Tag Archives: bay rum

Review: Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Ahoy!!!  Well now, it’s certainly been a while!  I bet you all thought my imaginary ship ran aground somewhere off the coast of the Bimini Islands, and that I had now accepted my fate of living in paradise with a constant supply of sun, drinks served in coconuts, and bikini-clad beauties who just love the smell of bay rum.  Well, have I got news for you!  None of that happened.  Because I’m a fake pirate.

What did happen was that I fell in love with a new aftershave:  Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave.  Heard of it?  You have now!  This summer, I used it almost every day.  And for someone who has as immense a collection of bay rums as I do, that’s saying something.  I just can’t find anything wrong about this stuff.  Seriously.

So let’s just dive into the scent, shall we?  As BC says, “each bottle is handcrafted with the finest and purest ingredients”:  allspice, vanilla, bay leaves, cinnamon, clove, and orange.  I know.  I know there are some of you out there that just do not like clove.  If this is a no-go for you, I can understand the sentiment, but just read the rest of this paragraph.  It really doesn’t smell like clove, like, at all.  What I get when I splash this on is a blast of bay rum and orange.  It’s a super warm citrusy scent that has some sweet and spice to it, thanks to the vanilla and —touch— of cinnamon.  The clove seriously blends right into the bay rum note, making it hold out a little longer than bay normally holds for.  The scent is also light and not overpowering.  Almost exactly as strong as it needs to be, with no stingyness for your shaving mistakes.

The other ingredients are water, alcohol, and glycerin.  That’s it.  Just enough alcohol to get by, and enough glycerin to prevent your face from drying out.  My face feels awesome after splashing it on.  And also there are no sulphates, parabens, dyes, toxins, or anything else.  Just the good stuff!

If you like the citrusy side of bay rums, especially if you have a love for orange scents, you really should try this stuff out.  I’m not kidding when I say it’s one of my favorites.

Barberry Coast Bay Rum is available at Amazon, and also Barberry Coast’s website!

Review: Stirling Soap Company – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Stirling Soap Company - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Stirling Soap Company – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I’ve been doing this for a while now, just about two and a half years.  And I really consider it a failure on my part that I have not reviewed this soap yet.  The thing is, I get to try out so many soaps that I hardly have the space anymore to order more!  Well thanks to my lady’s organizational skills, I now have room to load up on more, and one of the first ones I bought was a sampler of 5 scents from this giant in the artisan shaving soap community:  Stirling Soap Company’s Bay Rum Shaving Soap.

Now you knew I had to review their bay rum right?  I mean, c’mon.  It’s almost like my job at this point.  I do have other scents, including grapefruit and Bergamot Lavender, which I’m very excited to try.  But since they do have my namesake, review it I must.  Lest I be tossed off this fake pirate ship along with all my not-really-pirate-like belongings.

Bay Rum.  You get to define yourself when you define a bay rum.  Are you sweet or spicy?  Are you citrusy or woody?  And just what do you think of clove anyway?  All these questions must be answered before you can slap a “bay rum” label on yourself.  And it would help if you were a soap, otherwise you’d be quite a strange person.  So, how does Stirling define bay rum?

Bay West Indies (Pimenta Racemosa) essential oil is blended with Orange, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and a hint of Clove to provide a very complex and masculine aroma.

This is a fantastic straight-forward bay rum.  It’s classic and doesn’t complicate it very much.  The heart of the scent is the orange.  And the nutmeg and cinnamon warm it up so nicely that you’ll just sit there sniffing the puck over and over.  And for those of you who see “clove” and get worried, worry you not.  The clove is only strong enough to draw the bay scent out for a longer period of time.  Bay is a very short-lived scent, and clove is similar enough that if used in the right amount, will not smell clovey at all.  Honestly, when I finally read the scent list above, I was surprised to see clove in there, because it really is just a hint.  An almost imperceptible hint.  All in all it’s a great bay rum that is super pleasant, all the way though your shave until you clean out your brush.

