To paraphrase Tennyson, "In the spring a wet shaver's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of new and limited edition scents. . ." When the days lengthen, the trees bud, and baseball players train, it's time to break out something new -- a scent, a soap, a splash. Here's a list of some great aromas to match the changing season.
Barrister and Mann Shaving Soap, Jacinthe:
Barrister and Mann has been converting wet shavers into hardcore enthusiasts since their genesis in 2012. Their seasonal fragrances are eccentrically-infused with some of the fragrance world’s most unique scents. Jacinthe (French for “hyacinthe”) is B&M’s spring release of a light, citrus-forward scent, proudly bolstering notes of lemon, hyacinthe, sweet pear, and tomato leaf absolute. For those sensitive to citrus scents, many find this a dead ringer for lemon Pez candy! However, I find this a more subtle (yet still somewhat sour) representation of lemon, while the hyacinthe and sweet pear surround this with a subdued sweet and floral air, and tomato leaf providing a dry, geranium-like floral. If you’re looking for the epitome of spring in a killer soap (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually kill), then here you are!
Wholly Kaw Shaving Soap, La Fougère Parfaite:
No secret to the true enthusiasts, Wholly Kaw makes one of the highest quality shaving soaps currently on the market. Sri’s newest spring offering, La Fougère Parfaite, is no exception. As is to be expected, this scent is incredibly smooth and well blended, with notes of sparkling citrus, geranium, lavender, mint, patchouli, tonka bean, and coumarin. This is a very warm, yogurty fougère with light fruity notes and is what I would consider a “gourmand” scent. Unlike most gourmands, however, this is perfect for both a morning or night shave! In typical Sri fashion, the imported donkey milk provides some truly respectable dermatological benefits, and you’ll be sure your money is well spent!
Declaration Grooming Shaving Soap, After the Rain:
A time of growing warmth and blooming flowers, springtime sees many a rainy day to care for the needs of these flowering plants. Declaration Grooming’s “After the Rain” is a great iteration of what I believe this would smell like. Notes of wet pine, lavender, cedar and white pepper give this a very warm and wet undertone. While no notes of citrus are listed, I do pick up something from the scent combination that yields a crispy citrus aroma which predominates other fragrances. It is the smell of blossoming flowers, the budding fruits dripping of cold, fresh rainfall. Take this and put it into a top-tier shaving soap, and you’ve got yourself After the Rain.
LASSCo Shaving Soap, Vert Noir:Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company (A.K.A. LASSCo) Shaving soaps have been near and dear to my heart since day one. These were my very first shaving soaps and awarded me with many a great shave. John’s vegan soaps and essential oil-only fragrances have inspired many a fellow wet shaving soap artisan, but he realized that we wanted a change, and passed the reins to Ron of Chiseled Face. Still with the original scent formulations, these new LASSCo soaps yield a much more stable, slick lather, being based in bentonite or French red clays. Vert Noir is a scent inspired by a shaving soap group’s raffle winner, with notes of bergamot, organic cypress, violet leaf absolute, frankincense, and jasmine. Atypical for LASSCo scents, this is a very strongly, yet naturally- scented “green” profile, with violet leaf predominating the fragrance.
Pre de Provence After Shave Balm:
Pre de Provence produces one of the best balms we have ever seen here at WCS. It is a light, smooth consistency balm with grapeseed oil, shea butter, and a plethora of other botanicals that help to heal the skin without feeling heavy or suffocating. Naturally and subtly scented with sage oil, this makes for a perfect springtime pick-me-up without the (to some) cloying effect of citrus-based scents.
Fine Accoutrements Aftershave Splash, Platinum:
If you’ve been around the wet shaving community awhile, chances are you’ve heard of Fine Accoutrements’ offerings. Todd (a.k.a. Mr. Fine) has created an artistic spin off of Creed’s Aventus fragrance, with notes of bergamot, blackcurrant leaves, apple, pineapple, pinkberries, birch, patchouli, jasmine, musk, oakmoss, ambergris and vanilla. With pineapples coming in season, we take the opportunity to mention Fine’s Platinum, which is regarded as a “smoky pineapple” with woody notes supporting and softening this otherwise fruity head. The longevity of the Fine aftershaves are very impressive, giving me at least 12 hours of noticeable wear off of the scents, though your mileage may vary.