This DIY Citrus and Cedar Bath Set is easy to make, & smells amazing - woodsy, earthy, with a touch of citrus brightness. Great for giving!
When I started up with making bath stuff - for myself, for gifts, and for blog posts - my husband requested that I come up with some that are more traditionally “masculine” as well.
While neither of us are big on the whole “pink and flowery is for girls, blue and diesel oil is for boys” thing, I know that a lot of guys are less comfortable indulging in some scents and colours.
Additionally, some women and nonbinary people are less into the flowery stuff, also. So, I’m looking at this less about appealing to a specific gender, and more about branching out to different scent preferences.
Don’t let that stop you from adding it to any “gifts for men” lists, though. 🙂
Anyway, today we’re going for an earth, woodsy scent profile.
I designed this one for my husband, specifically. He’s way into the Hop Bath Set that I made a while ago, so I wanted to stay in that sort of direction - bright, citrussy, vegetal... but go in a little bit of a different direction with it.
Cedarwood essential oil is something I picked up for that recipe, and didn’t end up using it. It’s really interesting stuff, though, so I knew I’d have to use it for SOMETHING.
The vast majority of essential oils I’ve worked with have been for something you’d eat, also. Orange oil, lavender, peppermint, rose, whatever.
Those that haven’t been related to something you could use for cooking, have been for something that’s a fairly common scent in bath products - like eucalyptus oil. Nothing weird, you know?
Cedarwood oil... smells like cedar. Like seriously smells like a brand new deck on a rainy day, or like a fresh sauna.
It’s not something you see a lot of in bath products, but it’s actually pretty lovely.
Combine it with pine needles and a bit of citrus oil, and it smells like going for a walk in the woods on a crisp fall day, moreso than like... wet lumber yard!
Just a really beautiful combination of aromas.
Gifting This Citrus Cedar Bath Set
This set makes a great gift! It’s quick and easy to make, smells amazing, and it’s unique.
While cedarwood is used in some bath products, it’s usually something you have to go looking for, rather than something ubiquitous in holiday gift set offerings.
You can make one, a couple, or all three of the items, and/or make a BIG batch of one of the items - the Citrus Cedar Bath Salt - and pack it in a big sack. Maybe even make a gift basket with them!
Whether in a gift basket or given as a standalone thing, I like to decorate the jars. A little bit of decoration goes a long way to making it look and feel more gifty, IMHO?
For these, I used some sticky burlap ribbon, and a bit of twine. I think it works well with the nature theme - pine needles and all. A rustic but pretty gift!
When making homemade bath items to be given as gifts, I recommend adding labels for each item, with the ingredients used. This can be either as a sticker on the bottom/back of your jar or packaging, or printed out on a bit of cardstock and tied on.
It’s important for the recipient to be able to see what’s in it, to make sure those ingredients will be safe for them... and this is especially important when essential oils are involved, as they are in this bath gift set.
I’d mentioned that this was to be a gift for my husband, but honestly... I think I’m just gonna claim it for myself. So... if you dig the scent mixture we’ve got going on here, you might want to make a double batch!
Benefits of Pine Needles in Bath Products
When I started out making this, I had no idea if adding pine needles was even safe to do, much less that it was a bit of a THING. I thought I was going off in a weird direction, but one that COULD potentially work.
I like having bits of stuff in my bath salts - dried lavender flowers, hop flowers, tea leaves, etc. I think it’s pretty, adds a lot for scent, and feels a little more luxurious.
So, I did a bunch of reading.
I’m happy to report that it’s not only safe to do, it’s a whole thing - and has been for a long time. Hundreds of years, apparently!
Some people boil pine needles in water and strain that water into the bath. Others
Stimulant for mood and fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and to soothe skin. It’s also said to have antimicrobial properties - Which, I’m guessing, is why it’s a popular scent for floor / all purpose cleaners.
As someone who’s not an herbalist, though... the bottom line - for me - is that it’s safe and smells good. That’s good enough for me. I don’t have enough background in it to know which - if any- benefits are legit, so I just see any of them as a bonus.
As for how to use the pine needles in this Citrus Cedar Bath Set, I’ll address that in a bit, with the rest of the ingredients! First, some house cleaning...
