Category Archives: Aftershaves & Colognes

Reviews of everything after the shave. Toners, splashes, aftershaves, and colognes.

Review: WM. Neumann – 1911 Aftershave

WM. Neumann - 1911 Aftershave

WM. Neumann – 1911 Aftershave

I so enjoyed their 1907 aftershave, that I decided to go back-to-back to try out WM. Neumann’s 1911 Aftershave.

This has all the same ingredients as the 1907 version, with lots of organic, moisturizing, skin-friendly ingredients.  So what I said in the last review hold for this item as well.  It goes on really nicely, especially when you were a bit brash with your shave-work, as I was today.  I used a brand new Personna Medical Prep blade in my Weber DLC safety razor.  I also shaved with Tabac soap, which I am loving more and more each time I use it.  So I can safely say, with that entire lineup, and the very skin-friendly 1911 aftershave, my face feels super smooth and moisturized, and smells really good.

1911 smells as close to those modern-day colognes at the department store.  I say “modern-day” because one of the best aspects of WM. Neumann’s products is that they come from the scribblings of a turn-of-the-last-century apothecary, who happens to go by the same name.  He developed a number of fragrances and that notebook of scribblings became the founding of this company.  And 1911 was their signature fragrance.

The scent feels high-class.  As the company website will attest, it’s a burst of “crisp citruses blended with the rich woody essence of sandalwood, rosewood, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, and spices”.  The woody notes stand out the strongest and really bring this into that modern-day cologne feel.  As I sit here a half hour after application, I am beginning to pick up more and more of those other scents that are mentioned.  It is indeed rounding out nicely into a spicy fragrance with a hint of sweet behind it.  But overall this is a very unique and masculine scent that will go great both during the day and also at night.

Review: WM. Newmann & Co. – Signature 1907 Aftershave

WM. Newmann & Co. - Signature 1907 Aftershave

WM. Newmann & Co. – Signature 1907 Aftershave

Ahh, aftershave.  I go through so many shaving creams and soaps that I sometimes neglect the roots of this website.  A long time ago I ordered a sampler pack of aftershaves from WM. Newmann & Co.  Primarily I was interested in their bay rum scent, of course.  But the rest of these samples sat on a shelf.  And sat they did as I went through a myriad of other products, so that I could provide you, the reader, with one man’s opinion of them.  Well today I reached for that ziplock back of samples and pulled out another: WM. Newmann & Co. – Signature 1907 Aftershave.

So today I had a great shave with only a couple nicks on my neck that I admit came from careless impatience.  You see, I have this band of sideways growth on my lower neck that can get hacked if I go too fast against the grain.  Today I learned that lesson…. again….

Anyway, I am really happy with the tools I used today.  I used my Weber DLC razor loaded with a Gilette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge blade.  My shave cream was Taconic’s Bay Rum Shaving Cream, which smells and performs awesomely.  One of the best non-tallow creams I have in my arsenal.  I also regularly use a Razorock Alum Stick directly after each shave, to help soothe the skin and also to help stop the small nicks from bleeding.

Then I grabbed the small sample vial of 1907.  I was expecting a bit of a bracing jolt, as this is an alcohol-based aftershave, but I quickly realized that there wasn’t one.  It went on rather mild!  And then I remembered why.  WM. Newmann & Co put some amazing ingredients in their products.  They list their key ingredients on their website:  organic aloe, witch hazel, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, chickweed, kosher veggie glycerin, green tea, blue-green algae, nettle, milk thistle, black willow bark, and tea tree oil.  Ummm… Hello?  Did you catch all that?  All I can tell you is that this stuff and your face will have a relationship that would make any madly-in-love couple jealous.  It felt awesome going onto my slightly chewed up face, and still feels awesome now as my face feels very nicely moisturized.

The scent is cologne-ish.  A woody sandalwood base with fruity top notes and spicy middle notes.  It’s a really bright lingering scent with a good deal of masculinity.  I’m not into modern cologne-type scents, but this one smells really nice as I carry on in my day.  It’s not too strong, but also not too light, wafting into my awareness every once in a while.  Smelling it from the vial I was worried it would be too strong a fragrance, but it really opens up once you put it on and smells wonderful.

I’m really happy with 1907 and if you’re interested, I suggest you order some or at least try a sample. At the time of this printing, a sample of all of their scents is available for $2 plus shipping!

