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Skin Bracer

I've been loving menthol and eucalyptus in my shaves - contrary to the FUD, I find both alcohol and menthol are good for my skin and help recover from razor burn very well, as long as I also use moisturizer.

So, I picked up a bottle of Skin Bracer today when I was shopping for groceries. This was the first aftershave I ever used, and I haven't used it in a long, long time. Aside from the menthol, I don't even remember the smell.


So, I got it home and opened it up... and it smells very similar to Clubman, except maybe a bit darker and less sweet. Nothing like my mental picture of it, which I thought was spicier (maybe I used the Cool Spice?).
 
I tried this out today and I realize it's not really like Clubman. Same Fougere family, but Skin Bracer has an aroma more like Brut, without being quite as bold, and also fainter. The menthol kick is nice.

There was, however, an off note that reminded me of off-gassing plastic. I don't know if it's an actual ingredient, or the bottle suffered from sitting around too long (I bought it from a local grocery and it was a very lonely bottle, I doubt many people bought the brand at this particular store). Fortunately, it faded.

edit: I think the off-gasing plastic is actually the lavender accord, probably mostly linalool (which would explain why it fades faster than other notes). I noticed this after I reapplied some later in the day. It has a cheap chemical type smell, producing a hollow body, like an air fresener. None of the herbal quality of real lavender. Sort of the men's equivalent of "cheap perfume", I guess. Unlike Brut, the heart of Skin Bracer is mostly this "lavender", so Skin Brace's fragrance is relatively thin and two dimensional.

I've smelled clones of this type of after shave in dollar stores, and they smell about the same. It's one thing to pay 2 dollars for a bottle of cheap aftershave, but $5 must be making alot of profit for whoever owns Mennen now. Still, it's not expensive, but you get what you pay for. In contrast, I think Brut or Old Spice have a more refined quality to them. But the scent isn't really what Skin Brace is depending on, it's about the menthol blast and the modest skin conditioning.
 
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Skin Bracer is a "Fresh" scent and yes lavender is the main note though it's fake.

What you may be smelling with the cheap chemical scent is the actual plastic bottle. It used to come in a glass bottle and when it did that note wasn't there, at least IMHO.

As for the dollar store versions, I have found that yes, they do smell identical but there must be (or must have been) a difference. When I used Skin Bracer I had no issues with it causing irritation but when I once used the Dollar store version it caused irritation. Haven't used these in many years but that was the situation then. Who knows if Skin Bracer has been cheapened since, but I wouldn't doubt it.

Maybe decanting the genuine article will alleviate the cheap chemical smell, I know a lot of guys do this with Pinaud Clubman and it does.

Hope that helps.

Chris
 
Maybe the bottle, maybe not. I have some Old Spice and Brut that have been in plastic bottles for years that are fine; they haven't changed a bit. But plastics vary.

I've had corn chips develop off-odors similarly. They weren't stale, they just started tasting like plastic. When you keep a warmer home as we do, that seems more likely to happen because things off-gass a bit faster. And in Florida, seemingly everything gets warm at one point or another in its delivery and stocking on store shelves.

I do agree it's a fresh scent by the 60's and 70's standards, what one might call a fresh fougere, but today, in this day and age of aquatic fragrances, it smells a bit musty and dark.
 
Skin Bracer is great stuff, I keep mine in the Construction Worker collectable they put out in the 70's. Like this one
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and I got a Hand around somewhere
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I do agree it's a fresh scent by the 60's and 70's standards ...
I agree but Skin Bracer is supposedly from the 1930's so maybe a different era's idea of fresh.

I would love to know what the original formulation smelled like. My guess is it was quite different and probably a lot better. We'll never know.

Chris
 
I agree but Skin Bracer is supposedly from the 1930's so maybe a different era's idea of fresh.

I would love to know what the original formulation smelled like. My guess is it was quite different and probably a lot better. We'll never know.

Chris
Those who have ancient bottles say the scent is the same. I will add however that there are two clones of it that are better IMO. One is the Barbasol Brisk which is stronger and more powdery. The other is a real sleeper that is stronger and spicier as well as hard to find:

 
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I agree but Skin Bracer is supposedly from the 1930's so maybe a different era's idea of fresh.

I would love to know what the original formulation smelled like. My guess is it was quite different and probably a lot better. We'll never know.

Chris
That makes even more sense.

I doubt the overall scent profile has changed much. After paying attention to the scent more, I notice it is a fougere, which was a trendy barbershop scent back then (I think Clubman and Canoe also date from that period).
 
Those who have ancient bottles say the scent is the same. I will add however that there are two clones of it that are better IMO. One is the Barbasol Brisk which is stronger and more powdery. The other is a real sleeper that is stronger and spicier as well as hard to find:

I ordered some Brisk just because I feel like using an all-Barbasol setup for a while, for fun. The only thing that won't be Barbasol is the razor.
 
Skin Bracer is my favorite drug store type aftershave.

Scent wise it is an older fougere scent with lavender, menthol, and powdered notes.
 
Skin Bracer is my favorite drug store type aftershave.

Scent wise it is an older fougere scent with lavender, menthol, and powdered notes.
Well, powder is not a scent really but usually powders have some kind of musk in them, that's where the descriptive term, powdery comes from. But the "powder" in Skin Bracer you are noticing seems to be musk and oakmoss. The last few decades they've been skimping on the oakmoss, I have been told, and quite possibly using another ingredient in its place. That seems about right, from my recollection. Also, it's likely the musks have changed (they fall in and out of fashion, since some musks in the past had health concerns).
 
I've been loving menthol and eucalyptus in my shaves - contrary to the FUD, I find both alcohol and menthol are good for my skin and help recover from razor burn very well, as long as I also use moisturizer.

So, I picked up a bottle of Skin Bracer today when I was shopping for groceries. This was the first aftershave I ever used, and I haven't used it in a long, long time. Aside from the menthol, I don't even remember the smell.


So, I got it home and opened it up... and it smells very similar to Clubman, except maybe a bit darker and less sweet. Nothing like my mental picture of it, which I thought was spicier (maybe I used the Cool Spice?).
It's different from Clubman. Though I use it occasionally, it's fragrance reminds me of malathion.
 
Skin Bracer is my favorite drug store type aftershave.

Scent wise it is an older fougere scent with lavender, menthol, and powdered notes.
My thought is lavender, peppermint, moss and vanilla. Whatever it is, I like it and will always have a bottle on hand.
 
My thought is lavender, peppermint, moss and vanilla. Whatever it is, I like it and will always have a bottle on hand.
That seems to be the case. Which makes it a fougere, which was a common scent in the mid 20th century for mens grooming.
 

Uncas

Contributor
I rummaged around and found mine last night, just wonderful! I immediately went on the bay and found some NOS in glass. Thanks for the reminder everyone.
 
I've been tempted to try the various flavors from days gone by. Dry Lime, Cool Spice, Spice Scent, Wild Moss, etc. I'm wondering if the flankers have tthe same powdery dry-down scent as the Original?
 
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