5/20/17

Barbasol Brisk (Perio Inc.)



At least one Fragrantica member disagreed with me recently when I stated that Barbasol Brisk aftershave is basically a copy of Skin Bracer, which I thought was remarkable. If you're familiar with both aftershaves, you know that they both employ a fougere structure with prominent lavender and mint on top, a tingly coumarin in the heart, and a dry semisweet vanilla blended with a touch of clean musk in the base. Both are classic "wetshaver" scents with intensely cooling menthol that rivals even Myrsol's Formula K. Brisk may even have more than Formula K. It's a potent menthol splash, so if you're into menthol, you'll like this particular Barbasol product.

There are a few differences between Brisk and Bracer, not the least of which is Brisk's mintier quality; Skin Bracer has a mellowed top that focuses on lavender more than mint. Brisk truly lives up to its name, while Skin "Bracer," while indeed bracing after a morning shave, aims to give a guy more than just a briefly cold bite. I think of Mennen's formula as more of a thought out fragrance, with a distinct dynamism in the drydown that yields surprising depth, making it comparable to 1990s vintage Brut cologne. I always feel the smoothness of its lavender and vanilla accords "melding" into a subtle beauty. It's excellent stuff.

Brisk never quite gets that far for me. It makes a few of the same moves in the first five minutes, but eventually flattens out into a very one dimensional musky mint thing that feels good and smells nice enough, but isn't quite as arresting. Does it smell like Barbasol's original shaving foam? Not in the least. If you want a great reference for how the foam used to smell prior to reformulation, check out Rive Gauche Pour Homme. It's an anisic patchouli fern that accurately generates the familiar lavender, lime peel, and powder effect of a classic shave. Still, Brisk is fun if you can find it, and is recommended to anyone who enjoys old-school aftershaves.



6 comments:

  1. What, pray tell, does this aforementioned Fragrantica member think Barbasol Brisk smells of? A brilliant new composition?
    Men's fragrance & fashion are fairly static & conservative anyway.

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    1. Apparently she thinks it smells like the original shaving foam. This person also seems to think Aqua Velva Ice Blue is the original AV product, so the lights aren't on very brightly over there.

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  2. I was always a guy with just a couple of bottles of cologne, that I'd had for years. After getting in to wet-shaving (mainly due to cost at first), I started buying after-shaves like crazy, including Brisk and Pacific Rush. That then carried over into fragrance buying, and that often leaves me wondering what to do with aftershaves like Brisk that are strong enough to linger around for a little while and might clash with a cologne. I'd be interested in hearing your take on how you work something like this into the rotation if you don't really have a fragrance that pairs with it. It turns out all the aftershaves, colognes, and DE razors probably ended up being more than the Gillette Fusion blades I was trying to avoid...haha.

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    1. I try to pair fougeres with other fougeres since most aftershaves are either fougeres or orientals. I wear stuff like Playboy VIP, Aubusson Homme, and Pour un Homme de Caron with Skin Bracer because they don't clash, even though they don't smell exactly the same. I wear Old Spice cologne with the aftershave (and the deodorant) and usually pair Aqua Velva Ice Blue with Cool Water or Bleu de Chanel. And trust me, you're saving money with wetshaving - you're getting better mileage out of the accoutrements than what you got out of those expensive Gilette blades.

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  3. What are in aftershaves that aren't eau de *insert concentration*, anyway? If it's pleasant enough, is there anything added that would make it potentially harmful to wear as an EdC? If not, then just use one of the aftershaves as a SotD, and only keep a couple of versatile ones on hand when you finish them up.

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    1. Nothing really but most don't last long enough to qualify as a SOTD. Some do, though and there's little to no difference between an aftershave and a cheap cologne

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