6 Forgotten Drugstore Colognes and Aftershaves

by Brett on January 10, 2012 · 493 comments

in Dress & Grooming

Every time I stroll down the men’s grooming aisle at my local drugstore to pick up some deodorant or Brylcreem, I can’t help but notice the shelves of colognes and aftershaves. Gillette’s green and blue goo aftershaves seem to sell well, as do the notorious AXE body sprays.

However, as my eyes drift down to the lowest shelf, I’ll usually spy a selection of hardly touched colognes and aftershaves. Among them you’ll find fragrances that once sat in Grandpa’s bathroom–English Leather, Old Spice, Aqua Velva–but are now overlooked or snickered at by the younger generation.

I’ll be honest. I used to turn up my nose at these colognes and aftershaves too. I figured if they were being sold in a drugstore in plastic bottles for $5 and not at a department store in fancy glass bottles for $50, they probably smelled awful. Without an endorsement from Diddy, how good could they be? Oh, the power of branding on my feeble mind!

But one day, I decided that instead of relying on my fallacious reasoning to judge the quality of these forgotten drugstore colognes and aftershaves, I would bust out some good old-fashioned empiricism. I headed over to my nearest drugstore and filled up my handbasket with every single cologne and fragrance they offered. The lady at the checkout lane gave me a funny look and noted that she’s never seen a guy my age buying the stuff in my basket. I just smiled.

The total on my receipt for the six different products was $41. The most expensive bottle was $12.

After a week of testing these colognes and aftershaves, I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised by my findings. I actually thought all of the drugstore colognes and aftershaves smelled great and will probably start using them on a daily basis. Because my go-to cologne is so expensive, I usually just wear it on special occasions. These bargain drugstore aftershaves and colognes will allow me to invigorate my freshly shaved face and dab on a bit of fragrance every day without breaking the bank.

Below are my thoughts and a bit of history on the six drugstore colognes and aftershaves I tested. Enjoy.

Pinaud Clubman

Pinaud Clubman is the oldest bargain aftershave on our list.  Since 1810, Pinaud-Clubman has been making the world smell manlier with their wide range of grooming products. Walk into any traditional barbershop and you’ll likely find Pinaud-Clubman aftershave sitting on the shelves; it’s part of what gives classic barbershops their distinctive scent.

What it smells like: Pinaud Clubman is pretty potent stuff. You’ll find hints of orange, lemon, jasmine, and lavender with a warm musk background in this manly concoction. It also has a nice antiseptic alcohol smell to it. You’d think smelling like rubbing alcohol would be a bad thing, but somehow Pinaud-Clubman makes it work.

Price: $7 for 6 oz.

Aqua Velva Ice Blue

Aqua Velva got its start in 1929, not as an aftershave, but as a mouthwash for men. Crazy, huh? It wasn’t until 1935 that Aqua Velva started getting pitched exclusively as an aftershave. Aqua Velva’s biggest selling point has always been the cooling menthol that soothes away razor burn.

Throughout the years, Aqua Velva produced several TV commercials to cast itself as the scent of choice of manly men. In this spot, 1950s cartoon guy learns what happens to guys who don’t wear Aqua Velva:

Aqua Velva was responsible for Pete Rose’s all-time MLB record for hits. If only Aqua Velva could have imbued Rose with the practical wisdom needed to understand that betting on your own team isn’t a good idea.

Even the Lone Ranger and Tonto wore Aqua Velva. Hi-yo, Silver!

What it smells like: Aqua Velva leaves a nice, clean, masculine smell that’s heavy on the menthol, but also includes hints of vanilla, lavender, and oakmoss. The smell is initially potent, but fades to a pleasant manly oakmoss smell very quickly. This was my second favorite scent out of all that I tried.

Price: $5 for 3.5 oz

Old Spice

Before they got into the “Man-Your-Man-Could-Smell-Like” body wash business, Old Spice made cologne and aftershave. Chances are your grandpa probably wore the stuff. If I were a bettin’ man, I’d even wager that the manly, charming scent of Old Spice played some kind of role in your eventual birth. Old Spice has been sold in its iconic buoy-shaped bottle since 1938.

What it smells like: Old Spice has a nice, spicy smell to it, hence the name. You’ll find overpowering notes of sage and cinnamon when you apply it. As it fades, it leave a pleasant musk and cedarwood scent.

