Yesterday at my local supermarket I discovered Hai Karate (by pure accident) semi-visible on the display shelf... Without thinking I snapped it up at an RRP of only £3 GBP!
Hai Karate was a happy find as I've been meaning to try this classic aftershave again after not seeing it anywhere since the late 1980s! Back then it was well marketed and popular with a decent reputation. My father used Hai Karate in a rotation of Old Spice, Brut and Quorum.
I'm currently sporting Hai Karate and simply put: I like it. Firstly, it brings back childhood memories. The scent in the bottle is completely different in comparison to the drydown scent. On opening the bottle top it smells very pleasant like a fresh, sharp, medicinal citrus tonic. It's beautiful. In contrast, the drydown most certainly has a Brut feel to it but moreso Brut 33 than original Brut... it has that watered-down quality but nice all the same...green and powdery... it's kind of like a green tea scent with a bit of amber in the background (Denim by Faberge amber nostalgia). Hai Karate is a nice fragrance, I can't see how anyone can dislike it - it's fresh, clean and smells good. It is without doubt part of the '80s classic scent family; if you enjoy Old Spice, Brut, Denim, Blue Stratos, etc then add some Hai Karate to your collection, it's almost amazing.
I just inherited an almost empty bottle of cologne and a full bottle of after shave. It had been kept in a dark cabinet for most of 45 years. It smells soft and a touch animalic. I did a side-by-side comparison with my vintage Love's Baby Soft and the best way I can describe Hai Karate is Love's for men. Powdery and slightly animalic. Not what I was expecting from all those TV commercials from my childhood, lol.
all of the rancid and nuclear waste comments are dead wrong. This frag is actually pretty soft on the drydown. I actually am in the process of looking for a smell alike.
A collector friend of mine owns an old bottle and after many claims (i used to beg him with insistence) he allowed me to inhale the juice even if just from the glass. It's not enough for a complete review. All I can write is that perceived a sort of cold, metallic bit anisic strange sort of smell. Something rancid jumped on mind conjuring me an initial trait of Salvador Dali Pour Homme's top notes but in a less dark, colder and more herbal way. I read that the fragrance becomes powdery at the end of its development and i guess it treats about a woody powder with a sort of minty and rooty undertone. What i can do for the moment is to express a neutral rating.
06th March, 2011 (last edited: 14th January, 2014)
Got a small plastic bottle of this with a toy electric razor in my Christmas stocking when I was a kid of about 6. Was my first introduction to aftershaves. Invokes fond memories of my childhood when I smell it. Tends to offend the noses these days that have become used to feminine aquatics. I have a reproduction version of this called New Generation Hai Karate and it is spot on to the original, but has very poor longevity on the skin.