Category Archives: Bay Rums

Reviews of bay rum scented shaving products

Review: Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

Elvado MoBay Rum Shaving Soap

I’m a lucky guy.  The parade of products here in the shave den of this creaky old pirate ship is unstoppable.  There seems to be a never-ending supply of soaps, creams, lotions, splashes, and definitely scents.  Even narrowed down to one category, like bay rum, there is a seemingly endless range of variations.  I feel a mixed emotion.  I feel sad for the guy out there that never tried anything else because he likes the one product he uses.  I also feel a bit of jealousy that he found something he loves so much that he doesn’t need to try anything else.  But I think we can all agree that we feel nothing but pity for the guy who gets his lather out of a can.  Yeah, it sucked being that guy.

Well, where was I.  Oh yes!  I’m a lucky guy.  Why?  Because I have yet another bay rum shaving soap to review!  Today, and actually for the last few days, I shaved with Elvado’s MoBay Rum Shaving Soap.  Elvado’s soaps are certified vegan products made with no animal testing.  So you won’t find any tallow here, gents.  However, this is a quality product.  I have been schooled lately on how non-tallow does not mean non-performance.

So lets just dive right in here.  This soap comes in a nice 3.5″ plastic tub that makes it great for loading your brush.  Not too big, not too small.  Actually there’s no such thing as too big.  But there is too small, and this ain’t it.

The scent is just wonderful.  This is yet another new take on the bay rum scent.  As I have said many times in several different reviews, bay rum is one of the best mediums to get inside the crafter’s head.  There is no definitive bay rum scent, so it’s up to the guy sitting at the desk with beakers and test tubes, and little droppers full of essential oils to craft his (or her) definition of “bay rum”.  And this one is great.  It’s seductively spicy, and has a great lime top note.  A classic lime top note jumps out to greet you and then introduces you to the rest of the lineup that is fairly reminiscent of what you would expect from a West Indies Bay Rum.  It’s a great scent that carries through the entire shave and stays with you a little while longer.

The lather is one you would expect from a veggie soap.  I have come to expect a certain consistency with veggie soaps, like a thick lemon meringue type of lather.  Tallow soaps lean to more of a yogurt consistency.  I like a balance between the two in general.  So I have played around with this soap for a few shaves, and found that my best lather came from face-lathering with a boar brush.  I tend to get an uber-thick application of lather that is far more cushioning than I get from my badger brush with this soap.  As for slickness, there is no argument.  This is a very slick soap, and when I get the lather right, I get great shaves.  BBS.  I did notice that the lather seems to be breaking down somewhat by my third pass, but comes back to life with a little refresher on the puck and some water.  This is a thirsty soap, and water does it good.

I did find at the end of my 3-pass shaves that my sensitive skin was starting to tingle a bit.  It’s most likely from the essential oils, because it is well-scented, and the ingredients are so good for your face.  The good news for me was that I also have the aftershave, and this helped calm things down.  I’ll save the AS for another review, as I think it is also a great product, deserving of it’s own entry here in the diaries.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 4
  • Lather Life – 3.5
  • Overall – 4

Review: The American Bay Rum Aftershave Elixir

The American Bay Rum aftershave

The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir

It has been quite a long time since I got back to my roots and reviewed a bay rum aftershave.  While there have been a bay rum soap review here and there, you’d have thought I had lost my way.  Well, my friends, I am back with a new bay rum to tell you about, one that sounds all too familiar, but you most likely haven’t heard of yet:  The American Bay Rum aftershave elixir.

As far as presentation goes, clear out a nice prominent spot on your shave shelf.  Because this is a product that stands out.  Look at that bottle.  We’re talking a classy glass corked bottle that obviously costs the creator more to use, rather than, for instance, a plastic squeeze bottle.  The end result is that I’m proud to have it on display.  The labels are well designed and fit the product perfectly.  Really really well done…

The scent is a fantastic bay rum blend.  For the newcomer, bay rum is tough to categorize, but you know it when you smell it.  There is a lot of wiggle room in how each maker can interpret bay rum.  It’s not stringently defined scent.  So I appreciate it when someone out there takes some liberty to create a unique version of it.  This one is no different, and at the same time is totally unique.

