Captain Blankenship’s Sail Away Bug Spray


When product efficacy really counts, it can be a gamble to swap out a conventional product for a natural, non-toxic replacement. Bug spray is the perfect example of this.

Will it work without the traditional pesticides? In my mosquito infested part of the world, an effective bug spray is critical to enjoying summer weather. I’m one of the lucky ones with a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites.

A few years ago I read a study that found lemon eucalyptus essential oil is just as effective as DEET when used in the proper concentration. I promptly crafted my own bug spray, which worked but required frequent reapplication. With West Nile and Zika viruses at play, I’d reverted back to the DEET-laden, drugstore stuff. At least that’s what I was using until I got my hands on the Sail Away Bug Spray by Captain Blankenship.

While I’ve only had a few opportunities to use the Sail Away Bug Spray, so far it’s proving very effective at keeping mosquitos away. The best part is that is smells wonderful and doesn’t leave a weird film or residue on your skin. I think I’ve found my holy grail bug spray. I’ll know for sure once we hit the height of mosquito season, but in the meantime Sail Away Bug Spray is my go-to for outdoor activities.

I wanted to know more about what make Sail Away Bug Spray a great alternative to conventional bug sprays, so I had a quick chat with Jana from Captain Blankenship to find out.

Susannah: What makes Sail Away Bug Spray special to you?


Jana: I formulated it very soon after we moved to the Hudson River Valley in New York. We had spent seven years in the Bay Area, where the mosquitoes and ticks aren’t as much of an issue. Arriving in New York in the middle of the summer, we were thrown back into biting bug land. Lyme Disease is rampant in our area, which is very frightening. I created the Sail Away Bug Spray out of necessity to protect ourselves and we always carry it with us once the ticks and mosquitoes come out in the spring. It is special to me as it really is a staple in our lives and I also just love the way that it smells. It is my signature summer scent.


The CDC says that products that contain lemon eucalyptus like Off! Botanicals will protect against mosquitos, ticks, and other arthropods. How is Sail Away Bug Spray different than these conventional sprays that also use lemon eucalyptus? Does it work better?


Off! Botanicals contains Lemon Eucalyptus but no other botanical ingredients. It does include chemicals like DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, which is an emulsifier that is linked to skin and eye irritation. It also contains fragrance, an often overlooked ingredient in products which could be made up of thousands of unregulated chemicals. Lemon Eucalyptus smells so good, it makes me wonder why they would mask it with synthetic fragrance? Our Sail Away Bug Spray contains a potent blend of organic essential oils including Lemon Eucalyptus, Rose Geranium, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Lavender and Clove. These, in addition to the organic Witch Hazel in the base, help naturally deter mosquitoes, flies and ticks. Each essential oil was carefully chosen for a specific reason, such as Rose Geranium and Peppermint, which have proven effective at keeping away ticks. In addition, the blend of essential oils smells wonderful. I feel like this comprehensive blend of botanicals would be more effective than a single botanical.


What is your favorite thing to do while wearing the Sail Away Bug Spray?


Go hiking! Whenever I can, I take to the woods with the kids and hike down to our favorite swimming hole. I always carry a bottle of Sail Away in my backpack and spray our whole family before we go, since the ticks and mosquitoes are very aggressive. The times I forget to bring it are never pretty.

Are you looking for DEET alternatives? Have you tried Sail Away Bug Spray?

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About Susannah Compton

Susannah Compton is the founder and formulator behind Florescent, a line of 100% botanical perfumes she blends in small batches from organic and wild crafted aromatics. Plant-based skincare and cosmetics are a way of life for Susannah, who writes about clean beauty and the benefits of botanical ingredients for No More Dirty Looks, Thoughtfully Magazine and Integrity Botanicals. Florescent, however, is Susannah’s personal expression of healthy beauty. Susannah has been working with botanical aromatics for years, blending first for therapeutic purposes before delving into the art of perfumery. Having rarely experienced the depth and complexity of true botanicals in conventional perfume, she learned the art of blending and created what her heart desired — a scent that would move her the way perfume should. In search of those elevating, ethereal bouquets of scent, Susannah honed her skills behind the perfume bench. She launched Florescent in the spring of 2015 to share the lush experience and pleasing ritual of real perfume.