All You Need to Know About Best Bay Rum Aftershave Lotions in 2023

Aah… “Rum.”

The bittersweet beverage that most people crave for when at the beach.

It goes well with a cocktail of other drinks and around the time of a decent sunset.

Are you imagining this? Okay, hold onto that thought for a moment.

What pops into your mind when I mention a daily shaving routine?

I know the answer already! It’s “A lot of nicks, cuts, and possibly some bruises. At the end of the routine, a nasty burn that keeps at it for hours.”

What if, I could combine “Ever so soothing Rum” with an abrupt shaving experience and make it a better cocktail? Interested to know how?

Well, I’ll take the bay rum aftershave and apply it onto my face after shaving.

Believe it or not, this combination of bay leaves and Jamaican Rum was how sailors of 16th century groomed themselves!

Things were simple at that time. We have a lot of brands and products producing bay rum shave scents with their own spin on it. Here, I’ll be talking about 7 of the top bay rum aftershave brands in brief.

I’ll be handing out a buying guide just in case you have a beef with my recommendations.

Bay Rum AfterShave – Comparison Table

ProductsSizeOur RatingPrice
Barberry Coast Splash 4 oz4.8 / 5 Check price
Genuine Ogallala Bay Rum8 oz4.6 / 5 Check price
Captain's Choice Cat O' Nine4 oz4.5 / 5 Check price
Gilbert Henry Balm4 oz4.3 / 5 Check price
Clubman Virgin Island 6 oz4.1 / 5 Check price

What Is Bay Rum Aftershave?

Okay, buddies, it’s time for a bit of a history lesson. To understand what these things are, we need to travel back to the 16th century. It was the age of the sea-men AKA the sailors.

The bearded men of that time used to roam the seas for months. Thanks to their lifestyle and constant voyages in the sea, they hardly had any time to bathe.

It is then when some of the sailors came across West Indian bay leaves. They found that crushing and rubbing the leaves on their bodies help to alleviate their stench.

I mean, the month-long stench wasn’t completely gone but it was, at least, better than living with a boatload of crappy odor.

Meanwhile, innovative slaves came across rum from molasses while producing sugar. This was a by-product and an alcoholic beverage.

One of these sailors took the recipe from the Islanders and distilled it to be the rum of today which is 10 times stronger. Someone had the brilliant idea of putting these bay leaves under rum to extract the oil.

And that’s my friends how bay rum aftershaves were born!

But the rest of the world came to know about this wonder much later. I assume you don’t know the name of Albert Heinrich Riise (If you do, good for you!). This is the man who mass-produced these shave scents first. Soon, the UK and the USA went crazy seeing these exotic shave scents.

Since then, the makers have experimented with the scent by putting in cinnamon, clove among other things.

My Catalogue of the Best Bay Rum Aftershave Choices

In my defense, I am no expert. I’m just a man who has seen and used a fair amount of bay rum aftershave till this day. As I’m going through my “Shaving” routine in this blog, it’s only natural that I go over the part where I use top aftershaves. I’ll do one better! I’ll refer my choices to my readers.

1. Barberry Coat Bayrum Aftershave Splash for Men

Barberry Coat

When discussing aftershaves, I prioritize the ingredients that go into the making. Any trace of synthetic elements in a product and that’s a “No, No” for me. I rejected many till I found solace in Barberry Coat Splash shave scent.

One thing good about this shave scent is you get what you smell. The spices and oils you see listed as ingredients are authentic. These leaves are picked directly from Caribbean Islands. Let me tell you, these ARE NOT cheap when measured for quality.

This is a vegan aftershave. You won’t find any GMO oil, synthetic elements, cheap grain alcohol, and paraffin to get your skin into trouble. People won’t find traces of Sulfate or Phthalates either.

As I was saying, cheap grain alcohol dries quickly and leaves our skin dry in the process. This aftershave uses 100% glycerin into the mix (with high-grade alcohol). It allows the moist feeling to stay trapped in our skins even after one or two hours of us applying this shave scent.

I’ll not lie. You will feel a burning sensation after applying Barberry Coat aftershave onto your face. But that sensation will quickly fade away before you realize it.

I love the inclusion of Orange, Cinnamon, Clove, vanilla, and allspice. These things carry their benefits along with smells to collectively form a soothing scent.

Yes. These ingredients deliver more than just the smell. For example, you have vitamin C which provides antioxidants to slow the aging process of your face. Then, you have products that improve blood circulation along your face veins. Users mentioned this shave scent having stress relieving qualities as well.

