What's new

Carson's Review of Aftershave Splashes

I like to smell nice and I like variety. I now have over 30 aftershaves, and I'm sure I'm still not through amassing them.

Most reviews of fragrances involve a description of the various scents the expert detects. Right after application, he smells the "top notes;" after the "dry-down," the "heart notes;" and what remains a while later, the "base notes." Though we're impressed with his expert nose, I'd bet very few of us can get a sense of the overall affect these mixtures have, and how much we'll like them which, after all, is all that matters. So I thought I'd take a different approach.

I feel the best I can offer as a reviewer is simply to tell you how much I like each of the various products. If you find yourself agreeing with my opinions of some scents and discover that we have similar tastes, you might want to try other scents I like.

I'll use a five-star rating system. Five stars means I love it and will always keep it in my rotation; four stars means I like it a lot and will keep it around as well; three stars means I like it, will use up my current bottle and will probably buy it again; two stars means I dislike it and won't use it anymore; and one star means I hate it.

Since some guys like an aftershave to smell nice all day, some just want to smell it for an hour or two, and some want the scent to fade as soon as the product dries, I'll also note the longevity of these various aftershaves and how much I recommend applying. I agree with the advice I've read, that your scent should only be detectable from about the length of your arm.

I'll also categorize these aftershaves into groups you may find useful like "classic aftershave" and "cologne-like," and whether they contain castor oil or glycerin for a moisturizer. If a product doesn't contain a lot of oil or fragrance, I advise using six or eight drops on dry skin (without aftershave balm) but of course you could use both if desired.

Most of my aftershaves are made in Italy for RazoRock, and I'd bet they're formulated by master perfumers over there. I think they're the best value in scents available.

Some of them contain a lot of fragrance, as much as colognes or even eau de toilettes, and a few drops of them will last anywhere from a half-day to all day. I'll apply those few drops to my face after applying Nivea balm. (I find that if I apply the balm over the aftershave, it mitigates the scent.) Other aftershaves contain less scent, and can provide sufficient moisture and preclude the balm.

I find that I can get by using far less product if I apply it with a cotton, cosmetic pad.

Some of the products contain a lot of castor oil. If I use too much, they leave my face feeling sticky. So I'll put about six drops on a pad and rub it all over my wet face. I can even use it on the skin over my eyes, with eyes shut of course. Again, some products contain less castor oil and scent, and can be applied to dry skin. And other products contain glycerin, which can be applied to dry skin and leave no oily film at all.

I shower and shave in the evening, and like to use a product with a classic aftershave scent immediately after. By morning all that scent is gone, and I'll apply another product with more of a cologne scent to wear that day. The latter tend to be longer lasting as well.

So here it is guys, for what it's worth.
Aftershaves with a Classic Scent
Proraso Green **** Like Proraso soap, this is a product I find myself using at least a couple times a month. There's something so "right" about it. It's not fancy, yet it's so delightful, like your favorite hamburger. Contains a lot of castor oil, so I apply six drops to a wet face. Lends a nice menthol/eucalyptus tingle. Others smell it on me for about a half-hour, my wife (when she embraces me) and I can smell it for a while after that.

Floid Vigoroso ***** I like this one so much that I use it weekly. I'd use it more, but I don't want to get tired of it. It's no wonder it's been around since 1932. Like driving a vintage car, I enjoy its history. And like Proraso, it contains a good amount of castor oil. The hole in the bottle is large, so I press a cotton pad over the hole with a finger and turn the bottle upside-down, in three spots on the pad, and apply it to my wet face. Contains a lot of menthol. Those in close proximity can smell it on me for about the first hour, my wife and I can smell if for several.

RazoRock Blue Barbershop **** This one is supposed to be inspired by Floid's blue aftershave, which they've discontinued and which I've never smelled. I don't know how similar they are, but I sure like this one. Contains a moderate amount of castor oil and some menthol. I use six or seven drops on my dry face (no balm). Others can smell it for about an hour, my wife and I for about two.

RazoRock Essential Oil of Lime ** I think this one's misnamed. Its lime scent smells artificial to me. The product does contain some real lime oil, but also "fragrances" which I think are the lime-scented chemicals I dislike. I love Captain's Choice Lime aftershave, and will always prefer it over this.

