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Santa Maria Novella Patchouli After-shave Splash

Even the distributors of this stuff do not know how good it is. When I was at LAFCO a couple of weeks ago the District Manager was trying to help me--emphasis on trying. When I asked about the A/S's she had no information and basically treated them like a pointless ancillary to the colognes. I got it anyway because I love the SMN Patchouli scent and wanted a good funky A/S in patchouli. Long story short--I won that particular gamble.

Price - This stuff is expensive ($55 USD for 100 ml) But for "handmade-by-blind-virgin-nuns-in-an-Alpine-castle"-level stuff...it is what it is. You can roll with it or not.

Quality - See above. Top-shelf stuff as always from SMN.

Scent - Amazing, dirty, funky patchouli--just like the cologne. The scent is a lot less potent in the A/S than in the cologne--it really has to be, though. Otherwise the bracing morning post-shave effect would be more like a surprise 5 am bathroom ocelot attack.

Seriously. This is a very straight patchouli, very animalistic, but not particularly dirty (as in soil). Less resinous than Montale, less sweet than L'Artisan, less vanilla than Le Labo, less amber than all of them. Not linear, but not hugely active--but with no powdery dry-down.

Cooling - Here is what really sold me. I think we all know that sometimes, some houses think of after-shave as an after-thought--and simply market high-alcohol splashes with the signature scent. I had no idea what to expect in this department from SMN. Even the people at LAFCO were unclear. Turns out they stuff this splash full of glycerin and other wonderful stuff--including a bracing amount of menthol. This was a total surprise to me, but it has a fine menthol wallop. Somewhere on my personal scale between Floid Blue and Alt, leaning towards the Floid.

Moisturizing - If there is a problem this is it. I would not call it drying, but there is a certain tightening going on that requires a nice balm to fix. Leaves your face not dry, but very, very matte.

No Alcohol Burn: Means, in this case, just that. I expected a heavy alcohol splash and instead got a smooth, slick splash with no burn at all. No burn and good menthol is the right thing.
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No Alcohol Burn
5.00 star(s)
Cooling Sensation
5.00 star(s)
Fights Razor Burn
4.00 star(s)
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