t drink, I can’t tell you what the exact laws are, but I’d check into them before setting up a still outside and NEVER set one up inside your house – unless you don’t mind the possibility of your house going BOOM. lol

  25. 2-20

    LOL that’s all Stringtown Rising needs, a still!

    Awesome post Suzanne. I will try this when mine is all gone. My hubby loves it when I wear the Twilight Woods spray from Bath and Body Works, and I doubt I could duplicate that scent. But I figure he’ll get so used to smelling it after a while, that I’ll need to switch to a new scent anyway. Maybe something lighter for spring like vanilla orange. mmmm sounds yummy!

  26. 2-20

    :wave: Suzanne, this is so wonderful. I can’t wait to make it. I LOVE making things at home instead of at the store. How about cleaning products? I would love some neat recipes….for now, I am off to try the vanilla spray!

  27. 2-20

    I bet you could even use this as a kind of air freshener!

  28. 2-21

    Boy, here’s another thing I can make for me and for gifts! I am going to try to give all homemade and handmade gifts this next Christmas!!

  29. 2-22

    another thing you might want to consider giving with that gift basket idea…grow your own loofah gourds, dry them, cut them down into manageable sizes, and put them in the baskets to go with the soap. luffa seeds can be found online – i got mine from baker creek, but i’ve seen them elsewhere.

    this Christmas will be mostly handmade gifts, so i really appreciate this post. :)

  30. 2-24

    question about how long the scent stays with you;
    we had taken a favorite scent from Bath and Body works and added it to water as a spray- LOVE IT!, but the scent does not linger long. Do you think the aloe, VitE or glycerine would help it linger longer?

  31. 5-22

    I cant wait to try this! :sun: :woof:

  32. 2-18

    You have no idea what a life saver you are. Here in the midwest we are plauged by buffalo gnats every spring they arrive around the third week in April and are here until the second week of May. They are so thick it is difficult to go outside. lots of poultry are lost d/t the gnats. Vanilla spray is the only thing that will repel them ! The stores run out of the spray, some stores even put a limit on how many bottles one person can buy. I will be trying this recipe !

  33. 9-7

    I know this post is old but for anyone just coming across this, there are some things to keep in mind. She mentioned possibly using witch hazel as the fluid, in case you don’t know, witch smells AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL, and it’ll make your body spray smell bad too. Also keep in in mind that the vanilla extract you buy in the store in the spice area is dark and sticky. So when it sprays on your skin, it’ll be sticky, and it’ll leave a small dark circle that runs. This is especially important if you happen to spray it on your clothes.

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