Performance?  Damn.  This stuff performs exceptionally well.  This is a tallow soap, so vegans need not apply.  But if you’re cool with that, then sir, you are in for a treat.  Along with a castor oil base, lanolin, shea butter, and several other skin-loving ingredients, this soap lathers up super thick and rich.

Now I say this with a touch of hesitation, as this soap can sometimes lather up not so great.  But there are plenty of videos out there that discuss the best ways to lather it up.  Myself, I like to go in with a wetter-than-normal-but-not-soaked brush (I’ve been loving my new Da Vinci Uomo 293 silvertip badger brush) and run it over the soap for a while longer than normal, with very light pressure.  You’ll pick up tons of soap molecules.  And I also prefer these days to face lather.  So doing that I get an incredible amount of lather.

This lather is, like I said, really really good.  It’s super slick and it’s thickness really protects the skin.  Your razor will glide right over, taking all the whiskers and leaving your skin in great shape.  And the lather lasts too!  I easily get three passes, each thicker than the last, and have plenty left over in the brush for at least another two passes.  The lather usually shows no signs of thinning out, either.

I really should also mention the price.  For $7.50, you get a 125 gram puck.  You have to put it in your own container because all you get is the puck, but if you’re like me, you have a soap-dedicated cheese grater and containers at the ready, so this is hardly a problem, and the soap, like I said, is fantastic.  So this is some serious value for a little bit of work.

They sell samples of all their scents as well, and man they have a lot of them.  So go check out Stirling Soap Company and check out their selection.  You’ll love it.

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

Review: Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic

Seriously now.  I can’t possibly be coming across in a believable manner anymore considering how many times I’ve started a post by saying how lucky I am.  But here be me, an extremely lucky and extremely fake pirate.  Day after day, I sit here, counting dolphins that are probably hallucinations, hoping against all hope that another amazing bottle will float by my ship.  And once again I strike gold.

Gentlemen, I present to you: Bey Shave Aftershave & Vigorating Skin Tonic.

Do you want a bottle in your shave den, or whatever you want to call your “bathroom”, that harkens back to the days of ye ol’ apothecary?  Whether you do or do not, you’ll friggin love this bottle.  A smallish dark brown apothecary bottle with a tin cap.  I would take a guess and say thats a fine looking Persian gentleman on the front.  Maybe he’s a Turk?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I’m a pirate.  And a damn fake one at that.  What I do know is that this is how aftershaves should be presented.  And the bottle has that little plastic hole thingy that lets you not accidentally pour half of it all over your bathroom sink.  So be a man and throw a few hefty splashes at your palm and slap it on your face.  You’ll make that Persian-ish guy on the bottle proud.

The scent is a deep yet light bay rum.  It’s not at all overwhelming, and its not going to disappear too quickly either.  Its a mix of bay, bergamot, cedar, frankincense, sandalwood, blood orange, myrrh and “locally sourced botanicals”.  Dammit, I just love that list.  And what’s awesome is that all of those scents are present but not like a hammer is present.  I could totally tell that the frankincense was there, but it’s not like it smells like frankincense.  It smells woody and citrusy.  Sharp and smart.  It’s a deeply rounded and well-assembled scent.  And it’s intentionally not strong, as per the maker’s intentions when he set out to create it.  And don’t even get me started on “organically sourced botanicals”.  Yes.  I’m just going to keep saying “yes”.  Yes.

And on top of that the first two ingredients are organic witch hazel and rum!  Yes!  Now there’s not a whole lot of bay rums out there with rum in it.  But it’s not too heavy handed.  The maker intended to keep the alcohol content low.  So it’s not an alcohol blast, but rather a nod.  And by starting off with witch hazel, this stuff does what an aftershave is supposed to do: treat your skin well.  (and smell awesome).  (and look good on your shelf).  (Yes).

And, as if you didn’t need more reasons to love this stuff, each batch of this elixir is handmade and takes a full month to develop.  I am absolutely sold.

Do yourself a favor and visit beyshave.com, do some reading, and then just try to avoid the “order now” button.  Just try.

All fake-pirate-kidding aside, this stuff is fantastic, and screams quality, in the most gentlemanly way possible.  I am thrilled to have it in my top aftershave rotation.  Thank you, Bey Shave, for making such an excellent product.