Now there is an initial blast of alcohol.  And that is because there is Isopropyl Alcohol, but also RUM!!  Now that is awesome.  I do love it when bay rum makers include actual rum, even if it’s a splash.  But yes, there is a tinge of the isopropyl when it first hits (you can even let some of it evaporate before hitting your face), but once it’s gone, which is very quickly, the bay rum blend invades your senses.

The scent profile consists of: Pimenta Racemosa Leaves (yes, the primary bay scent is distilled from actual bay leaves), lime, allspice, whole spice, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla.  Now I know some of you out there aren’t that into clove.  I also don’t enjoy when the clove is too dominant.  But here’s the deal: there’s a balance.  Clove is a great scent to use to extend the bay scent.  the Bay of bay rum is a top note, a very short-lived scent.  And clove is similar, but stands out longer.  And cinnamon is similar still, and lasts even longer.  So you put it on, and go through this walkdown.  If the balance of scents is right, no scent should really stick out, but instead you’ll go from a young bay rum, to an adolescent bay rum, to the mature bay rum.  bay, citrus, cinnamon, clove… they all fit in the bay rum mix, but too much of any one can be a turnoff (clove being the prime example).  Luckily, The American Bay Rum is a really really well-blended mix of those.  Honestly, I have had it on for a while now and not one of those scents was too strong above the others.  It’s a great take on bay rum.  To compare, I would say its a more refined, maybe slightly sweeter version of Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island bay rum.

And this stuff feels great on my face with the addition of glycerin in the mix.  And it’s not too much, so my face doesn’t feel tacky, just smooth, with a fantastic scent.

If you are a bay rum kind of guy like me, you really should try this one out.  You’re not only gonna love the scent and the face feel (and the RUM!!), but even the bottle is a great addition to the shave den.  And even the price is in line with other brands in the market.  All-around great stuff!

Review: – Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap - Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap – Bay Rum Synergy Shaving Soap

I am a lucky man.  I do love starting out reviews saying that.  So why am I so lucky this time?  Because had it not been for the off chance of just checking out traditional shaving, I would not have had as good a shave as I did today.  Let me tell you about a moustached man named Douglass Smythe.  Or maybe I should tell you about his website.  Or his Synergy Shaving Soap.

If you’ve been doing any research or reading online on any or the more well-known shaving blogs, you may have come across Douglass and/or his blog, and/or his shaving soap.  As a man amongst pretend-ship-sailing-men, I can tell you without a shred of doubt that Mr. Smythe has created one hell of a product.  I’ve been using this Synergy Shaving soap for a couple weeks now.  And I’ve been wanting to tell you about it, but I’ve been out plundering the wilds of the Caribbean Islands…. That, or my new job’s hours have been keeping me on my toes.  It’s one of the two…

Ok, first things first.  And the first thing is value.  This is now the largest tin of soap in my shave cave.  It’s a massive puck.  8 oz of soap in a wide-mouthed tin that is just fantastic for loading your brush.  And it’s priced so low comparatively, that I can’t think of a soap that offers this good a value.  And it’s not that this stuff isn’t a good performer.  It’s a great performer.

Alright, so I’ve come to discover that Synergy Shaving soap loves water.  And as Douglass has pointed out, it loves hot water.  I actually submerge the entire puck and tin (along with my Duke 2 badger brush) in hot water for a minute before shaving.  By the way, the labels on the tin are vinyl, meaning they won’t fade or crinkle up when they get wet.  Nice touch there, Douglass.

So yes, the hot water really awakens the soap, which responds with an explosion of lather on my brush.  I load the brush until the soap gets tacky, then I move to my mug (I really like using a mug/bowl).  As I said, this stuff loves water, so I add it quite liberally when building the lather, and also between passes.

The smell is fantastic.  It’s a bit strong when you first open up the tin, but as you’re lathering on your face, it really ends up being just a great scent at the right strength.  It remains that way all the way through the shave.  I have had issues in the past with some strongly-scented soaps (like Tabac) causing a problem for my sensitive skin.  I was worried that this soap may give me the itchies, but I am happy to report that my skin loves this stuff!

Performance.  Alright, so here we have another vegan soap.  I have been seeing more and more of these lately, and they have really been giving tallow a run for it’s money.  I’ve been a big tallow soap guy since I started traditional shaving.  But lately I have been reaching a lot more to non-tallow soaps and creams.

