DIY ‘Aesop’ Post-Poo Drops (Natural Mandarin Toilet Freshener)

Aesop is an Australian skin-care and self-care company, known for their high-end, well-branded (and incredibly expensive) products. And there’s no bigger epitome of this than their fabled Post-Poo Drops, a toilet freshener which elicits an understated scent of Mandarin, Tangerine, and Ylang Ylang when plopped into your toilet bowl after (and this is to quote the labelling) “vigorous activity has occurred” – far more natural than those artificially pumped up floral fresheners that you find on the supermarket shelves.

The original is beautiful, and actually has a Bottomfeder-esque origin story! “This botanical deodoriser got its accidental start when discarded essential oils from our in-house lab were repurposed to scent an office bathroom. It has since become one of our most popular products” – @aesopskincare

While I originally got these delightful drops for bathroom guests, my partner and I have fallen in love with the scent. And so rather than use it too quickly, I thought I’d have a go at making this mandarin marvel myself. Just save up some citrus skins and let time and patience work their magic. Make a larger batch and gift it to friends and family, or just store it to refill your smaller bottle. The prep time is 3 weeks, and this sounds insane, but like most good preserving projects, it’s very hands-off and mostly about letting time pass…especially something we have lots of in lockdown!

First, we create our own essential oils by steeping dried citrus peels in rubbing alcohol. Commercial versions use a distiller or cold press to extract oils, but alcohol is much more accessible way to draw these oils out at home without needing all that hi-tech wizardry. I used mandarin, orange and lemon peels leftover from eating and cooking. If you want a shortcut or have essential oils on hand you could just use them, however this can be costly and this recipe came about as an elevated way of utilising those naturally zingy smelling citrus peels.


My partner Mark and I created a really calming and chilled, but also tounge-in-cheek video which accompanies the recipe below. It was heavily inspired by the minimalist and considered Aesop brand and aesthetic, with our cheeky spin. Hope you like it!

RECIPE
DIY ‘AESOP’ POST POO DROPS (NATURAL CITRUS PEEL TOILET FRESHENER)

INGREDIENTS:

For the essential oils: (yields approx 20-50mL of each, prep time 3 wks)

  • 3 or more mandarins
  • 3 or more lemons
  • 3 or more oranges
  • rubbing alcohol

For the final mixture: (yields approx 150mL, prep time 5 min)

  • 125ml water
  • 1 tsp rubbing alcohol (can substitute for vodka)
  • 1 tsp vegetable glycerine (or substitute 1/2 tsp liquid soap)
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Mandarin essential oil
  • Orange essential oil

METHOD:

For the essential oils:

  1. Peel each of the mandarins and oranges.
  2. With a paring knife, remove the white pith for each of the peels.
  3. While you’ve got your knife out, cut the peel off the lemons.
  4. Place the de-pithed peels out in the sun to dry for approx 1 wk, keeping them separate so you know which peels are which. Turn every so often.
  5. Put each group of peels into a separate jar and cover with rubbing alcohol, shaking the jar to ensure peels are evenly covered/submerged.
  6. Place a lid loosely over each jar, and put in a cool dry place for 1 wk.
  7. Strain each oil to remove the peels, and place in jars. Optional zero waste drained peel use – Store the strained peels together in a jar – these can be used as a rubbish bin deodoriser, just shake some into your bin to keep it smelling fresh. As they’ve been sitting in alcohol they’re kind of preserved.
  8. Use paper towel and rubber bands to create a breathable lid for each oil. Then put in a cool dry place for 1 wk, shaking infrequently to stop bacteria forming.
  9. (Optional) Store each oil in eye-dropper bottles for ease of use.

For the final mixture:

  1. Measure 125mL of water out into a jug.
  2. Add the glycerin and rubbing alcohol.
  3. Use your nose to mix a balance of the essential oils to your liking. 30-40 drops total ought to be enough. Go slow and add oils bit by bit.
  4. (Optional) Store in eye-dropper bottle for ease of use.