Whenever you’re trying out something new on your skin - especially if you have sensitive skin - you should test it out on a small match of skin, to see if you have any reactions. If you have any problems, discontinue use.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications that may be affected by any of the ingredients in these products, you should talk to your physician before using them. This is especially important when essential oils are involved, as is the case with this bath set.
This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!
Looking for More Homemade Gift Ideas?
We have a few DIY gift tutorials, with even more coming! For now, be sure to check out:
Booze Bouquet Tutorial.
DIY Cutting Board Tutorial - Colourful Squares
DIY Mustard Bath Gift Set
Homemade Cutting Board Tutorial - Log Cabin
Homemade Hop Spa Bath Set
Homemade Peppermint Eucalyptus Spa Set
How to Sew A Cute Makeup / Toiletry Bag Travel Set
Mop Doll Air Freshener Covers
DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater Masks
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Homemade Citrus & Cedar Bath Set Base Ingredients
A bit of information about the ingredients that are used in more than one of these Homemade Citrus and Cedar Bath Products....
When you’re harvesting pine needles, make sure you’re actually using pine needles... or something suitably related. You can use fir, hemlock, or spruce, if those are more readily available.
Just be sure not to use yew, as it’s toxic.
Be sure to use healthy looking needles that you’re pretty sure haven’t been subjected to pesticides or other chemicals.
When you get them home, pick through them, gently removing the needles from the branches and sorting out any unwanted matter - spider webs, etc.
I like to give the needles a quick wash, then let them dry out for a few days. I lay the damp needles out on some paper town and just leave them until they’re very dry.
Letting the needles properly dry out makes them a LOT easier to cut, especially in a spice grinder - my preferred method.
One quick note before moving on: Some people are allergic to pine, so keep that in mind. If you / the recipient reacts to Christmas trees, don’t bathe with them!
I use Epsom salt as the default base for all of my bath salt, milk bath, and salt scrub recipes, as it’s readily available, affordable, a neutral colour, and good to soak in.
As a figure skater, I’ve also got a long, LONG history of using it as a soak for my aching muscles. So, consider me well conditioned to view it as my gold standard for bathing salt!
You can substitute Corse Ground Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt for some or all of the Epsom Salt, if you so choose. The pink salt could look particularly pretty with the pine needle bits - I’d just avoid using soap colouring in that case.
If you’re veering outside of orange and cedarwood, though, be sure to research to see if your choice of oil is appropriate for skin contact.
Colouring is absolutely optional, but can make a nice accent. I added a very small amount of lime green soap colouring to these Citrus Cedar Spa Bath Products.
I’d considered doing orange or a rusty brown, but in the end... I’m happy I went with green.
You can use special liquid soap colouring - available in craft supply stores or online - to tint any or all 3 of these Citrus cedar bath products.
Citrus and Cedar Bath Salts
Epsom salt almost always has chunks in it that should be broken down, for a nice looking milk bath. For that reason, I like to make this my Citrus and Cedar Bath Salt in a plastic baggie.
I measure the ingredients into the bag, press most of the air out of the bag, and massage the bag a bit to break up and work out the clumps, properly mixing everything. It’s easier than stirring it in a bowl, and makes far less of a mess!
I’ve been using bath tea bags as a way of containing some of the mess associated with my style of bath soaks. Sometimes it’s dried flowers, other times it’s spices that don’t dissolve all of the way.
In the case of my Citrus and Cedar Bath Salts, it’s the pine needles you’ve got to worry about.
If you’ve processed them down fine enough, there’s no real worry about clogging the pipes, so it’s more a matter of whether or not you want to rinse the tub after soaking.
For me, I just use the bath tea bags - this is the pack I buy, which is the perfect size for my bath soaks.
Just measure a cup of the Citrus Cedar Bath Salt into a bath tea bag, pull the strings to gather, and tie a knot close to the gather.
I like to wrap the string around the bag - close to the initial knot - and tightly knot if off once again, to prevent pine needles from escaping out the small opening.
This Citrus and Cedar Bath Salt recipe can be multiplied to make much larger batches, if so desired. If you’re making more than a double or triple batch, you’ll want to do it in a large bowl.
I like to use gloved hands to physically break up any clumps of Epsom salt in the bowl, before adding the other ingredients. It just makes it a lot easier to get a consistent final product.