Review: Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave

Captains Choice - Lime Aftershave

Captains Choice – Lime Aftershave

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when the box arrived yesterday, containing a brand new bottle of the brand new fragrance from one of my favorite artisan aftershave makers: Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave.  I have previously reviewed their Bay Rum and Cat ‘O Nine Tails aftershaves and loved them both.  I sadly missed the trials, but whats good is that I finally have a bottle of the goods.

So I had a really smooth shave today.  Of course, my neck is a bitch to shave, really thin skin and sideways grain make for a real shred-fest if I’m not careful.  Today I was mostly careful.  But I had really good help.  Here was my setup:

The Neutrogena is one of my secret weapons.  I think I’ll do a review of it one day, because it’s a great toner for right after shaving.  I don’t need to say much about the Art of Shaving Lavender Soap.  I’m lucky in that I have one of the older formula tallow soap pucks.  Oh yeah…

So, like I said I did nick myself a couple times on the neck.  Nothing bad, just a couple weepers there, which was not bad news because I could now test the burn a little bit of this aftershave.

So I grabbed the bottle.  The bottle is the new packaging from Captain’s Choice.  It now comes in a nice brown glass bottle, to extend the life of the aftershave inside.  The new labeling is also really nice, and looks fantastic on my shave shelf.  Once you unscrew the plastic top you see the reducer, the little piece of plastic that makes a very narrow hole, so that you can effectively “splash” the aftershave into your hand without having to worry about half the bottle coming out.

The ingredient list is simple.  Grain alcohol, Witch Hazel, Essential Oils and extracts, and glycerin.  Each one comes into play in perfect harmony with the others.

The alcohol burn is not so bad, on the milder side.  I think this is in part due to the Witch Hazel and the glycerin.  The witch hazel is just fantastic for your skin.  To have this balancing act between alcohol and witch hazel is in my mind what takes an aftershave to the next level.  Glycerin is included in a small yet perfect amount.  Its just enough to make your skin feel moisturized without feeling sticky.  As I write this, my face really does feel not only baby-butt-smooth, but soft and moisturized.

The scent is a unique and fantastic take on lime.  It’s a deep plunge into lime.  Sweet and spicy, but not too sweet, and honestly not too spicy either.  The smell is strong and at the same time not too strong.  But there’s something about it’s depth that carries out the lime scent longer than other citrus scents I have tried.  It doesn’t last too long.  I’m about a half hour since using it and I can still faintly smell it on my hands.  But it does last longer than, for instance, Geo F Trumper’s Extract of Limes Skin Food.  Lime, as well as other citrus scents, is a top note, and as such as a strong entrance, but last only a short time.  So bravo to Captain’s Choice for extending the lime scent probably as long as they could.  It made for a great shave.

I’m really excited to have Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave on my shave shelf, and I think you’ll feel the same with either Lime, or even their Bay Rum or Cat ‘O Nine Tails.  Excellent products, all of them.

Review: WM. Neumann & Co. – Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co - Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co – Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co. are an awesome company for shaving products.  They are the quintessential “old-timey” type of company, whose roots trace directly to the early-1900’s  dusty apothecary type of place where you would get your snake oils and candy sticks.  The recipes of their products come right out of WM. Neumann’s own notes, which were handed down through the family.

The Lime & Mint scent sounded intriguing to me so after today’s shave, which was a little rushed, admittedly, I knew I’d be in for a treat.

They say on their own website “it stings like the dickens”.  Yes, it does, but its not too bad.  The combination of the sting and the smell are kind of like that dual sensation thing that pleases your soul.  Like the sweet vs salty of a chocolate covered pretzel.  It was a sensation that totally wakes you up.

The lime is a darker lime scent.  Definitely lime, but a dusty, manly lime.  And the mint is really intriguing here adding a certain twang to the lime scent, and adding to the good-morning-ness of this aftershave.  And as I am going on here, the smell is getting more and more delicious.

This, as in all of their products, is loaded with natural ingredients that are great for your skin.  Stuff to sooth irritation and moisturize.  Astringents and nourishing ingredients too.  And tea tree oil to fight bacteria and stop and infections on the parts where you were sloppy with the razor.

I’m a bay rum kind of guy, so I can’t say this would be an everyday aftershave for me.  And if I was feeling lime, I’d probably grab a bay rum & lime combo first.  That being said, if you are a fan of lime, you do have to give this a shot.  It stands apart, and is a top-notch quality product.

