Although summer is known for bright blue skies, warm sunny days, and carefree weekends, we also know the reality of June Gloom. So check out this list of scents that embraces the dark, moody side of summer. Whether you like dark, woodsy fragrances or scent-after-a-storm aromas, Eric's got an option just for you.
Imaginary Authors, A City on Fire:
Those into fragrances likely have heard of Josh Meyers’ masterpiece known as Imaginary Authors. For those not. . . well, to put simply, this fragrance house uses modern art and incredible creativity to create unique, eclectic scents accompanied by a brief story that unites the fragrance notes into a story itself. A City on Fire tells the story of a (literal) matchmaker and magazine column journalist who, when sneaking around late at night, happen upon a high-profile murder and are woven into a web of vigilantist activities to save themselves. With notes of cade oil, spikenard, cardamom, dark berries, labdanum, and burnt match, this is a scent to be warm on a rainy night out on the town, turning the heads of all lucky enough to be in proximity.
Fine Accoutrements After Shave Splash, Green Vetiver:
Fine Accoutrements holds a special place in many wet shavers’ hearts, being one of the original artisans on the scene, crafting well-rounded iterations of some of the world’s most loved fragrances into wet shaving software. One of my personal favorites, Green Vetiver is inspired by Guerlain’s Vetiver, with top citrus notes and a crisp, grassy vetiver darkened by tobacco, making this the perfect gloomy day fragrances for lounging around the house and forgetting about all the “adulting” problems in your life- even if just for a day.
Chatillon Lux Eau de Parfume, Santal Auster:
Shawn, of Chatillon Lux, has entered the wet shaving arena as one of the boldest creators of fragrance creators we’ve seen. For me, Santal Auster is, perhaps, the pinnacle of his fragrance craft, with dry, smoky Mysore sandalwood rounded out by smooth, leathery oud; underneath lies a base of age-old incense notes of opoponax and styrax, dark-aged patchouli and the ever animalic castoreum. Despite these bolds notes, the accord presents itself as soft, yet somber. A dry, smoky wood fragrance that is both subtle and powerful in presentation.
LA Shaving Soap Co. Shaving Soap, Black Rose:
LASSCo, one of the original vegan artisan soapmakers, is hailed for his remarkable use of essential oils to create wonderful scents. While the soap base had undergone a recent rehail, we are happy to report the performance is at its peak, with incredible slickness and stability throughout the shave. Black Rose was the first of John’s line of charcoal-based soaps, with notes of rose absolute, cedarwood, geranium, labdanum, juniper, jasmine, clove, vetiver, and lime yielding a dark, smoky, spicy rose accord that makes this the perfect soap for a dark, dreary day shave.
Chiseled Face Groomatorium Shaving Soap, Summer Storm:
Growing up in northern Canada, Ron (of Chiseled Face Groomatorium) was familiar with - and couldn’t get enough of - the smell of rain following a heavy storm. He has evoked this scent perfectly in Summer Storm, with notes of moist earth, oak moss, cut grass, pine needles, orange, lemon, ozone, white jasmine, lily of the valley, geranium and musk. Moist earth, cut grass and oakmoss are the head honchos of this fragrance, reminding me of a mountainous thunderstorm scattering fallen foliage on the underlying earth and sparse flowers. As always, Chiseled Face soaps provide a beautifully slick lather with great density and post shave feel (thanks to the added mango butter and aloe leaf juice).
Mickey Lee Soapworks, Reunion:
Reunion is Mickey Lee’s take on a “petrichor” scent; that is, the smell of earth after a spell of rain. Incorporating a hefty dose of vetiver, the accord infused in this soap is grassy, dirty, dark and musty, like a tropical storm tearing its way through the Anse palms and sugar cane of Reunion Island. Mickey Lee is one of my all-time, favorite artisans, packing a powerful performance punch in these high-value soaps. The resulting lather has a noticeable sheen, designating a slick, comforting lather with incredible glide, and the generous inclusion of shea butter offering tremendous post shave healing.
