Tag Archives: aftershave

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: 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: St. Johns – Bay Rum with Lavender Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns - Bay Rum with Lavender Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns – Bay Rum with Lavender Aftershave Cologne

So after yesterday’s warpath on my neck, I decided to take it really easy today with my shave.  However, my neck was still mad at me, and both passes I did were a little wince inducing.  I deserve that.  Sorry neck.

So I braced myself when I reached for the aftershave, which today was St. John’s Bay Rum with Lavender.  Let me say up front that traditionally I was never a fan of lavender.  I get why it’s a popular scent.  It -is- a nice scent, it’s just not one that I find appealing for me.  Interestingly though, on this current trip, we stayed in a hotel that left a complimentary linen spray.  In essense, it’s a light aromatic spray to spritz on your sheets before going to bed.  This one was scented with lavender.  And though I was hesitant, I actually liked it.  Maybe I’m growing up and my tastes are changing.  Haha I hope so, I’ll be 40 later this year.

Starting with the burn, like I said, I wasn’t thrilled with the shave because I had really done too much yesterday, and my neck was still a little pissed off.  So I came at my neck with the aftershave, bracing for the alcohol kick.  And you know what?  It wasn’t that bad!  I didn’t really talk about the burn with the original St Johns, and perhaps it’s because it’s a gentler aftershave.  I appreciated it this morning, that’s for sure.  It went on cool and then warmed really nicely.  It was a great feeling.

The smell?  I was expecting not being quite into it because it’s lavender-based, but I’ll tell you what, it’s a -hint- of lavender.  Predominantly, this is a bay rum, and smells like bay rum.  However, it had a very subtle hint of lavender when you toss it on your face, and the blend was nothing short of fantastic.  Honestly.  I get nothing for these diaries, so I won’t lie in them.  It went on great, it smelled great (bay rum with just a perfect hint of lavender in the blend).  And as the top notes fade, the bay rum becomes more of a prominent scent, and like the original bay rum, it’s a soft, but manly scent.

This one was a really nice surprise.  Very very nice.

(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 – Double Distilled Bay Rum

Dominica - Double Distilled Bay Rum

Dominica – Double Distilled Bay Rum

Today was the day.  When reading forum posts about bay rums, this brand (and one other that didn’t come in the sampler pack) came up as a top favorite.  So I’ve been holding back, putting other ones to the test to get a good feel for the competition before coming to Dominica.

I had a very good shave today.  No nicks, and a bbs (baby-butt smooth) shave.  Then I reached into my bag of samplers and found the one: Dominica double distilled.  I emptied about two thirds of the sampler (typically been doing this, saving the last bit for a touch-up during the day) and splashed it on my face.  It has a nice cool clean feeling with a noticeable burn.  But, with alcohol as a primary ingredient, I suppose this is a bit expected.

The smell is pure bay rum.  I’ve read other reviewers mentioning a clovey smell, which I can understand, as the classic bay rum scent is similar to a clove scent.  So it goes on with a very strong smell of classic bay rum, perhaps a little sweeter and citrusy rather than clovey.  The initial scents linger a little bit longer than others I have tried, however not very long.  And the scent fades into a warmer traditional bay rum scent.

Compared to other brands, Dominica is quite inexpensive.  You can get a large bottle of the stuff for less than smaller bottles of the other stuff.  So if you want a classic bay rum that will last through many applications, this is the one for you.  Being that you get a lot of bay rum for the price, you can keep a small bottle of it at work to re-apply later in the day.

From my minimal research, it seems that this bay rum does not have any moisturizers in it, just alcohol and bay rum oil, very straight up.  So for those of you wanting or needing moisturizers like me, you might want to look elsewhere.

(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: Taylor of Old Bond Street – Bay Rum Aftershave

Taylor of Old Bond Street - Bay Rum Aftershave

Taylor of Old Bond Street – Bay Rum Aftershave

Ahhh Taylor of Old Bond Street.  These folks are no newcomers to the game.  Their Avocado shaving cream is one of my two favorites (Mitchell’s Wool Fat is the other), and judging by their luxurious shaving cream, I was excited to try out their bay rum.

Taylor of Old Bond Street’s Bay Rum Aftershave went on very cool and did provide some biting feedback to some of the more aggressive blade strokes from my shave.  Yup, this one has more kick to it.

The scent is delicious.  It’s classic bay rum (classic so far as I can tell), with hints of clove and citrus on top.  As the top notes quickly fade, a warmer and spicer bay rum scent pervades, but it’s as gentle as it is spicy.  This is an easygoing scent that doesn’t last all that long (hour to two hours at best), so you may need some touchups throughout the day if you really want to carry the scent with you.

Overall it’s a delicious scent, and a great performing aftershave.  Of note though, is the fact that this comes in a plastic bottle.  Having seen many bay rums that come in either fancy or vintage looking glass bottles, and even one brand that comes in a metal flask, Taylor of Old Bond Street could (and should) do better than plastic.  But they do have a reputation for the quality of their actual products, not so much the packaging, which is somewhat unfortunate.  If the aftershaves are close in quality, I’d -definitely- go for one with better packaging.

