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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

The Art of Smelling 100 Proof

There are some days it’s hard when you’re leaving for work and you just want to carry that favorite scent with you. No – not Old Spice or Polo – the smell of the rickhouse. Just a hint. It smells like heaven, right? After all, the angels are taking their share!

Bath & Body Works Mahogany Woods

This is a scent that used to be available from Bath & Body Works. I still have a final bottle of shower gel remaining. For a longtime, it was my go-to scent. The shower gel doubled as a body scrub and shampoo. The body cream was light, moisturizing and didn’t trigger an asthma attack. It was oakey and spicy with gentle hints of fragrance without being overpowering. Unfortunately, you’ll have to find a secondary seller, as it’s been replaced by Bath and Body Works Bourbon. If you can still garner a bottle of the shower gel or body cream, it’s worthy or purchasing.

Bath & Body Works Bourbon

Available from Bath & Body Works as a replacement to the Mahogany Woods scent. Unfortunately, this one is over-the-top. I purchased a body cream tube as a replacement for my Mahogany Woods.  All I can say is, “I’m glad I didn’t pay very much”.  Whew is it strong!  Harkening back to the Brylcreem hair slickened days of the 70’s, “a little dab will do you” – that statement rings true – a little dab’ll do you.  Very strong. Very forward. Way, way, way too much. Very disappointed. The Mahogany Woods was medium in strength – this is “in your face” intense. My wife, quite literally, gets “choked up” from the overpowering scent.    

Following the disaster of the Bath & Body Bourbon, my spouse informed me, “You need to get something else – this is giving me a headache”. My eye caught this on a display the following weekend as we were grocery shopping.  Hmmm… unscented. Hard to go wrong with that, right? Actually, this is quite good. I’m just now finishing up my first tube. It’s light, smooth, and moisturizing and the neutral scent is perfect. During the summer months, when it’s a little warm even after the shower, this is light and doesn’t feel greasy. My only suggestion for improvement would be to add a little bit of SPF to it. With skin cancer on the rise, I’d love to see a little sunscreen in this one, especially as it’s a great warm weather lotion.

Ok, so we were in a Mecca-spot this past summer visiting the home of Duluth Trading Company and their outlet in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin – just down the road from the New Glarus Brewery, home of Spotted Cow. They had a “scratch and dent” sale and caught this one half-price. I purchased it on a whim, as I told my wife, “It’s for the blog, right?”

I’m going on record – I LOVE this stuff.  If you haven’t tried a solid cologne, you definitely need to. It is incredibly light, with unparalleled sensory notes from a rickhouse – oak, vanilla, spice, caramel – all gently blended together, with no one note overpowering. If this was bourbon, gently swirled slowly in a glass, I’d say it’s exceptionally well smooth and well-balanced.

If the idea of a solid cologne is a little unnerving (as in, “what do I do with this stuff”?), no need to worry. A quick two-finger swipe of the waxy cologne applied to the inside of your wrist followed by a quick rub of your wrists together will provide the necessary amount. You may also place a dab behind an ear (or two). Either way, you’ll have a fresh, and bourbon-scented day, without triggering an asthma attack in crowded corners. The scent is long lasting, and as your blood circulates and you heat up, so does the scent. I’m convinced. I’m not sure I’m ever going back to traditional after-shave or cologne.

If the solid bourbon cologne has you interested, why stop? My trusty sidekick noticed this at a nearby big-box retailer and brought it home. It has the same gentle Buffalo Trace bourbon as Duke’s solid cologne. Full of natural moisturizers, it’s gentle on the skin, with an oak barrel scent and a bar that lasts for months.

Lastly, this bottle caught my eye at my favorite Kroger Superstore in the Bluegrass of Kentucky.  Bromley’s offers a thick and creamy unscented moisturizer that protects against the harshest weather and provides sunscreen rated at SPF 15. This is a little thicker than the Duke Cannon Face Lotion, but with the added protection of sunscreen is probably better for me. It’s keeping my face from drying out as the weather turns chilly. Paired with the Duke Cannon Solid Cologne – Bourbon, this is my new morning routine.

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