The autumn air begins to chill, the fields ripen for harvest, and Munich residents tap the first keg of beer to open the weeks of Oktoberfest. In this curation, Eric muses about all thing German-inspired in this list of scents & products.
Meißner Tremonia Shaving Cream, Black Beer No. 1:
While Meißner Tremonia has been around for a few years, it seems as if Thomas’ soaps have just recently hit the market full speed, as one of the highest quality German-based artisans out there. Black Beer is one of his top accords; an eclectic olfactory experience paying homage to the infamous German “Schwartzbier”, a beer that is dark, yet citrusy, with earthy tinges of dry hoppy goodness. Though this isn’t a scent for just everyone, if you've descended the rabbit hole of wet shaving, this daring fragrance may just be right up your alley; an unapologetic morning’s shave to kick off your day of sauerkraut-topped bratwursts and fine beers. On top of it, you will be rewarded with a lather that is slick, comfortable, dense, yet light and “healthy” feeling on your skin, with welcomed doses of botanicals to nourish your skin post shave.
Oleo Soapworks Canard Shaving Soap, Old Orchard Cider:
Maybe the relentless accord of a stout beer upon your mug is not your idea of a good morning’s shave. Well then, in comes Oleo’s Old Orchard Cider. Let’s start with the true master herself, Vida. Vida has made leaps and bounds within the wet shaving community, quickly becoming a master at creating fine shaving soaps based in duck fat, which provides for a unique lather that is shiny, slippery, milky, dense and protective, with a virtually unbeatable post shave; oh, and at an unbeatable price. Her wide variety of robustly-scented shaving soaps means it’s very likely there’s an olfactory experience waiting just for you. Old Orchard Cider is Vida’s take on - go figure - apple cider! While the true origins of cider can be traced back to ancient Rome, this beloved beverage brings many a sense of calming joy and peace. The use of apple in German culture ranges from the lightly alcoholic “Apfelwein” , or apple wine, to the world-famous apple strudel. As you start your day with this delightful apple, cinnamon, and honey triad, you’re bound to smell its intoxicating fumes wafting above Theresienwiese.
Mickey Lee Soapworks Shaving Soap, The Drunken Goat:
While this is a frequent mention in a few of my past curations, I think it behooves us to revisit it yet again. Mickey Lee Soapworks continues a successful husband/wife duo crafting men’s soaps and aftershaves at a great price. Sammy and Eric find ways to make a soap that will provide you a great, slick shave with great cushion and a range of impressive olfactory blends without breaking the bank. The Drunken Goat is highly commended as a true gourmand accord; chocolate, oats, molasses, and honey make this a true contender for the nutty, chocolately dessert of German chocolate cake. The soap base includes goat’s milk for added healing, as well as beer, which not only calms skin but imparts an aromatic, lofty head upon the fragrance.
Sudsy Soapery SuperCreamed Triple Butter Shave Soap, Almond + Vanilla:
One of my new obsessions in wet shaving, Sudsy Soapery has grown from its humble begins to supply us with some of the most skin-friendly shaving soaps out there; almost top tier performance, well below the price. The powerful trio of shea butter, cocoa butter, and kokum create an incredibly stable and slippery lather, while simultaneously preventing water loss from the skin and healing sensitive skin. Almond and vanilla is a harmonious pair, the sweet, nutty tinge of almond subdued by the warming glow of natural vanilla. I liken this to a famous German dessert called the Bee Sting cake: when baked, this almond- and honey-encrusted batter takes on a sweet air that is coupled perfectly with a rich vanilla pudding filling. After a day of celebrating, it’s time to put down your glasses and raise a fork - or shaving brush - to indulge in this culinary masterpiece.
Shaver Heaven Vegan Shaving Soap, Almond Milk:
Shaver Heaven quickly become a staff favorite as soon as we added them to our product family. These vegan shaving soaps do not claim to be like a tallow-based soap. Unlike the latter, these grooming requisites tend to feel more lightweight and natural on the skin, yet still provide upper-level protection from the blade and healing properties necessary for a grade A post shave. A little goes a long way with the Shave Heaven line; beware! Sweet Almond Milk is such an inviting scent, I simply could not imagine one not falling for this comforting accord. And so far, I’ve been right. Sweet Almond Milk is the epitome of the term “less is more”. A simple dance of almond and cherry leads you down yet another path of gourmands, a clear relative of the German classic known as Marzipan. Marzipan is a confection made using almond meal and, occasionally, almond extract. While this treat is quite cloying to some, the addition of cherry rounds out the top note of almond with a truly diverse, dark fruit that is both sweet and somewhat tangy, yet with a dark finish.
