For years I've just been using dabs of essential oils for both perfume and deodorant. A dab of tea tree in the pits and a drop of lavender on my neck is a fairly standard scent combo for me. Sometimes eucalyptus in the pits and basil on the neck. Sometimes patchouli smeared all over both.
Lavender is my overall favorite.
I don't know why it too me so long to realize I could dilute my oil with water in a little spray bottle and--bingo-bango!--I've got body spray. One of my co-workers clued me in to this back on Earth Day--and boy!--am I pleased that she did!
My recipe, if one could call it that, is pretty loosey-goosey. I put 15-30 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle with 3.5 ounces of water. I play around with the number of drops as some scents and combinations are just more naturally potent than others. An added bonus of making body spray is that my oils now last longer.
This homemade spray is also better for Matt, who has skin that is significantly more sensitive than mine. Straight up, undiluted essential oil gives his skin a burning sensation and makes it red and irritated looking. Naturally, he doesn't care for this much. He doesn't have this problem with the dilute spray.
I am not brand loyal when it comes to my oils, picking them up whenever the mood strikes, the price is right, or my old bottle runs dry. There certainly is a difference and you do get what you pay for, but I'm just not that sophisticated yet. Maybe someday. Reading online I see that lots of folks use distilled or RO water for their sprays, but I've just been using tap water and it works for me. (I once when to a tea tasting session in which I was made to feel like a savage for using tap water in my tea pot, too!)
I give the bottle a little shake before I use it (most of the time, if I think of it) because the oils and water can separate out. Science and all.
I still put a dab of straight tea tree in my armpits most days though. In addition to its bold, clean aroma tea tree has antimicrobial properties which make it a keen option for an all natural deodorant.
I used to really worry about body odor, especially as I moved away from chemically-laden perfumes, body washes, and other such products. Essential oils are the key for me. Now I have one more trick up my sleeve.