The Secrets to Homemade Herb Deodorants

Ill.:,,, &, montage:

A Guest Blog by Sarah Parker

Over the years, there’s been growing concerns about ingredients used in conventional deodorants and whether there are any negative long-term effects that come with them. There isn’t any concrete science behind the questionable ingredients used, although many people are turning to organic and more natural alternatives and these natural deodorants are becoming far more popular. 

The most common complaint about natural deodorants is they aren’t as effective as their conventional counterparts and while this is true to a certain degree, with the right recipe and a bit of experimentation, you can create a homemade herbal deodorant that will do the trick. In this article, I’ll show how you can create your own homemade natural deodorant using plants from your herb garden and other natural ingredients. 

Lavender and sage branches on a wooden table.
A combination of lavender and sage makes a good deodorant to being with. Photo: & free.pik

You can experiment with different types of herbs to see which fragrance you like the best. I recommend lavender and sage to begin with, because they work very well as a fragrance and do a great job at masking body odor. Other common herbs I recommend are lemon balm, oregano, mint and rosemary. Once you’ve grown and gathered your herbs, it’s time to turn them into an oil.

Creating Your Herbal Oil 

Herbs on their own are not strong enough to provide fragrance for a deodorant, and the consistency of the deodorant would be terrible. That’s why you’ll need to turn your chosen herbs into an herb-infused oil. It’s very simple and you can use these techniques with any herb in your garden.

If you wish to create a very effective deodorant, because you either live in a very hot climate or just stay active throughout the day, replace the herbal oil with tea tree oil. I’ve found it to be stronger than the other herbs and very effective for masking bad scents. Everyone is different and it’s better to try a few different versions and see what works best for you.


  1. Dried lavender, 3 tablespoons
  2. Dried sage, 3 tablespoons 
  3. ¼ cup (60 ml) of liquid coconut oil


  1. Glass jar (roughly the size of a can of beans)
  2. Mesh strainer
  3. Funnel


Fill the jar about 2/3 full with your chosen herbs or for this recipe, sage and lavender. Chop the stems off the lavender, because they won’t add much fragrance. Melt the ¼ cup (60 ml) of coconut oil and pour it into the jar with the herbs, mixing it so that the herbs don’t sit all at the bottom and put it in a cool dry place to sit for about 6 weeks. I recommend 6 weeks, because the longer it sits, the stronger the oil will be. 

After the 6 weeks, strain the mixture to remove the herbs. The coconut oil should be left with a very strong lavender and sage scent, giving you your own herb-infused oil.

Natural Deodorant Recipe

This recipe uses herbs from your garden, although it requires other ingredients brought in from elsewhere. The herbs provide the fragrance; the rest of the ingredients act more to suppress bad odors and perspiration.

The biggest complaint by far when it comes to natural deodorant is that they don’t do a good enough job at reducing perspiration and masking bad body odor. For this reason, I can’t emphasize enough that you use every ingredient listed. 


  1. 1 ounce (30 g) shea butter or illipe butter (or any butter with a high fat content)
  2. 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking soda 
  3. 2 ounces (30 g) beeswax
  4. ½ cup (125 ml) herb-infused oil (see above)
  5. 2 tablespoons (30 ml) arrowroot powder
  6. Used deodorant tube.


Double boiler
Melt the beeswax in a double boiler. Photo:
  1. Place beeswax in the top container of a double boiler, stirring thoroughly until it melts. (For those of you who are unaware of what a double boiler is, here’s a quick guide.)
  2. Once the beeswax is melted, combine the butter, mixing it in thoroughly. 
  3. Remove the mixture from the double boiler and add your newly made essential oils, then combine the baking soda and arrowroot powder.
  4. Continue stirring for two or three minutes until everything is combined. As you’re mixing, you’ll notice it getting a little thicker.
  5. Pour the mixture into the deodorant tube and let it sit for 4 hours. It will be ready to apply once it’s firm, similar to any other deodorant. 

My favorite part about this recipe is that you’ll be reducing how much plastic you use. You can reuse the same deodorant tube again and again. I don’t know exactly how long a deodorant container will last, but it would be for a very long time. 

Using Your Homemade Deodorant

Homemade deodorant stick
You can use the same deodorant tube over and over. Photo:

If you find the fragrance of the deodorant still isn’t strong enough, it probably means that your herbal oil wasn’t potent enough. I would increase the amount of herbs used in your next batch or you can combine the mixture with a few drops of essential oils.

Creating your own homemade deodorant is a lot of fun and just one more useful benefit your herb garden can provide. Finding ways to replace conventional deodorants is both good for the environment’s health and our own well-being. 

Hopefully, this recipe works so well you can stop purchasing store-bought deodorant altogether. If you don’t have the time to make these recipes very often, there’s a wide range of deodorants you can purchase that are entirely natural and don’t contain any of the controversial ingredients that maybe we should be avoiding.

I recommend keeping a store-bought deodorant on hand for your first few batches, just in case you mess up the recipe. Over time you can mix and match and alter the recipe to your liking, finding new fragrances, or improving the effectiveness of the deodorant itself.

Sarah is an avid herb gardener and runs her own beauty site where she shares natural organic guides and recipes at

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

4 comments on “The Secrets to Homemade Herb Deodorants

  1. Ben Arnold

    I followed your advice and watched the video on “Double Boiler” cooking method. Amazing channel! And I left a comment there letting them know you referred me and your link. Thank you for teaching amazing skills! Keeping the world connected! -Ben 😀
    How to Make a DIY Double Boiler | Chef School

  2. Ha! I used one of those empty containers for another type of salve. It is a long story.

  3. Reusing those stupid plastic push-up tubes in this way is a definite plus. Thanks for the idea.

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!