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Witch Hazel, particularly Thayer's, is the most misleading fraud on wet shavers

I'm with you. I like to use straight witch hazel after I've applied some alum and rinsed it off. Then the witch hazel followed by an aftershave. In the winter I might add a balm if my face is feeling dry. I've been using T.N. Dickinson's which I presume is bottled by your company.
No it isn’t. We only bottle private label store brands such as Walgreens, Walmart and the like.

AoM; B.O.S.S.;Knight of the Veg Table;MFR2019
I work for a company that bottles witch hazel for many companies under their private store labels. Almost every chain store and small local store has witch hazel that is bottled right down stairs from where I’m sitting right now. I went and checked our paperwork and ours is 86/14 witch hazel to alcohol and nothing else. We don’t do any blending or add any fragrances to it at all. It goes straight from the tanker truck to bulk storage tanks and directly into the bottles.
Does it smell like stale socks?
I'm not wondering. I've heard some people say that it feels thick or syrupy. I know that I would not like that kind of consistency. When I use witch hazel I'm not using it as my final aftershave. I use it as a soothing halfway point between the alum and aftershave. As a result I want it for what it is, witch hazel. Don't need a scent or added ingredients like aloe vera, etc. I'm good with T.N. Dickinson's.
You must have oily skin. I couldn't endure that kind of routine... too many astringents. Alum in particular is extremely harsh.

I had my second shave today using 50% rose water 50% generic witch hazel and the end results where FANTASTIC.

I wholeheartedly recommend this combination to others. My skin feels better than when I used 100% generic witch hazel. I keep the spray bottle of the mixture in the refrigerator so it feels so good with the coldness when I spray it.

And I am avoiding alcohol aftershave altogether. Just using my facial moisturizer and spraying some cologne on the sides of my neck like Frankenstein's bolts and also on my hair (I read the scent of cologne will last a long time if sprayed on your hair). And on the inside of my wrists. And the back of the neck
Dickenson's has a witch hazel toner out that's alcohol free and has rosewater and hyaralonic acid. It's only about 6 bucks for a 16 ounce bottle (you can probably find it in the ladies section of a drugstore, but I found it on Amazon). Despite the rosewater, it doesn't really smell like roses, it has more of an herbal type smell. It does make my skin feel great, though. I put some in a spray atomizer and use it as a mist on my face.

I've been having a bit of brush burn from an evil German badger so I've developed sensitive skin, and I can't use my usual aftershave. I think I'm going to start using witch hazel instead, along with Nivea balm.
I don't know about a placebo effect, but Dickenson's never did it for me. Not sure why. Thayers smells much more pleasant and has saved me on using moisturizers and aftershave balms after getting out the shower to re-hydrate my dry skin after a hot shower.