An Updated Opinion of Stirling Spice (Stirling Soap Company)

I reviewed this fragrance back in September, and said (somewhat snidely, regrettably) that it doesn't resemble any iteration of Old Spice by Shulton or P&G. Having worn it a bit more, I want to retract that completely, and issue an apology to Stirling Soap Co. While it isn't a dead-ringer for Old Spice, it isn't as far off as I originally thought.

This is one of the more unique scents I've come across in recent years. While it smells very old-fashioned and musty at first sniff, it's simply the perfumer's generous usage of natural oakmoss throwing my nose off the mark. Old Spice doesn't have oakmoss. In a typical dosage of moss, the effect is simply bold powder; things like Clubman aftershave lotion and Canoe utilize the note as both a fixative and an atmosphere. But in Stirling Spice, the moss is so noticeable that it adopts a rich, woody, almost green tone, feeling slightly sharper than it does in mass-market barbershop scents.

I find this disorienting in an oriental - pardon the pun. It generates a woodier tone that takes an hour or two to fade back enough to allow the subtle spice notes to peek through, but I've noticed they definitely peek through. They're smooth, creamy, very dry, comprised of nutmeg, cinnamon, and soft clove. A semisweet vanilla note balances them out nicely, and everything smells cohesive and surprisingly natural. There's also a beautifully huge floral aura, abstract and almost modern by its sheer scale, that presides over the entire composition. It's a massive, very creamy carnation effect, which is nice, but I also sense a buttery, somewhat indistinct white flower alongside it. Putting the Old Spice issue aside for a moment, and just appreciating the scent, I can say it's one of the better barbershop orientals I've smelled. It's good stuff.

I'm impressed by Stirling Spice, and recommend it wholeheartedly now. Beware that it's not really Old Spice, and I still think it's old-school to an intimidating level, but it's made with above-average materials and it works. They didn't cheap out, and that has me believing Stirling Soap Co. is worth more of my time - much, much more.