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Scents Review - My Maggard Sample Set

A couple weeks ago I ordered 15 sample aftershaves from Maggards. They are all solid performers on the face(well the ones that I tried were, there are some I won't wear) so I'm just going to try to give you scent descriptions to the best of my ability, and I'll rank them from worst to first based on what I like. As always, take everyone else's scent preferences with a huge grain of salt. Just because 50 people here say a scent is the best thing ever does not guarantee that you will like it, and just because 50 people say they can't stand a scent does not mean you won't love it.

Before I start, I'll give you an idea of scents that I like and don't like so you can gauge your preferences to mine. Scents I really like - Fine American Blend, Clubman, Drakkar, Stirling Sandalwood, Brut, Gilette Cool Wave, and others of course.
I don't care for scents that are overly sweet, powdery, fruity, or floral. But I do like citrus scents.

Oddities - These are scents that many here go gaga for, but for some reason, I don't care for them. Stirling Sharp Dressed Man and their Barbershop. Both of these are too powdery and sweet for my liking. I also don't really care for any of the Captain's Choice scents. They are ok in my book, but nothing special to me. I guess I don't really care for Bay Rums in general, so that may be why I'm not crazy about them.

Ok, here we go.

I'm actually not going to include Proraso Green in the scent review, because it's essentially unscented. It has a little bit of a cologne smell that is very faint out of the bottle. But once you put it on, all you smell is the menthol and eucalyptus. It's a solid performer on the face. So if you are looking for a great aftershave that has little to no scent, this may be for you.

14,000(that's right, this one's a few orders of magnitude worse than all the others!) Chiseled Face- Midnight Stag - This falls into the category of "On what planet did this seem like a good idea?!?!" The out of bottle smell is absolutely hideous. It's basically a blend of numerous bad garage smells. The out of bottle smell is a combination of used motor oil, moldy leather, the rubber hose section of a hardware store, parts cleaning solvent or maybe some bad gun cleaning solvent(NOT Hoppes #9, that would have been a good thing), stale gasoline, and if I'm not mistaken, I think there is some doe estrus in there. Yes it's every bit as bad as it sounds. I took it to work and had roughly 25 people smell it. The most positive comment I got was "it's not the worst thing I've ever smelled". I played a little joke on a guy by spraying some on a Post It note and placed that under his desk. It cleared out the whole aisle and people were trying to figure out what the horrible smell was. I just can't come up with a logical reason why anyone would want to smell like this. If I worked on my car for 12 hours, I may smell something like this. But then I'd want to take a shower to get rid of the smell. I'm certain that if you wore this to work, people would complain and you'd probably be asked to not wear it. The smell improves slightly as it dries down, but it's so bad to start with, that it really doesn't matter. Ok, I've spent enough time on this one.

13) Chiseled Face Cedar and Spice - I was envisioning a nice warm cedar aroma and Christmas spices when I saw this, but that's not it. The out of bottle smell is really nasty to me. Very hard to describe. Once it dries down, you get the cedar smell. But it's not the fresh cut cedar you would smell in a lumberyard, or the chips you'd put in a hamster cage. It's more of a rotting, decaying, tree in the forest. It's just not for me.

12) Barrister and Mann - Lavanille - Take a little musk scented cologne (a pretty sweet one, maybe one that borderlines on a feminine musk), add some vanilla, and a hint of woodiness. That will get you in the ball park on this one. A lot of people would probably like this one, but for me it's just too sweet and a little too feminine. I'd say this one could be unisex.

11) Fine Green Vetiver - Clean, crisp, light, slightly aquatic, and a bit earthy(my daughter says it smell like dirt). Although it is not a heavy scent, it lasts a LONG time. I put some on my arm one evening, then soaked in the tub, and I could still pick it up a bit the next morning. I'd classify this as a barbershop scent, just because I'm pretty sure the barber my dad went to when I was a kid wore this scent. It's not a bad scent, it's just not for me. I would also classify this as an old man scent. This is what I think a 70 year old barber should smell like. I have to admit that I haven't actually used this one after shaving. I just haven't come across a day when I want to smell like this. I'm not sure I ever will.