Captain's Choice Aftershaves ***** I have the first four varieties CC came out with, which all have a bay rum base: Bay Rum, Lime, Sandalwood, and Cat O' Nine Tails (bay rum with a big hit of menthol). These products contain just a simple few ingredients: alcohol for its antiseptic property and slight burn, witch hazel to soothe the skin and close its pores, fragrance (made from natural extracts, mmm), and glycerin. Six or eight drops on a dry face do the magic. The scent fades very quickly.

Proraso Sandalwood *** It's strongly scented and contains a good amount of castor oil, so I apply about six drops to my wet face.

Aftershaves that Function as Colognes
RazoRock Santa Maria Del Fiore ***** Mama mia I love this stuff. It's tobacco based, masculine but beautiful. Three or four drops over the aftershave balm last all day.

RazoRock Blue Fougere **** I use three or four drops. Fougere means "fern" in French, but ferns have no scent. The word is more of a metaphor that suggests a foresty scent.

RazoRock Tuscan Oud ***** Three or four drops. "Oud means wood," and the scent is extracted from some type of it. This is a handsome, masculine scent.

RazoRock The Stallion * I thought I'd list this here because as much as I love the scent of Tuscan Oud, I hate this version of an Oud. It smells like a few drops of it contain enough scent to perfume a swimming pool. I bought this from Italian Barber because of all the five-star raves, but I find it acrid and disgusting. Even one drop of it is overpowering.

RazoRock Plague Doctor **** Back in the days of the black plague, doctors who "treated" the disease would wear masks containing herbs and flowers to mask the scent of the patient. This is supposed to be formulated according to that original recipe. I don't know if all that's true, but this stuff smells great, and perhaps doesn't deserve such a macabre name. I use three or four drops.

RazoRock Amici **** This one's mildly scented, so I apply six or eight drops to my dry face.

RazoRock Son of Zeus **** Supposed to be "inspired by" Terre D' Hermes. Some here don't like the cedar in it and claim it smells like a hamster cage, but I like it.

RazoRock Sicily *** This one bears a lot of vanilla scent in a nice way. It smells eatable. Six or eight drops to a dry face.

RazoRock Nomad *** Six or eight drops to a dry face.

RazoRock Mudder Focker **** Like Plague Doctor, this one contains some floral scents, which some guys may feel uncomfortable with. Maybe RR is trying to play down that less-masculine quality with humor. Three or four drops.

RazoRock New York **** Mildly scented. You can use six or eight drops on dry skin.

RazoRock Puros **** One of my favorites. It's a masculine scent that's partly derived from cured cigar tobacco, wonderful.

RazoRock Don Marco *** Six or eight drops on dry skin.

RazoRock Zi' Peppino **** Really makes a statement and is not for everyone. Three or four drops.

RazoRock Saturna **** A lovely scent. The matching soap contains minerals like those found in a natural spring; this splash does not. Use three or four drops.

RazoRock Gold **** One of the more masculine varieties. Use three or four drops.

RazoRock One X *** Six or eight drops on dry skin.

RazoRock Chicago ***** So nice. Three or four drops should do the trick.

RazoRock Irish Countryside ***** Inspired by Creed Green Irish Tweed. I've never smelled the real thing, but I sure like this. It would be a good choice for evening wear. Three or four drops.

RazoRock Alchemy **** Like Zi' Peppino, it's not for everyone. Three or four drops.

RazoRock The Dead Sea **** Three or four drops.

RazoRock Caribbean Holiday ** According to Italian Barber's description, it's supposed to bear the scents of pineapple, coconut, and rum. That sounds like a pina colada to me, but this misses the mark by a mile and doesn't work.

RazoRock XXX ** Supposed to resemble Aqua Di Parma, and I do detect common notes, but the proportions are way off. Maybe I've been spoiled by the real deal, but I don't care for this at all.

Fine Platinum ***** Inspired by Creed Aventus. Again, I've never smelled Aventus, but I love this one. A great evening cologne. Three or four drops.

Fine Italian Citrus *** Inspired by Aqua Di Parma, but you can't confuse the two. I like it, but it lacks the magic of the original.
Expertly written! Thank you for taking the time to organize and share your thoughts, I truly enjoyed it.

Have you considered doing a similar write-up for your soaps?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Expertly written! Thank you for taking the time to organize and share your thoughts, I truly enjoyed it.

Have you considered doing a similar write-up for your soaps?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

My pleasure. I'll consider reviewing other types of gear we use. Thanks for the boost.

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Great write ups!

Now I want the Del Fiore ... As with Mudder, I'll just throw it in the IB cart next time.... because there is always a next time!


Top Bottom