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Granddad's Scents

Hey everyone. I have what's probably a pretty stupid question. But what are some good older scents that I should be looking for?

Ok, a little background. Around Thanksgiving, I came to the conclusion that beard care beyond every now and then brush food and tangles out and shampoo when I thought about it. Been trying waxes and balms and oils. Mostly figuring out what not to do.

The problem with all the waxes and oils and balms, it's the scents. I'll be the first to admit, I'm mostly looking at Amazon brands. But they're either a little flat, too much of something, not enough of the other. Or even though Pine and Cedar iis nice, I can't do it every day.

So I'm looking at crafting my own. Been doing pretty good with my beeswax and lanolin and oils and butters. Getting holds and such that I'm happy with. Still perfecting, but I'm close enough to start playing with flavor.

What I'm looking for is essential oils (or recipes) for what would have been available around the WWII era. I know like lots of soft talcum smells. Bay rum (which is it's whole other thing, the chase for the perfect bar rum), different Italian, French, and English names, old Old Spice. Or maybe products I can get a bottle of and chase down the gist of. A point in the right direction.

Thanks everyone!


Good luck in your hunt!
I have nothing to suggest for you to get started unfortunately.
There was a six-volume (!) text published in 1948 called The Essential Oils by Ernest Guenther.

As a New Yorker, I was interested to see that there used to be an essential oils store called Fritzsche Brothers on Cedar Street in the financial district.

Just at random, Googling shows that the store offered -- among many others -- oil of eucalyptus, amber, rosemary, and cassia. The one that jumped out at me, though, was sandalwood. That's a classic. But it's probably wicked expensive to get the real stuff these days.


George Bailey Fanboy
I mixed "Brut" aftershave in some unscented shave soap and it was heavenly! You could just try mixing some Old Spice, Aqua Velva, etc. in your oils.

It's really cool that you are doing this experimenting!
Thanks everybody! Rory, thank you very much for that tip. And going hunting for that.

FarmerTan, thank you. It is pretty fun to reinvent the wheel sometimes. I spent the past recession in the foodservice trade. By training, I'm focused more on logistics. But you do what you gotta. So I brought an amateur zeal, perfectionist trained, veteran proven to act confidently under pressure and do stupid things for no more reason than because you told them to a new profession.

Anyways, in my time on this earth, I've amassed a collection of very old cookbooks. And on a Sunday, it's a lot of fun for me to pull one out and make a Sunday dinner from 1948 suburbia. Or from the Gilded Age. I think it would be fun to find old fragrances from the past and do the same.

The thing is, I don't know exactly what those old fragrances are (were) to make or copy. And about the only direction I have is maybe something around the mid to late 1940s. I'm not quite sure what to Google. Otherwise, I'm randomly throwing stuff together in my kitchen saying I liked this, I don't like that. Which is fun, to be sure, but not what I'm looking to do.

I hope that makes sense
Go to Perfumes Search - https://www.fragrantica.com/search/?spol=male
Set the search for male between years 1940-50. 20 results show up. You can look at the notes of those fragrances. It shows that half had bergamot, almost half had lavender, musk, and cedar. About a quarter had oakmoss, rose, tonka bean, amber, lemon, and orange.

English Leather, Vetiver by Creed, Attention by Avon, and Signature by Max Factor are some of the colognes from that time period.

www.basenotes.com also has an advance search to accomplish this.
It does raise the question: how have AS scents changed over time? Since I've been buying AS (40+ years) I can't say I've really come across totally new scents. Most are repeats or updates of basic profiles....IMO.
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