10) Chiseled Face - Trade Winds - A fruity aquatic scent. After it dries down, it smells a bit soapy. It reminds me of Bath and Body Works in the spring. I think a lot of people will enjoy this one, but again for me, too sweet and fruity.

9) Chiseled Face - Summer Storm - This is a very heavy earthy/mossy scent, with a hint of an aquatic cologne scent hiding in there. Now, I really like a bit of earthiness and moss, but this is just too much of a good thing for me.

8) Floid Vigoroso - This one has grown on me. At first I didn't like it, but the more I smell it, the more I like it. It's very hard to describe, but I'll just call it a very classic, clean smelling barbershop scent. To me, it's the definition of what an old man aftershave smells like. If I think of a 90 year old barber, this is what I'd expect him to smell like.

7) Lucky Tiger Aspen - I think I might classify this as a barbershop scent too. The closest way to describe this would be to take a subdued version of Floid Vigoroso, and mix it with Aqua Velva Ice blue. It's a nice clean crisp scent. It is pretty lightly scented that doesn't last very long. Also, with all the other aftershaves, I believe they all have a little glycerin or something similar that leaves a little lotiony feel on your face. Not this stuff. It strips all the oils off. This would probably be great in the summer heat. It might be very drying in the winter.

6)Fine - L'Orange - I'll take some heat for this one, but it's just okay to me. I know a lot of people really love this stuff. Yep, it smells like oranges. Someone else described it as a dirty orange scent. That pretty spot on. It smells a bit chemically to me.

5) Mickey Lee - The Kraken** - If you saw my thread on this, I'm convinced that what's in this bottle is not actually Kraken. I'm pretty sure there was a mixup somewhere. After reading descriptions of this, I would expect it so smell similar to the Chiseled Face Tradewinds. But it totally smells like oranges, with maybe a little bergamot or lime in there. It's a very nice scent, and if you like L'Orange, I think there's a good chance you'd like this even better. Unfortunately , I have no idea what it really is. :(

4) Mickey Lee - Grand Havana - This smells very similar to a tobacco scent that I use to make soap, and I love it. But I think this is a scent where not many are going to think "this is going to be my go to from now on". I think most would smell this and think it's decent, not great, not terrible. To me it smells great by itself, but the real beauty of this scent is that it blends extremely well with just about anything. I will talk more about this later.

3) Fine - Platinum - This smells like a nice aquatic themed department store cologne. It smells very similar to Stirling's Executive Man(which I really like). It's maybe a slightly fruitier version of Exec Man. Would I buy it?? Probably not. The reason being I like Executive Man more. And I really like Stirling's Mountain Man as well, which is basically Executive Man with a hint of earth/moss. So I'd probably go with that.

2) Chiseled Face - Sherlock - When I first sniffed this, I was disappointed because all I smelled was that same strong earth/moss scent that is in Summer Storm. But then upon further sniffing, I recognized another scent in there, Fine American Blend (which I LOVE!). If you don't know what AB smells like, I can't help you there. I have no idea how to describe it. So take earth/moss with AB, and that gets you pretty close to what this smells like. When you first put it on, the earth/moss is pretty strong. But after 10 minutes or so, that fades back a bit, and you get more of the AB scent. This is a great blend that I love.

Which brings us to my favorite of this batch of scents.
1) Chiseled Face - Ghost Town Barber - Ooooh, I Love this one. It is complex with a lot going on, so it's a bit hard to describe. It's a fantastic blend of many things manly(but good manly scents, not the stinkers in Midnight Stag), but none of the scents are overpowering, they just magically blend together to make an amazing scent. To me, this is not a barbershop scent, despite the name. It is a bit of citrus, with some leather, tobacco, and some other things I can't really figure out. The description says gunpowder and smoke. I do quite a bit of shooting and reloading, so I know what a number of gunpowders smell like in the burned and unburned form, but I don't smell that. I don't detect any smoke either. But it has a little bit of a lingering menthol smell, so maybe that's the smoke???? It's just fantastic and I'll be buying full sized bottle soon. Please put this on your list of stuff to try.