Get Barberry Coast Splash at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • I’d recommend this thing for the natural ingredients that pose no threats to your skin.
  • You’ve got this subtle smell that lingers on long after you’ve applied it on your face.
  • Glycerin keeps the moisture of your skin locked in unlike alcohol which dries it.
  • Besides the smell, Barberry Coat aftershave grants antioxidants and stress relieving qualities.
  • The confidence of the makers shines with 100% lifetime money back guarantee of the product.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • People feel the burning sensation first up so, you have alcohol mixed in with other ingredients.

2. Genuine Ogallala Bay Rum Regular

Bay Rum Regular

If nothing else, my next recommendation would serve as a decorative object in your bathroom. I mean, with such good looks and a certain “Vintage” vibe; Ogallala is sure to win people over at first glance. Contradicting Barberry Coat, this brand has a strong smell that engulfs people right away!

When you first apply this thing to your skin, it takes on a “Mellow” scent. But the scent grows stronger as time goes on. I must mention that there is alcohol in the mix. If you don’t mind a burning sensation on your way to smelling great, Genuine Ogallala is for you!

Some of its ingredients include purified water and witch hazel. Water reduces the thickness of the bay rum oils. I loved how witch hazel grants the consistency to the product.

People talk a lot about the sandalwood fragrance as well. To me, the main ingredient would be Bay Rum oil essence. This is “All Natural” and authentic. This essence works well thanks to the making process.

You must not forget that Ogallala shave scent comes encased in a glass bottle. It helps in keeping the quality intact. But with a screw top bottle and not a dabber in place, people constantly will have to deal with the risk of pouring way too much stuff on the cotton bud.

My experience with the product was really good with just the one blemish. I had to sort my order out because it was late for some reason. I called their customer service right away! As it turned out, unlike most franchises, Ogallala takes their buyers seriously.

They were super responsive and within twenty minutes, my invoice was sorted out. I received my product two days later.

Get Genuine Ogallala at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • The design will surely interest people; vintage bottle with screw top signals aristocracy.
  • The makers mimicked Organic fragrance of Bay Rum as closely as they could in my opinion.
  • I feel the price is “Just” right. It is not too high or too low compared to other options we have.
  • Customer Care Service of Ogallala is something to cherish for all us general users out there.
  • Having just the right amount of alcohol is it’s key to provide users the burning sensation.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • The fragrance fades away quite quickly after you first apply the aftershave.
  • I’d have liked a dabber in place just to hold the liquid adeptly inside the bottle.

3. Captain’s Choice Cat O’ Nine Tails Bay Rum After Shave

Captain's Choice

If you guys are sore from the previous product not having a dabber, my next candidate for “Best Bay Rum Aftershave” spot will satisfy you. Unlike Ogallala, Captain’s Choice does have a dabber to prevent “First Time” users from pouring too much onto the face.

I liked the packaging of it all. Cat O’ Nine Tails comes in an Amber bottle. If you are having doubts, 4 ounces is A LOT. It’ll last beyond three months or more (depending on how often you shave).

People rank Bay Rum Aftershaves depending on the smell. This one is one of the closest shave scents to reach the authentic Bay Rum Sensation. You won’t find a lot of “Clove” in there. Yet, there’s alcohol present with glycerin.

While Alcohol gives you the sting (for me, it’s one of the deciding factors), glycerin neutralizes it. I love the idea of including witch hazel. Some might argue that Alcohol will dry the skin. But witch hazel locks the moisture in the pores to keep the nourishment intact.

What I like most about this brand is that Cat O’ Nine Tails provides a slow but steady warmth to your face. Wait for three seconds after applying it on the face and see the magic. The warmth will slowly wrap you around its pinky finger.

It has a Yellow-Ish texture. Before you guys go nuts, the texture doesn’t last very long and it doesn’t make face yellow when someone applies it.

Get Captain’s Choice at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • I liked how Cat O’ Nine Tails smells. The sweet smell of Sandalwood is always a welcome trait.
  • This thing is rather quick to be absorbed into skin. Cat O’ Nine Tails doesn’t even cause yellow glow.
  • You’ll notice a soft and warm feeling when it begins to work its magic on your skin.
  • Witch Hazel has antibacterial properties. Small nicks and cuts healed quickly in my case.
  • Glycerin is a welcome addition amongst the traditional ingredients of this bay rum shave scent.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • People feel the burning sensation first up so, you have alcohol mixed in with other ingredients.
  • The burn it causes is noticeable too. I’d not recommend it for individuals with sensitive skin types.