Review: Geo F Trumper – Sandalwood Skin Food

Geo F Trumper - Sandalwood Skin Food

Geo F Trumper – Sandalwood Skin Food

This was the one that kickstarted me into wetshaving.  By wetshaving, I mean the way men used to shave.  I mean using a straight edge, single edge, or double edge razor.  I mean using a brush to work up a shaving lather, and never getting your lather out of a can.  And it was my very first time that I shaved with a straight edge that I used Geo F Trumper’s Sandalwood Skin Food as an aftershave, also for the first time.  When I shaved, and then put this stuff on, I was blown away, and I knew right then that I would never again use an expensive cartridge razor to shave.

I had seen this stuff mentioned in one of geofatboy’s videos, and “skin food” sounded awesome, and he seemed to be enjoying using it as well, so how could I go wrong, right?  Finally I had assumed correctly, not making an ass out of anyone…

So this stuff is a balm.  Perfect for colder weather, as it leaves a lot of skin nourishing stuff behind after it dries off.  Its a thick concoction that goes on cool and refreshing.  There is little to no alcohol burn.  In fact today I had shaved with a vintage Hoffritz slant razor for the first time.  Slant razors are known to be very agressive razors, and my third against-the-grain pass was a little on the heavy-handed side.  My styptic pencil got a workout for sure.  But there was almost no burn from this stuff, and it instantly cooled and eased my face.  Quite an excellent match for a rough shave (mental note actively being made).

The smell is fantastic.  Manly, smoky, and sandalwoody.  It’s a pop to the nose, and the first time I put it on, I was blown away.  Because everything in my limited cologne/aftershave experience smelled like the floor of a macy’s perfume counter.  I was never interested in any aftershaves or colognes because I was just not into musk.  Then this.  Whoa.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

It took me a while to read the ingredients list on the bottle.  The first is rose distillate.  In essence  rose water.  I never really took note of it, but there is certainly a floral background to this stuff, and it’s perfect.  It’s a clever ingredient, giving a very light but noticeable twist to the sandalwood fragrance.

Glycerin is also high on the ingredients, giving this stuff the right amount of moisturizing effect on your face.  And as I write this, my face feels awesome, and smells even better.

Geo F Trumpers Sandalwood Skin Food was the key to my newfound love of wetshaving, and I still love it just as much as I did the first time I used a straight.  I’m confident you’ll love it too.

 

Review: WM. Neumann & Co – Bay Rum Aftershave

WM Neumann & Co - Bay Rum Aftershave

WM Neumann & Co – Bay Rum Aftershave

Ahh, it is so good to be reviewing a bay rum aftershave again.  And I’ve got a real good one here for you today.  And this one takes us back to the turn-of-the-previous-century apothecary scene.  WM. Neumann & Co. are all about bring the past into today.  They are a modern artisan company based off of the founder’s great-grandfather’s fragrance notebook.  He spent his time developing fragrances, aftershaves, shave soaps, and more back in his old apothecary in Detroit around the early 1900’s and the notebook with the recipes passed down in the family and have been resurrected in these fine products.

I ordered a sampler of their aftershaves, and I am already impressed.  The first one up today is what is obviously my favorite scent, bay rum.

I had an ok shave today.  Not sure I was happy with my shaving cream, but I’m going to give it a shot again tomorrow.  Anyway, it left me bbs, but a little irritated.

So, the aftershave.  As advertised on their website, this aftershave goes on with a good bit of alcohol bite.  But this bite numbs over pretty quickly, as some of the ingredients take over.  Speaking of ingredients, it would be hard to find an aftershave with this many skin-loving ingredients in it.  Organic Aloe, witch hazel, slippery elm back, marshmallow root, and chickweed to sooth and calm irritated skin.  Hello.  So that razor burn I was expecting quickly soothed over.  And it doesn’t end there.  There are natural ingredients to hydrate the skin (like glycerin), some to nourish the skin (like blue-green algae), some to heal the skin (like nettle and milt thistle), and some to fight bacteria (like tea tree oil).  Really?  I mean really?  And you thought aftershave was supposed to be alcohol and fragrance….

Speaking of fragrance, for a bay rum, this is a great one.  It’s more on the spicy side of bay rum.  The exact blend of fragrances is a family-held secret, but I sense some orangey-citrus top notes, a definite strong bay presence in the middle, along with some cinnamon and maybe a woody presense as well.  It’s a fantastic spicy, dark, manly blend that left my face and hands smelling awesome.  This stuff is the real deal, a recipe going back over 100 years.

I cannot say enough good things about WM. Neumann & Co’s Bay Rum Aftershave, and I’m really excited to try the other scents I received in my sampler pack.  They also have some shaving soaps (hello bay rum!) that I am definitely going to be trying soon.

