12/15/17

A Brief Note On Decanting Clubman Aftershave Into Glass, And Shaving Off 2018



"It smells better decanted." Anyone who frequents wetshaver circles knows that Pinaud Clubman aftershave has a reputation for smelling just a tiny bit like the plastic it's housed in. This never bothered me tremendously, but I always wondered if the introductory statement of this post was true - does it smell better decanted into glass? With the porous plastic chemicals removed from the equation, and just enough aeration of the aftershave occurring during the decanting process, I figured it was possible, so I bought a two dollar flask from TJ Maxx and decanted my Clubman.

The result is interesting. While it seems to lighten up (aerate?) the overall fragrance and accentuate the floral notes a bit, I still notice a slight plastic smell. However, the smell is greatly reduced, to the point where I have to look for it to notice it. That's in stark contrast to my experience straight from the factory bottle, where the plastic odor kind of smacks you right in the nose just after the sweet citrus top, but before the powdery oakmoss settles in. It reminds me of why P&G went to great lengths to devise a specially coated plastic bottle for Old Spice: no plastic odor. I would judge there's a seventy to eighty percent reduction in the plastic element when Clubman is decanted into a clean glass bottle. Given that the plastic problem was minor to begin with, I consider this a successful outcome and recommend decanting to anyone who enjoys using this particular Pinaud product. (I don't really get a plastic odor from the Classic Vanilla version, which is surprising.)

Before I go, I'll mention something that might interest my regular readers. You may have noticed a significant decrease in the number of posts this year compared to other years. One reason for this is that 2017 was an unusually busy year for me personally. But a bigger reason is that my interest in conventional EDTs and high end fragrances has waned a bit. I've owned and worn many of the classics, tested and sampled a slew of feminines, tried my hand at quite a few niche frags, and now find myself drawn to the concept of the "barbershop scent." Therefore 2018 will be focused entirely on classic barbershop aftershaves.

Expect to see one or two reviews per month, with things like the Lustray line and Osage Rub being reviewed. I've seen many experienced noses in fragrance forums, guys who enjoy their Tom Fords and Xerjoffs, turn green at the term "barbershop," saying they don't understand the label. What does a barbershop smell like? What makes a fragrance a "barbershop frag?" What does it mean to embrace 14 ounces of something that costs fifty cents an ounce? How did these dinosaurs of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s survive into the 21st century?

Stay tuned.

Update 1/14/18:

My decanted Clubman now smells completely free of plastic. It has been in glass for a month, and was my aftershave of choice today. During application, I noticed a couple of things. First, the overall scent has softened, becoming more powdery, and a vanilla note that I was previously unaware of has become evident. Second, the scent is a bit more evanescent. Altogether, I think the aeration of the aftershave was a good thing, and the benefits of decanting it are indisputably significant.

22 comments:

  1. Sounds good! As a fan of wet shaving, classic barbershop scents and aftershaves this should be quite interesting and informative. Some of my personal favourites are Canoe, Tabac, Aqua Velva, Sir Irisch Moos and for newer ones Cool Wave and Tabac Extreme. Look forward to seeing what’s in store for 2018. Cheers

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    1. Hi Ben, hope you've seen my reviews of Canoe, Tabac, Aqua Velva, Cool Wave, and Skin Bracer. Haven't had a chance yet to try Sir Irisch Moos but will see if my luck changes next year. I'm looking forward to trying a few of the barbershop grade aftershaves - these by Lustray, Masters, Booster, etc., are usually watered down for commercial usage but they're the very definition of the term "barbershop" and I want people to understand that term.

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  2. I'm very much excited for your 2018 plans. I see that Pinaud is launching 3 new aftershaves in 18 as well. One based on gin one brandy, one whiskey. If these are more than a gimic remains to be seen, however I think it does demonstrate that the wetshaver market is still considered lucrative and worthy of investment, which is a great thing in my book. Would you ever consider reviewing various shave products, or their scent? I consider the scent of Aloe Barbasol to be an amazing fresh chypre(ala Silences or 1-12) and red can Foamy to be agreat sandalwood tinged fougere that I would buy as a fragrance were it released.

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    1. Hi Mark, Pinaud already launched those three new ones, they're available on Amazon for about $14 a pop. I've seen one YouTube review of all three that seems pretty positive. I'll definitely see about Whiskey Woods. This one sounds like something I'd enjoy.

      I'll consider reviewing some shave products in addition to the aftershaves, but my focus will be on the idea of the "barbershop scent." What men have cultivated in America in the last fifty years as this sort of smell is truly a fascinating topic to explore.

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    2. Thanks for the response. I didn't realize the new Pinauds were out yet. Yes, the Whiskey Wood sounds good. The idea of barbershop scents and their evolution is one I look forward to you taking on.

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    3. May I recommend two sites that are among the best when it comes to pricing Clubman? Except for the three new ones, I have the entire Clubman line along with Osage Rub. I haven't tried others from the Lustray or Jeris lines. I also have a few of the hair products and the shampoo! The new ones are $5.95 on one site and a few cents more on the other. Check out the price of the 16 oz. jug of Original Clubman.

      To save money on shipping, try to build up an order for free shipping. I call a few friends and see what they need before ordering.

      https://atlantabarber.com/search.php?search_query=clubman&Search=

      https://www.appletonbarbersupply.com/store/index.php?l=search_list&s[title]=Y&s[short_desc]=Y&s[full_desc]=Y&s[sku]=Y&s[match]=all&s[cid]=0&s[search]=clubman

      I understand the Master line of aftershave has a few nice offerings. I haven't tried Stephan's and Gabel's yet.

