Category Archives: Aftershaves & Colognes

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

Review: Superior 70 – Bay Rum Aftershave

Superior 70 - Bay Rum Aftershave

Superior 70 – Bay Rum Aftershave

Bay Rum aftershaves can be hard to find at brick and mortar stores.  Ever since I discovered the fragrance, I have been keeping an eye out for it, with little luck.  Almost everything I have tried has been purchased online.

But last week, while getting lunch at a deli in Brooklyn New York, I spotted a couple bottles of the infamous Superior 70 Bay Rum Aftershave sitting on a shelf behind the counter next to a couple cans of Gillette.  I asked the clerk how much it was and he said “Two dollars”.  Well, how could I resist, right?  A giant 12 ounce bottle for $2.  So I pulled out two bucks and bought a bottle.

So today, I had an excellent shave with my Gillette Fatboy adjustable safety razor set to 5, which is a little bit on the agressive side, with Personna Medical Prep blades.  Those blades are simply awesome, but this is a review for the aftershave. 😉

So yes, I did have a little bit of irritation on my neck, and knowing that Superior 70 is 65% SD alcohol, I knew I was in for a jolt.  I wasn’t wrong.  Superior 70 goes on very cool with a good razor burn that’ll make your toes curl.  If you like your aftershave to burn ya going on, this is a great candidate for you.

The scent is a typical bay rum scent, with perhaps a bit of cinnamon in the mix.  It fades quite fast, however if you later put your hands up to your nose, you’ll still get a whiff of it.  But, indeed this is an aftershave splash that does it’s job, smells good for you while the burn calms down, then goes it’s own way.

This isn’t the highest quality bay rum.  I’m not even sure it has any moisturizers.  The scent isn’t all that complex.  And the plastic bottle kinda sucks.  But at $2 (or even cheaper), you simply can’t go wrong if you want an alcohol-based eye-opening bay rum scented aftershave splash.

You can order some Superior 70 Bay Rum Aftershave through Amazon.com!

Review: Dominica – Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave

Dominica - Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave

Dominica – Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave

Well this was the last sample from the large sampler pack that I got from Barclay Crocker.  There are so many people out there that love Dominica, and many that love the lime variety.  I happen to love the scent of lime, so it was only natural that I would have saved this one for last.  And I am glad I did, because Dominica Bay Rum With Lime is a winner.

This one is what an alcohol-based aftershave splash should really be about.  It goes on very cool with a decent amount of burn.  But it’s a great satisfying burn that lasts just a moment, then the warm takes over.  The sensation on the face makes your eyes pop open and your senses jump a little.

Then it’s lime time.  The zesty scent of lime with bay rum (the lime is quite dominant) explodes in your nose, making your eyes pop even bigger than they did before.  The fragrance blend is delicious and a little spicy.  But altogether is a great match to the cool of the splash.

The initial lime blast does fade somewhat pretty quick, and settles into a warmer, slightly spicier lime that carries a lot longer than expected.  The bay rum also fades slightly, and as the fragrance matures on your face, you’re left with a spicy citrusy lime scent that I find truly awesome.

Dominica Bay Rum with Lime is heralded on many shaving message boards and receives nothing but glowing reviews, and I can see why.  I am running out of counter space, but I will definitely be clearing room for a bottle of this stuff.

(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: Ogallala – Double Strength Bay Rum Cologne

Ogallala - Double Strength Bay Rum Cologne

Ogallala – Double Strength Bay Rum Cologne

Alright I saved Ogallala’s Double Strength Bay Rum Cologne to be my last Ogallala bay rum to try.  A few days ago I fell completely in love with Ogallala’s Sandalwood offering, so this had some big shoes to fill.  But it did not disappoint.

Every Ogallala product I have tried goes on smooth and somewhat warm.  And each one lets you know about your rough shaving spots in a sultry kind of way.  Like the way Barry White’s voice hits your ear.  Well the double strength is not that sultry.  It’s got a good deal of bite to it.  I would think it was made specifically for those of you out there that like a good kick in the neck when you’re done shaving.

The scent is absolutely wonderful.  Ogallala really does know how to blend those fragrances.
As this is a cologne, it should have a stronger scent than the regular aftershaves.  Up front, and for a little while, yes the scent is strong and awesome.  Wonderful mix of bay rum with clove, which helps round out the faint rough edges of bay rum oil, and helps extend the scent.

I can’t say anything bad about this cologne, nor the Ogallala brand.  Fantastic stuff that I will be ordering more of.