So this lather is not a tallow lather.  It appears, when lathered up, to be a little on the fluffier side, rather than a thick-yogurty side.  Adding a little more water brings it closer to that yogurt consistency we look for when building a lather.  Moving the lather to my face, all “this isn’t tallow” worries are instantly quelled.  This lather is amazing.  When lathered on the face, it is very thick, and incredibly slick.  This is a fantastic shaving soap, providing a great cushion for my razor.  It also rinses clean off my face and off my tools.  The lather does need a little refreshing between passes, which I’ve noticed with other veggie soaps, but a little bit of water brings it right back to life.

I’m very impressed with this soap.  And considering it’s size, I will be for a long time.  If you haven’t yet, check out  The soaps are fantastic, but you also should check out Douglass’s blog and podcast if you haven’t already.  When you hear his interviews and read his articles and how-to’s, you’ll see that this is a man who really just wants to make quality shaving products.  Synergy Shaving Soap is a home run.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 4
  • Overall – 4.5

And how silly of me.  I totally forgot to talk about one of the best parts – the natural ingredients, most of which are organic:

Ingredients: Kokum Butter, Organic Mango Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Pumpkin Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Organic Neem Oil, Safflower Oil, Glycerine, Purified Water, Sodium & Potassium Hydroxide,Soy bean protein, Chaulmoogra Oil, Aloe Extract, Maca Root, Yellow Dock Root, Essential Oil

Beat that.

Review: L.A. Shaving Soap Company – Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company - Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company – Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I am a lucky man.  There are so many people in this world using the foam in a can to shave with, people who are literally cheating themselves out of experiencing pure bliss in the morning in the form of traditional shaving.  And one of the most pleasurable aspects of the traditional shave is the old badger brush and shaving soap combo.  And today I am lucky because I have found an amazing soap:  Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap, made by The Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company.  The only thing that John from the LA Shaving Soap Company could have done to better this bay rum experience is deliver it in a pirate ship.  Let me explain.

First off, we’re going to talk scent.  Because this soap’s scent profile is totally unique, and includes a “generous dollop of dark rum”.  [The pirate in me just yo-ho-ho’d.]  I would think that many soap makers might shy away from adding rum to their product, in the worry that it might adversely affect the latherability of the soap.  In this case it did not, but we’ll talk lather later.

The scent blend contains West Indies Bay, Vanilla extract (hell yes), Orange extract,  Balsam Tolu, Clary Sage, Sweet Myrrh, Lemon extract, Anise extract, and Ho Wood esxential oil.  So in essence we have plenty of eye-opening citrus, which is balanced with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla, and slight wafts of floral and woody notes.

Overall the scent comes across similarly to other bay rum soaps (like Mike’s Natural Soaps, and Taconic), but leans in the direction of a spicy and slightly sweet profile.  All in all, it smells awesome in the container, awesome when being whipped into a lather, and awesome on your face.  Not too strong, and not too light.  It’s hard to imagine it getting much better than this.

This soap, which actually is soft and more of a soap/cream combo (often called a croap), is made by a vegan, and as such contains no tallow.  But considering the lather I got from both shaves I have had thus far with this product, you wouldn’t know it.  This is one of the best non-tallow soaps I have shaved with.  The lather was ultra slick and very thick and cushioning.  It lathers up really easily too.  You shouldn’t have any problems at all getting an amazing lather.  Now I have gotten thicker lathers from tallow soap.  But for a non-tallow soap, as I said, this is one of the thickest I have come across.

I did a 3-pass shave.  The lather got better and better and better with each pass too.  Thats one of my favorite aspects of a great soap/cream.

  • Scent – 5
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

Lather Performance gets a 4.5 only because personally I prefer tallow soaps, and the thickness you get from tallow.  But, as I said, this is one of the best-performing non-tallow’s I have tried.

If you want to up your shaving experience, check out the Los Angeles Shaving Company.  Their bay rum is great, and I’m really looking forward to trying out their other scents too.

Review: Taconic Bay Rum Shave Cream

Taconic Bay Rum Shave Cream

Taconic Bay Rum Shave Cream

Here’s what I have come to love about the “bay rum” scent.  It is a vehicle for a brand to express itself.  Unlike more specific scents, like sandalwood, orange, or rose, “bay rum” is completely open to interpretation, and as such the “bay rum” scent differs from one brand to another.  The classics are the classics and probably stick closer to what would be considered the classic barbershop scent.  And then there are newcomers to the shaving software game, who usually produce a completely unique scent.