Catie’s Bubbles Shaving Soap, Le Piment de La Vie:
Catie’s Bubbles was one of the original artisans to hit the scene, making vegan shaving soaps at a great price. Mastermind Chris is a genius in the art of perfumery, making extremely well-blended accords that are utterly astounding. Le Piment de la Vie is a cult classic, a spicy blend of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. To my nose, this could be taken as a clear iteration of the well-known Lebkuchen, or gingerbread. Think a spicebomb to the mug, or a swift kick from the stories-tall Mongo the Gingerbread man that helps Shrek break into the castle to steal his queen back from the clutches of a fraud. Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg dominate this accord for a truly decadent shave.
ShaverHeaven Vegan Shaving Soap, Honey Ale:
In high school, I distinctly remember my German class frequently getting together during lunch to partake in the making of a classic German dessert known as Spaghetteis; literally, Spaghetti Ice Cream. This playful dessert draws from the aesthetics of the popular Italian pasta; vanilla ice cream extruded through a Spätzle press into spaghetti form; a smooth strawberry puree (the perfect dessert imposter of tomato sauce); white sprinkles topping the dish, as would the elegant flakes of parmesan. Shaver Heaven’s Honey Ale is such a great accord for the occasion, I couldn’t resist adding this to the list. Honey Ale is a combination of apple, strawberry, honey, amber, vanilla, and beer. Sweet, fruity strawberry, underneath which rests warming vanilla and beer to transport you to a long days’ end with a plate of Spaghetteis in hand, small-batch brewed beers wafting in the distance.
Speick Shaving Cream:
One of the true European classics, Speick has been providing men and women with luxurious grooming products for decades. Using the rare Speick plant (grown almost exclusively in the protected Nock Mountains biosphere near Germany) as a component in all their products, this botanical has tremendous topical healing properties, and imports a complex green aroma. Speick’s shaving cream is a conveniently-packaged, upper-tier shaving cream that lathers very quickly and yields a dense lather, much like one of a hard soap. The scent is a light mix of citrus and lavender derivatives, along with the green, aldehydic complexity of the Speick plant. Even when in a rush, I find the true benefit of the included Speick showing itself in the post shave; smooth skin free of any irritation, despite inadequate shaving technique. This is a true shaver’s companion, the perfect shaving requisite, whether on the go or in your own home.
Tabac After Shave Splash:
Ahh, the creme de la creme. The king of all “Love it or hate it” scents. Like Speick, Tabac has been around for many years. The signature Tabac scent is both loved and hated by many; a true olfactory heaven for some, yet a real punch to the schnoz to others. But one thing’s for sure - for many of those who find themselves in the latter category, they very often find themselves growing to love this complex accord over time. Tabac is an overtly masculine olfactory experience of spicy, peppery notes, green floral aldehydes and a tobacco flower finish that is equally inviting, yet demanding of respect. Wearable, yet daring, this German-based aftershave is a force to be reckoned with. Like many who venture to these parts, however, you’re not here for the comfortable and familiar, you’re here for the risk. And with so many in love with this accord, it’d be hard not to convince you the risk is worth it.
4711 Original Eau de Cologne, 10 oz:
4711 is the absolute heavyweight champion of traditional fragrances. Crafted by Wilhelm Mülhens, this cologne is a recreation of a wedding gift he’d received from a Carthusian monk. From then on, the 4711 cologne was operated out of Glockengasse 4 in Cologne, Germany. This fragrance was used for a variety of purposes in the original context; whether for protection of against infection, as an aid for the men’s grooming regimen, or for bathing, this timeless scent can be worn with just as much versatility. Lemon, orange, bergamot, rosemary, rose, neroli, musk and petitgrain adorn this fragrant experience with notes inviting all those near to you to draw even nearer. Fresh, citrusy, and with a rosemary-tinge, this scent is rounded out perfectly with petitgrain and musk. For a scent that has stood the test of time, we think you just may owe it to yourself to see what the hyper was all about! Splash some on following your next shave, and feel the heavenly-scented burn!