Review: Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a lucky guy.  I’m pretty sure I start most of my reviews that way.  Well, the thing is, it gets proven to me all the time.  Want more proof?  Anne Bonny.  Oh yeah.  She was a fiery redheaded Irish lass who at a very young age stole a pirate ship and became a Pirate of the Caribbean.  She also happens to be an amazing shaving soap.  And both are on my shaving shelf.  No, wait, check that.  Only one is.  The other, well no one quite knows what happened to her (according to Wikipedia at least).  So since I can’t give you that much info on the pirate, I’ll tell you what I know about Dr Jon’s Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap.

Oh man oh man.  So much good stuff to talk about here.  So lets start with how it started with me.  The packaging is very similar to HTGAM/Phoenix, a low, wide metal tin.  The labeling is very lovely, as you can see in the image above, with really well drawn graphics on waterproof vinyl stickers.

The scent is exactly what the packaging says it is.  A very different take on bay rum.  It’s a mix of West Indies Bay, dark rum, lime, and black tea.  Black tea?  That is a first for me in bay rums.  As a whole, the scent is totally unique.  Its a spicy citrucy scent and the black tea pulls it in a new direction.  It may not be for everyone, but I am a fan of tea-scented shaving products (like eShave’s white tea shaving cream).  If anything, the tea is a little on the strong side and pulls this soap just to the edge of “bay rum”.  But it is still a bay rum, and I like it.

The soap itself is very soft, almost like Al’s Shaving Soaps.  Even when loading with a soft badger brush, you can move the soap around a little.  One of the softest soaps I have encountered, and you could probably get away with calling this a croap (halfway between a cream and a soap).

The performance took me a few tries to get down.  I tried several combinations between my boar and badger brush, and between bowl and face lathering.  In the end, face lathering with my badger brush (Simpsons Duke 2) was hands down the champion.  And wow does this stuff lather well.  The trick was to leave a lot of water in the brush, load it up nice and good on the supersoft puck, and then lather right on your face.  Using a decent back-and-forth scrubbing motion, I got one of the best lathers I’ve gotten in months, literally.  Super cushioning and very slick.  And it lasted three passes with plenty to spare, and all without losing any strength.

BBS shave with no irritation and no nicks either.  And its bay rum, but with tea.  Really well done!

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

 

Review: Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash

I’m a lucky guy.  Today I am lucky for so many reasons it’s almost unfair.  First of all, this month marks the TWO YEAR anniversary of the Bay Rum Diaries.  I love that I get to do this.  I love that I get to try more aftershaves, soaps, and creams than most guys even knew existed.  And being able to review them is such an honor.

I have been away for a while.  First came a business trip to India for most of December (I did pick up a few reviewable shaving products), and then I had a couple other personal things that kept me away.  But I am back, and man do I have a great product to tell you about today: Gilbert Henry Bay Rum Aftershave Splash.  Let’s just get right to this shall we?

I have a few products from Gilbert Henry that I am going to be reviewing, but today I chosen the Bay Rum Aftershave Splash as a tribute to how I started this blog exactly two years ago.  What got this all started was a sampler of bay rum aftershaves that I ordered online.  This splash brought me right back to those exciting days, when bay rum was a new thing to me, and each day led to a discovery of just how wide-ranging the “bay rum” scent could be.  I soon discovered that bay rum is a great vehicle to show the maker’s creativity.  Is it going to be citrusy?  Is it going to be woodsy?  How about sweet or smoky?  Bright or dark?  Since it’s not a perfectly defined scent, its completely open to interpretation and that is really exciting when you’re trying one out for the first time.

This splash comes in an apothecary bottle, with some nice modern design on the outside.  And its clear you need to give this stuff a good shake as there are natural elements in it that will settle.  I like that.  It tells me this stuff has got guts.

The splash burns a little when it hits your face, as it is an alcohol-based splash.  But it’s not quite as much a sting as, say HTGAM or Captain’s Choice Cat-O-Nine Tails.  Just a nice little smack in the face.  Let’s call it an admonishment for forgetting to take your time with your shave.