Let me also mention that lately I have been swooning over tallow-based soaps and creams, and finding non-tallow soaps to be a little lackluster, even when they come from the biggest names in classic shaving soaps and creams.  I mention this because today’s review is of a non-tallow bay-rum-scented cream that I am blown away by:  Taconic Bay Rum Shave Cream.

Let’s talk scent.  This bay rum is unique from all other bay rums I have tried, and I have tried a lot. Scent is a very subjective element to judge.  You might love the scent of X soap, and hate the scent of Y cream.  And the next guy will feel exactly the opposite.  So when I say that this is one of the best takes on bay rum I have ever sampled, you may feel differently.  You’d be wrong, but … well no you wouldn’t be wrong, but I’d ask you to step outside so we could settle the matter like gentlemen.

I can’t seem to find a website for Taconic, so I haven’t found any official description of the scent.  I will give it my best shot though:  On top, it is hard to tell if there is a citrus scent, but if there is I would guess its some variation on orange.  In the middle it has a relatively strong cinnamon note with a slight bay note.  And beneath that would be hard to tell, but I believe there is a sweet note holding down the fort, possibly vanilla.  Overall, it’s probably more of a sweet-cinnamon scent than the classic “bay rum” scent, but personally, I friggin love the smell of this cream.  It actually reminds me somewhat of Juicy Fruit gum.  It smells great in the tub, It smells great in the mug when being lathered, and it smells great while lathered on my face.  It’s simply awesome.  If anything it could be a touch stronger.

Before I go into the lather, let’s talk ingredients.  Taconic’s Bay Rum Shave Cream specializes in using “certified organic” ingredients when they can.  It is a non-tallow soap, so vegetarians will be happy as well.  There are two very interesting ingredients, honey and spiced Jamaican rum.  Yes!  This captain is very pleased.  Overall, the ingredients are mostly natural, certified organic, and great for your face.

Alright lather junkies.  The lather from this non-tallow cream is easily on par, if not better than, many tallow-based soaps I have tried.  I have used this cream 5 days in a row, and I have gotten amazing lathers every single time.  Is it the honey?  Or maybe the rum?  Stearic acid is the top ingredient, and it’s great for lather.  It makes a very creamy lather, and I suspect it’s a big part of the success of this cream.

The lather builds up spectacularly from a small dollop of cream.  It gets better with each pass as well, thickening more and more as you go along.  It’s goes on thick and creamy, providing excellent cushion and slickness, but rinsing cleanly.  Seriously, this lather is amazing.  As always, your mileage may vary, but for me this ranks with the best latherers.  I have had an awesomely smooth shave each time.  If you try this cream and find the lather a little lacking, I would suggest adding either a little more cream, or whipping it a little longer in a mug.  I have not tried face-lathering this cream, but in the future I will try it out.  For now, I have excellent results in the mug.

The only complaint I have about this product is the tub it comes in.  I like to swirl my brush in the tub, and to me this tub is a little on the small side.  A slightly wider tub would allow some play for my brush.  Yup, thats about my only complaint.

While I have yet to try a lot of more well known creams, I would have to say that Taconic’s Bay Rum Shave Cream is my favorite cream at the moment.  I really love this stuff.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

The scent could be a touch stronger, but is still awesome.  And the lather is exceptional for a non-tallow formula.  I really love this stuff, and it’s going to be hard to reach for a different cream to shave with, so I can’t imagine giving it anything less than an overall 5/5.  And if anyone out there knows if this company has a website, leave me a reply below, I would love to check it out.  Thanks!

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: 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: Queen Charlotte Soaps – Cayman Shaving Soap

Queen Charlotte Soaps - Cayman Shaving Soap

Queen Charlotte Soaps – Cayman Shaving Soap

So I received this package of samplers from Queen Charlotte Soaps a while ago, and have only just now gotten around to sampling their bay rum scented shaving soap.  Queen Charlotte Soaps have named their signature bay rum scent “Cayman”.

I shaved with the setup pictured here; a Weber DLC with Personna Medical Prep blades, and used my Simpson Duke II best badger brush.  I’m just getting used to the brush and the water here in the new apartment, and I think I’m really finding the sweet spot with lathering soaps.  So I am really happy that I held out this long to try out QCS’s Cayman, which I’ve been using for two days now.

So here’s how I worked the sample.  I have this Col. Conk mug (also pictured) that I pressed the slice-of-pie-shaped sample into the bottom of.  I made sure the mug and the soap were dry so that it all stuck to the bottom, then used some pressure to spread it around, mostly lining the bottom of the mug.