(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: St. Johns – Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns - Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns – Bay Rum with Lime Aftershave Cologne

I really like lime.  It’s easily my favorite citrus, great in vodka, and excellent in a rum drink.  And it only makes perfect sense that if I like lime in my rum, I’m gonna love lime in my bay rum.  I know this ahead of time, and saves a few lime specimens for the very end of this 20+ bay rum sampler pack.

Today’s test subject is St. John’s Bay Rum with Lime.  Oh yes.  St John’s has a fantastic reputation in the reviews and message boards I have visited.  And it’s among the very top of the line of the bay rum brands I have tried in the past several weeks.  And this one, the lime variety, may just be my favorite of all the St. John’s I have tried.

Going on it’s got some bite.  Not necesarily a cool feeling, but one that will bite at you just a bit.  Definitely lets you know the rough patches of your shave, but in a very refreshing way.

The smell is just fantastic.  There is a lovely lime note right away, with a lovely blend of St. John’s mix of fragrances beneath it.  There are hints of clove and cinnamon, but honestly, it’s a hint.

Let me jump in here and make a note of something I have discovered during this trip down bay rum lane.  I have tried 20 bay rums so far this month.  Before I started this journey, I can’t say that I hated clove, but I wasn’t the biggest fan.  And when I read a certain brand had clove, I assumed I would not like it.  I may have even brought this bias into the first few reviews I did.  But as I tried bay rums that had clove and those that didn’t, I found that clove, while quite pungent on it’s own, blends really well with bay rum oil.  The two work together, with the clove giving the bay rum scent a little bit of loft and staying power, while at the same time rounding out it’s rough edges.  It seems there is a bit of an art when it comes to finding the right amount of clove to mix with the right amount of bay rum.  And it seems that St. John’s has nailed it.

I seriously consider myself lucky to have such an amazing aroma floating through my nostrils right now.  It’s quite awesome.

(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: Dominica – Caribbean West Indies Bay Rum Aftershave

Dominica - Caribbean West Indies Bay Rum Aftershave

Dominica – Caribbean West Indies Bay Rum Aftershave

After some research, I found that this aftershave comes from the Dominica estate, thus while it might not say so in some places, this is a Dominica bay rum.  That said, this is a mentholated aftershave, and pretty straight up at that.

Caribbean West Indies Bay Rum goes on like a tiger.  Wait, it actually goes on more like a tiger that has just sprinted a mile atop a glacier.  Carrying a bundle of bay leaves in it’s teeth.  Yeah, thats about right.  It goes on sharp and very cool.  I actually didn’t know it had menthol before putting it on, but it became immediately clear.  The menthol/alcohol combo makes it very cool and also does a fantastic job of letting you know – right away – where you went too aggressive with the razor.

After trying about 20 bay rums I have become quite accustomed to the scent of bay rum, and this one has no fillers.  It is straight up bay rum oil.  So if you’re the type that doesn’t care about citrusy top notes or sultry base notes, and just want a straight-up bay rum scent, this is one to check out.  Bonus points for those of you who crave that unmistakable cool rush that only true menthol will bring.  While this may not be my cup of tea, it is no doubt a solid product with an excellent pure bay rum scent.

(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: Ogallala – Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

Ogallala - Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

Ogallala – Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave Cologne

It’s almost not fair.  Alright, let me start over.

I’ve been away from the bay rum diaries for a few days, and I’ve come back with a new contender here today.  I’ve also been going through a sampler of shaving creams, and their scents leave me disappointed, which has made me a little sad because the brand is a long-standing brand, and I really wanted to like their shave creams, but I just don’t.  That, however, is another diary.  This entry is about what happened after my shave today.

You know how sometimes some things come together, and it’s just … right?  Yeah.  Ogallala Bay Rum with Sandalwood just did that to me.  I don’t care what anyone says, and I know to each their own, but holy cow this is the best stuff I have put on my face yet.

Ok, sting-wise, this AS, like all the ones from Ogallala I have already tried, goes on real smooth.  Smooth smooth smooth.  And the burn is so subtle, you’ll think the water you rinsed with after your shave was harsher.  Well maybe not, but that last sentence was fun to write.

Alright, let’s cut to the chase.  This combo of scents was magic to me.  But to be fair, this is almost not a bay rum scent.  But here is what it is.  It goes on with two main fragrances that blend perfectly, sandalwood and bay rum.  Boom.  Right there on your face.  And it’s got this subtly-sweet undertone that is really hard to detect, almost like essence of delicious.  My eyes literally (and I know what literally means) opened wide as the scent hit my brain.  And here’s my best guess at the magic.  As the bay rum fades away (bay rum oil usually fades the fastest), you are left with the woody mix of sandalwood and maybe cinnamon, but the sweet factor begins to reveal itself as vanilla, a long lasting scent, that hung around for a while.

