Tag Archives: lime

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: Castle Forbes – Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Castle Forbes - Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Castle Forbes – Lime Oil Shaving Cream

Yo Ho!!  I have travelled around the US, visiting almost every state, and I am back, freshly shaved, and ready for some reviews!  As I said in my last post announcing my trip, I was hoping to write a couple reviews and articles.  As it turned out, my time was extremely limited, so I was not able to write a single lick.  My apologies to all of you who were holding your breath: you may now exhale…

So first up in my line of reviews-to-be-written:  Castle Forbes Lime Oil Shaving Cream.  This shaving cream is a virtual juggernaut in the shaving forums.  People love this shaving cream.  It’s consistently well-reviewed, and it’s price tag suggests superior quality.  Well, as far as I am concerned, this is my proof of Rule #1 in the shaving world:  YMMV (your mileage may vary).  I have tried and tried and tried but I cannot seem to get this stuff to like me.  Let me explain.

Before I get into what I don’t like with this cream, let’s talk about what I do like.  Lime.  Of all the lime-scented products I have tried, this one is probably the sweetest.  I don’t know if it’s pure lime essential oil (the product’s name suggests that it is), but this stuff smells exactly like a lime Lifesaver candy.  It doesn’t get any more lime candy than this stuff.  I have a hesitation to use the word “candy” because I don’t want to come across like this stuff is childish or whatever, but honestly it sure does smell like lime candy.  Me personally, I like candy, so the scent is delicious.  But it’s also pretty simplistic.  After having tried so many complex versions of lime (like Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave, or Truefitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes Shaving Cream), I find myself wanting a little hint of spice somewhere in the mix.  Regardless, if you like lime, you’ll love the smell of this stuff.  And the lime lasts, too.  It stayed with my shave the entire way through.

Alright, the lather.  So I’ve tried this stuff four to five times now, and I cannot get lather of the quality that I get from giants like Taylor of Old Bond Street or Truefitt & Hill.  Just can’t do it.  And I’ve gone through message board posts, Amazon.com reviews.. You name it, I have tried it.  Face lathering, mug lathering.  Use the brush to sweep out cream from the container, or put a pea-sized dab on my brush and then lather.  Too much water, too little water, and in between.

On a consistent basis I get a lather that is “good” when it comes to slickness and “ok” when it comes to cushion.  I have a hard time getting a thick layer of lather to stay on my face.  (I use a Simpson’s Duke 2 Best Badger brush).  The lather seems to be a bit better on my second pass, but seems to be failing by my third pass.  Don’t get me wrong, the lather is passable.  I had a very good shave today.  But I believe I may be somewhat spoiled by the amazing lathers I have gotten out of other creams and tallow soaps.

I also cannot honestly finish this review without mentioning one ingredient in this cream:  Triethanolamine.  Triethanolamine as been shown to be a toxin with possible links to cancer.  Now, I’m sure their customers are not dropping like flies, but I don’t understand why they have not removed this ingredient and substituted it with something else.  It’s possible that the amount is so negligent that there isn’t a concern, but it’s there.

So that is my feeling about Castle Forbes Lime Oil Shaving Cream.  It’s got a great lime scent, and has some decent slickness, but I feel the lather is not as great as some other brands out there.  It also has a hefty price tag, but that is balanced by the fact that you get a very decent amount of shaving cream.  This tub will last you a long time for sure.

  • Scent – 4
  • Lather Performance – 3.5
  • Lather Life – 3
  • Overall – 3.5

By the way, if you want to scold me for technique or if you want to tell me how you get a great lather from Castle Forbes Lime, or even if you want to agree with me so I don’t feel so left out, just post a comment below and let me know!  Thanks for reading 🙂

Review: Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave

Captains Choice - Lime Aftershave

Captains Choice – Lime Aftershave

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when the box arrived yesterday, containing a brand new bottle of the brand new fragrance from one of my favorite artisan aftershave makers: Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave.  I have previously reviewed their Bay Rum and Cat ‘O Nine Tails aftershaves and loved them both.  I sadly missed the trials, but whats good is that I finally have a bottle of the goods.

