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 }

301 Rick B. January 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

Brut will always take me back to my grandfather but having started wet shaving I’m pretty certain there was some Clubman in there. That said it could also be taking me back to the barbershop with him, my dad and my brother. For years I used Skin Bracer exclusively, until I was given an electric that dispensed the lotion. Not that I’m back to a razor Skin Bracer and now Clubman have come with it and my wife is swooning! Finally, original Polo will always have a special place in my heart, as my first cologne, ‘stolen’ in spritzes from my dad’s bottle.

302 Joe January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Osage Rub! If you love ‘cold’ aftershaves, this is the coldest and the best. Eucalyptus and menthol – comes in a big barbershop-style bottle. I order it from my barber, but it’s available online. Some say it smells like BenGay, I say it smells awesome!

303 Nick January 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I’m a fan of Florida Water cologne. It smells very unique (nowadays, anyway), and while it is kind of flowery, the citrus and clove undertones make it a bit more masculine than you’d expect. It fades a bit more quickly than I’d like, but at $4 for an 8 oz. bottle at Walgreens, I can’t complain. You can get it for even cheaper online, but then you’d have to pay shipping.

304 Justin January 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I went out and bought some Clubman today. This is some strong smelling stuff. Think I’ll splash some on from time to time, but only on Saturdays. Couldn’t wear this to work and I’d just add to the classic “church” smell on Sunday. It does give a nice hint of nostalgia, though, and brought a smile to my face.

305 ilija January 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

quick question.

is there a “proper” way to apply aftershave/cologne? after i put some on i feel like ive put too much and occasionally the girl friend will mention that as well. whats the perfect amount of say english leather?

306 David January 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Great Article! I still use several of these myself – The Clubman after shave is a daily ritual, along with the “Classic” old spice deodorant. Oh,and lets not forget the Brylcreem!

307 Dan January 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

I have used Pinaud (hair gel and aftersave) for years. I am constantly asked what aftershave I am wearing. Even by other men who refer to it as “very manly” smelling. They are always surprised when I tell them and some have even begun using it.

308 Tone January 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm

When I entered the service we were assigned even or odd numbers. Odd numbers were issued Old Spice, even Afta, Still use my odd number Old Spice 45 years later.

309 Saturday Sportsman January 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Pinaud also makes one called Bay Rum that is nice.

310 Jeff The Bear January 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I’ve had a full beard for close to 40 years but still like Old Spice or Bay Rum on my cheeks after a shave. I also learned that Old Spice on the back of my neck when it is really humid feels great.

Thanks for posting this article. I just tried some Pinaud Clubman original which is wonderful (and cheap!). It now has a place next to my tried and true potions.

311 Derrick Young January 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Wow what a trip down memory lane. I remember as a kid sneaking into my Dad’s Armour for a splash of Brute or Old Spice before heading out to a school dance or night of roller skating. As I have now began shaving with a straight razor i use after shave again for the first time in years. Clubman, Old Spice and Pinaud’s Bay Rum are my regular go to scents and they have all been around for eons.

312 GracePointe Tom January 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm

My favorite was always British Sterling.

313 michael corner January 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Great article. Now I am using Pinaud Clubman almost daily. It rips.

314 Michael Corner January 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Great article. Now I am using Pinaud Clubman almost daily. It rips.
Michael Corner

315 Michael Corner January 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Great article. Now I am using Pinaud Clubman almost daily. It rips.

Michael Corner

316 Michael Corner January 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Awesome article! Now I am using Pinaud Clubman almost daily. It rips.

Michael Corner

317 Jerry January 28, 2012 at 4:04 am

My bathroom cabinet was exactly like this back in the 70′s ! Still an Old Spice user.

318 Larry January 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

What ever happened to Jade East?
Also Canoe.

319 Michael January 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I tried a few different brands when I was just starting to shave including Pinaud and one that my mom said smelled like bourbon before settling on old spice, most likely because thats what my grandfather used (my father has always been a beard man).

320 Kevin January 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Great article. I’ve tried many colognes and aftershaves over the years but my go to, now only is Old Spice. My wife likes it, I like it…’nuff said!

