Barberry Coast Shave Co. Havana Aftershave Balm Review

Barberry Coast Shave Co. Barberry Coast Shave Co. “Havana” Aftershave Balm Review

Things are finally getting back to normal around here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I feel like the blog has definitely suffered the last few weeks.  Unfortunately, responsibilities at home took over, and I had to write less.  With the ship righting itself, I’m back to putting out two reviews a week, one or two style posts, and some weekend reading (with potentially more too!).

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Soap Commander “Courage” Aftershave Balm, and my own personal reaction got me thinking that I shouldn’t have written off all aftershave balms based on a few poor experiences when i was younger.  So, I decided to, again, venture into the world of aftershave balms.  I’m a big fan of the Barberry Coast Shave Co., and I wrote a review of their “Ascent” shaving soap last year, so I wanted to take a look at one of their balms.  I’ll probably check out their original Bay Rum aftershave at some point, but I was looking to review a balm, not a splash this time.  On top of that, I figured that more people were familiar with the Bay Rum, so I took a shot at the “Havana” aftershave balm.

I won’t cut to the chase, this balm is fantastic!  One of the things I love about this aftershave balm is how light it is.  The Barberry Coast website describes it as light and non-greasy, and they are spot on.  If you’ve ever used the Kiehl’s Super Fluid sunscreen, the non-oily, light feel is very similar.  Now, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to this aftershave balm, it just means you can wear it all summer long.  Additionally, the post-application feel of this balm is wonderful.  My skin feels moisturized, but, again, not oily.  With just a little menthol, there is a soft cooling too; not as much as some other brands, but I don’t know how a strong menthol scent would interact with the vanilla and tobacco fragrance anyway.  Regarding, the fragrance, I personally would have liked a stronger scent, but that’s a matter of individual preference (I think I actually said the same thing about the Ascent shaving soap too).  I wouldn’t take anything away from Barberry Coast for their choice of fragrance strength, but I do want to keep people informed, and it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of this balm either.  There are some aftershaves out there which I use and skip the cologne, and some which I use and don’t.  This is the latter, but I have found it pairs perfectly with the Burberry London for Men EdT.

I do want to point out a couple of items here.  First (and I think this could be an area of improvement for the folks at Barberry Coast), while I love the look of the packaging, getting the aftershave balm out of the bottle, in the right amount, has been a little tricky.  The label is sharp, the frosted glass looks amazing, but the small bottle opening makes it hard to control how much comes out, especially as you get towards finishing your bottle.  Second, this aftershave balm is on the pricey side at thirty-nine dollars a bottle.  However, you only need the tiniest amount each shave, so a bottle will last quite a while.  Think of it more like a skin food than an aftershave.  Don’t let the price dissuade you too much, but it is something to be aware of.

With it’s lightness and tobacco and vanilla fragrances, the Barberry Coast Shave Co. “Havana” aftershave balm is a product you can use all year, but you might be surprised how well it performs in the heat of summer.  I think most people keep their balms for the dryer months, but this truly is a year-round product and comes highly recommended.


Tailor & Barber