Many believe that today’s Old Spice cologne isn’t the same as the original. Aficionados swear there was a subtle change made to the formula after Procter and Gamble acquired the brand. Even with the tweaking, this is still a solid, timeless, and manly fragrance. Good to have in your collection.

Price: $10 for 6.38 oz.

English Leather

The aftershave of choice of my 96 year old grandpa, William Hurst. English Leather got its start in 1949, and it hasn’t changed much since then. Same formula; same rectangular bottle; same big ol’ wooden lid. English Leather gift boxes were a popular holiday gift for years. Maybe you got your dad a box for Christmas 1987. Most of the marketing for English Leather featured an attractive woman telling male viewers or readers that “All her men wear English Leather.” Translation: If you want hot babes, slap on some English Leather, by golly. Example:

What it smells like: It’s a pretty simple fragrance. Starts off with a citrusy smell that slowly fades to a woodsy, leathery scent. As the day wore on, it started to smell more like baby powder. Nice and fresh.

Price: $12 for 3.4 oz.


Ah, Brut. My first cologne. I got some in my stocking for Christmas when I was in 6th grade. The ladies of Sequoyah Middle School loved  it. At least, that’s what I told my 12-year-old self.

The original Brut was marketed as a luxury scent in 1963, but in 1968, Fabergé (the company that owns Brut) created a budget version called “Brut 33″ (the 33 was a reference to the fact that it was 33% less fragrant than the original).  A few years later, they re-branded the budget version back to just “Brut.” Thus was born one of the most iconic bargain colognes of all time. Brut’s trademark plastic green (and let’s be honest–kind of phallic) bottle with its silver logo has probably graced the medicine cabinets of millions of men across the world.

Over the years, Brut has marketed itself as the go-to fragrance for men of strength and virility. Its tagline is “The Essence of Man.” Athletes have typically been the spokesmen for the brand. Football player “Broadway” Joe Namath took part in a series of TV and print ads for Brut in the 1970s. Here’s Joe telling us how men who “go all the way” wear Brut:

What it smells like: People either love or hate Brut. I’m personally a fan of it. The scent combines dashes of sandalwood, oakmoss, lavender, and jasmine. It’s kind of an aggressive scent.

Price: $7 for 5 oz.


After a century of making cowboy hats, the Stetson Company decided to get into the men’s fragrance business in 1981 with a cologne for men. Stetson took advantage of their cowboy heritage by pitching their cologne as the scent for men who are independent and love adventure. And as the gift idea for those you didn’t know what else to get the man in their lives (“Stetson makes it easy, for youuuuu!).

In 2007, New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, became the new Stetson man. I’m pretty sure this was a move to get women to buy Stetson for their men.  I don’t think giant magazine spreads of Tom Brady looking wistfully into the camera are going to excite most men to buy Stetson.

What it smells like: Stetson’s scent kinda catches you off guard. With all their rugged cowboy marketing, I expected Stetson to have a woodsy, leathery, or even musk scent. But to my surprise it was more of a light, flowery fragrance with notes of lavender, jasmine, and citrus. It’s not bad, just different from the typical male fragrances on the list.

Price: $10 for 3.5 oz. I got mine on sale at Walgreens for $4. What a deal!

In Memorium: Hai Karate

Hai Karate is no longer produced, but because it was perhaps one of the most famous bargain fragrances to come out of the 60s and 70s, I had to put it on the list. I’ve never smelled the stuff, but from what I’ve heard from Baby Boomers, it didn’t smell that great. So why did it sell so well?

Clever marketing.

With every bottle of Hai Karate, you got a small instruction booklet of karate moves that you were supposed to use to fend off the women who would be all over you after you applied this irresistible fragrance.

Don't use Hai Karate without memorizing these self-defense moves.

Here’s the TV commercial showing the effects of Hai Karate on a man’s unsuspecting girlfriend:

While Hai Karate faded from the fragrance scene in the 80s, its legacy lives on today in AXE body spray. Just like its 1970s predecessor, AXE assaults one’s nasal cavities (at least when over-applied by zealous middle schoolers), yet remains popular because of clever marketing that usually features women attacking some dude who’s sprayed himself with magically instant sex appeal.

If you’re really itching to try some Hai Karate, you can buy it on eBay.

Fun fact: Pfizer (the maker of Viagra) owned the Hai Karate brand.