So I had a really smooth shave today.  Of course, my neck is a bitch to shave, really thin skin and sideways grain make for a real shred-fest if I’m not careful.  Today I was mostly careful.  But I had really good help.  Here was my setup:

The Neutrogena is one of my secret weapons.  I think I’ll do a review of it one day, because it’s a great toner for right after shaving.  I don’t need to say much about the Art of Shaving Lavender Soap.  I’m lucky in that I have one of the older formula tallow soap pucks.  Oh yeah…

So, like I said I did nick myself a couple times on the neck.  Nothing bad, just a couple weepers there, which was not bad news because I could now test the burn a little bit of this aftershave.

So I grabbed the bottle.  The bottle is the new packaging from Captain’s Choice.  It now comes in a nice brown glass bottle, to extend the life of the aftershave inside.  The new labeling is also really nice, and looks fantastic on my shave shelf.  Once you unscrew the plastic top you see the reducer, the little piece of plastic that makes a very narrow hole, so that you can effectively “splash” the aftershave into your hand without having to worry about half the bottle coming out.

The ingredient list is simple.  Grain alcohol, Witch Hazel, Essential Oils and extracts, and glycerin.  Each one comes into play in perfect harmony with the others.

The alcohol burn is not so bad, on the milder side.  I think this is in part due to the Witch Hazel and the glycerin.  The witch hazel is just fantastic for your skin.  To have this balancing act between alcohol and witch hazel is in my mind what takes an aftershave to the next level.  Glycerin is included in a small yet perfect amount.  Its just enough to make your skin feel moisturized without feeling sticky.  As I write this, my face really does feel not only baby-butt-smooth, but soft and moisturized.

The scent is a unique and fantastic take on lime.  It’s a deep plunge into lime.  Sweet and spicy, but not too sweet, and honestly not too spicy either.  The smell is strong and at the same time not too strong.  But there’s something about it’s depth that carries out the lime scent longer than other citrus scents I have tried.  It doesn’t last too long.  I’m about a half hour since using it and I can still faintly smell it on my hands.  But it does last longer than, for instance, Geo F Trumper’s Extract of Limes Skin Food.  Lime, as well as other citrus scents, is a top note, and as such as a strong entrance, but last only a short time.  So bravo to Captain’s Choice for extending the lime scent probably as long as they could.  It made for a great shave.

I’m really excited to have Captain’s Choice Lime Aftershave on my shave shelf, and I think you’ll feel the same with either Lime, or even their Bay Rum or Cat ‘O Nine Tails.  Excellent products, all of them.

Review: Truefitt & Hill – West Indian Lime Shaving Cream

Truefitt & Hill - West Indian Limes Shaving Cream

Truefitt & Hill – West Indian Limes Shaving Cream

As some of you may know, I have had samplers of several of Truefitt & Hill creams sitting around for a while, waiting for me to get over the hesitation I have of trying them out.  It’s partly because I am not sure about the scent when I sniff the sampler, and partially because of the fact that so many people love this company’s products, that I feel too small to be a reviewer.

But I am over it.  And today, I shaved with Truefitt & Hill West Indian Lime Shaving Cream.  And it was awesome.

Let’s start with the lather performance.  I have been spoiled a bit lately by tallow soaps and they have set a very high bar for me when it comes to slickness and cushion.  T&H’s West Indian Lime Shaving Cream is not a tallow-based cream, so as such it’s not quite what one would find in a tallow counterpart.  But, Truefitt & Hill does not disappoint.

The lather was very thick for a cream.  I took the time to whip it up really good, and got a lot of cusion and some decent slickness.  It went on thick on my beard, and allowed the razor to do exactly what it needed to do.

As for the lather life, I feel it felt just slightly short.  While in the mug, the lather got better and better with each pass, with easily enough lather for 5 or 6 passes.  However, I found the lather was starting to die on my face while I was performing each pass.  So If I started shaving my neck, by the time I got to my moustache, I found the lather was thinning and needed a little touchup.

As for the scent, it is delicious limes.  Now looking at Truefitt & Hill’s description, you will find it contains notes of lemon, lime, and other citrus scents.  I totally get that.  Before I read that I did pick up a slight hint of orange, and felt overall that it was a citrus scent that was a little bit of a darker lime.  Now lime, as everyone knows, is a zingy citrus scent.  Very acidic, sharp, and usually lasts a very short time.  I think this is a brilliant take on the lime scent.  It’s rounded down a little with the other citrus scents, and I wouldn’t doubt that there are other deeper fragrance notes buried underneath the top citrus notes to draw out the scent a little more.  I can’t say it’s my favorite lime scented product, but I can say it’s a very unique and good one.