I’m no expert at smells, and I might be mis-identifying some of these specific fragrances in the mix, but this about as close as I can describe it.  I used to wear strictly vanilla scented cologne a long time ago and I feel that I can sense memories of those days wafting around these smells in my nose.  So this was a wonderful experience to me.  I am really really glad to have saved it for one of the last few scents in this bay rum sampler pack.

Again, this is a little off the bay rum path, and may not be for those who don’t like a little sweetness in their AS.  As for me, I will be damned sure to have a bottle of this stuff in my shave cave.  For me, it’s liquid awesome.

Try it out yourself… Order a bottle of Ogallala Bay Rum & Sandalwood Aftershave at Amazon.com!

(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: St. Johns – Bay Rum with Grapefruit Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns - Bay Rum with Grapefruit Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns – Bay Rum with Grapefruit Aftershave Cologne

Gentlemen, let me just say that in my book, St John’s deserves top shelf billing.  I have about 5-6 really highly-rated vials left in my selection of bay rum samplers to go through, and because of the “grapefruit” label on this one, I assumed it would be the one I liked the least.  Of course, being a St. John’s product, by no means I am saying that it is less than great.  I just think the others will all be greater.

That said, this was as good as all the other St. Johns I have tried.  It goes on a little cool and then warms a little.  Nothing too dramatic.  Quite soft, like the others.  Check out my other St. John’s reviews, and for feel, this was exactly the same as the others.

And the scent?  I would say that I smelled the grapefruit most when I sniffed the vial.  On my hands and on my face, there was just a hint of citrus, and if I didn’t know it was grapefruit, I wouldn’t have guessed it.  However I would have known that it wasn’t lemon, lime, or orange.  The grapefruit note, though very faint, has a different citrus quality to it.  I would say that maybe it is between lime and orange, but not close to either of those.

However, as the fast citrus top note fades, the aroma softly lands in the wonderful St. John’s bay rum scent.  A soft, spicy sweet concoction that I want more than anything to stay around longer.  Seriously, St. John’s is just wonderful.  It makes its delicious presence known, in a gentle way.

(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: Royall Lyme Bermuda – Royall Bay Rhum Lotion

Royall Lyme Bermuda - Royall Bay Rhum Lotion

Royall Lyme Bermuda – Royall Bay Rhum Lotion

This was another of what I considered to be “top shelf” bay rums.  So, as with the last few that I have tried, I was very excited to try this one out today.  After a nice shave with my 1960 Gillette Fatboy set to 3, I reached for the Royall and splashed a little more than half the vial onto my palm and then onto my face, just like most of the rest.  I like saving that last little drop as a touch-up before I go out.  I know I’ll be a little more aggressive with the bay rum once I decide which one I will buy in a regular bottle, but for now, just a little splashy to get an idea.

Royall Lyme Bay Rhum Lotion/Cologne goes on with a very quick cool sensation followed immediately with a nice warm feeling.  There is a bit of bite, but it’s a warm draw rather than a stinging smack.

As for the scent, Royall also seems a bit unique.  It’s a warm scent too, very earthy and citrusy.  I am not a master fragrancer so I can’t tell you what earthy notes were there up front, but I can tell you what I think it might be.  I felt a bit of orange mixed with clove, along with something woody, all mixed with a wonderful bay rum aroma.  It was a pretty complex scent, and the top notes are really well matched with the middle notes.  So, what I’m saying is that the crisp and spicy start settles into a very warm, earthy, bay rummy deliciousness.

Overall, this is a warm, spicy, and complex bay rum that does a wonderful job.  My skin also feels pretty darn fine afterwards.  Oh, one other thing.  This product states that it is “touched with a breeze of menthol”.  I’m not sure I picked up on it, and if it is there, it is surely a “touch”.

(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 – Bay Rum Cologne

Geo F. Trumper - Bay Rum Cologne

Geo F. Trumper – Bay Rum Cologne

Yes.  Geo F Trumper.  Alright, so when I started traditional shaving, using my Dovo straight razor, I also started using traditional aftershaves.  The first one I had purchased was Geo F Trumper’s Sandalwood skin food.  I loved it.  I loved the smell, I loved the feeling of it, everything.  So I had saved this one for later in the mix, so that I would have a better sense of what bay rum is about, and be able to give this a really good consideration.  And I love it.