What’s your favorite drugstore cologne or aftershave? Do you have a favorite that we didn’t include on the list? Share them with us in the comments!

{ 493 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Charles January 11, 2012 at 11:00 am

Old Spice was my first cologne and I still use it. My girlfriend loves it, but she prefers some of my more expensive scents. Though, her favorite only goes for about $20. Its called Blue Sugar. As the name implies, it smells kind of sweet. I’m not too surprised as she also claims a favorite as Victorinox 125 Years. It was a promotional scent for their 125th anniversary and I think it may still be available. What makes it kind of endearing is the mild chocolate scent it has.

102 Curtis Day January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am

I just read the “aftershave” article. I am not ashamed to admit that I have used Aqua Velva aftershave since I started shaving in the mid 70′s. It was the favorite of my Dad and is also used by both of my sons. You described it perfectly in the article. Its very soothing and has a mild manly scent. Very nice. Everyone should have some.

103 upsaciman January 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Bay Rum!

104 Chris January 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

My favorite really old-fashioned scent was a bottle of bay rum aftershave/cologne that I picked up at a store back in early 1990′s. It may have been a J. Peterman store or something like it – lots of vintage/retro items.

It was a “genuine” bay rum concoction, which means it pretty much smelled like bay leaves and other spice soaked in rum/rubbing alcohol. When you first put it on, it smelled like you’d spilled your tropical drink on yourself while exploring your spice rack, but it faded to an evergreen/citrus (and obviously, bay leaf) scent. I tried some of the cheap drugstore versions and didn’t like them, but this reminds me that I may need to find another version of it.

My favorite new scent is the Molton Brown Black Pepper body wash.

105 Chris January 11, 2012 at 11:13 am

Actually, I just looked and J. Peterman still sells a Dominica Bay Rum. The bottle looks a little different, but it may be the same.

106 upsaciman January 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

The stuff my Gramps used came in a bottle shaped like a wooden barrel.

107 Coast Ranger January 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

I use Old Spice aftershave. It is not as strong as the cologne and the alcohol sting is bracing. (Real men don’t mind a little suffering!).

108 Eric January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

Clubman Bay Rum. I get more compliments on that than I ever have with any other scent. My drugstore only carries the original Clubman mentioned in the article, so I have to go to Amazon for it.

109 Kevin January 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

I’d get my Pops Brut every Christmas when I was a kid. Being a good sport, he always acted surprised.

110 kevin January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

Glad to see my first ever cologne(English Leather) included here. But really, of those listed, Clubman is for the ages. A pity their Lilac Vegetal wasn’t mentioned. The comments would intruige me.
BTW, Petermans Old Dominica Bay Rum is superb, as is Porters Lotion.

111 Kyle January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am

Brut and Stetson, makes me think of my dad for sure. I just got four bottles of old spice from my Grandfathers who passed away earlier this year. One came in a big silver flask. I also got several awesome hats and many awesome ties. Now every time I slap on some Old Spice I remember Gramps.

112 Chris M. January 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

My dad was an Old Spice kind of guy. I remember geting bottles of Avon, English Leather and Jovan Musk when I was a kid. But the one heavenly scent I remember from my childhood is back in my life. I reveled in the smell of my old barbershop every time my dad took me in to “get my ears lowered.” The odor? None other than the staple of every respectable old school barber – Clubman! Talc and after-shave. Nothing finer. Still go to a barber who uses the talc when shaving my neck. And I’m passing that little family tradition on to my 11 year-old son. NOTHING picks you up like having your wife brush past, purring, “You smell good…”

113 Ted January 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

I liked Polo and Grey Flannel. My wife liked Aramis. Don’t know if they’re drugstore brands, but they weren’t too expensive either. Of those featured, I’ve used English Leather and Old Spice.

Today’s scents seem like women’s perfumes. Maybe I’m just getting old!

114 JG January 11, 2012 at 11:50 am

Been using Old Spice aftershave (I don’t wear cologne) for a bit over 10 years now. Love the smell and the feeling. Everybody tells me I smell like an old man.

115 Gary January 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I recently bought Pinaud’s Caribbean Spice Bay Rum… I love it.

116 Rob January 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm

My wife loves Polo, I don’t mind it either. I would love to use Old Spice, but my wife’s grandfather used it everyday and when I wear it she doesn’t want to kiss or get near me, as (in her words) I smell like her grandfather, and that’s just weird.

