Stirling Soap Company Shave Soap, Pumpkin Spice: If you’re looking for a somewhat off-the-beaten-path scent, Stirling’s got you covered. Their pumpkin spice shaving soap is a great seller here at WCS during the fall and winter seasons, and is unquestionably - yet not overwhelmingly - the scent of a pumpkin pie. With notes of pumpkin, allspice, and nutmeg, this is what we’d call a gourmand scent: the scent of a warm, sweet and spiced dessert.
Dr. Jon’s 1803 Shaving Soap: As many fellow wet-shavers have experienced, Dr. Jon’s “1803” shaving soap scent is very hard to pin down. Top notes of pineapple, guava, peach and green apple, middle notes of bamboo teakwood, blue gardenia, white rose, and jasmine, on a base of musk, cedar, sandalwood, and bergamot. Though complex, this is a very pleasant scent, and to me reminds me of a more subtle, sophisticated take on the warm sweetness of a handmade apple pie. Their vegan formula is incredibly easy to load and lather, and is very slick and protective.
Marvis Cinnamon Mint Toothpaste: From Marvis’ early origins, this eclectic toothpaste has been marvelled and sought-after by many a fanatic and cult-follower. Originally praised by smokers in the 70s for its intense minty flavor that could demolish even the worst of bad breath, the brand eventually began to die out due to its exclusivity. Thanks to Ludovico Martelli of Proraso, the Marvis brand was bought out and completely revamped, and their cult-like following now continues on once more! In addition to Marvis’ infamously strong mint flavor is the inclusion of cinnamon. Unlike many cinnamon-flavored toothpastes - or foods/candies, for that matter - this cinnamon is very natural, warming, and nonsynthetic (thank goodness!).
Lockhart’s Authentic Hair Pomade, Light Hold: During the winter months, I find that using an ultra heavy-holding pomade isn’t quite the way to go. Especially for those who experience very cold winters (not here in California, mind you) and have relatively longer hair, a heavy, wax-based pomade can become very difficult to restyle if you may need to do so during the day. Lockhart’s Light Hold pomade is one of your best options for a flexible, wax-based pomade that will allow your hair to rock its natural texture, all with the very subtle, appropriately blended combination of cinnamon, clove and cedar.
Catie’s Bubbles Shaving Soap, Le Piment De La Vie: One of the original vegan shaving soap artisans, Chris of Catie’s Bubbles has been king of the shaving castle (too far? Nah, I don’t think so) with his incredibly slick, comfortable soaps, and sophisticated scent blends, all while keeping it at a price point everyone can enjoy. Le Piment De La Vie is a bold, yet very warm unity of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Abraham’s Beard oil, Milk and Honey: Many guys are choosing to sport a mustache or full beard in response to No Shave November/Movember. The market is saturated with aggressively “manly”-scented beard products and, while these can be a very invigorating and confidence-boosting, sometimes it’s nice to smell something other than wood bark under your nose all day. Abraham’s milk and honey beard oil is warm and sweet, a calming rendition of one of my personal Thanksgiving indulgences: a hot cup of tea with honey following the turkey and stuffing-induced food coma. A blend of botanicals, including jojoba and argan oils, work to soften the skin and facial hair.
Soap Commander Shaving Soap, Confidence: Soap Commander’s “Confidence” shaving soap is a blend of honey, musk, and patchouli. My grandfather was a butcher for most of his life and, for as long as I could remember, his must-have at any thanksgiving was a honey-roasted ham. A quick sniff off of the tub gives off the molasses-like, caramelized raw honey I associate with this popular Thanksgiving dish. Musk and patchouli combine to round out the honey with a slightly animalistic, smoky undergrowth. As with all Soap Commander soaps, their vegan base is very slick, and works well to nourish and hydrate the skin both during, and after the shave.
Stirling Soap Company Shave Soap, Autumn Glory: Another one of the great offers from Stirling, “Autumn Glory” is a more subtle take of the quintessential “fall” scent. A mix of dry woods and musk is rounded about by a slight tang of black pepper and sweet apple. Think of it as a waft of baking apple pie while out on a walk in the forest. Beautifully warm and subtle, this is a great addition to your fall and winter soap collection.
Simpson Luxury Shave Cream, Cafe Latte: Simpson’s shaving brushes have been praised for several decades. However, their newest addition to their lineup is worthy of mention. Their new shaving creams are the underdogs of the shaving cream world, with a special formulation that prevents the foamy/airy lather stage. This means that you can add a fair amount more water than you may be used to with shaving creams and, with the inclusion of many botanicals, this cream will be gentle on the skin. With notes of coffee and cocoa, this scent would be best described as a sweet mocha, which I find to be a very calming, inviting way to start a cool autumn morning - especially to kick off a day of Thanksgiving Festivities!
Mickey Lee Soapworks Shaving Soap, the Drunken Goat: The definition of gourmand, Mickey Lee Soapworks’ Drunken Goat is well-known and loved in the wet shaving as a sweet, warm blend of chocolate, oats, molasses, and chestnut. For most people, it’s quite hard to resist eating the remaining lather (do not attempt..). It really is that good, and the inclusion of goat’s milk make this already incredible soap base even more impressive. Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts of all time, and is a go-to for many after a Thanksgiving dinner. But many have not experienced the incredible twist on this treat - chocolate pecan pie. If I had to describe its taste, it would be almost identical to the scent of the Drunken Goat: dark, sweet, syrupy, and with a slightly dry and bitter background of oats/nut.
Chatillon Lux Aftershave, Bon Vivant: As a Dutchman, the classic Dutch apple pie was present at every Thanksgiving dessert. A sure-fire way to take the classic apple pie over the top is with a topping of bourbon caramel. Chatillon Lux’s “Bon Vivant” is inspired by Jerry Thomas, one of the first famous bartenders and author of the original bartending guide. As a tribute, this scent includes caramel, birch tar, black pepper, maple syrup, vanilla, patchouli, neroli, petitgrain, yuzu citrus, ginger, anise, juniper berry, white grapefruit, wormwood and coriander. This scent packs an upfront boozy, caramely punch that is very reminiscent of the popular bourbon caramel used in many desserts, then mellows out to a much more woody, smoky, and complex profile, perfect for any cool fall or winter day.
Imaginary Authors Saint Julep Eau de Parfume, Travel Size: Many people like to follow up their Thanksgiving dinner with a mixed drink of sorts. A popular for many is the old-fashioned, a blend of sugar, bitters, alcohol (typically brandy or whiskey) and citrus rind. Almost to the tee, Imaginary Authors has recreated this boozy drink in their fragrance, St. Julep. A blend of sweet mint, tangerine, magnolia, bourbon, grisalva, and sugar cube. Up front, this scent may seem like one for the ladies, but one should not be fooled! As with many Imaginary Authors fragrances, Josh has a way of mixing the scent notes to be equally suitable for both men and women. The added grisalva brings a notable animalic component that subdues the sweetness of the remaining notes to yield a very sweet, yet musky and dirty scent for only the most daring of wearers.
Captain’s Choice Shaving Soap, 45th Parallel: In addition to pumpkin and apple pie, cherry pie has traced its origins back to the 1500s, and has been a classic ever since. Captain’s Choice recently released their 45th Parallel scent, which is a sweet, tart combination of cherry and sweet almond oils for a natural sweetness that makes you wish you had a scoop of ice cream to top of the shave. This is a truly decadent fragrance that stands above the crowd.