321 Rommy January 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

The hipsters will be all over these retro scents in no time.

322 RBray January 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I am an Old Spice Man. It has been a family go to passed on from father to son. it is one of the first smells I remember at the barbershop. I sure do miss those days.

323 James January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Pinaud also makes a great Bay Rum aftershave. Not to be missed for the warmer months is Murray and Lanman “Florida Water”…just fantastic, and I keep finding it in Walgreens stores for around $3

324 ray murray January 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Pinaud, apart from Clubman and Bay Rum already mentioned, also makes a Lilac variety that is very nice, especially for spring time.

325 TOM January 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm

DRAKKAR , works great on me.

326 Matt B February 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I’ve used Old Spice and Paul Sebastian since I started shaving 13 years ago. I’m 27 now, and am learning how to use a safety razor (I’ve actually used shave soap and brush for years too). I currently use Clubman Moustache wax, as I sport a classic handlebar and chin puff ala Vincent Price. I will have to invest in Aqua Velva, Brut, Bay Rum, and Pinaud Clubman. I’m also a fan of Canoe and Chaps. I use both aftershave and cologne, but it depends on whether I shave or not. I tend to shave every 2-4 days, so on the days I shave, aftershave. The days I don’t, cologne. Luckily, my wife thinks I have good taste in aftershaves and colognes, so if I buy any of this stuff she won’t complain

327 Clyde February 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Bought some Pinaud clubman. Found it at CVS for about 6 bucks. I put a little on and waited. After a while my wife noticed and was immediately enamored. Will try it for a while and I like it too. Will also try to find some Florida Water based on the comments.

328 Larry February 2, 2012 at 4:51 am

Aqua Velva in a glass bottle? I found one of my old ones, but when I tried to go buy more, they only sell it in crappy plastic bottles now (that I was able to find). Also, second Osage Rub. It’s a GREAT finish to a Proraso shave if you like mentholated creams and after shaves. I nearly jumped the first time I splashed some Osage Rub on my face!

329 Phil Sanchez February 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

I have always loved Clubman from day one, I love this website! i just found it today and I cannot read enough! It is giving me some great idea’s on products to use.

330 Daniel February 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I’m surprised no one mentioned Three Flowers/Tres Flores. They make classic “pomade” and a pretty nice smelling aftershave that, in my opinion, goes well with Bay Rum shave soap.

I’m also a huge fan of British Sterling, it being my go-to cologne. I’ve used English Leather for years, too and Old Spice graces my medicine cabinet every now and again.

I’ve never picked up any Pinaud Clubman, but I think I’m going to have to get a bottle come payday. There’s a barber supply store a few blocks from my apartment in Long Beach, CA that I frequent and they stock all the classic, hard to find stuff.

Thanks for this post, AoM!

331 JO February 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Don’t forget Canoe…a nice smelling product that has been around for years.

332 Bob September 23, 2012 at 5:00 am

After years of non-use, I recently bought a bottle of Old Spice Cologne. I was absolutely disgusted at the difference in the aroma. P & G has ruined it for me. I was expecting that great old fragrance by Shulton and got P & G’s cheap substitute. Does anyone agree with me?

333 Alex September 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I’ve used Aqua Velva for years and I love it. The only aftershave I’ll use, honestly.

334 Pat September 24, 2012 at 8:22 pm

My father used a barbershop cologne called Isle of Capris. I can’t seem to find any reference to it. Does anyone know the maker of this product? It was used in the 60′s.

335 Tim October 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

The one my dad used and the one I go back to is Afta Original by Mennen. I’ve had guys and gals comment positively on this one. I tell them what it is and they had never heard of it. It’s been around a long time. It smells and works great.

336 Grady October 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

I am really surprised that you did not mention Mennen Skin Bracer. Mennen has been on the market since 1931. I have used it for over 40 yrs myself.