I always recommend that people try samples before buying full sized bottles of anything, because you don't want to end up with a bottle of something you can't stand. By going off the description and reviews of Midnight Stag, I was very intrigued and may have purchased a bottle if it wasn't possible to buy samples. If I had, I would have thrown it out without ever using it.

Now back to the Grand Havana. I have blended it with Vigoroso, Sherlock, Platinum, L'Orange, and Green Vetiver. In each case, it really enhances and sometimes totally transforms the original scent into something different. My favorite blends are with Sherlock and Vigoroso. The only one that was bad was the Green Vetiver. Together, they kind of smelled like pee for some reason. Not good.
So if you are looking for something new, maybe give this a try, and you may have a whole new cabinet of scents just by buying one.

Please do not be offended if I disliked any of your favorites and I won't be offended if you don't like mine. We all have different tastes(or smells I guess).

Keep an eye out. At some point I'll probably PIF a lot of these. And yes, the Midnight Stag will be in there!
Nice review! I'm glad you covered the chiseled face products. I have just recently tried the summer storm soap. I found it to be a great product. Nice to know they have some good aftershaves too.

~ When in doubt...Post it in
Badger&Blade ~
These are really great reviews. I find it really hard to describe complex scents myself, and I think you did a really great job at helping me to envision these scents. I've been really curious about Ghost Town Barber and I'm hoping that they release it as a cologne some day so that I can get a chance to smell it. Your description sold me and if I didn't already have too many soaps and aftershaves, I would have ordered some.
I agree with some of your reviews. Especially the Midnight Stag. I don't know why that stuff sells so well. I am glad that you rated some of his other scents well. I like both Sherlock and Ghost Town Barber.

I would probably put Ghost Town in my top five, along with the Kraken. Both leave my face feeling pretty good, but I would give the a slight advantage to Ghost Town, I think. With Ghost Town, I do pick up a little hint of a sulfurish smell from time to time. Chiseled Face has a niche, I think. He makes strong edgy smells.

I may end up buying a sample of CF Pine Tar soap, but I don't think I would ever buy that as an aftershave.

I will likely pick up some L'Orange Noir at some point. It is not my wife's favorite, but it is my face :laugh: She really enjoys the Lavender Pour Homme, so I will end up with that aftershave for sure.
Nice reviews! Thanks!
So if you want your wife to THINK you spent all day working on the car, Midnight Stag? :tongue_sm

I enjoy Sherlock and Summer Storm in soap form, but not sure I'd like the AS. The Sherlock soap leaves a nice subtle scent on the skin for awhile as it is, which I do like. Thinking the AS might be too much. Interesting that you liken it to Fine AB. I liked the scent of AB, but it was way too strong for me, and gave me a headache after 6 hours and lasted more than 12 on me. Maybe this is why I like the Sherlock soap - similar dry down but more subtle. Cool - thanks!
Nice reviews! Thanks!
So if you want your wife to THINK you spent all day working on the car, Midnight Stag? :tongue_sm

Yep, I'm pretty sure it would work. Don't expect a warm welcome. More like a "don't touch me, get in that shower!"
Great review. Thanks so much for posting your opinions of them.

As for the Midnight Stag, it might be the cheaper version of a fragrance I got a whiff of recently: Bvlgari Black

Why someone would want to smell like hot trash, exhaust fumes, and melting tires is beyond me. Thankfully the guy wasn’t on the flight with me, but he claimed with pride it was a “city scent.” My only question was: “What city?”

All I know is that I don’t want to visit there.
Awesome reviews! After reading this, I placed my order for Chiseled Face Ghost Town Barber and Sherlock samples.
Awesome reviews! After reading this, I placed my order for Chiseled Face Ghost Town Barber and Sherlock samples.

Excellent! Let us know what you think of them. I hope you like them as much as I do.
Since writing this up, I have purchased of full sized bottle of GTB and Grand Havana.

I have also ordered a few more aftershave samples. I seem to be addicted to this. Oh well, there are many
worse things you could be addicted to I suppose.

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The Instigator
A good read; thanks.

Kraken smells like bath soap, so yeah: recall/agree problem there.

+1 on GTB; no firearm smells there but good stuff. SS certainly does smell like a bottle of dirt, but it's fun.

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