For blending: Mixing the scents comes down to your individual preferences. It’s very subjective, so you have to use your nose to smell what’s right for you. I found that lemon is sophisticated, bright and fresh, orange verges on that musky stereotypically grandma toilet freshener smell, and mandarin is somewhere in the middle. For me, I added approximately 50% Lemon, 35% Mandarin and 15% Orange.

To create an aroma that smells more like the Aesop original: The Aesop original post poo drops have an aroma blend of tangerine peel, ylang ylang and mandarin peel. My version omitted the ylang ylang. I wanted to see what I could make with what I had without buying extra first (I haven’t seen any wild ylang ylang around me either). I recommend you include ylang ylang (native to Queensland, but not as readily available wild to everyone) or something similar like jasmine. You can buy readymade ylang ylang oil if you want, but a lemon heavy version of these post poo drops is pretty darn good as is! It is just going down the toilet in the end anyway!

For storage: You can buy amber glass bottles with some form of a dropper to make dispensing the oils and storing your finished post poo drops easy. They’re available online and at health food stores, or reuse ones you have leftover. The amber glass also helps prevent the oils from oxidising due to heat and light.

Future ideas: I’m currently creating some lemongrass essential oil to hopefully add a bit of a floral note (I usually dry the tough ends and outer parts of lemongrass whenever I buy it. I add it to cooking and make my own ginger and lemongrass tea). Make it your own though! You could add in rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus and take it in a different direction to the Aesop version if that’s what you like. I find it helps to look at or google the blend of scents in perfumes and products you already gravitate towards and try to recreate blends inspired by those (wayyyy easier than becoming an actual perfumer).

Credit: This recipe was adapted from this ‘fabulous farm’ girl ‘diy poo poo spray’ recipe.
mixed with this ‘hillsbourough homesteading’ orange essential oil recipe.

Share your version by tagging me on instagram @_bottomfeeder I’d love to see what you create!

Summery Sweet! Mango Pits & Peels Make a Delicious Marinade

There’s nothing like biting into some juicy mango on a hot summer’s day. I have so many memories of cross hatching mango cheeks with a knife and inverting them to become an edible cubist echidna. But what do you do with the pits and the peels that you can’t eat? I recently came across this recipe from Cornersmith (also in the Use It All cookbook) and lowered the amount of sugar since I’d mainly use it as a more savoury marinade. Make your mango scraps go the extra mile! It’s surprising how little mango you need to get a good flavour. This marinade base tastes kind of like a subtle Weis bar with a light gingery kick – you can add other ingredients to tweak it to your taste, see the recipe below for suggestions.


RECIPE
MANGO SCRAP MARINADE BASE

INGREDIENTS:
2-3 mangoes
2 tbsp sugar (or honey)
2 cups water
A few slices of ginger (or 2 tbsp dried ginger pieces/skin)

METHOD
1. Prepare your mangoes – we need the pits and skins for this recipe. Cut off the cheeks and seperate the flesh from the skin with a large spoon. Peel the section around the pit and cut off any mango you want to utilise – reserve the mango flesh for another use.

2. Add the mango peels and pits, sugar, water and ginger to a small pot on medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a simmer.

3. Simmer for 10 mins, then turn the heat off. Let the flavours infuse for 15 mins.

4. Strain the mango marinade through a sieve pressing as much mango as you can out. Pop the mixture back on the heat on low to reduce further if you’d like it thicker.

5. To use as a meat marinade, use as is, or add salt or fish sauce, pepper, olive oil, and/or chilli to your taste. It also goes great in salad dressing or as is on sweet things like ice cream and pancakes.

MANGO MARINADE VARIANT SUGGESTIONS
Add these to the marinade base for something different
– Asian: fish/soy sauce, lime juice and zest, coriander stems and/or a bashed lemongrass stalk.
– Mango sweet chilli: chilli or sriracha and maybe a little honey.
– Mango BBQ: garlic, bbq sauce, chilli.

What would you use this mango marinade for?