337 Brian October 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

I agree with Bob about the ‘new’ Old Spice…if they brought back the original formula that would be my favorite but Proctor and Gamble got cheap and turned their backs on the guys who kept it popular. Now I use Clubman products such as the original profiled here. I also love the Clubman Bay Rum (my wife not so much but she loves the original) as well as the Lime scent. If you are looking for a ‘lighter’ hair control product I do recommend the Clubman gel. It is lighter to me than Groom & Clean, for example. Here is the thing guys, for me, I am 55, I want to smell like a man, not a boy. These brands discussed here are the way to go!

338 Shawn October 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Old Spice (best marketing tag line ever – “If your Grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist”) was always the choice of my grandfather. It’s been my go-to when I’m out of Portand of Maine Whiskey scented after shave.

339 Weetabix October 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

What an excellent article. I’ve now embarked on a classic aftershave odyssey. I’m starting with the Clubman, and I think I’ll get a different one every couple weeks. I’ll poll my family and associates to see which one is most successful – objectivity is a benefit of the lack of emotional attachment to a particular scent.

340 Adam October 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I went out the other day to get a bottle of Pinaud Clubman, and I am really liking the scent. I paired it with a bottle of the Clubman Talc, and I’m looking forward to my next shave to use it.

341 Matt October 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

I don’t even use aftershave anymore; I like to shave against the grain so I get the smoothest shave ever but when you do that it leaves your face very dry and really burns and regular moisturizing aftershave won’t cut it. What I like is men’s lotion, Vaseline makes a men’s lotion it comes in a blue bottle I like the scent called strength, rinse your face first with hot water, dry your hands, then wipe excess water off your face and leave it on your hands, use a little nickel sized dab and apply it to your face (I use this wetting process no matter what I use for after shave) Its not oily and soaks in well so you don’t feel too “lotiony” all day and you can tell a difference in how well moisturized your face looks and feels.
My Barber however uses Clubman, I really like it and have been thinking of buying it to try as my regular aftershave.

342 Paul October 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I read this post when it first came out, so why am I commenting now, nine months later? I don’t know, but it did inspire me to explore some uncharted territory in my quest to enhance my manhood.
I was initially turned off from all fragrances, I guess because all the colognes gifted to me as a kid were horrible. I fell into the AXE trap in college when a free sample of the shower gel was distributed to every guy in my dorm. This post inspired me to try out the more mature fragrances, and now my AXE days are history!
I have obtained all of the fragrances on this list (except Hai Karate), and several others suggested in the comments. I’ve used English Leather and British Sterling the most frequently, and both have drawn some nice comments from the ladies. I also occassionally use Jovan Musk for Men and Old Spice, depending on my mood. This week I’m experimenting more with Pinaud-Clubman After Shave. It is some strong stuff, and it lasts all day, so I apply it the same way I do a cologne.
Preferred Stock – way too strong, even using the technique of spraying the air and walking into it.
Brut – A good scent, but I got tired of it rather quickly.
Aqua Velva – Haven’t done much with Ice Blue, but the Musk is a good one.
I also have some of the more recent designer colognes (Calvin Klein, Drakkar, etc.) but these get much less play. The old classics are good enough for me at age 30. And having never smelled any of the fragrances previously, I have the awesome advantage of total objectivity.

343 Philip October 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm

You mentioned Aqua Velva as your second favorite scent, but did not mention your favorite.

344 Geoff (Gorf to friends) October 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

For those that enjoy Old Spice Original Scent, I highly recommend trying Tabac (http://www.tabac-original.de/). My father switched to Old Spice only when he could no longer find Tabac aftershave. I was then able to find it imported from Germany by a place in Denver, but it seems to have had a resurgence and can be easily found online at many fragrance stores.

As the name implies, it has essence of Tobacco in the scent in addition to the other components. I’m not a smoker, but the smell of an UNLIT cigar is rather pleasing and manly, in my humble opinion.

345 Ben November 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Picked up Aqua Velva and a few days later a bottle of Pinaud Clubman. I like both but obviously am not sure anyone else does. The pinaud scent lasts all day but the Velva is more practical from a razor burn cooling standpoint. Really want to get a hold of a bottle of Spanish Floid Vigoroso. It’s not super cheap but not crazy expensive either and also very very old school.

