The Shulton version of this classic was first issued in 1966, and continued to exist in some form into the 1990s. Today you can only buy it from India in the Rubicon formula, and you may find yourself waiting a few weeks to receive it, unless you order from a domestic merchant. This review is of the Indian version, which comes in glass but is otherwise in regular P&G packaging. Mine is from the source, and inexplicably arrived in six days. If you want a bottle, I've got the skinny. Hit me up in the comments.
I want to remark briefly on the lime trend of the 1960s and '70s. For some reason lime was a thing back then, but it's not clear to me why, as I was born in 1981, and missed the party completely. Was it Royall Lyme Bermuda (1957) that started it all? Maybe, but lime notes live in shaving creams, along with lavender, anise, spices, oakmoss, and for whatever reason it got its own treatment. Various lime-themed lotions emerged in stuff like Old Spice, English Leather, Avon, Jade East, and enjoyed modest popularity. Men abided them, although my sense is they did not love them, and eventually lost interest altogether. The lime push was eventually outmoded by the dihydromyrcenol revolution of the '80s and '90s, and driven to extinction.
This Indian formula is probably not the same as the '60s version, but I'm happy to have it in my den. Unfortunately it doesn't exist in cologne concentration, but the aftershave is strong enough to serve that purpose. Opinions vary as to how "limey" it smells, with some on Badger & Blade saying the lime note is just a fleeting thing off the top that vanishes into regular Indian Old Spice before it can be enjoyed, and others finding the lime element pervasive and satisfying from top to base. My take is that the lime isn't really very limey, but it's noticeable enough.
It's a crisp lime-like note that smells synthetic and bright. After three minutes the citrus greys out and is tempered by an equally pallid talc note unique to this blend. It carries into the drydown, where it becomes a lightly-spiced powder that doesn't really match the regular stuff. It actually smells quite a bit like the powder note in Rive Gauche Pour Homme. The only spice I detect is white pepper, which isn't reminiscent of traditional Indian Old Spice. It's a generic scent, pleasant and dry. As an aftershave there's a minor bite, and I get an hour out of it as a cologne. It probably lingers longer, and I just get used to it and tune it out.
The standard blend of Indian OS is peppery (pink and black), but here the spice is tuned to a whisper. It's a well-balanced and discreet fragrance, very "barbershop" and classic in feel, very clean, but also very basic. If you're a fan and want to try the Indian formula, start with the regular version, and then give this one a try. I really wish the lime note were a little better, and would have been happier if it morphed into regular Indian OS, but Rubicon makes quality products, and should be of interest to hardcore Old Spice lovers - especially those who want the stuff in glass. For an added "lime" effect, check out the Fresh Lime shave cream, which gets fair ratings online.