117 Casey January 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Brut was my first as well. It stayed in the drawer for years. Then I found, after some experimenting, it was flamable. Also, I found that upon smelling it from the bottle, cats run away very quickly, not sure if that symbolizes something.

118 Jim January 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I use Pinaud Clubman and my wife tells me I smell like her grandfather and it turns her off. It’s a shame, I really like it too. So I’m searching for something alcohol based that is more up her alley.

119 Dallas January 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hai Karate was originally a joke from a marketing team. The funny part was, it didn’t exist, but the marketing went so well that thousands of people were going to stores and asking for it. They threw together a fragrance and started selling.

120 Todd January 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

You said Aqua Velva was your second favorite scent, but I didn’t notice where you followed up by listing your favorite. Just curious.

121 Chris January 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I used to to use what the “in” thing was until I educated myself on what I was actually putting on, and therefore in, my body. Then I tried the “natural” body creams and deodorants to avoid the toxins present in most major (read cheap) brands. Check out EWG dot org to see the list of toxins in your own brand. Three years ago my diet progressed to a very healthy place and I have not used any body odor cover since. I can do 90 minutes of hard workout with loads of sweat and simply dry off and not have an odor issue. If you make healthy choices on what you put into your body, you won’t have to mask the stench as it comes back out through your pores. That is as manly as it gets!

122 Patrick January 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

You’ve gotta check out Bay Rum!!!!

123 Andrew January 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Those were just the products that you managed to buy at the store, there are also other products that have been mentioned in other articles, like Bay Rum. I think it would be interesting to see a more complete list, assuming there are very many more products.

124 Jerry January 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Real men never forgot Old Spice … we’re still using it!

125 Phil January 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

My Grandfather was from Scotland, and wore British Sterling. i can remember being 7 and sneaking some to wear to the McDonalds playground on a Friday night. He wore that sent through my childhood and until he passed away. That scent still reminds me of him.

126 Adam January 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I’ve been using Old Spice cologne, aftershave, and deodorant for years now. You don’t have to put too much on since the scent layering compliment each other.

127 Kerrick Long January 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Brut was my first cologne as well; I remember that from my childhood that my grandfather made his own concoction that included Brut, so I wanted to use that.

I eventually moved on to English Leather, which I use to this day. Of course, I’ll use English Leather Black for a special night on the town.

128 Bud January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I remember my first after shave, it was Brut, which I used till I was out of Highschool. Afterward I switched to Old spice all through my College years, ‘the chicks dig it’ I told myself. Since then it still has a place in my cabinet alongside one of my other favorites, McGraw Southern blend which smells kinda like a cigar factory but, all that aside, I love the stuff.

129 John January 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

British Sterling

130 Tony January 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Gillette blue bottle, $5 and lasts 12 months. Cant beat it.

131 Stephen Vasconi January 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’ve been using Pinaud Clubman for about 2 years. I bought it on the recommendation of my barber of 12 years. I love the sent, but I think I may have to clean out the shelf at my local drug-store too.

132 Whit January 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

This reminds me of a scene from the movie “Poolhall Junkies” about using Old Spice and Aqua Velva to get women.

133 Patrick Huber January 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Musk by Coty! Got it in high school and I’ve been using it ever since.

134 Kenneth Payne January 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I’m amazed that Mennen Skin Bracer hasn’t come up in this conversation. My paternal grandfather used it as did my dad starting in the early 1940′s. I’ve used it for more than forty years. It has a unique scent, truly unlike anything I’ve ever found. After a hot lather shave and a cold water splash there’s no feeling in the world like Skin Bracer. It starts out strong and then quickly mellows out to a clean, manly fragrance throughout your day. It’s on the shelf of my local supermarket right next to the Old Spice and Aqua Velva . . . right where it should be.

135 Ryan Cooke January 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I love Brut! The smell of it sends me right back to my childhood, and reminds me of my Dad. He wore all sorts of different colognes, but Brut is so distinctive.

136 Kenneth Payne January 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm
137 Rick January 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Fun trip down memory lane. I remember the junior high locker room reeking from Hai Karate…and another one not mentioned – Jade East.

I have worked in large organizations all my adult life – some 30 years now and have to say….Men don’t wear cologne or aftershave. Close proximity in cubicles, conference rooms, and elevators makes it kind of unpopular. Women are discouraged from wearing perfume. I’d be curious what other people think – has the use of fragrance products declined in the workplace?