346 Mikey November 9, 2012 at 10:43 am

Odd not to find Tabac mentioned. German origin, but really fresh & masculine, and not expensive. Up there (with Old Spice Original) as aftershaves that I always return to.
Incidentally, in these days of multi-bladed razors, NO-ONE should suffer from uncomfortable shaves.

347 Gerry November 10, 2012 at 11:39 pm

English Leather (made by Dana) used to have other varieties of scents during the early 80′s… Versions being Musk, Lime, Spice (and others which I cannot remember) that women and girls used to like. I guess every “cheap cologne” has some sort of history to it–and we should appreciate that!

348 Rob November 26, 2012 at 9:41 am

Jack Palance, a man’s man if there ever was one, must surely be disappointed that Skin Bracer wasn’t included.


349 Mary November 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

The Vermont Country Store sells several of the colognes mentioned as well as many classic women’s perfumes and colognes.

350 Gerry November 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Not mentioned on here is Avon products (for men). Some of the aftershaves/colognes sold from them are not too bad and are affordable–just make sure you get some little sample-towelettes first to determine if you will be interested in one of the products! Just another idea here for “aftershave-decisions”.

351 Randy December 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

My father-in-law wore 1411.

352 David December 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I love Old Spice, but hate the new bottles. Brett and Kate, people listen to you; tell Old Spice to bring back the old bottles. Or start an AOM petition to bring back the old bottles.

353 Mikey December 20, 2012 at 8:44 am

Especially for Paul (23 Oct)
You missed NOTHING by not trying Hai Karate.
I used to lather myself in the highly- potent green stuff in the 1960′s.
It was, shall we say, er…raw, pungent, unsophisticated & ranked up there with Bleach for impact on the ladies.
Imagine the average English dance hall, with hundreds of randy, and hopeful young Bucks absolutely reeking of Hai K (or Brut – which had a similar impact) the guys didn’t need a self-defense booklet – the girls fainted in droves. They were in more need of a gas mask or tips on how to hold their breath for 4 hours.
Ah, happy (if health-risking) days.


354 Randy Taylor December 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Back in the ’70s, I was at a LDS Churh Youth Conference at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. One of the guys on our dorm floor dropped a bottle of Hai Karate (on the 3rd floor). Through the osmosis of elevator travel, this scent took over the entire dorm. Big fan of Old Spice and Pinaud.

355 David December 23, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thanks for mentioning Brylcreem. I tried a lot of gels and pomades looking for something that would make my hair stay put and look shiny without the platsered look. It is the BEST, is readily available at drugstores and is cheap. Great old product!

356 Bill Bates December 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Hello gents,

Super late to comment on the article here, but for those who still want the “Original” Shulton Old Spice formula,

Shulton in India still makes the original Old Spice.

Just look up Indian Old Spice. They also still make the lime variation.

357 dennis December 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

old spice isnt forgotten
i bet the most of the guys (15-25) today already saw the hilarious random comericals by old spice :-)

i use their products all the time :-)

358 Zachariah December 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

Great article. There something nostalgic about aftershave — we often think of our first shave or of our dads and grandads. My grandpa was an Aqua Velva man and like Brett, my first bottle of aftershave was Brut a la a stocking stuffer. My dad favored Old Spice. I use Pinaud Clubman, so that’s what my son will associate with his dad.

359 Thomas December 27, 2012 at 7:35 am

As a baby boomer, I watched my father and older brother groom themselves and tried to emulated everything they did. From Dad I picked up Aqua Velva and still have the last bottle of Old Spice he purchased. My brother was in college and introduced me to English Leather. I’ve worn nearly ever scent known to man , but wish I could a flask of Nine Flags Hong Kong.

360 victor December 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

Old Spice is definitely slightly different than the original. I use the cologne for my daily routine. The change is very subtle, but noticeable. Though it still smells like Old Spice, it’s just a little less spicy, a little sweeter than I remember from when I used to help myself to my grandfather’s when I was a boy. Not quite as refreshing, but still a nice, clean scent.

