Review: Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave (Alcohol Based) - Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave – Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave

Good day readers!  Today I bring you yet another offering from a man amongst men.  Douglas Smythe, the Willy Wonka of the shaving world, keeps pumping creation after creation upon us.  Just as soon as we receive a package of his newest creation, he announces another.  But there’s a very special one that caught my eye, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to write about it:’s Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave.

The Packaging!  Just try to convince me that these bottles from HGTAM are not one of the best lookin things in your shave cave.  That little brown apothecary-style bottle with the awesome pirate smiley just begs to be at the front of your array of aftershaves.  (By the way, if you don’t have an “array” of bottles in your shave cave, start with a bottle of this stuff).

The Scent!  Yeah!! This is a dirty, no-holds-barred, kick-you-in-the-face-with-an-awesome-smelling-boot kind of bay rum.  Think Clubman VIBR, mixed with Captain’s Choice.  It’s spicy, it’s warm, it’s a little sharp.  Off the top theres some light citrus notes, a touch of lime and maybe orange but not too strong. And the bay is a little more prominent.  I would also say it’s light on typical bay rum ingredients of cinnamon and clove, if there’s any at all.  I also detect heavier woodier bottom notes, which are hard to identify.  The bottle says there are 10 essential oils.  No wonder I am having a hard time describing the scent.  As a whole, this is definitely a smart bay rum.  But it also succeeds at not smelling like clove, or Christmas potpourri, or any of the negative comparisons I see out there for bay rum.  The scent is strong (it -is- marketed as a cologne/aftershave, so it should be), and stays with you for a long time.  And as a person with sensitive skin, I was worried that the strong scent would translate into itchy skin.  Not even a little, and I’ve been using this every day for a while now.

The Alcohol!  Right on.  This stuff is bracing.  Do you like that alcohol kick in the morning?  Get this stuff now.  To me, it was very reminiscent of Captain’s Choice’s Cat’O’Nine Bay Rum.  You’ll splash it on, and almost instantly your skin will feel the kick.  After about a minute things will calm down and the scent takes over.  It’s a rush that will definitely open up those groggy eyes.  Not uncomfortable, mind you, but more awesomeish.  And there is also a healthy amount of glycerin in this stuff to moisturize your skin after the battle.

Overall, this stuff is one of the best smelling bay rums I have tried.  If you look at HTGAM’s catalog, or have tried any of their other products, you will understand exactly why I call Mr. Smyth the Willy Wonka of the shaving world.  His whimsical nature and uncanny ability to blend scents make for some really fantastic-smelling and great-performing products.

This bay rum is great and holds a prime spot on my overpopulated shave shelf.  And if you happen to not be an alcohol kind of guy, there are alcohol-free options as well.

Long live Douglas Smythe and his factory.

3 thoughts on “Review: Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave (Alcohol Based)

  1. Pingback: Review: Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash | Bay Rum Diaries

    1. CaptainRob

      Hey David! Alright well it has been quite a while since I tried the cat’o’nine, as my sample jar ran out a while ago. But from what I recall, the scents are very similar, both in the deeply spicy range, with Captain’s Choice leaning a little sweet. They also both have very good staying power, where I am still picking up hints of the scent 3-4 hours later. But at that point it’s mostly base notes, with just a subtle suggestion of what made up the full scent profile. The problem is that the starring scents of most bay rums (bay, citrus, etc) are top to middle notes, meaning they will fade fairly quickly, while the base notes, like woodier notes or vanilla notes, stick around the longest. So the best parts of most bay rums are gone by the time you get to work.

      If I could give an advantage to either Cat’o’Nine vs HTGAM, it would be Cat’o’Nine because there is the inclusion of witch hazel, which helps reduce redness and tone the skin. But if you’re looking for moisturizing properties, I highly suggest you look into HTGAM’s Alcohol-free version of their Bay Rum.


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