4. Gilbert Henry Natural Bay Rum Aftershave

Gilbert Henry

I understand all you Lotion-holics sulking quietly in the dark up until now. I am not particularly a fan of lotion types when it comes to bay rum products. More often than not, they are greasy and hard to get rid of from hands. But not this Natural Aftershave from Gilbert Henry. Hence, it makes it onto my list.

Although it’s a lotion, people can use it as a traditional aftershave balm as well! Cool! (Literally!)

Like I said, it is all natural as the company claims. No synthetic elements at all! There’s aloe juice that soothes the skin and eliminates burn caused by double-edged or single blade razors.

There’re coconut oil and glycerin thrown in the formula for good measure. My friends tell me that these things work well when it comes to moisturizing their skins. These two do it by “Keeping the oils inside” the skin rather than drying it out to resemble dead flakes.

The benefit of “Being” natural is that you can pick and choose what you are going to use in your formula. Gilbert and Henry did! The company used Neem oil, witch hazel, and Black Willowback Extract (for the spicy feeling). Neem Oil and witch hazel work in tandem to heal nicks and cuts.

Okay, so how does this thing smell? As it turns out, pretty good! I like the Sandalwood base with all the traditional West Indian spices and the Portuguese Orange. Trust me, people will feel the kick right away.

If you are keen enough, you’ll find that the makers tucked Citrus in there too. Mixed with rum and Ylang Ylang’s sweetness, the aftershave dishes out a refreshing feeling.

Don’t worry! You’ll never pour too much of it as there’s a pump top in place which allows easy yet controlled pouring of the liquid. Just one or two pumps on the machine and you have enough on your palms. One bottle goes well into the fourth month for some of my friends.

Get Gilbert Henry Balm at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • I think having a pump-style cap is great. Amateurs and first-timers won’t spill too much of the aftershave.
  • You’ve got citrus, authentic West Indian Bay leaf, and allspice with clove and sandalwood base.
  • I liked the addition of Neem oil and witch hazel. The makers insisted on healing nicks and cuts.
  • There are no synthetic elements present in the formula. That makes it Paraben and sulfate-free.
  • I liked how light it feels in my hands. It won’t feel greasy! Even for a second or two.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • I’d consider the price to be steeper than the others of the same category.

5. Clubman Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum

Clubman Pinaud

Ooh! Here comes the big one! Literally. Packed in a 12-ounce bottle. Let me tell you one thing right off the bat. It is an aftershave. Clubman Pinaud isn’t something you’ll call a “Fragrance-bearer.” The scent is nice. You can smell layers of the bay leaf, cinnamon, and rum. But the scent turns to skin-style soon.

Pay attention for a long time and you’ll find some other ingredients that contribute to the smell too. I noticed nutmeg in there and possibly, some vanilla. I am sure the smell will linger on for a few hours. Don’t expect it to be there for “Really Long” time.

I don’t know why the makers claimed it to be “All Purpose Fragrance.” It’s not a scent. At least, not to me. I’ve seen people using it only after shaving. Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum is more of a shave scent than a perfume.

It is every bit refreshing as it claims to be! But careful when you splash this thing on your face. First-timers will most definitely pour too much onto their palms and feel “More Intense” burn.

How Much? Well, with 2% of SD-40 Alcohol, the bay rum aftershave gives users a solid burn when used on the face. If you ask me, this amount of Alcohol is perfect. Don’t forget that this thing disinfects your nicks, cuts, and bruises.

Together with conventional bay leaf clove, the alcohol acts like a medicine to neutralize face bumps, rashes, and red spots too. But I must say, this is not “All Natural.” I found some chemicals that I didn’t even know the names of.

If you want the disinfectant quality of alcohol, feel free to use it wherever you like on your body. As I told you repeatedly, the burn is intense (and manly). For some, splashing it anywhere else than on their faces might not be a good idea.

Get  Clubman Bay Rum at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • Those of you who like an instant burn on your face while using bay rum will love this thing.
  • Alcohol is a strong disinfectant, with this quantity, small nicks and bruises won’t stand a chance.
  • The aftershave has a mellow scent that gives you a pleasant feeling when it takes effect.
  • I noticed five distinct but subtle layers of smell that this thing comes with or changes to.
  • The scent won’t project much; perfect for dudes who want their aftershave to be discreet.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • The alcohol is intense. So, Pinaud Virgin Island Bay Rum is not for everybody.
  • Pinaud included some “Hard to Pronounce” chemicals into the mix. I’d say, “Buy wisely.”