361 Meyer57 December 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Every Sunday after I shave before Mass I ask my wife what cologne she wants me to wear and 9 out of 10 times it is ‘Old Spice’…. and that is good enough for me!

362 tommyg109 December 30, 2012 at 10:38 am

A few words about Hai Karate. The major mistake of this brand was not leaving well enough alone. Comedic tv ads aside, the original formula had a great scent, but the company should never have introduced the oriental lime fragrances and the ‘blue’ one, to name a couple. These added varieties helped sink the original, because they stunk so bad.

363 StBucky January 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

You missed my favorite: Canoe. I loved that stuff. I do however, still have my 1970s bottle of Hai Karate in the medicine cabinet.

364 william January 2, 2013 at 2:51 am

i wear old spice most of the time love it and i’m 24

365 Carl January 5, 2013 at 2:45 am

In my younger days (high school) Brut used to be the main fragrance to wear.
Nowadays, some 35 years later it’s Old Spice deodorant stick all the way and me not being a shaving man, I use a locally produced Bay Rum rubbed into my beard and scalp.
The Old Spice stick gives a delicate hint of the original colgne/after shave that my forefathers used to wear, without being overpowering.

366 Dave Darcy January 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I’ve used all of these after-shaves and colognes, and some were OK. But nothing could beat the smell of Seaforth
Scotch Heather. It was produced in the ’40s and 50′s, and was absolutely the manliest scent ever made. I would give anything to find out how the Alfred D. McKelvy Co. came up with the scent.

367 Sonny Garrett January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am

Trying to remember – was Jade East the one that came in Buddha bottles? I remember the bottles because, to a tween and teen, I thought they were cool.

368 Keith January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

After reading this article as I was digging through the archives last November, I asked for some Old Spice for Christmas. I’ve actually gotten compliments on it – tried but true!

369 Felipe January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

My dad loves Stetson. It does and will always remind me of him.

370 Eomer January 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

I’m 21 and English Leather is my go-to cologne.

371 Keith January 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

My barber uses the full line of Clubman products. I admit I like them after a barber shop shave. I may try to find this cologne at the drugstore.

372 John Foster January 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

If I remember correctly, my father wore British Sterling. I personally don’t wear wear much cologne anymore. For aftershave I use Every Man Jack lotion. On the occassion that I wear a cologne, I wear Peasure’s For Men by Estee Lauder.

373 BJ Simpson January 9, 2013 at 11:08 am

I’ve been using Pinaud Clubman aftershave and body talc for about a year now. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told how good I smell or been asked what it was that I was wearing? It’s what my grandfather used back in the 70′s. I’ve always liked it but now I’m a fan and won’t use anything else. My shave and shower isn’t complete until I throw my Pinaud on. I was born in the wrong decade!

374 NovySan January 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

No love for 4711? George Washington wore it! Personally I’ve been an Old Spice and Clubman aficionado for years.

375 Patrick January 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

My dad passed away when I was 10 but I can still see him rinsing his face and head (yes he shaved his head way back in the early 70′s before it was cool) and applying Mennen’s Skin Bracer. He would then dab a little on my cheeks. I keep a bottle of the stuff (as do my 4 remaining brothers) and use it more as a memory I shared with my dad.

376 Donna January 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

My grandfather used to use Mennen Skin Bracer (Launched 1931). He always kindly pretended he didn’t know “what in the world could be wrapped in such pretty paper,” every Christmas.

377 Michael January 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

My first post with you guys. I still have a bottle of Brut and also one of Canoe (the most popular brand of my high school buddies) from the class of 1968. They still smell potent, tho’ I seldom wear cologne anymore.

378 Wicked Willie a.k.a. Padre Peel January 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

You forgot the various bay rum preparations, such as Dominica. Old Spice and Dominica will get it done.

379 Tannim January 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Stetson has always been my favorite cologne, even after Tom Brady became the spokesman. Some things not even an arrogant jerk can ruin.