Geo F Trumper’s Bay Rum cologne went on with a very quick cooling and bite, which quickly went away.  I realized a little too late that this is a cologne, and not an aftershave, so I mistakenly applied it as an aftershave, and that may spoil the results here.  However, it did splash on nicely.

As for the smell?  This one is a darker, spicier scent than I have normally encountered here on this journey.  It goes on like a spicy bay rum, mixed with scents of clove and black pepper, a very nice earthy grounded scent.  After a little time all the strong points in the scent fade into a more rounded sweet clove scent.  Clove is an ingredient, so make no mistake that if you are not into clove, then this product might not be for you.  But it is subtle, and I think helps carry the often quick-to-fade scent of bay rum a little longer than normal.  The transition from bay rum to clove is very subtle and I find it very pleasant.

You can order Geo F Trumper’s Bay Rum Cologne on Amazon.com!

(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: Captain’s Choice – Cat O’ Nine Tails Bay Rum

Captain's Choice - Cat O' Nine Tails Bay Rum

Captain’s Choice – Cat O’ Nine Tails Bay Rum

The Wikipedia entry for “Cat O’ Nine Tails” goes thusly:

The cat o’ nine tails, commonly shortened to the cat, is a type of multi-tailed whip that originated as an implement for severe physical punishment…

That seems to be the most appropriate way to start this review.  Are you ready?

Captain’s Choice is an awesome brand.  The owner, Scott, will correspond to you directly, and as I mentioned in a previous review, the quality of his products is second to none.  Hold the bottle of his bay rum up to a light and you’ll see the botanicals floating in the deep amber-colored liquid inside the bottle.  It’s a high-end product from one man and his will to please his customers.

After having loved the small .03oz sample vial of the original bay rum, I ordered a larger sample of that original bay rum and his new awesomeness, Captain’s Choice Cat O’ Nine Tails Bay Rum Aftershave.  And today I tried the latter.

Seeing as I knew this was going to punish any rough spots I decided to play with fire and shave with an agressive razor, my new FaTip open comb, loaded with a fresh Astra blade.  I was very careful with the razor, but as it was an agressive razor, it was an agressive shave.  I felt like I had done due diligence to my face to prep for the wicked-looking label on the aftershave that stared at me from the sink counter.

I washed up, put the razor and brush away, and reached for the devil bottle.  I gave it a good shake to mix up the natural ingredients, poured a hearty splash into my palm, rubbed my hands together, and reached for my face.

Immediately, the burn kicked in.  Now I’ve been using some high-alcohol aftershaves and splashes over the course of this month, and I had an expectation of what I was in for.  Yeah well after about 4-5 seconds I realized that everything I knew was going out the window.  This stuff BURNS.  Yeah no joke.  It burns.  And then just when you expect that it’s gonna stop burning, it doubles in strength.

Now let me cut in here for a second and talk about the fragrance.  As unique as Captain’s Choice original bay rum scent is, this one is unique on another level.  I am no expert in picking out and describing scents, and it’s really hard to pinpoint what is going on here, but I will give it my best shot.

The scent starts really strong with a dark dark citrus note with a bay rum and floral background.  It’s a dark scent, perhaps with a hint of violet in there.  As the initial notes start to fade, the scent warms up a bit, and the floral/violet/rose/spicy notes start speaking a little more loudly.  The scent stays with you, a testament to the luscious ingredients found inside this bottle.

Ok so I was about 10 seconds into the burn of this stuff, and I found that not only was the burn not subsiding, it was almost starting to numb my face a little bit.  Every inch of my skin that this stuff touched was on fire.  Now it wasn’t an “ow” feeling, but more of a “wow” feeling.  I was actually kinda giggling at how strong this stuff was working on my skin.

Mixed with the scent, it was an intensely powerful experience.  There also seems to be a very slight hint of a menthol aspect to this stuff.  I don’t know if it contains menthol, but something in my nose said menthol, and just a slight hint of it.

Back to real time, now that the fire has faded, the scent is still lingering on my face, a lot stronger than many of it’s competitors.  And my skin feels fantastic!  As I mentioned in my review or Captain’s Choice original bay rum, this product is loaded with stuff your skin wants.  Witch Hazel and glycerin are ever present and leave your face feeling smooth as silk.

Captain’s Choice Cat O’ Nine Tails Bay Rum is literally (and I know what literally means) a one-of-a-kind experience for all of your senses.  If what I just described to you sounds enticing, then you know exactly what you have to do.