The scent starts really spicy, with a woody backdrop to it.  And there is a slight hint of citrus and a warm clove note as well.  Clove is interesting, because some people love it and some hate it.  In bay rum, it is very close to the the bay scent, and acts to draw out that aspect of the scent profile.  That’s why I am one who does not mind the clove addition to any bay rum.  But whats really nice about this scent is that it evolves as your morning goes on.  Bay rums don’t last too long, and this one is not much different, but while it is there, it is really nice.  It’s not a beat-you-over-the-head bay rum.  It’s warm and mellow, and I do think that mostly due to the sandalwood backdrop.  It’s really nice.

And a nice bonus to this bay rum is the additional ingredients like Sunflower seed oil, which moisturizes and protects without being greasy.  Theres also Provitamin B5 and Vitamin E, which help soften and heal the skin after the war it just went through with your razor, you brute.  I must say, I have been using this product for a few days now, and I actually do notice how soft the skin feels and how it’s not dry or greasy, it’s just right.  I’m quite impressed.

Overall, if you’re a bay rum fan, you should try this stuff out.  It’s really a nice, warm, slightly woody scent, that gives your face a really nice treatment to start your day with.

Keep an eye here on the diaries, as I will have more Gilbert Henry reviews coming soon.  You would be amazed at how many products I have sitting around here that still need to be reviewed.  Must get to work on them.  Thanks guys!

Review: HowToGrowAMoustache.com Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave (Alcohol Based)

HGTAM.com - Alcohol-Based Bay Rum Cologne/Aftershave

HGTAM.com – 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: HowToGrowAMoustache.com’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.

Review: Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash - Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Ahh the life of a fake pirate is good.  There’s nothing like pretending to be on an old pirate ship, completely not at sea, nor smelling the salty air.  I also am very lucky because don’t have to pay attention to the upkeep of our cannons, mainly due to the fact that I don’t have any.  But what I do have is this incredible aftershave on my face that makes me think that indeed I am sailing the seas in search of rum, women, and booty.  Often the latter two are one in the same.

Today’s smell is one I often wear.  Barrister & Mann’s Kyovu Aftershave Splash in Bay Rum.  Kyovu comes in three scents:  Bay Rum, Seville (the scent of which I have already given a tremendous amount of love), and Cheshire, which is a lovely patchouli-based scent.  But this bay rum.  Yeah, it’s awesome.  Yet another take on bay rum that is just outrageously good.

First off, it’s alcohol free.  So this should reside right at the front line of your “My skin is a bit irritated today” aftershaves.  And for a splash, this has a lot of botanical ingredients that make this feel like you just put on a balm.  It starts out with two of the best ingredients for aftershaves:  witch hazel and aloe.  Awesome.  And then there are a half dozen or so botanicals, like lavender water, willow bark extract, Qinoa extract, cucumber water…  I could go on.  The ingredients list is very large, and for the most part they are not the hard-to-pronounce chemicals.  It’s just a large list of botanicals.  Really really awesome.  And it definitely feels that way when you put it on.  Ingredients-wise, I friggin love this stuff.  One special ingredient is panthenol, a powerful redness reducer and moisturizer.  And yes, it does reduce redness, which can come in handy considering how often you shred your neck with that blade.  Easy son…

As for the scent.  Here we have a really nice take on bay rum.  Luckily the maker of this stuff lists out his bay rum scent profile:

a rich, spicy blend of West Indie Bay oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Styrax Benzoin (a warm, woody vanilla scent) and a touch of Cinnamon

Let me tell you something… That is a really great blend.  No clove, and no christmas potpourri worries here.  Strait up bay with that orange/cinnamon scent.  Now the benzoin, which you don’t see too often, is a damn-near perfect ingredient for this profile.  That woody/vanilla base is just right up my alley for what I like in a bay rum.  And it’s something I’m going to look for in future bay rum purchases.  The combination is a really spicy warm sweet bay rum.  Really really awesome stuff.