(This review is of a sample decant of the original product, and as such I cannot guarantee that the sample contained the appropriate mixture of the original ingredients.)

Review: Geo F Trumper – Coral Skin Food

Geo F Trumper - Coral Skin Food

Geo F Trumper – Coral Skin Food

I really do like Geo F Trumper’s skin foods.  They are excellent moisturizing balms that all smell wonderful.  I received a free (just have to pay shipping) sampler pack from Geo F Trumper a month or so ago and included in this pack was a sample of their Coral Skin Food, which I’ve been wanting to try.  Today was the day!

My shave was great today, totally nick free and irritation free.  I used a Queen Charlotte shaving soap that I will review in a couple days, after a few shaves under my belt.  But the combo of that, my Weber DLC double-edge razor, and a fresh Personna Medical Prep blade made for a simply perfect shave.

So the skin food!  Ok, for those who are not sure what coral smells like, let me put all your questions to rest.  Coral Skin Food smells like rose.  It’s pink, as you can see from the image, but it’s scented with a fresh rose scent.  It’s a stronger than expected scent when it goes on, but as it settles on your face, the scent really smooths out wonderfully.  It really is a great fresh scent, that doesn’t smell girly.

As a balm, this stuff is just awesome.  Geo F Trumper’s skin foods are absolutely worth the money when it comes to a clean, non-irritating, great smelling aftershave balm.  They have a thick texture to them, and you might think they will end up feeling sticky, but absolutely not.  Within a minute or two it is absorbed into the skin, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth, and not sticky at all.  The scents all have great staying power as well, including this great rose scent.

All in all I am thoroughly happy with Geo F Trumper’s skin foods.  I do like the coral, but having tried all three scents, I personally prefer the sandalwood, which I will review for you all soon.

Review: Krampert’s Finest – Bay Rum Aftershave

Krampert's Finest - Bay Rum Aftershave

Krampert’s Finest – Bay Rum Aftershave

Bay rum.  There is bay and there is rum.  This is lost a lot of the time, methinks.  It was sailors of old who created the concoction, using bay leaves (not the stuff in the grocery store!) distilled in a jug of rum to make themselves smell at least a little bit better.  Times were tough, the sun was hot, and you couldn’t just go to the store to pick up some deodorant.

Most bay rums have bay in them.  Essence of Pimenta Racemosa, the bay tree.  What almost ALL bay rums are missing are the latter part of their namesake: Rum!

However, on the artisan level, where natural ingredients are worked together by hand, rather than being churned in a machine by robots, you will every once in a while encounter an actual bay rum aftershave that is made with rum.  And this is the case with today’s aftershave, Krampert’s Finest bay rum.

I found Krampert’s Finest through a shaving forum.  I had created an account there, and made a post in the “introductions” section saying hi and letting people know about this site, and I got a lot of replies.  Some of them said I had to try Krampert’s.  So I went to the company’s website, read their story, which is awesome, and immediately ordered a bottle.

Here it is, a bottle made with LOVE by a man who was merely trying to re-create childhood barbershop memories.  He made it with the intention of only using it himself, and came out with a product that is better than most.  And it’s made with rum!! (angels sing, trumpets blast)

So I shaved.  The usual, which is my Weber DLC with a Personna medical prep blade.  I used QCS’s Cayman shaving cream, which gave me a great shave with almost no irritation.  After the alum block, I grabbed my bottle of Krampert’s and shook it well.  You see this stuff is loaded with botanicals.  The color, the smell, and the texture are all a result of natural ingredients.  And, by the way, in case I forgot to mention it, it’s got rum in there too.

The color is gorgeous, a nice deep amber hue that looks like it’s going to smell and feel awesome on my face.

I splashed it on, awaiting the aftershave kick, and honestly, it was pretty mild as far as sting goes.  If you are looking for something that is a little smoother, this is the stuff for you.  Its got some sting, but not a lot.  Maybe it’s the fact that the alcohol is rum, maybe it’s just a magical quality of the blend of ingredients.

The scent is also gorgeous.  It’s a deep, sensual, spicy scent.  It seems to have a deep citrus, maybe orange feel, but a much darker, more seductive version of it.  It’s followed by a pure bay smell, the pimenta racemosa, which is the essence of bay rum.  The only downside is that bay scent is a middle note, and does not last long.  So the scent does fade quicker than I would like it to…

The moisturizers are more than evident in how my face feels after the application.  Even as I sit here writing this review, my face feels fantastic, well moisturized and smooth as silk.