380 Matt Edie January 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

If you want the original Old Spice, if you have a local Family Dollar, check out the aftershave section and look for Ivy Club, it’s cheap and passes the Pepsi Challenge. After my Dad passed a couple years ago I found 5-6 original glass OS bottles, great for nostalgia but pretty strong stuff after 30+ years.

381 Paul January 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Clubman does it for me. I just brought me back to those old barbershops. I have the Clubman talc powder too. It is just so nostalgic.

382 Russ January 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Pinaud Clubman is by far my favorite. I recently redicovered it when I started shaving with a straight razor. My great grandfather was a clubman guy. The scent of it reminds me of him.
One that I did not see on your list is stetson sierra. I dont know how old it is but It is another favorite of mine. It has a clean smell that reminds me of Jr. high dances.

383 Matt N January 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I had to jump in and mention two things. Pinaud Clubman is, without a doubt, the worst thing I have tried. Please remember that your skin will react to the cologne and man, the scent I get from P. Clubman reminds me of a skunk. Not everyone may have this problem, but do not be surprised if it happens to you.

My personal favorite is Bay Rum, with “my” website linked to Amazon and my favorite inexpensive brand, GABELS Bay Rum. There are many other brands of Bay Rum out there; this brand is fine for every day use. This is affordable, smells clean and wears light. Go big and buy the ONE GALLON JUG for $24.95 or a pint for $7.95. By the way, I am in no way involved with the selling of this product; I just like it that much!

384 Mothman454 January 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Along with Brut and Old Spice, I like Aqua Velva Musk, Jovan Musk for Men, and Old Spice Foxcrest. Very good stuff.

385 Chip January 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I have been using Clubman for years, get lots for compliments on !

386 Stephen January 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I used Pinaud for decades….when it changed to the plastic bottle instead of glass…the scent changed and not for the better. Same thing happened to Brut. English Leather still comes in the glass bottle, and the scent remains unpoluted.

387 Tim Cornett January 25, 2013 at 12:55 am

I have used Clubman for years. When I can get it (by having one of the barber shops or beauty salons order it) I use Clubman Special Reserve, and one barber shop has begun stocking Special Reserve for me. It is basically the same as regular Clubman but the scent is a little stronger and it stays with you all day. I like it because it makes you smell as if you just left the barbershop. It is the scent as the powder they sprinkle on the brushes they use to clean the lose hairs off you and your clothes.

388 George January 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I STILL use Old Spice. I’m with a previous poster here wanting the old style bottle back. I also wish they would bring back the Lime Old Spice. That was always in the Gift Boxes I would get my Dad.

389 Jeff January 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Love the Clubman! After reading this article about a year ago I have begun trying all the old scents. Was a CK guy for years but my wife LOVES the old stuff. This week I expect my shipment of all the various Clubman scents (Bay Rum , Lime, etc)…next stop…Lustray:)

390 mark Wiz February 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Pinaud Clubman Lime Sec and Clubman Vanilla. Both nice, both mellow-down to very masculine scents.

When I want something a bit more “formal,” is wear Pino Sylvestre… around since the 50s. Then again, so am I.

As for how to wear these scents, go for chest and back of the neck. Scent on your face wears off quickly. And gauge it by asking someone you trust how intense it is. Scents should make people want to move in closer, not run from the room. It really does vary. I splash on Pinaud, but I spray Pino into the air and walk into it. I like scents to be subtle.

Now, the real newcomer surprise to me? Old Spice Matterhorn Body Spray. I carry a can in my gym bag and apply it in the lockerroom after my workout shower. It is the only scent I’ve worn that has had guys near me asking me what it is because they want to get some (body spray, wise guys). Light, kinda minty, and yet very masculine.

391 Jay February 10, 2013 at 3:29 am

Waiting for my scrips I smelled all the old man scents in my small town old drug store, & I found that the Aqua Velva Ice Sport is better, (at least to me) than the Ice Blue. Cost for a 3.5 oz bottle, $2.78. Even better you can just about bathe in it and it’s never too strong.