6. GABELS Bay Rum After Shave Lotion


Bay Rum Shave Scents have been there forever. Well, not forever, but you get the point. They have an ancient legacy to protect. The bay rum aftershave choices of mine have some degree of history behind them. However, GABELS Bay Rum Lotion is relatively a newbie on the scene compared to others.

I’m going to get slack for this but GABELS Bay Rum contains SD Alcohol 40 too. Just my previous candidate on this list. Yes, GABELS is heavy on the alcohol. Yet, it doesn’t burn as much. You have water and glycerin to balance out the effects of the stringent.

GABELS didn’t play hide-n-seek with the overall ingredients’ list either. You have Bay Leafs, Sucrose Octate (basically sugar), and FD&R Yellow 5 (for the texture) besides other that I’ve mentioned.

With GABELS, I could profile the smell. It was rather sweet and pleasant compared to its competitions. It doesn’t stay much but then, it never meant to. The smell was clear-cut. People often complain about the “Spice” part of these aftershaves override the scent. In this case, the mellowed smell was of bay leafs’.

GABELS isn’t only for Brisk scent. It cools too. Alcohol has some antiseptic properties (more on this later). This bay rum aftershave soothes rashes caused by blades with a close shave before starting to work on nicks, cuts, and bruises. However, the “Cooling Effect” isn’t intense.

At this point, we know what alcohol does to these products. It gives them the power to disinfect. Since the alcohol here doesn’t have a strong burning effect, I was worried about the disinfecting part. But my nicks and cuts healed all the same by applying it two times after shaving.

You’ll get GABELS aftershave packed in a 16-ounce bottle. If you ask me, this last long. Like, really long. This is a “Classic” version of all the aftershaves that claim to have bay rum in them. I’d advise people to try it on to believe me. One can also use it as a cologne.

Get Gables After Shave at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • Besides the aftershave lotion, one can use this thing as a cologne too for the subtle smell.
  • You’ll have a brisk scent to contend with. It is subtle yet refreshing after a close shave.
  • A 16-ounce bottle does the job and lasts the time to boot. A worthy product for the money.
  • This aftershave cools and soothes the blade abrasions that happen during a shaving routine.
  • Alcohol disinfects nicks, cuts, and bruises but doesn’t cause the burning sensation to users.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • Some of the users might not like the light smell GABELS has. But then again, it is not a perfume by any means.

7. Hurricane Series Bay Rum by St. John


I’ve saved the best (and the one of the priciest) for the last. My readers will give me slack (again) for referring this. Not that it is anything less of a “Quality” product, but it’s expensive. You might have to dish out over $50 for one bottle. But let me tell you, it’s worth the money.

I liked how you can splash this on your face. Makers could’ve gone with a “Pump” system but decided not to. I guess a 70-year-old formula is better represented in a “Hand Crafted” bottle.

Given the heritage, I came to expect quality ingredients from the Hurricane series. And guess what? There are some notable groups of ingredients you’ll find there. Firstly, there’s a premium group of Bay Leafs. These things are responsible for giving the Hurricane Series its smell.

The smell is how you like and expect it to be. It overpowers immediately. One can clearly notice the high notes of spices and bay leaves into the smell. I’d go as far as saying this is a “Sensual” smell meant for men with passion and drive to achieve something.

The SD-40 Alcohol is a standard component of these lotions. You KNOW what alcohol does by this point of time too, don’t you? Just for the record, it works as antiseptic to the nicks and cuts.

I read about FD&R Yellow #5, Red #40, and Blue #1 in the mix as well. These ingredients give this St. John Cologne the sparkling texture. Then you have water, bay leaf, and glycerin to negate the overwhelming side-effects of the said stringent.

Glycerin does the moisturizing job too. Alcohol gives users the burning sensation that they desire from a product of St. John. Glycerin brings the intensity down a notch. Overall, the sensation stays manageable.

Get Hurricane Bay Rum at Amazon

What I Liked about this Aftershave

  • I was hooked at first glance with the design of the bottle. It’s hand crafted with nice cork at the top.
  • The burn is intense; with this “Splash” type lotion, there’s no compromising in quality.
  • Alcohol is the driving force with its antiseptic properties and strong burning sensation.
  • I like the strong smell of the spices and bay leaves too. Users can use the hurricane series as cologne
  • Glycerin acts as the moisturizer among the group that settles the alcohol down.

What I didn’t Like About this Aftershave

  • It is PRICEY. One hurricane series bottle from St. John might cost you over $50.

How to Choose These Things on Your Own?

