4/1/18

Blue Spice (Lustray/Clubman): Clean Shave




Of the five Lustray aftershaves in my bathroom, this one is my favorite. To my nose it is the only truly successful scent, and thus is the easiest to use. Oddly enough, it's the least favored by most of my fellow wetshavers. Apparently many are turned off by what they consider an "old lady powder" in its drydown, but I read it as a 1970s incarnation of Aqua Velva Ice Blue, with "aqua notes" instead of menthol.

AV Ice Blue spawned an entire universe of blue imitators, and most are variations on the fresh menthol theme. Lustray adopted a novel approach, synthesizing the smell of AV after dilution in water, with the water's scent as the source of its freshness. From there it gets powdery and softly sweet, a crisp talc. What elevates it in my esteem is a complete absence of the dreaded plastic note, which still plagues the Spice lotion. I decanted BS into glass, and within two days the plastic pollution was completely gone. This was interesting to me, because the plastic element was pretty intense from the bottle. Needless to say, I'm glad I decanted.

Blue Spice has considerable oak moss, and emits auras of clean, sweet, and powdery, in that order. Ask me for a recommendation of a different style of AV Ice Blue, and I'd probably point to mentholated congeners instead, but ask if there's an old-school "blue smelling" aftershave still on the market, and Lustray tops my list. "Blue" is a flavor concept: Blue Raspberry, Pepsi Blue, Marlboro Blue. Here, the flavor is your shave water, a swirling slop of used shave cream, witch hazel, and talc, unceremoniously bottled just before it goes down the drain.

2 comments:

  1. Have you ever encountered Skin Bracer Cooling Blue? I went through a few bottles but it's long discontinued. I'd love to have it in my collection again. It's a spicy blue that leans towards a Halston Z-14 kind of vibe, if that makes sense. I'm not sure what they were going for, but I really liked it, and I wish I'd have bought more when it was on close-out for $1 a bottle.

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    1. Hi Bricklayercake, I've smelled Cooling Blue but I never bought a bottle. Regrettably. This makes it difficult for me to discuss with any intellectual honesty - I would be talking about it from vague memory, as it was something I think I last saw on store shelves in the early 2000s. What I can tell you is that I think I agree with your assessment of it. At the time I smelled it, I believe I was comparing it to the original Skin Bracer, and found the Blue version somewhat darker and harder to like. It definitely didn't embrace the typical "Blue" theme of mentholated aftershaves. I also wish I had given it more of a chance and stocked up on at least a couple of bottles.

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