138 Brad January 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I actually have always preferred a cologne such as any of the ones mentioned in the article. My wife however, thinks it reminds her of her Dad or Grandpa (a fact she will probably come to appreciate in a few more years instead of being grossed out by). Until her taste becomes more refined, I have found Chaps Weekend to be a great scent. Reminds me of a subtler, more pleasing version of some of the colognes parked on my man-shelf, but still holds just enough of an outdoors scent that I can wear it anywhere comfortably.

139 Aaron January 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I use the J.Petermans Bay Rum and their 1903 Collection. I also have a bottle of oldspice, every man should. It reminds of my dad and grandad.

I think I’m going to have to pick up a few of these and give them a try.

Also I would like to know which one was his first favorite. I’m not above taking recommendations :)

140 Ty January 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Is there a preferred occasion for each scent?

141 BILL January 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Jade East
I was in the 7th or 8th grade
I splashed some on just before the Rolling Stones show @ Will Roger Coliseum

142 FSM_47 January 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Old Spice–wife loves it :-)

143 Andy January 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

When I started shaving Aqua Velva was a gift to me. My 95 yo grandfather still has it in his cabinet. My dad was an Old Spice and English Leather man and I always liked that smell. No offense to the Brut men, but it reminds me of my freshman HS French teacher that would spit when he spoke. One time there was a bee in the window and instead of grabbing the insect spray he grabbed the Brut. The bee died all the same. No Brut for me.

144 Ryan January 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for reminding me of these classic scents! My grandfather and father used to wear these and it truly makes me think of what it means to be a man. I went to the drugstore today to pick a few of these up and was surprised to find some left over Christmas gift set still available and at 75% off. I was able to pick up Old Spice and English Leather for $2.50 each. What a bargain and great way to sample these again.

145 jimbo January 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

English Leather was my first.Soon followed by the Old Spice i found with my Grandfather’s old shaving kit.

146 David Kelsey January 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Jovan Musk for Men

147 Al January 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I would also like to know what the #1 favorite was.

148 Earl January 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I was given a bottle of Canoe (“Can you Canoe?”) as a young teenager and have nostalgically loved that scent ever since. I actually got one of my sons a bottle when he was younger.

Thanks for prompting the look back! Now I have to go and search for and buy a bottle of Canoe.

149 David January 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I’ve used Stetson for years. This year I got a Stetson Black gift box and will definitely have a back up I can switch back and forth with from the original. The Black is much more of what the author thought of when he got Stetson as it has a strong leathery/suede scent. It’s definitely gentleman approved.

150 Dale Hanson January 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm
151 Kurt Keller January 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hate to say it, but I honestly hate Brute. It’s what my dad uses (both Cologne and Deodorant). Well, once I ran out of my usual Old Spice Deodorant so I was forced to use his Brute. Well, I kept sneezing every time I lifted my arm. I guess I’m allergic to the stuff.

152 jsallison January 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Old Spice, baby, and I can still whistle the theme.

153 Seth January 12, 2012 at 12:29 am

I just picked up some Clubman, and I love it. Old Spice is also a favorite. English Leather was my first cologne and I still love it. Another scent I picked up is Col. Conk’s Amber After Shave and Cologne. As for “expensive” colognes, I am still partial to Drakkar Noir. I never could stand Polo or Curve.

154 Joe January 12, 2012 at 1:02 am

Stetson Sierra is one of my favorites.

155 Robert Denny January 12, 2012 at 1:51 am

This is an interesting, and telling article. It speaks to me in the way that I have come to realize portends the very meaning of style, value, true class and self assurance. It is much the same as the man who would spend 6 or even 7 figures on an automobile and would likely feel only momentary gratification. Others of us would find our deep satisfaction and style, with or without the same financial resources, driving a restored American pickup truck decades old or British 2 seater or muscle car from the recent past.

On the topic at hand, I once bought a locally made bay rum in Montserrat and kept refilling the bottle with the domestic equivalent. The aging label and the scent reminded me of that beautiful land and people ripped apart by the eruption of its volcano. My grandfather introduced me to Old Spice and I had streaks of everyday use and one flame attempting to talk me out of wearing something so “cheap”—beneath me. I kept the Spice; ditched the female. I also remember a lovely encounter with a young woman who recognized my Canoe one day back in the 1990′s. I live in Europe now, but my next trip back to the states will assuredly find my luggage topped off with a few bottles of classic fragrances.