I prepped the brush under warm water for 45 seconds, enough to get the hairs all wet and loose.  I then shook most of the water out of the brush, but not shaking hard.  Enough to leave a decent amount of water still in the center of the brush.  Then I began loading the brush, which I did for about a minute, adding a few drops of water from my fingertips only once.

I then brought the brush straight to my face and face-lathered for my first pass.  The lather was super-thick and rich, and definitely benefits from back and forth paintbrush style lathering, as opposed to swirling.  This left me with a rich, thick cushion for my first pass.

The lather didn’t quite hold up for other passes tho.  It did stay rich on my face, but weakened slightly by the end of each pass.  Also each pass’s lather was less thick as I went along.  I added a little water to the mug and lathered up for one more fake pass, just to test, and the lather was back again, a little more substantial than the previous pass, so it’s pretty clear that this soap loves water.

The bay rum scent is great.  As you should probably know by now, I love bay rum, and this particular version is pretty much exactly as advertised.  Its complex yet delicate, and spicy.  However I found it a little on the light side.  I would have liked just a little more oomph out of the scent.  I got a good whiff of it while building the lather out of the mug, and also when it was on my face.  Then again, sometimes less is more.  I didn’t find it overly clovey, nor was it a straight up bay rum scent.  There was citrus and spice.  Honestly, I think Queen Charlotte Soaps has a great take on bay rum.  Quite pleasant indeed.

Oh and I should mention, this is an artisan soap company, based in Charlotte, NC (one of my favorite cities), and this tallow soap is LOADED with stuff your face will love, including palm, avocado, castor, and olive oils, and cocoa and shea butters.  And it doesn’t stop there either.  Glycerin, kaolin clay, aloe vera, and Vitamin E round out the intensely good-for-your-skin ingredients.  As I sit here writing this, my face feels not only BBS (baby butt smooth), but also it feels soft and well-conditioned, with no irritation at all.

I had a great shave today.

Review: Mystic Waters Soaps – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Mystic Waters Soaps - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Mystic Waters Soaps – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

This shaving soap is different in several ways.  First off, let’s talk consistency.  It is a very soft soap, with the consistency of perhaps playdough.  So the sample I have was very easy to press into the bottom of my mug.  For a tallow soap, this was a nice change of pace.

Now the scent of this soap is not what I was expecting.  This is quite an off-the-beaten-path take on bay rum.  It is a very fragrant barbershop-style scent, which reminded me of the old-style London scents that come out of Truefitt & Hill.  Rather than sweet, citrusy, and spicy notes, there were manly, floral notes.  It’s a very intriguing and clean scent, perhaps calling in a little of that clean note from Mitchell’s Wool Fat.  In all honesty, I think it might be a little bit too removed from your classic “bay rum” scent for my taste, but that’s not to say it smells bad.  I noticed on the Mystic Waters website that they use fragrance oil rather than a blend of essential oils.  Maybe that is what is different?  I don’t know.

As for the lather, this was my first experience with Mystic Waters Soap, and the lather was a tad disappointing.  I could not get a thick lather on any pass.  However, I just did some searching and found a few how-to videos directly related to Mystic Waters Soaps, and learned a lot.  I’m coming off of a streak of hard soaps, and as such, perhaps didn’t do this quite right.  I have two other samples fo Mystic Waters Soaps, and will do my diligence to give this company a fair shake.  There are several videos, and many message board posts wherein people proclaim their love for this soap and how easily and wonderfully their soaps lather.  Yup, I must have done it wrong.  Stay tuned for more MS sample reviews to see if I can redeem my lathering skills.

This soap is loaded to the gills with great stuff for your face.  Organic shea butter, castor oil, avocado oil, palm oil, glycerin, aloe vera, and on and on and on.  The tallow is rendered from beef suet purchased by the owner from farmer’s market vendor who raises grass fed beef on her local Maryland farm.  This stuff is made with love, and while I didn’t get the best lather, my skin was left feeling fantastic and… loved.

I do want to make a special note that this is yet another small artisan company.  Actually, this is a one woman army, Michelle.  And she reached out personally when I placed my order.  I can’t help but tip my hat and say thank you.  Thus, she will get a fairer shake than other larger companies might get in these diaries.  Thanks Michelle!

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!