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  3. I love my Clubman - straight out of the plastic bottle as God intends!

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  4. Yes read them all and I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for years. I’m sure you will love Sir Irisch Moos if you get the chance to try it. It really is something special.
    Some others I would love to hear your opinions on in the future and I’m sure you would love are Eucris and Tabac Extreme(abit rare and discontinued though) both gems worth seeking out.

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    1. I'll definitely look into the flankers for Tabac, and possibly even do a review of the original aftershave, because right now I only have the cologne. The fragrance is probably the same, but the quality of the aftershave is up for consideration.

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  5. +1 for me on the Eucris front...
    I've recently found a supplier in Canada for Clubman products (fedrihan.ca) that also carries all kinds of Trumper stuff; the two that especially grab my interest are the Sandalwood (apparently quite similar to Chanel's Egoïste) and Eucris (which I've heard compared to vintage Quorum...) Curious to try them both, as I sometimes feel that I've neglected the British branch of the barbershop family tree...

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    1. Fendrihan's has a tendency to be a bit high priced. Italianbarber.com is in Canada. Compare their prices. You'll have to copy and paste as this blog doesn't allow for clickthroughs:

      https://www.italianbarber.com/search?q=clubman

      Compare them all to the US sites in the links I provided earlier:

      https://atlantabarber.com/search.php?search_query=clubman&Search=

      https://www.appletonbarbersupply.com/store/index.php?l=search_list&s[title]=Y&s[short_desc]=Y&s[full_desc]=Y&s[sku]=Y&s[match]=all&s[cid]=0&s[search]=clubman

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  6. Yes! Great news! Good decision on your part. Incidentally, I always thought it would be a smart marketing move if Pinaud were to release a special, limited edition "original" glass bottle version of their Clubman aftershaves.

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    1. They should just make it in glass, period! I think the bottle design is good enough where the glass could withstand some abuse without breaking. It would solve the "plastic note" problem and would justify an extra dollar or two price increase for their aftershaves, which in turn would probably help their bottom line. What these companies need to remember is that wetshavers are the ones buying Clubman, and wetshavers are guys roughly falling into the 28 - 80 yr old age bracket. They're guys who really want to see their favorite products packaged with more care. See Old Spice, for another obvious example.

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    2. One of the reasons given for switching to plastic is that it was requested by the retail chains to avoid breakage. Ironically, the large majority of these aftershaves aren't stocked in stores and most of us order them via the net.

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    3. That's definitely one reason, it was the reason Aqua Velva was switched to plastic, which I think was a terrible decision. The scent hasn't suffered, but the bottle just feels cheap.

      Another reason is pure money saving. Bean counters go to the top brass and tell them they can save millions by switching to plastic. If P&G doesn't get it together and release Christmas season Old Spice in vintage styled glass bottles I might have to have a bollock.

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    4. I don't understand why there's no imagination at P&G and why they can't sell novelty items direct using their website. If they were inventive, many of us would subcribe for advance shipments! Even a novelty shaving soap puck would be a revelation.

      I couldn't even get them to import their own licensed Old Spice Musk and Old Spice Lime aftershaves from India. I don't even think the "Old Spice Team" was aware that shaving creams in tubes were licensed under the Old Spice brand name to India. You might find my interaction with Walmart buyers interesting from a few years ago:

      https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/received-free-50-ml-samples-of-original-old-spice-old-spice-musk-aftershaves.458697/

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    5. Reading that thread on B&B again after several years, I have to correct several things.

      1) When the P&G India license with Menesez ended in 2012, the wonderful formulation of the Original Old Spice was altered somewhat by the new licensee (Rubicon). https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/pg-licenses-marketing-rights-of-old-spice-to-menezes-cosmetics/articleshow/29767658.cms

      2) The European Unilever version of Brut is based on the weaker Brut 33 formula and not superior to the US version, although there are several versions (Musk, Oceans) issued in Europe. Brutworld USA emailed me and said the current formula of in the 25.6 oz (757 ml) glass gift bottle is the strongest available and based on the original Faberge formula. Whether it's true or not is anyone's guess. The Brut Special Reserve edt in a glass bottle is pretty strong but has a different opening synthetic note. My favorite is the discontinued Brut Dominant which some compare to Fahrenheit.

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    6. "...might have to have a bollock." What?

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    7. Shave-a-Thon, thanks for mentioning the license change, I mentioned that in an earlier post about Old Spice on this blog. My review is probably the Rubicon formula, IIRC. My main issue with Rubicon is that they've injected a prominent pepper accord into the formula that never existed in the Shulton OS, and many members of B&B seem to miss that difference, blindly lauding the stuff just because it's made in India and much harder to come by. Sure it smells arguably better than P&G's formula, but does it really smell like vintage OS? IMO no, not much.

      That's interesting that you mention the 25 oz Brut being the strongest formula. I just read that yesterday on B&B and it piqued my interest.

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  7. Do they still make Lucky Tiger?
    I should do a post on my blog about the Indian barbershop- the last true relic of the British Raj & where my husband goes every other day to be shorn/styled/groomed for less than $1.

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    1. If you're talking about Lucky Tiger Face Tonic, it's still made and a favorite in the shaving community. The scent is very fleeting (gone in minutes) but the face and neck feel after a shave is excellent. I prefer Floid and Proraso Red (sandalwood) a bit more, although Lucky Tiger Face Tonic has some great ingredients.

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    2. To my knowledge they still make Lucky Tiger aftershave in Bay Rum and "Aspen" - I have no idea what Aspen smells like, but it sounds like their fresh scent, while the bay rum is probably their classic.

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