April 7, 2013

Aftershave Aquisition Disorder

I have never been a scent or fragrance person. Except for an extremely brief experimental phase in high school, I've never worn cologne. Not into it. At all. Moreover, I never used aftershave . . . until a few years ago.

Aftershave acquisition disorder (ASAD) hit pretty hard soon after I got into traditional wet shaving with a double edge razor. I consider aftershave to be an essential part of the wet shaving routine (for medicinal and therapuetic purposes, not to smell like a 70s disco or an old time barbershop). Yeah, so ASAD forced me to buy, sample, and try an extraordinary number of different aftershave products. It really is an impressive (or demented and sad, depending on your perspective) list. First up are the different aftershave splashes that I've tried (in alphabetical order): 4711; Adidas Dynamic Pulse; Anthony Logistics Astringent; Aqua Velva Ice Blue; Bravas (from Japan!); C.O. Bigelow Dr. Galen Herbal Skin Tonic; D.R. Harris Arlington; Floid Suave; Floid Amber; Floid Blue; Hattric Classic; Kiehl's Blue Astringent; La Toja; Lucido; Ogallala Bay Rum; Pitralon (Swiss version); Proraso; Santa Maria Novella Lavender; Speick; Thayers Witch Hazel Aftershave; Thayer's Medicated Witch Hazel; The Shave Den Lavender Tea Tree; and The Shave Den Mojito.

Next are the different aftershave balms that I've tried (in alphabetical order): Art of Shaving Unscented Balm; Gentlemens Refinery Unscented Balm; Gentlemens Refinery Standard Balm; Kiehl's Facial Fuel SPF 15 Lotion; Nivea Sensitive Balm; Nivea Replenishing Balm; Saint Charles Shave Avocado Oil Balm; Saint Charles Shave Lime Aftershave Milk; Saint Charles Shave "Bay Rum with a Twist" Aftershave Milk; The Shave Den Signature Scent Aftershave Milk; The Shave Den Tea Tree Aftershave Milk; The Shave Den Unscented Aftershave Milk; The Shave Den Lavender Tea Tree Aftershave Milk; Truefitt & Hill Ultimate Comfort Balm; and Trumper Limes Skin Food.

Wow, that's ridiculous! To be honest, most of those were samples or trial sized portions. Moreover, I didn't like most of those products for one or more of the following reasons: (1) smelled like old man, Grandma's flowerbed, ass, or a combination thereof; (2) left a sticky residue on my face; (3) too greasy; (4) the scent was too strong and lingered for too long; (5) unimpressive list of therapeutic ingredients. So, the above lists are so long because I've been searching for the perfect aftershave product.

As of the writing of this post, only the following items are worthy of continued use and repurchase: Proraso splash; Kiehl's Facial Fuel SPF Lotion (although not sold as an aftershave per se, it works well and it has sunscreen in it); D.R. Harris Arlington splash; Nivea Energy splash (which I spiked with some menthol crystals); and Speick splash. This "top shelf" lineup actually resides on the middle shelf of my cabinet, but whatever:

I'm totally over the trial-and-error phase, and I will only consider something new when I run out of one of the above "top middle shelf" products. I doubt I'll find anything comparable, but I'll still keep my eyes and nose open just in case. By the way, if I had to pick only one of the above, I'd go with the Speick splash. It's good stuff.


  1. One word: Baxter's of California. Best ever. That's five words. Shit. Also, I just sent you some. Deal with it...

  2. Hmm . . . will it make it onto the middle shelf? We shall see.