This Citrus Cedar Bath Salt keeps best in an airtight glass container. With proper storage, this Citrus and Cedar Bath Salt hould be good for about a year.
Use about 1 cup of the bath salt in a hot bath. If you’re not using a bath tea bag, you’ll want to rinse the tub out after use, if there’s any bits of pine needles left.
Homemade Citrus Cedar Bath Salt
- Measure the dried pine needles into a spice grinder or small food processor, process until it's a fairly fine powder.
- Measure your Epsom salt , baking soda, and pine needles into your plastic baggie, along with colouring if you're using it
- Use an eye dropper to measure your essential oil into the ingredients baggie.
- Press most of the air out of the bag, and close the zipper on it.
- Manually crush any clumps in the salt, and work to combine the ingredients.
- Transfer mixture to an airtight container, or measure into bath tea bags.
- To use, measure 1 cup of Citrus Cedar Bath Salts into a hot running bath, or toss one bath tea bag in.
Citrus and Cedar Salt Scrub
Choice of Oil:
I like to use sweet almond oil for my scrubs in general- but there are other options you can consider.
Many people use coconut oil for making homemade scrubs... and many other people say to never use coconut oil on the skin, as it clogs pores.
Some people use hemp oil, some use olive oil, some others even use vegetable oil.
Baby oil is a cheap and readily available option that’s good on the skin... but it tends to have a very strong “baby oil” smell, which can overpower the earthy pine goodness.
What works for you is totally a matter of personal choice!
I’ve been using these jars for my homemade scrubs, and I love them. They look nice, close tightly (which was a HUGE problem with the first kind I tried!), and are the perfect size for 1 batch of this Citrus and Cedar Salt Scrub recipe!
Keep this Citrus and Cedar Salt Scrub in an airtight container, away from sunlight.
This salt scrub is a great exfoliant for the body... But is a bit too harsh for the face! Also, avoid using it on broken, irritated, or freshly shaved skin.
This scrub should last between 1-3 months, depending on how well it’s cared for.
Using very clean fingers - or, better yet, a mini scoop like these - to take a bit of Citrus Cedar Salt Scrub out, when using. The more you can keep the contents of the jar free from bacteria or mold contamination, the longer it will last.
Homemade Citrus and Cedar Salt Scrub
- Measure the dried pine needles into a spice grinder or small food processor, process until it's a fine grind - you can leave them a little rough, or bring it down to a powder. Place in a glass bowl.
- Measure all remaining ingredients into the glass bowl
- Mix until well combined and all ingredients are well distributed.
- Check for consistency - I like it fairly dry, using ¼ cup of oil... but some like a wetter consistency. Add more oil if you like!
- Transfer to an airtight jar.
Homemade Citrus Cedar Soap
Melt and Pour Soap
You can use any melt and pour soap base you like - there are many varieties, such as basic clear glycerine, goat milk, hemp, honey, and ... I’m sure there are others.
I like to use a clear base for this, either glycerine or honey. This is the one I tend to default to.
You can use any soap mold you like, I prefer to use silicone molds in general. For this Homemade Citrus and Cedar Soap, I like the nice, clean lines of this rectangular soap mold, which is what I used for the soap in these pics.
Shrink Wrap Baggies
I like to use these Shrink Wrap Baggies for packaging soaps either to give away, or for storage. No sense letting all the piney goodness in these soaps evaporate!
I like to add a small amount of lime green soap dye to my soap, just to accentuate the natural green of the pine needles. You can leave it plain if you like, or even go with a yellow, orange, or gold colour for the “citrus” aspect of this scent.
As I mentioned in the equipment section, I like to keep these soaps wrapped up in shrink wrap both for gifting, AND storage. Additionally, I recommend keeping them out of direct sunlight, for the best results.
Homemade Citrus Cedar Soap
- Measure the dried pine needles into a spice grinder or small food processor, process until it's a fine grind.
- Chop soap base into small pieces
- Following the recommendations on your choice of melt and pour soap, melt the soap base.
- Gently stir pine needles into melted soap base.
- Use eye droppers to measure essential oil into melted soap base. Stir well - but gently - to combine. If using soap dye, add at this point as well.
- Pour soap into soap molds
- Allow soap to fully cool and harden, about 1 hour
- Carefully remove soaps from mold. Store in an airtight container, and/or seal in shrink wrap baggies to protect soaps while storing.