392 Stengel99 February 10, 2013 at 11:47 am

1. Aqua Velva has always been my personal standby.

2. This post inspired me to try Pinaud Clubman. It has a fresh-from-the-barber scent. But unfortunately it doesn’t seem to agree with my body chemistry. I used it one morning in lieu of a shower, and all day I was stuck with a foul scent I had never noticed on myself before. Aqua Velva, however, has a more freshening effect.

393 Gerry February 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I notice that Pinaud Clubman seems to be a popular-choice among y’all…Just be careful not to purchase Pinaud Lilac-Vegetal–that stuff truly does smell bad!

394 Simon February 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

Long time reader, first time commenter.

Over the last year I’ve been changing the way I shave, from the standard multi-blade cartridge razor + foam/goo, to DE razor + soap and brush. To round off the experience, I’ve also been using Old Spice (Original to start with, but now Whitewater), and find it a brilliant aftershave scent!

It’s definitely a lot cheaper than most widely known/used aftershaves, and also benefits from this in that you don’t “smell” as mainstream as everyone else. This is really important if you’re single, as the ladies tend to notice if a guy smells differently (in a good way), so it’s been great for that too!!!

Overall though, using Old Spice has made the whole shaving experience feel properly finished, as you end up feeling and smelling more manly. So thanks for writing this article – I’m going to have to try some Bay Rum or Clubman’s next!

395 George C February 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

First-time here. Been reading your page for a while now–great job!
Very informative and helpful on all topics.
After-shave: have only used Aqua Velva (as a kid—forgotten what it smells like); the PInaud Bay Rum; and Dominican Bay Rum.
I really like the PInaud Bay Rum. It has added spices, notably cloves, and lasts.
The Dominican BR is a superior product and smells only of bay leaf, but very agrreable and light.
I disagree with the comment regarding after shaves drying the skin—they all do a little because of the alcohol. But: there is something different about after shaves as opposed to colognes: they leave a protective film on your skin that really does protect it from the elements! This is very noticeable in the PInaud BR and very much so in the Dominican (in spite of it’s high alcohol content). I finally figured out the difference between aft. shv. and cologne! (alright, I’m slow…)—a.s. is for immediately after shaving! and cologne is for going out!
I include a link to Straight Razor Designs–discovered them by accident.
They have a large range of grooming/shaving products at the best prices I’ve seen. Bought the very best shaving cream I have ever used (will never go back to cakes): Taylor of Old Bond Street (English).
You can’t get the Dominican BR cheaper anywhere.
Tanks, Brett


396 Dillon Colbert February 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I’m 18 and I have 5 of those(the exception being Pinaud Clubman) plus the newer old spices, Drakar Noir, Adidas, Aqua de Gio, and Stetson black. other people just don’t know how to use their nose.

397 Brandon February 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

English Leather will always be my favorite. Typical story, my dad wore it when I was a kid and I loved the smell, and it was the first cologne I ever wore. Unfortunately, the current reformulation of it doesn’t last long at all and I have to bathe myself in it, and even then, it’s gone within a half hour. Apparently, the old MEM version that my father wore (and that I got to wear the last remains of in the early 90s) was alot stronger, last lasting, and sweeter smelling. THAT’S the version I like and want. Sadly, I’ll never get it

398 Jed March 16, 2013 at 12:08 am

Old Spice has different scents now (such as smooth-blast or pure sport). Both are pretty-good smelling…The bottom-line should be–if you approve of your choice of aftershave/cologne, then just use it!

399 Christopher C. Price March 21, 2013 at 4:23 am

I remember standing on line in the squad bay at Parris Island, preparing for an inspection. The Drill Instructors were coming down the line with two spray bottles each. One had Aqua Velva in it, the other had Listerine. I definitely got the Listerine on my face and Aqua Velva in my mouth…that is one horrible mouthwash!

400 Michael April 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

Love Old Spice, Aqua Velva smells like a urinal cake to me, lol. Nivea energy balm, or Neutrogena post shave balm are my go to’s, but if I want a straight alcohol cheapie, it’s Gillette cool wave.

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