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REVIEW: Bootlegger Series - Perfecto Virginia, Perfecto Maduro, and El Dorado

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The Bootlegger’s Series, I believe, began as a way to get more out of existing aftershaves at a lower cost. I think @OkieStubble ’s creations are worthy of the praise they get here on B&B. Some of the components in these blends are not as inexpensive as when these were first created but are still affordable. Also, some of the components have been discontinued or are unavailable at the moment. Those will be noted in my review. I sampled these aftershaves on smelling strips and on my face.

Perfecto Virginia
  • 1 Part: Master Bay Rum
  • 1 Part: Superior 70 Bay Rum (currently unavailable)
  • 1 Part: Vito's Colonia Tobacco (currently unavailable)
Description: Many bay rum lovers want a summertime bay rum, without the heavy, cloying scent of clove & spice. Bootlegger’s Perfecto is light & breezy bay rum, with a light masculine scent of Virginian leaf tobacco, (hence the name "Perfecto") blended with a bright summer scent of orange citrus. Smells like Cuba!​

REVIEW: Perfecto Virginia seems to take on a character all its own. It doesn’t register as your run of the mill bay rum scent. There is no burn to the face when freshly applied after a shave. Bay Rum has been known to be a fleeting scent. When these bay rums are combined there seems to be some longevity. Since quarantine/COVID-19, I’ve taken a part-time hobby learning about fragrance creation. I think a well-rounded scent will send you on a trip – either down memory lane or to a place you haven’t been before. Although I didn’t wear aftershaves or cologne in my teens and 20s, this Perfecto Virginia takes me to my bachelor days. Those summer days of playing in bands, meeting lots of people, and wondering what the future had in store. Some of those summer nights are blurry but the focus was a good time.

Right now, two-thirds of this mix is unavailable to make your own. You can search Google to see if you can find NOS.

Plausible theories why Superior 70 (and other rebrands) is out of production: Hurricanes and COVID-19 supply chain problems, and/or IFRA or other regulations concerning the use of west indies bay leaf oil.

Perfecto Maduro
  • 1 Part: Master Bay Rum​
  • 1 Part: Superior 70 Bay Rum (currently unavailable)​
  • 1 Part: Vito's Colonia Tobacco (currently unavailable)​
  • ½ Part: Pinaud Special Reserve​
Description: Originally, there was only going to be one of Bootlegger’s Perfecto recipe. Two recipes were created and samples were sent out to some B&B members for review. The masses spoke and the reviews were split down the middle, so now there are two! Bootlegger’s Perfecto Maduro gets a slight leathery and smoky scent from the addition of Pinaud Special Reserve, making it a darker and richer bay rum, well suited for colder months.​

REVIEW: Much like Perfecto Virginia this blend doesn’t strike your run of the mill bay rum scent. Perfecto Maduro hints at being a little bit more mature. A young person in their 20s could still wear this if they wanted the air of relaxed yet confident.

Perfecto Virginia and Perfecto Maduro do make me think of listening to Martin Denny's albums with a mixed drink in my hand. You could still rock this in an office setting as well.

El Dorado
  • 2 Parts: Pinaud Special Reserve​
  • 2 Parts: Pinaud Classic Vanilla​
  • 1 Part: English Leather by Dana (AS not the Cologne)​
Description: Pinaud Special Reserve is loved by many, just the way it is. However, there are some who just can't warm up to it, even though the idea of a smoky, leather type aftershave appeals to them. For some folks, the cheaply made scent of Pinaud Special Reserve is just missing something. The dry down seems old and dusty. Some people call it an 'Old Lady' scent.

Bootlegger’s El Dorado maintains the leathery and smoky notes and what makes Special Reserve... 'Special'. While softening its edges and rounding out the dry down into something a bit more refined, with an added touch of class and a hint of sophistication. If you wanted to like Pinaud Special Reserve, but just couldn’t, then Bootlegger’s El Dorado could be the aftershave for you.​

REVIEW: This one is the most sophisticated out of the three. Out of the bottle, it reminds me of an Avon cologne my dad used to have in a horse bottle. While I liked this for the nostalgia, I couldn’t get along with it on my skin. When I put it on it kept kicking me in the nose. It seemed to get stronger on me and thus gave me a headache.

I do like this scent when it isn’t on my skin though. It makes you want to listen to Ennio Morricone soundtracks.

You can still buy the components of this blend at the moment.

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OVERALL: I really enjoyed Perfecto Virginia and Perfecto Maduro. I would probably buy these blends at some point when my current stock of AS is low. I would also look forward to reformulated mixes since part of the components is not available at this time. The longevity is really good on all the blends. Since I am working from home, the only compliment I received is from my wife on Perfecto Virginia.​
 
Appreciate the reviews @chillybase. I'm glad you found the Perfecto samples to your liking. I wish some vendor's on this side of the pond would still stock and offer it in their inventories.

I'm sorry my Bootlegger's El Dorado didn't sit well with your skin. Many who love it, find it very moisturizing for the skin and really like it's masculine scent. it has that western, cowboy, thing... going on. :)
 
I was hoping El Dorado would work out because it smelled great from the sample vial. It just did something different when it was on my skin. The two Perfectos are great. I wish those components were still available.

I think the Superior 70 could be replicated with pimenta racemosa and perfumer's alcohol (or high proof Everclear). I don't know what the ratio should be in that, maybe 1-5% in the alcohol? It wouldn't be a cheap replacement but it would work.

I'm not sure what to do about a Vito's Tobacco replacement, it is a different tobacco scent than what is lingering in the PAA Boomtown Bay Rum.
 
I was hoping El Dorado would work out because it smelled great from the sample vial. It just did something different when it was on my skin. The two Perfectos are great. I wish those components were still available.

I think the Superior 70 could be replicated with pimenta racemosa and perfumer's alcohol (or high proof Everclear). I don't know what the ratio should be in that, maybe 1-5% in the alcohol? It wouldn't be a cheap replacement but it would work.

I'm not sure what to do about a Vito's Tobacco replacement, it is a different tobacco scent than what is lingering in the PAA Boomtown Bay Rum.
If alcohol products are not allowed to be shipped overseas, I wonder how shaving vendors here in the U.S. get Proraso and other Vitos and international aftershaves in their inventory to sell?
 
That's what I'm curious about as well. I don't know if there is an overseas manufacturer to make the aftershave to spec - sort of like a Coca Cola factory.
 
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