You really do need to try this stuff.  Forget about what you’re using, and have been using for years.  Just go and try a bottle of this stuff.  It’s really good.

Note:  I said over and over that this product contains rum.  According to Krampert’s website, they no longer use rum, but now use Isopropyl Alcohol, to stay cool with the government.  My bottle is labeled as containing rum and not IA.  Maybe they shipped me older stock, or maybe they went back to rum.  Either way, the -other- ingredients are all awesome, and this review should still stand regardless of which type of alcohol is used.

Review: Pinaud Clubman – Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave

Pinaud Clubman - Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave

Pinaud Clubman – Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave

Well, this one is a classic.  This was not included in my original bay rum sampler set, but considering how cheap it was, and also how many people love it, I knew that a purchase was in my immediate future.

I gotta say, the Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave bottle has some push and pull.  I really love the classy old pirate ship and old-style look of the bottle.  It looks manly, like I could throw some of this on and then appear in the next barroom brawl.  Sadly it’s a plastic bottle.  On the plus side tho it has a little hole at the top to allow for a good sprinkling of the product into your palm.

The bottle says “As refreshing as an island breeze”.  You know what?  That’s damn true.  This stuff says “splash me on” and splash is a real apt word for this stuff.  So I just splashed it on and it felt fantastic.  It’s cool with some kickass burn on your rough spots.  And while your face sizzles for a few seconds, you get the deep penetrating rush of the scent.

The scent is a great great bay rum scent.  It starts off with a bit of citrus and quickly shifts to an excellent blend of bay rum and cinnamon.  It’s strongest going on and fades pretty quickly, which is what I expected.  I’d say that it’s meant to be a quick fight.  A blast of bay rum and alcohol with some deep spice to it.  Like an old west saloon brawl, it want’s to get the job done like a man, and then let you ride off. And as you move on, you’ll get little wafts of the scent to remind you of that fun punchup you had in the morning.

As for the ingredients, this is not your artisan organic all-natural bay rum.  It’s got a good share of chemicals.  But hell, it is what it is.  Does it feel great?  Yup!  Does it feel manly?  Yup!  Alright, partner, we’ll leave it at that.

Get yourself some Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum Aftershave at Amazon.com!

Review: Ogallala – Bay Rum, Sage & Cedar Aftershave

Ogallala - Bay Rum, Sage & Cedar Aftershave

Ogallala – Bay Rum, Sage & Cedar Aftershave

Well, my initial sampler of 20+ bay rums has been run through, and I am left feeling a little sad.  Because I feel that the sampler had some of the best of the best.  So now I am left to wander the wilderness of aftershaves and soaps, looking for things to write about.  And you know what?  I haven’t even cracked the surface.

That said, I had ordered a sampler pack direct from Ogallala of all of their bay rums.  I did it because that 20+ sampler pack was nice, however at .03oz per sample, I only got one application, and I couldn’t be 100% sure that the scents were truly representative of their product.  Most of these products had natural ingredients, and you know how they always tell you to “shake well” before using.

So Ogallala’s sampler comes loaded.  5 bottles of their best products.  And each sample bottle contains a full 2oz of the product.  2oz doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s just over 66 of those small vials in each bottle!  So yeah, thats a lot!  If you are interested in trying Ogallala’s products, definitely get the sampler direct from them.  You will not be let down, I assure you.

Alright!  On to the review!  So this is one of the Ogallala products that was not in the BC sampler I had.  I wish it was, because it’s a very unique scent, and I really like it.

Ogallala’s Bay Rum with Sage & Cedar goes on like all the other Ogallala aftershaves, nice and warm.  It’s a very smooth and soothing experience.  I did feel like this one had a little more burn than the other Ogallalas I have tried, however I am going to again note that the others I tried came in .03oz vials, and thus I may have not gotten the appropriate mix of ingredients.  But I digress.

As for the smell.  The Sage & Cedar experience is 100% unique from all other bay rums I have tried.  This one has that base of bay rum to it, but the stars are the sage and cedar, who sing a marvelous duet on your face and in your nose.  It’s a smoky, woody, incense kind of smell.

I happen to love the smell of a burning sage stick.  And this product captures that deep aroma and balances it with the woody cedar smell.  And the best part is that every once in a while, I catch that sweet bay rum underneath it all, letting me know it’s part of the mix too.

This one was a really pleasant surprise, with some relatively good staying power.  Oh, and needless to say, (but I will because it’s deserved), Ogallala gets very high praise for including witch hazel in the mix, adding to it’s moisturizing properties and leaving my face feeling fantastic.