And let me tell you something.  I have all three scents.  You really should at least order a sample of this Kyovu stuff.  I feel strongly that you will love it.  If bay rum is not your thing, then don’t even think twice about trying the Seville scent.  I can’t get enough.

Review: BebeLush Bay Rum Shaving Soap (plus a discount!)

BebeLush - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

BebeLush – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I’ll say it again:  I am a lucky guy.  I used to shave in the shower with a vibrating cartridge razor and no shaving cream.  Yup.  Just used the natural oils on my face and rinsed.  I also used to get a lot of pimples and irritation, and also hated shaving.  Yeah.  I used to be that guy.  Then luckily I stumbled upon traditional shaving and now I can’t wait to shave.  And oh man did I have a good shave today (and yesterday actually).  For the past couple days I have had the distinct pleasure of shaving with BebeLush’s Bay Rum Shaving soap.

Let’s talk scent, as this is a bay rum.  I’ve been saying it for a while in reviews of bay rum products that the “bay rum” scent is kind of a conduit to a soap maker’s soul.  What does that soap maker think bay rum smells like?  Should it be citrus-heavy, and if so, what citrus?  Should it be spicy?  Are we going to use clove?  How about sweet/spicy bottom notes like vanilla, or cinnamon?  So many ways to interpret bay rum and so many people like different things that bay rum really lets us know a lot about the maker…

Well the good folks behind BebeLush are orangetastic!  There are three scent profiles in their Bay Rum:  Pimenta Racemosa (bay), Five Fold Sweet Orange (oh yes), and clove.  I know I have readers who don’t like clove, but just hear me out.

This soap smells overly of a sweet/spicy orange scent.  And just under the orange hood lies a perfectly balanced blend of the bay and clove scents.  They are almost imperceptible under that deliciously dark orange scent that you would never know they were there, however you would definitely notice if they went missing.  And you would be sad about it, because this trifecta smells awesome.  From the second you open the tin to the moment you walk out of your shave cave.  While this does lean more towards a spicy orange than your traditional bay rum, it still smells great and if you’re a bay rum and/or a citrus fan you’ll absolutely love it.

The lather is no less stellar.  This stuff whips up super easily into a really great lather.  This lather is not as tacky as some lathers I have tried recently, but it is also no lemon meringue either.  I have bowl-lathered and face-lathered, both with a boar brush (Semogue SOC cherry wood) and a badger brush (Simpsons Duke II), and have gotten excellent results each time.  The lather is slick, thick, and cushiony, all while being light and non-tacky.  And it really lasts too, I had plenty of excellent lather still left after a full three-pass shave.  No irritation, no weepers, and it left me with a damn fine shave.

The ingredients list is also highly deserving of some mention as it is loaded with stuff that loves your face:  another trifecta of shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter.  And its colored naturally with chlorophyll.  Really a unique soap that lathers up far easier and better than you might expect.

And oh yeah, that discount!  As if all of this wasn’t good enough (and it is!), the folks at BebeLush have provided the readers of this review with a huge discount (one third) off the full retail price of their bay rum soap.  Just follow THIS LINK for instructions on how to redeem your discount.  Now you have absolutely no excuse.

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

Review: Wickham Soap Co. Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Wickham Soap Co - Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Wickham Soap Co – Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Ahh yes!  A bay rum soap from across the pond!  There have been many American artisan soap makers that have graced these pages with their awesome wares, and I am extremely pleased to finally have a new artisan soap from England to bring to you, my fine readers:  Wickham Soap Company’s Super Smooth Shaving Soap.

What I have been shaving with for several days now is called Super Smooth, and aye, that it is.  First of all, it’s super soft!!  One of the softest soaps I have tried, I might add.  Definitely one of the top candidates for being called a “croap”, somewhere between a cream and a soap.  This made it very easy to take it out of the sampler container and move it to one of my pyrex sample bowls, so that I can easily attack it with my badger brush.

While loading, I notice almost every time that the suds I am building up remain a little on the wetter side, more wet than I am used to seeing when loading the brush.  But, I have learned to have no fear at this stage.  Whether you face lather or bowl/mug lather, you will end up building an incredibly rich and slick lather.