Thank you.

156 Charlie Indelicato January 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

I bought my dad Old Spice & Brut growing up, and went the same route through my early 20s.

Now at 47, I can’t recall the last time I used or bought after shave or cologne. I never found the need to use the products (even wet while shaving). After reading the article I found I had some bottles under the sink: Stetson, Armani and really old Old Spice. Nostalgia aside, I still don’t see myself using them.

Maybe I should give them to my son.

157 Charlie Indelicato January 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

Errata: one of the old colognes was Polo, *by* Armani. Sorry.

158 TDS January 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

Saxon Wood Spice.

Reminds me of when my family would go out to dinner or to church my old man would put this on. Circa late 80s.

I’m probably the only guy in NYC wearing this stuff but it truly works. Smooth aftershave with a great scent that lasts a few hours. It’s becoming harder to find (on the cheap) but if any one stumbles across it, try it out.

159 Cory in B.A. Ok January 12, 2012 at 10:09 am

I’ve been using old spice, english leather, and various clubman scents the past 3 mos. The MOST positive reaction I’ve gotten from my wife has been from the clubman vanilla, and aqua velve musk. How much is the musk? $3.47.

160 MarkJ January 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

Chaps by Ralph Lauren? I remember seeing it on drugstore shelves as a kid, but have no idea what it smelled like. It was their budget scent (Polo obviously being the fancy department store brand) and marketed like Stetson – for the real American man.

I have to say I’ve never used any of these. By the time I came of age in the ’80s most of them were considered passe. I guess what goes around eventually comes around again.

161 Corey January 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

I really like my Florida Water cologne, and a bottle of that lasts me FOREVER.

Its like a spicy citrus with hints of clove and lavender. Its not very musky which makes me feel sleek and audacious. Unencumbered by heady smells!

162 Chuck January 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

Growing up, I used Stetson, Stetson Country, and Preferred Stock.

My brother used Brut (which I can’t stand).

Now I almost exclusively use Adidas Moves which I really like.

163 Cory B. in B.A. Ok January 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

I’ve been using some of these scents for over 3 months now, but none have gotten the reaction from my wife I’ve been looking for save for two. Clubman’s Vanilla and Aqua Velva Musk. How much for each? $6 online for the clubman, and $3.47 for the musk from walmart.

164 Jana January 12, 2012 at 11:13 am

No one mentioned Pub! As a woman, I have to tell you that the scent was orgasmic! Oh my God it was just amazing. The closest thing to it that I have ever smelled is Avon’s Mesmerize for men. It makes women drool….
Second faves are Old Spice, Brut, Canoe, English Leather. Aqua Velva and those types are pretty nice too. Just smelling a man that is well groomed drives any decent woman nuts!! Keep it up boys (pun intended)!!

165 Eric January 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

I tend to use witch hazel as an aftershave product, and try to find the most scentless brands I can.

However, a few years ago I started using Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream, and THAT is what I want to smell like. The problem is, the scent from the shaving cream washes away when you clean your face after shaving, and none of their other Sandalwood products (cologne, aftershave, talc powder, deodorant… I’ve tried them all) have quite the same smell as the shaving cream.

I’ve gotten to where I actually smear a bit of the shaving cream on my under t-shirt every day after I shave, and have found the scent is very mild and stays with me all day. I get compliments on it all the time, and I just have not found a scent I like better… in fact I quit using Bay Rum specifically because it covered up the remnants of the Sandalwood shave smell!

Anyone else have this problem?

166 Dennis January 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I use Clubman regularly and always get the “gee you smell great” thing from women my age. If you are daring, try the Lilac Vegetal scent for everyday use. Goes on kind of weird then mellows out like a good bottle of red wine.

167 Harry January 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Great piece! I’m still a fan of Old Spice. Drugstores are a treasure trove of forgotten colognes. Two of my favorites, not mentioned here, are Jovan’s Sex Appeal for Men and Hoyt’s Cologne.

Sex Appeal comes in a box that has some bizarre copy on it: “Sex Appeal. Now you don’t have to be born with it. This provocative stimulating blend of rare spices and herbs was created by man for the sole purpose of attracting woman. At will. Man can never have too much.”