I shaved with my usual setup:  Weber DLC with a brand new Personna Medical Prep razor blade.  I finished with Thayer’s Rose Witch Hazel, and Geo F Trumper’s Extract of Limes Skin Food.  BBS (baby-butt smooth) shave with only one weeper from a careless move on my neck 😉

So for Truefitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes Shaving Cream:

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

Review: WM. Neumann & Co. – Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co - Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co – Lime & Mint Rum Aftershave

WM. Neumann & Co. are an awesome company for shaving products.  They are the quintessential “old-timey” type of company, whose roots trace directly to the early-1900’s  dusty apothecary type of place where you would get your snake oils and candy sticks.  The recipes of their products come right out of WM. Neumann’s own notes, which were handed down through the family.

The Lime & Mint scent sounded intriguing to me so after today’s shave, which was a little rushed, admittedly, I knew I’d be in for a treat.

They say on their own website “it stings like the dickens”.  Yes, it does, but its not too bad.  The combination of the sting and the smell are kind of like that dual sensation thing that pleases your soul.  Like the sweet vs salty of a chocolate covered pretzel.  It was a sensation that totally wakes you up.

The lime is a darker lime scent.  Definitely lime, but a dusty, manly lime.  And the mint is really intriguing here adding a certain twang to the lime scent, and adding to the good-morning-ness of this aftershave.  And as I am going on here, the smell is getting more and more delicious.

This, as in all of their products, is loaded with natural ingredients that are great for your skin.  Stuff to sooth irritation and moisturize.  Astringents and nourishing ingredients too.  And tea tree oil to fight bacteria and stop and infections on the parts where you were sloppy with the razor.

I’m a bay rum kind of guy, so I can’t say this would be an everyday aftershave for me.  And if I was feeling lime, I’d probably grab a bay rum & lime combo first.  That being said, if you are a fan of lime, you do have to give this a shot.  It stands apart, and is a top-notch quality product.

Review: Geo F Trumper – Limes Shaving Cream

Geo F Trumper - Limes Shaving Cream

Geo F Trumper – Limes Shaving Cream

Oh Geo F Trumper, you devil you.  You have to go make me fall in love with you again.  And again… So next in my review line was Geo F Trumper’s Limes Shaving Cream.  It’s part of a sample pack I ordered from them a month or so ago.

Let me just say right off the bat that these creams from Geo F Trumper lather up spectacularly.  People say to use an almond-sized dollop for a cream, but I used a pea-sized dollop and had enough thick, rich lather for at least 6 passes.  I’m really not kidding.  YMMV (your mileage may vary) of course, and it depends on how good you lather, but it didn’t take much effort (or water!) to turn that pea sized dollop into a mountain of awesome.

The scent is interesting.  You see, I also use GFT’s Extract of Limes skin food, which to me has more of a sweet lime scent.  So I was expecting this sweet aroma from the lather, but that’s not what I got.  I got more of a spicier lime, kind of that London-esque scent, more like the old man barbershop old spice kind of note to it.  Those of you who have used Truefitt & Hill products will know what I am talking about.  It was not unpleasant by any means, actually it was quite nice.  Clean and refreshing.  But the lime is dominant, just with that spicy background to it.

The lather provided an amazing cushion for my razor, and rinsed off easily off of both the razor and my face.  I love a thick rich lather that also washes off easily.  No gunking on the blade, and no sticking to my face.  And it doesn’t feel like it’s caking up in my razor while im shaving.  It’s just a great lather.

Overall, I am just as happy with Geo F Trumper’s Limes shaving cream as I am with their rose shaving cream.  And I have four more samples of their creams to go through, so do come back!

You can order Geo F Trumper’s Limes Shaving Cream on Amazon.com!

Review: Queen Charlotte Soaps – Key Lime Shaving Soap

Queen Charlotte Soaps - Key Lime Shaving Soap

Queen Charlotte Soaps – Key Lime Shaving Soap

I think I’m a really lucky guy.  I spent many years shaving in the shower with a 4 or 5 blade vibrating cartridge razor, not using any shaving cream because I felt my oily face did enough of the lubrication.  And I always had razor bumps on my face, and lots of nicks, and still not anywhere near a bbs (baby butt smooth) shave.  And in prep for Movember 2012, I started really digging into the vast world of traditional wetshaving.  I’m really lucky because I showed up to this world at a damn good time.

