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.

Review: Mike’s Natural Soaps – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Mike's Natural Soaps - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Mike’s Natural Soaps – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

In my journey through the many shaving products I never knew existed, I have tried a few of the bigger brands of classic shaves.  Truefitt & Hill, Col. Conk, and Taylor of Old Bond Street.  They make great soaps, and have been around for a long time, which is a testament to how great they are.  I also tried Mitchell’s Wool Fat, which contains natural lanolin, which is a wax that comes from sheep skin.  They exude this wax as a protectant, and over a hundred years ago, Mr. Mitchell noticed the softness of wool shearers’ hands, and decided that lanolin might be a perfect ingredient for shaving soap.  Boy was he right.

As I have been reading the shaving forums, I started noticing many mentions of homemade brands of soap, made by avid shavers who fell in love with traditional wetshaving, and the myriad of products available, and decided to make their own.  One of those brands was Mike’s Natural Soaps, which is handmade by, you guessed it, Mike.  Mike lives in Brooklyn, a neighborhood I frequent often.  So I started reading more about Mike’s Natural Soaps.

Mike puts an incredible amount of care into his products.  The ingredients are 100% all-natural, and his formulations have come from much tinkering with the recipe.  One look at the ingredient list and you’ll see that this stuff is meant to LOVE your face, and vise versa.  Included in the list are tallow, glycerin, kokum butter, avocado oil, shea butter, lanolin, coconut oil, kaolin clay, and vitamin E.  The only ingredients I left out?  Distilled water and essential oil.  That, my friends, is love.

I finally realized I had to place an order, and ordered a few samples.  The first one I tried is the bay rum scent, of course!

Some may say that lathering up a lanolin soap is an art form.  Some say that the lather depends on your water.  I typically have no problems lathering up lanolin soap, having previously shaved many times with Mitchell’s Wool Fat.

I took the sample I got from Mike, which is a little sliver about the size of 5 Wrigley gum sticks stuck together, and pressed it into the bottom of my Old Spice mug.  While I showered, I soaked my brush (a Simpson pure badger) and also splashed some hot water onto the top of the soap.

After the shower, gave the brush a few shakes, shaking out most of the water, and started swirling it around in the mug.  I did this for about a minute until it started to get a little thick and tacky.  At this point, I started smelling the fantastic bay rum blend.

Once I was satisfied, I splashed more hot water on my face, dipped the tips of my brush in hot water, and started applying it to my face.  The lather exploded on my face with an excellent creamy yogurt-like texture.  I dipped the tips of the brush in water again, and came back to foam up the lather even more.  I ended up with an incredibly soft and lubricating lather not only on my face, but also loaded to the gills into my brush.

The smell of this soap is just awesome.  Mike’s take on bay rum is unique, and its a dark spicy blend, consisting of bay rum, bergamot, and vanilla.  So the bergamot lends that citrusy-spicy note, and the vanilla balances that with a sweet note.  The resulting blend is a warm, spicy aroma, that goes amazingly well with the entire hot-water wetshaving experience.  I can only sit back and applaud Mike for this excellent take on the bay rum scent.

I did a three-pass shave, using my 1960 Gillette Fatboy with Personna Medical Prep blades, and the lather that originally loaded into the brush was enough for all three passes, with plenty of soap left over at the end to wash my hands and face.  I’m serious, this stuff is a serious latherer.  And you’ll feel the effects of the moisturizers every time water hits your face.  As you’re rinsing, you’ll feel nothing but a super-slick surface, perfect for protecting your skin as you drag a razor across it.  I had my Fatboy adjustable set to 5, which is pretty agressive for me, and while I was a little bit careless on my neck on the last pass, the rest of my face went completely unscathed.

(For the record, the above picture is from a more recent Shave Of The Day, and shows my Weber DLC and Simpsons Duke II best badger brush, and of course, a full tin of the soap)

Overall I had one of the best shaves I’ve had in a long time, and I owe a large part of that to Mike’s Natural Soap.  Awesome.

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.)