Catie’s Bubbles Shaving Soap, Un Jour Gris:
A perfect fit for this curation, Un Jour Gris translates literally into “A Gray Day”. A beautifully well-rounded scent of citrus, spice, vetiver and sandalwood, this is sure to brighten up your gloomy day. As opposed to many post-rain scents, this does not wallow in the shadows or the murky earth; it gently rolls off the leaves among the orange grove, cascades down delicate ferns and transfuses the bark’s earthy, proud yet gentle, aroma into the olfaction of the wanderer. As many know, Chris’s love for fragrance is at equal with his impressive vegan soaps, hailed in very high regard by the experienced wet shaver and newbie alike.
Oleo Soapworks Shaving Soap, Treviso:
Oleo Soapworks has been ravaging the dens of many a wet shaving hobbyist as of late. Vida’s duck fat-based shaving soaps compete head-to-head with similar soap bases at a fraction of the cost and, in many cases, with significantly better performance. Treviso is a terrifically intoxicating gourmand aroma; the scent of tiramisu. Dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee adorn this accord with beautifully sweet and calming notes. My mind takes me to a delicate serving of this rich dessert served at a quaint French bistro, heavy mist in the air and cloaked strangers crowding the cobblestones to get to cover.
Czech and Speake No. 88 Cologne:
Czech and Speake seem to have mastered the creation of some of the finest olfactions I’ve come to know. No. 88 is very high on this list, with a deep, earthy accord of bergamot, geranium, rose otto, cassie and frangipani, vetiver and sandalwood. This is sophisticated, and dark; a woody accord with masculine, dirty rose and sandalwood creating an air of confidence and discernment to the wearer. Perfect for a special evening out on a rainy summer’s eve.
Declaration Grooming Shaving Soap, After the Rain:
As I’ve stated in prior curations, Declaration Grooming has been placed on my top tier level of soaps, with scents and a performance level that leave nothing to chance. After the Rain is no exception, with earthy notes of wet pine, muted lavender, cedar, and white pepper. Wet pine seems to give this fragrances a slightly citrus-like head, while the following notes seem to blend into a very pleasant, pleasing, and calming aroma. If you’re spending a day indoors in your cabin tucked into the arms of the Sierra Nevadas, towering conifers among you, then this soap is the perfect complement. As with all “DG” soaps, this is a very soft soap, and only a few seconds of loading will yield a ridiculously slick and protective lather, and can take on a very wide range of water, making this top-tier soap an equally great choice for beginners.
Tallow + Steel Shaving Soap/Aftershave, Morocco:
T+S saw a renovation around this time last year; a new formula, and all new scents. Ryan decided it was time to change things up a bit, and went with accords that each related to a region or country. Behold, Morocco. A smoky, ashy aroma of Mediterranean cypress, Atlas cedar, oakmoss, cade and rose takes you to the heart of Morocco. Cade and rose dominate this scent, making it a complex, overtly woody and masculine accord that takes you to the ruins of a flame-trodden forest, the fiery behemoth quenched by the torrential rains of summer and laying ash and mud underfoot. Ryan’s all-organic shaving soap will leave you speechless; magnificent performance putting them at the top of most wet shavers’ lists, and a post shave splash that leaves your skin nourished, and smelling good - if not daring.
Shear Revival Northern Lights Matte Paste:
Shear Revival is a recent and proud addition to the West Coast family. Artisans of some of the finest pomades on the market, we are proud to carry Zach and Jessica’s fine men’s grooming products. Northern Lights is a medium to medium-heavy hold paste that gives your hair a natural, neutral look with no shine, yet does not dry the hair like many clays. Botanical oils nourish your hair, and the scent of sweet citrus, oakmoss, and sage make for a sweet, calming accord likened to the much-needed rain in a thirsty, cactus-strewn desert.