After Shave Balm Endurance Tests

    by Renato Alessio, 01 June 2001

    After Shave Balm Endurance Tests
    Here are my endurance trials on aftershave balms, where the test was to rub some on one's wrist, and see how long it took before fragrance was almost or totally undetectable.

    What I find interesting is that there is no correlation that I can see. There are "no alcohol" ones at both the top and bottom of the list. And similarly, Calvin Klein ones seem to make both the top and bottom of the list.


    11 hours   Joop! Homme (balm)
    11 hours   Boss (6) (balm)
    10 hours   Envy for Men (balm)
    9 hours   Eternity for Men (balm)
    Calvin Klein
    8 hours   Hugo (balm)
    7 hours   Pi (balm)
    7 hours   Obsession for Men (balm)
    Calvin Klein
    6 hours   L'Eau D'Issey pour Homme (balm)
    Issey Miyake
    6 hours 30 mins   Goodlife (balm)
    6 hours 15 mins   Chrome (balm)
    5 hours 30 mins   Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme (balm)
    Dolce & Gabbana
    5 hours 30 mins   Le Male (gel)
    Jean Paul Gaultier
    5 hours  

    Animale (balm)

    5 hours   Life Essence (balm)
    4 hours 30 mins   Passion for Men
    Elizabeth Taylor
    4 hours   Oscar for Men
    Oscar de la Renta
    3 hours 30 mins   Opium pour Homme (balm)
    Yves Saint Laurent
    3 hours 30 mins   Paco Rabanne pour Homme (balm)
    Paco Rabanne
    3 hours 15 mins   Escape for Men (balm)
    Calvin Klein
    2 hours 45 mins   Sung Homme (balm)
    Alfred Sung
    2 hours 30 mins   Boss Elements (balm)
    Hugo Boss
    2 hours 30 mins   Kiton Men
    2 hours 30 mins   Nobile
    2 hours 30 mins   Gillette (balms and gels)
    2 hours 15 mins   L'Homme (balm)
    2 hours   Contradiction for Men (balm)
    Calvin Klein
    1 hour 30 mins   Tiffany for Men
    1 hour 30 mins   212 Men (gel)
    1 hour 15 mins   Weekend
    50 mins   Drakkar Noir
    Guy Laroche


    1. There are several schools of thought regarding fragrance on men's faces. Some men only wear aftershave. Other's prefer wearing Eau De Toilette (EDT) on their bodies, and only applying a light aftershave on their faces (or none at all). The difference in strengths outlined above should be seen in that light, rather than as any inherent criticism of their relative strengths.
    2. Aftershave balms are great for men who get either red raw faces or dry flaky skin after shaving. And for men who get red raw faces after applying aftershave splash.
    3. Aftershave balms' scents generally last one to one and a half hours less than their Aftershave splash counterparts.
    4. Some balms contain alcohol and some do not. Experts seem to be against alcohol on the skin, claiming that all it does is give that cooling effect. Alcohol has never given me a problem. And I note that my 15 year old bottles of Mennen Afta and Jovan Musk balms may be full of alcohol - but they are as good now as when I bought them.
    5. A few Basenotes Forum members claim that the balms do not have as long a shelf life as the splash. The balms either go runny, or do not have the fragrance as good as the splash. However, some are made to be runny, whereas others go that way with time. Thus, it's hard to know whether one has an old one.
    6. In several cases, the balm's fragrance just doesn't come out properly in the balm format. Some of the notes get blunted. I noticed this with Hugo and Lanvin.
    7. My Escape balm must have been a bit old. I noticed its yellowish oil had gathered down the bottom of its tube. Unfortunately, one can't see into most containers. I suggest giving them a shake before usage.
    8. My best working balm is the Nivea for Men - Extra Sensitive. I can't tell much difference between it and the Aramis Razor Burn Relief. Unfortunately, it leaves one's skin with a bit of a wet moisturiser look which I don't like on warm days. The Gillette and Mennen balms are not quite as good as the Nivea, but they do leave one with a matte finish.
    9. If you do not wish to spend a lot of money buying designer balms which have little endurance, an alternative is to make your own. Get a fragrance neutral balm like Nivea for Men - Extra Sensitive. Pour the amount out that will go on your face, and spray three squirts of EDT into it. Mix and apply. This lasts for nearly three hours. This works reasonably well with most EDTs, but it does mute some notes in others, so that they don't quite smell like the original.
    10. The Italian "Proraso" has been a decent balm I've used over the years. It has Eucalyptus oil, which I find very handy for use during camping and the beach in summer - I don't get attacked by swarms of flies as I did when wearing my Gillette and Mennen.
    end of article


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