Don’t like what you see? No biggie my man! You can always choose your own. Let me give you my tools (AKA secret factors) that I look into while choosing an ideal shave scent for myself.

  • Check The Ingredients’ List

This is the first and foremost thing one should do while window shopping for bay rum aftershaves is to check what ingredients these things have. Most of our options have the ingredients mentioned on the package. But there are a few companies which often bluff.

Every now and then, you’ll find some aftershaves which will claim to be “Natural” but won’t have a shred of the said ingredient. I’m not entirely against chemicals. But there should be a balance to them. You can’t throw an aggressive stringent into the formula and hope everything will turn out to be fine.

Go for a brand or a product that has “Proven” to be “All Natural” or balances the chemicals with neutralizers such as glycerin and witch hazel.

While you are at it, make sure that the two core ingredients (bay leaves and rum) remain the same. Numerous franchises fake these things as well!

  • If I Were You, I’d Keep Moisturizers on My Checklist

Don’t forget, these products rely heavily on alcohol (specifically speaking, “Rum”). Alcohol is a known stringent. Too much of it “WILL DRY” your skin. People often take “Rum” as a moisturizer and market it as such. Rum does have some qualities of a moisturizer.

Yet, in this day and age when people are mixing chemicals into “Almost” anything, depending solely on Rum is as good as choosing death by freefall over guillotine.

I’d advise you to look for Aloe Vera, vitamin C or Glycerin in the package. These things nourish and moisturize your skin right after shaving when it needs the most care. Having “Witch Hazel” is great as it numbs the effect of Alcohol down. Be wise, pick one from my list and stay safe.

  • Inquiring How These Things Are Made is a Good Idea

On the surface, every bay rum aftershave company will play the same broken record. “We’ve made this from actual bay leaves imported from West Indies and the Rum.” Tell me you didn’t believe what I just wrote because, in some cases, it is as good of a lie as it gets.

There are reputed brands (cue: the list) which follow the authentic procedure of making the best bay rum aftershave. Others don’t. This is directly related to the cost. Cheaper brands don’t have the financial backup to fund the expensive making process. As a result, they induce chemicals which harm the skin.

Some even replace the “Rum” with a cheaper version of alcohol. That’s a problem on a whole new level.

Expensive brands go all out and follow the proper process every step of the way. You can see through the entire process once you smell these products.

  • How Well Does Your Product Smell?

If you’re not buying a bay rum aftershave for the smell, you’re not buying it at all. The fragrance is the main cause people take a liking to these shave scents. Bay Rum has its own unique scent that keeps you brimming throughout the day.

People will have the option to choose from multiple variations of scents. One can go for the passionate and sensual version where the scent firmly projects itself.

If you are not that “Hard On” about the smell but after the pleasant feeling, go for the ones which offer light but lingering scent even after hours of shaving.

  • How Pricey Is the Package?

Price often determines the quality of the product (as I mentioned earlier). One can easily guess what ingredients a company uses based on the price range of the bay rum aftershave. Quality products have their prices as I’m sure people know.

On the other hand, you should consider how much of the aftershave lotion you are getting per bottle. Depending on that, the price will vary. Check everything carefully before you end up buying a bottle for your personal use or for the family. Depending on the price research the Bay Rum Aftershave choices will differ.

Bay Rum Aftershave vs. The Regulars: Difference

There’s not much in it, to be honest. The way I see it, there are only two major differences between the two kinds. First one is obviously the ingredients makers utilize. Bay Rum shave scents have the bay leaves and the Rum. Before you freak out, these two are the main ones while others do exist.

Regular aftershaves have several categories depending on ingredients. Some use alcohol as a base. Others go for plain water.

The fragrance is the second thing drawing a line between the two. Bay Rum has three distinct scents to be precise. You can have the woodsy, earth-like, and spicy scent depending on which brand you choose.

The regular varieties have many fragrance options from strong to weak as well. But they don’t use these three varieties that often.

Let’s End It for Now!

Hey! Congrats on making it to the end of this looong article. I’m glad you did! I am sure you browsed through all the recommendations that I picked for my readers. These lotions are tried and tested by many across the globe (including me of course). When they say, “It’s good.” It stays good.

Even then, 7 products are at times too many. You need to narrow it down further. To know which of these is the best bay rum aftershave for you, just apply each one onto your skin. Feel the fragrance, burn, and judge the healing qualities. You’ll know what your skin wants.

If the recommendations don’t work for people, they can always search through new products based on the buying guide included here. In any case, happy shopping and remember, men deserve the spotlight too!

Leave a Comment Protection Status