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What is the oldest aftershave still produced and sold today in the US ?

Especially the common, easily obtainable type.

One that I can think of is AV, which is promoted as being over a 100 years old formula.

E.g. Wikipedia says "The Classic Ice Blue serves as the original version of Aqua Velva".

They certainly seem to imply it on aquavelva.com website:

"Aqua Velva Ice Blue has been a classic American scent since 1917. Cool, refreshing and luxurious, it leaves skin firmed, toned and feeling great."

Except the original AV was yellow, not blue. And I don't believe they used menthol in it until later ?

Also I read somewhere that Pinaud was forced to redesign the formulation of their entire line up when they switched from glass to plastic. I assume this would also apply to AV ?

So, what is the oldest AS that I can buy just walking into a common store in the US ?

Eben Stone

Staff member
I don't know about its availability in common stores, but my guess for the oldest aftershave stil produced and sold today in the U.S. would be Caswell Massey's Number Six.

It's available from Amazon, that should count for easily obtainable.

It depends on how you want to define it. If we decide to go with "an aftershave scented with a particular fragrance mixture," then there are candidates like mentioned above, but Number 6 was not originally an aftershave. Same with 4711 (I know you said American, though), etc.

As you also said, some have been slightly reformulated or "adjusted" for various reasons, like perhaps the Pinauds, so a standard for what's original, or what counts in terms of your question, would first need to be determined.

To my knowledge, the oldest American continuously-produced and unchanged product that originally appeared in aftershave-as-such form would probably be Skin Bracer, or possibly Aqua Velva depending on when the current Ice Blue version was truly first introduced (I know there's some ambiguity surrounding this question). Osage Rub would count, too, but is it really a hair tonic instead of aftershave? This is all what makes this both fun and almost impossible to answer!

So I'd say the most unambiguously simple (and safest, in terms of accuracy) answer to your question would be Skin Bracer (1931). Maybe Aqua Velva if we knew for sure when the blue juice replaced the yellow, and also for sure when it stopped being a mouthwash. Lilac Vegetal would be another, and older, candidate, but my understanding is it was also produced in Europe (even though it has a strong American heritage), so that might not fit your criteria.
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Ahm, what does it matter??

This site says Aqua Velva Ice Blue was lunched in 1935.

That's what I seemed to recall reading somewhere, but couldn't remember for sure. That would indeed make Skin Bracer the oldest, still commonly commercially-available actual aftershave in the U.S., then, it would seem. ;)
Interesting! Their website may not be perfectly accurate.
I think I read somewhere that date appears on some bottles because it's when the founder was born, or something like that meant to make the company seem older (don't see why, since they're quite legitimately old enough!). Also read that their Eau de Quinine hair tonic goes back to the 1860s, but not sure if that's correct. Some (like me) use it as an aftershave, but it wouldn't address the OP's question.
I'd second Bay Rum. First commercialized in the mid 1800s by A.H. Riise on St Thomas (Before it was a US territory)
A modern Bay Rum that contains only Bay Rum oil would be as close as you can get to the original product.
(the more other notes you add, the more it can drift over the decades)
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