(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: Master – Bay Rum Aftershave

Master - Bay Rum Aftershave

Master – Bay Rum Aftershave

Master Bay Rum Aftershave is one of the bay rums in the sampler set that I received that stands apart from the others.  It goes on cool, cooler than many of the others that I tried.  But the cool quickly fades to a slight warming sensation.  The scent also has a warming sensation.  For those that don’t care for the kick in the face after a shave, Master is for you.

As for the scent, it’s seems to have a darker sensation in the nose, reminding me of cinnamon and maybe a Christmas bouquet, with a little bit of honey in the mix.  But the ingredients list include primarily alcohol and bay rum oil.  It also has a powdery feeling to the scent, and it’s quite nice.  The initial sharper tones of the scent fade quickly to a soft aroma that is sweeter and exceptionally pleasant.

Master bay rum also contains glycerin, and has left my face feeling great to the touch.  Silky smooth, with every touch re-awakening the scent around my head.  This is an excellent bay rum and it’s quite understandable why so many people love it.

(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 Aftershave Cologne

St. Johns - Bay Rum Aftershave

St. Johns – Bay Rum Aftershave

St. John’s Bay Rum was one of the well-reviewed bay rums, with a lot of fans on the various shaving forums out there.  So I was excited this morning when I decided that after having tried several brands of bay rum, that today was the day I would crack open the original formula of St. John’s Bay Rum.

This one is labeled a cologne as opposed to an aftershave.  It still goes on nice and cool, but lets talk aroma, which I found delicious!  There is no notes in particular that I could find that really stick out here.  It seems to be a straight up bay rum smell, with no heavy clove or cinnamon top note, but rather more of a sweet woody smell.

I think one word I’d like to use to describe the St John’s experience so far is soft.  The scent is soft, devoid of any pungent or strong perfumy feel.  Seems most bay rums are like this, but St. John’s does seem like a soft, powdery scent while still being fully present.  I think I do sense a little hint of muskyness, which is kind of a first in these bay rum diaries.  It’s not off-putting (I can’t stand the cologne counter at the mall), but more of a hint, one of the many middle notes that shows up soon after the initial bay rum notes start to fade.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a wonderful cologne.

(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 – Bay Rum Aftershave

Captain's Choice - Bay Rum Aftershave

Captain’s Choice – Bay Rum Aftershave

Captain’s Choice Bay Rum Aftershave definitely seems to be one of the top bay rum fan favorites.  And I can understand why!  First, let’s talk burn.  Captain’s Choice is alive!  I had a decent shave with my Merkur 34C Double Edge Safety Razor, but tried to get my neck as close as I can.  Thus I felt I might get punished with the aftershave.  Captain’s Choice went on cool and provides a decent burn.  Not necessarily a stingy burn, but a warm burn.  It felt fantastic, and was an excellent ending to the shave.

Captain’s Choice is not light on the scent either.  I think it comes close to what I would consider a classic bay rum scent, with hints of cinnamon and allspice, all blended perfectly with a citrusy note to top it off.  But yes, this is the bay rum smell.  The initial notes don’t fade too fast either.  As I sit here writing this, I still have quite a lot of this delicious aroma swimming into my nose.  Feels like a thick scent, without being a sticky product.

Captain’s Choice Bay Rum Aftershave is also loaded with the stuff that your skin wants.  Witch Hazel, a natural astringent, is a wonderful toner for your skin.  And glycerin, to make your skin feel smoother than the baby-butt-smooth feeling you’re used to when you shave with a traditional blade.

There is something to be said about the packaging of this rum.  The clear apothecary-style bottle shows off the distinct amber color of this bay rum, and you can even see little bits of the natural ingredients in it.  It’s really made with love, that is beyond obvious.

The owner, Scott, who I have subsequently corresponded with, is a real stand up guy who only a year or two ago decided to try his hand at making his own bay rum.  He uses only the finest natural ingredients, and also sends test samples of new blends to his loyal customers to get feedback.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  You know that the batch of bay rum you’re spashing on your face didn’t come out of a machine, but rather was crafted by hand in the owner’s home.  Oh yeah.

I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Captain’s Choice Bay Rum Aftershave.  It’s a great bay rum, and I’d be happy to have a bottle of it sitting with the best of my shave tools.

(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: Col. Conk – Bay Rum Aftershave Cologne

Col. Conk - Bay Rum Aftershave Cologne

Col. Conk – Bay Rum Aftershave Cologne

Went away this weekend, and I am back with another bay rum diary entry.  Today, I had a great shave, after letting it go for a few days.  Nothing my Gillette Fatboy with Feather blade couldn’t handle.  There were a couple nicks, though, so I had braced myself for a little burn when applying this aftershave.

However, no burn was to be had. Col. Conk’s Bay Rum Aftershave Cologne went on nice and cool and had no discernable burn.  Was that the aftershave or was it my mad shaving skills?  Maybe somewhere in between.

The smell was quite different from the other bay rums I have tried so far, and it is a really interesting scent.  I don’t get clove or cinnamon, two spices I have come to expect from bay rums.  Right away, the top notes have a lively citrus feel to them, and it comes on like a rush.  After a few minutes, the citrus fades and leaves more of a woody incense aroma to it.  It’s earthy and definitely feels like a vintage barbershop scent.

I actually really like this scent the more and more I smell it.  And as it settles it hangs on to that classic barbershop scent with the faintest hint of the bay rum carried through.  This one also lasted a bit longer than other bay rums I have tried.  Overall an excellent and unique experience.

(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.)