There are so many artisan, homemade startup companies selling really, and I mean really fantastic products.  Yes, the classics are the classics, and they are still around for a reason, and I won’t deny them their greatness.  But these newcomers really bring some awesomeness to the table.  Case in point?  Queen Charlotte Soaps.

I love Charlotte.  I’m in a rock band that tours around the US very frequently.  And Charlotte, NC is one of our sweet spots.  We have a lot of fans, and even more friends, in Charlotte, and have had for years now.  And as I have been browsing on the shaving forums, I keep seeing the initials “QCS” come up over and over again.  Then came a name, Queen Charlotte Soaps.  What?  Someone in one of my favorite cities is making something that I am now obsessed with and they’re doing a great job of it?  That’s when I ordered some samples.  And I can’t wait to tell you about them.

My first sample to try was their Key Lime shaving soap.  As I am a newbie to wetshaving, I am also a newbie to key lime.  My girlfriend, who is starting to get a little tired of hearing about shaving (I’m sure I’m not the only one, right gents), got me to try key lime pie for the first time a couple of years ago.  What the hell have I been thinking not trying it?  It’s now my favorite desert.  Ok, personal story over.

I crushed the sample of key lime soap into the bottom of my old spice mug, and I could already smell the lime scent jumping out of the mug.  As I started loading my brush, the smell started really filling the air around me.  But then I lathered with it, and there it is, full blossom on my face and in my nose, the gorgeous scent of key lime.  Now I have tried several lime-scented products from shaving creams to aftershaves to skin food.  This scent was unique in that it was not too sweet and not a dark lime smell.  Some of those products smell like lime jello.  Some smell like lime jellybeans.  And some smell like a dirty spicy lime.  Queen Charlotte’s Key Lime is a light, bouncy, smart kind of lime scent, definitely not sweet, but not unsweet, and not a heavy smell.  I really really like this smell.

And this soap performs as good as it smells.  I face lathered and this stuff exploded with just a few dabs of water.  And after a few paint-brush strokes, thickened up like a delicious key lime cream.  It lubricated and protected my face fantastically, and rinsed from the razor easily.  Shaving once again with my Weber DLC and Personna Med blades, I had zero nicks, zero weepers, and completely BBS shave.

I am very impressed with Queen Charlotte Soaps.  Their key lime is spot on awesome, and if you like key lime, this is a must-try.  I have several samples of their soaps and creams, and will be reviewing them soon as well.  I really can’t wait to shave again.  And again.  And again.  I told you I was a lucky guy.  Check back for more updates soon!  Thanks 🙂

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: 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: Ogallala – Bay Rum, Limes & Peppercorn Aftershave

Ogallala Bay Rum, Limes, & Peppercorn Aftershave

Ogallala Bay Rum, Limes, & Peppercorn Aftershave

Alright, after having tried yesterdays Layrite Bay Rum, I decided to go back to Ogallala and try one of their alternate Bay Rums that contains other scents in it.  I reached for the one I thought I might really like, and I was right.  I do love the smell of lime.  In fact, one of the first aftershaves I tried after starting to shave with a safety razor was Geo F. Trumpers Extract of Limes Skin Food, and I really do like it.  But this is not about Trumpers, this is about Ogallala.  But here’s what is interesting.  Trumper’s lime is a straight up lime smell.  It smells like you stuck your head in a basket of freshly cut limes.  Deliciously sweet and… limey.

The smell of Ogallala’s Bay Rum with Limes & Peppercorn is nothing short of wonderful.  Its a very warm and soft smell.  Very similar to Ogallala’s original Bay Rum scent, but definitely not dominated by cloves.  In fact, I am finding it difficult to pinpoint exactly what is dominating the scent.  It’s not clove or lime, and it’s not peppercorns either.  And I’ll tell you what, I love it that I can’t find a dominant note.  I think it might be a really perfect balance of sweet and spice.  I want to say it has a woody note, but without any kind of woody nomenclature, I shouldn’t say it.  (But it does have a woody note)…

As with the original bay rum, there is no major burn with this aftershave, but rather a subdued burn, one that lets you know where you went too far with the razor, but not like you just poured rubbing alcohol on an open wound.  And in fact, due to a careless moment with my straight razor, I did manage to nick myself pretty good on the chin, and was anticipating a pretty serious talking to from the aftershave.  Thankfully, Ogallala’s Bay Rum with Limes & Peppercorn has a great bedside manner.  The burn was present but nowhere near what I was bracing for.

I really love the scent, but I also wish it lasted longer.

(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.)