Hoyt’s Cologne, which has been around since the 1860s, was used in the South as a good luck cologne and has long had associations with voodoo. It smells great! Kind of a light citrus with lavender.

168 Joshua M January 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I started using using Old Spice Fresh Scent aftershave and my girlfriend loved it, she’d ask my to wear it whenever we’d go out. Quite a few people asked me what it was and it got many a compliment.

Unfortunately its harder to find than the Classic Scent so after we broke up I wanted to save what little I had left. I tried Aqua Velva, its cheaper, easier to come by and still leaves my face smooth, clean and smelling terrific…

169 Brian January 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm

When I was a teenager the good stuff was drakkar noir or adidas. I remember how you could hardly breathe in the locker room after everyone got cleaned up and put cologne on. Ha ha. My dad was an Old Spice man. This article makes me want to get a bottle just for old times sake. Now not many of the guys at work wear cologne. But, I work in IT so there are no ladies areound to impress. :-) When I want to smell nice for my lady I reach for Stetson Sierra.

170 John S Grek January 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

i have four of the six, and Hai Karate and Jade East weren’t bad at all. The best, though, was Mennen Millionaire. I still have the original, but empty bottle, and it had a great scent. I received more compliments wearing that than any other. They should bring that back out. Old Spice and Aqua Velva are not quite the same as they were in the 50′s and 60′s.
They are “sweeter.”

171 Tim January 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Brut doesn’t need Diddy in their ads because when I was a kid, they had Jack Palance in their ads saying “I don’t need some fancy cologne to tell me I’m a man.”

172 Travis January 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’ve used Old Spice since I was a kid, pretty much. My Pap was a Barber until he died, and that’s always what he wore, so that’s just what I did.

I love Clubman, though. that’s what my barber uses on me after my neck shave, and I love it.

173 Alex January 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I used to wear cologne frequently, but then I switched to a Bay Rum aftershave. I find that cologne masks the manly scent of Bay Rum, and I can’t abide that.

174 Carl January 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

In the spirit of what isn’t broken shouldn’t be fixed, I have been using Old Spice deoderant since 1989, and after shave since 1996. I haven’t ever been given a reason to bother with anything else. When I met the young lady who eventually became my wife, she said it reminded her of her grandfather, in only the best ways. I took that as a glowing compliment.

175 Herbert R.L. January 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

When I was just probably 5 or 6 years old, I found an Old Spice cologne which was used by my father. Last year 2010 I asked my friend to buy me 5 bottles of it because I wasn’t able to find any store here in the Philippines that sells it, I gave one to my father and the rest are my manly scent reserves.

176 Chad January 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm

A friend from work is an expert on “historic fragrances.” He doesn’t wear anything from a company that wasn’t around before the Civil War. He got me hooked these two brands:
Casswell-Massey(est. 1752) – tons of scents in soaps, aftershave, and cologne. Three U.S. Presidents had their favorite Casswell-Massey scent (Washington-Number 6, Eisenhower-Almond Cold Creme, and JFK-Jockey Club).
C.O. Bigelow(est. 1838) – classic, manly scents that smell as good at the end of the day as when you but it on in the morning. It is a bit pricier than the brands on this list, but one bottle lasted for about two years of daily use. Elixir Black is my favorite.

177 don d January 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

my dad had polo colgonr that comes in a little red cabin shaped bottle and one like a train

178 JCRogers January 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

It’s Old Spice for me all the way. The Classic scent is the best, but I do experiment with their other scents for bodywash. My wife loves Classic Old Spice, and it’s a guaranteed way to get some lovin’.

179 JeffC January 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

To all those wondering what Brett’s No. 1 choice is: you’re stumbling over the answer even in your questions. He puts Pinaud Clubman at the top, then right under that identifies Aqua Velva as his second choice.

Get it? Pinaud Clubman is at the top, then Aqua Velva. Geez, do you need it spelled out for you? Okay: go to where he says Aqua Velva is his second favorite, then scroll up. lol

Hat tip to all the Mennen Skin Bracer fans: I knew you were out there.

180 JCRogers January 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm

And anyone who wears AXE is just begging to be mocked by real men.

181 kenny January 13, 2012 at 1:56 am

I am a big fan of Pinaud. I have been tempted to pull the not so expensive trigger on Old Spice, but just haven’t felt the desire to do so. I have to say that although these are fairly inexpensive, the best quality for the money I have found in aftershaves would have to be Saint Charles shave. Here is a link…
I am a huge fan of Dagger, although I also like their Lavender and Aspect. Mom and pop operation and all hand made, small batches. Really high quality stuff that doesn’t hurt the pocket book.