This lather is one of the slickest I have come across.  I hope I don’t say that too often, and I probably do, but honestly, this stuff is just about as slick as it gets.  Even after the rinse, I am reminded of the incredible slickness of Mitchell’s Wool Fat, however, without the lanolin.  So it goes without saying that with all the many passes I have had with this soap (about three shaves with three passes per shave), I have not nicked myself once.  I’m pretty skilled, but a 100% perfect no-nick shave is not that common.  It really helps to have a soap this slick..

You also get a great deal of lather with very little brush loading.  I still haven’t learned that I don’t need to load the brush that much to get enough lather for at least six passes.  And the lather is very stable and would last all six if I was silly enough to go that far.

The scent is on the lighter side.  And does seem to have a note of clove in there.  And I know there are those of you out there that love bay rum but hate cloves, but I have to say I believe this scent is closing in on what I feel the traditional bay rum scent is all about.  Personally I think it is great.  And while it’s a little light compared to some of the other soaps I have been using lately (How To Grow A Moustache, Barrister & Mann, Al’s Shaving Products), it’s also made with sensitive skin in mind, so as someone with sensitive skin, I really appreciate it.  And the scent is present throughout the shave while not being overbearing.

All in all I am really impressed with this soap, and all my UK/Euro readers who don’t like to pay those high shipping charges from US->UK should really check into the Wickham Soap Co.  And to my US readers, now you have an artisan soap from England to look into!

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

For the curious, I used my Weber DLC razor with a Gillette 7o’clock sharpedge razor (those two work brilliantly together).

Review: Al’s Shaving Products – Calypso Shaving Cream

Als Shaving Products - Calypso Shaving Cream

Als Shaving Products – Calypso Shaving Cream

If you’re reading this, then I have no doubt you’ve heard of Al’s Shaving Products.  They’ve been around for a while, and the big guns in the shaving world, folks like Mark H. (Mantic59), and Michael Ham (LeisureGuy) have given them great reviews.  So who am I to judge?  I figured it was time to find out.

I ordered a sample pack from Al’s website and it arrived fairly quickly.  In the sample pack was an assortment of 7 small tins with creams in it.  They are all very interesting and very pleasant scents.  Highlights for me include Goodfellas, Al’s take on barbershop, Calabria, a citrusy-musky treat for the senses, and of course, Calypso, which is Al’s take on bay rum.

Let’s talk scent.  Here is how Al describes it on his website:

Calypso can be described as cool, refreshing, bracing. There is also a warm, friendly, honest feel to this fragrance and one that is extremely natural. On top of this, there is also, strangely, a shadowy, deep, mysterious, spicy quality. The scent itself may be relatively simple but its impression is complex

Indeed!  It is a very warm take on bay rum.  And it seems to be built more on the middle and base notes, so you get a lot more of the spicier, sweeter, and more complex side of bay rum.  Another thing to note is that once you get water involved the scent opens up, in the same way a great scotch will often open up a little after adding a splash of water to it.  Really nice indeed.  And the scent is quite present throughout the shave.  It’s not light in any sense but also not strong enough to anger my sensitive skin.  A very nice balance.

As for the lather, this does produce as advertised.  It is often referred to as the bomb because very little of the product is needed to achieve the explosion of lather you will get when lathering this up.  Seriously, I used a small amount of cream, and after a 3-pass shave I squeezed out my brush and scooped the leftovers from my mug and had a tennis-ball sized dollop of lather in my hand.

As for the performance, this is a very slick lather.  Not as cushioning as, say, Taylor of Old Bond Street’s cream, but where it might lack in cushion, it makes up for in slickness.  And let me just say that Taylor of Old Bond Street is so good at being cushioning, that it’s almost unfair to throw this comparison around.  As for the lather life, it did feel slightly thinner on the 3rd pass, but still provided an ultra-slick layer of glide for my razor (a Merkur Futur set on 1 for the last pass).

The price for a tub of Al’s is a little higher, but the soap is a little more dense, and you also need less of it to get the same, or more, lather out of it.  It really is as advertised, a lathering beast!  A very excellent-smelling lathering beast.

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