182 Vince January 13, 2012 at 6:23 am

I literally grew up around Stetson. (I was born in 81 see) and Stetson is what my old man wore. He also wore old spice and that’s what I used when I started shaving. Over the years I flip flop between the Clubman, Old Spice and Stetson.

183 Bob Seiple January 13, 2012 at 6:31 am

After more than 50 years of shaving I still use English Leather and Old Spice and I still wet shave with my father’s 1958 Gillette Fat Boy (double edged, gold(?) plated). I also, on occasion, grab a bottle of Canoe or Jade East.

184 Roach January 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

There’s a lot of imitation or off-brand Old Spice you can buy that smells more like the original formula than the name-brand stuff these days.

I’ve heard the generic dollar or drug store version is pretty good, but I get mine the same place I get my (excellent) shaving soaps, http://mamabearssoaps.com/

185 Wade January 13, 2012 at 8:56 am

Since I went to a university named after Stetson, I had to try the cologne and I was also surprised. I used to have English Leather but currently I just have that exact same Old Spice (glad you paraphrased from the box, by the way) and Stetson… might try the Pinaud-Clubman, though.

186 Michael January 13, 2012 at 9:18 am

My go-to varies between Aqua Velva and Clubman. My wife hates both, but the scent and feel on your skin after a good safety razor shave is second to none. I’ll never use any AXE product or anything else!

187 Gbrown January 13, 2012 at 9:21 am

Classic smells… and this site will become classic real soon.

188 Dave January 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

Props to Bay Rum. Bought a Jamaican version that looks like a Royall Lyme knockoff in Montego Bay last year and it’s fantastic.

Royall Lyme fragrances – though more expensive – are nice, especially their classic lime scent.

And if you ever do a piece on classic deodorants, Mennen Speed Stick’s Musk scent is terrific. Nice and unobtrusive. Same with Right Guard’s original deodorant in the aerosol can. The ladies always loved it.

189 Josh L. January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

I got a bottle of the old spice cologne a year or so ago because I was in the market to find a good inexpensive cologne. I must say I like the smell and its definately more of an every day cologne for me. I’m a fan of old spice because all of their other products are great. I’ve been using them since high school.

My dad was a Brut man himself. Still uses it to this day.

190 Bill January 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

That Brut one was a killer – bringing back old memories :)

191 Paul Stillman January 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I purchased my Dolce & Gabbana The One at CVS Pharmacy. Does that count?

192 Paul Stillman January 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I also purchased my Giorgio Armani Aqua di Gia and Dolce & Gabban pour homme at CVS, too; they are numbers two and three, respectively.

193 Patrick January 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Niether Old Spice or English Leather are forgotten. I used both in the last year. At the Moement I got a Bottle of Old Spice in my Bathroom.

194 Mike January 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

How could you miss Sex Panther? ;)

195 Dave January 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I started with Paco Raban. Was one of the first guys to wear Drakkar – now Polo black and Chanel Blue – all expensive premium brands.

However, after reading this I’ve decided I am going to go to the drug store and pick up some classic stuff – maybe I’ll get lucky.

Thanks for another great and interesting article.

196 Jason January 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

I have Clubman and Old Spice in my bathroom right now and put on whichever suits my mood that morning. Aqua Velva was issued to me in Boot Camp in 1997 at Parris Island South Carolina. My Dad used Brut but I was never a big fan. I always thought it smelled a little bit too much like bug repellant for my taste.

197 Jonathan January 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I find myself somewhat surprised to find all of my personal choices on the list: Aqua Velva is my aftershave, I use Stetson every day, and Old Spice is my go to for special occasions. My lady loves them all, which is always a plus.

I would take a bit of issue with a characterization of Stetson, though: I always caught a musk, and I tend to get comments that it smells like “all man”.

198 Jason January 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm

My favorite discount cologne is British Sterling. I actually saw it for sale in a gas station a few years ago for about $10.

199 Mark January 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Great article…I love the inexpensive drug store stuff.

200 josh January 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

My father used to used Brut and I always liked the smell of it. I didn’t even know they made Clubman aftershave (I used to use their hair gel).

I’ll be off to the drug store now to pick up a few of these.

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