A rambling review of Brambleberry "masculine scents" sampler

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Thanks for the report!

Lol, if you found Drakkar overpowering, skip the Fierce, it's worse. Much worse. We used soap that smelled like that back in graduate school to keep deer out of our tree plantings. Really.

Nothing wrong with a pleasant scent soap early in the morning in the shower, eh? Don't aways want a full scale wakeup.

I'm not fond of most colognes, they are much too strong for me. Especially A&F. That means, of course, I'm not going to use them in soap. Guess I'm kinda old fashioned, eh?

I enjoy everyone's impressions of scents, I find it hard to describe them.

Kentish Rain, Salty Mariner, Shave and a Haircut, and Cold Water are definitely my idea of soap scents. Nice and light and refreshing.

I really like Made to Measure, but I don't think it's what I want to smell while taking a shower. Reminds me of my dad, actually, since he was often carrying a cigar. Not the smoke smell, but the tobacco.

I'm thinking of repeating this experiment with hot process soap if I can get it to stay fluid enough to mix twelve samples. I prefer hot process at the moment, and I think the scents behave differently without the lye in cold process. Not for a few weeks, anyway, though. I have bees to take care of getting ready for winter and doing a fall honey harvest, the grapes are ripening, so I'll be making gonzo quantities of wine this year because a friend shut down his vineyard due to health problems -- an essentially limitless supply at least for this year. 50 gallons or so, I think, if I can manage to stay organized that long. Sadly, I have enough bottles, they've been collecting.
I do hot process at the moment, so acceleration isn't an issue. I'll try to remember that if I ever decide to do cold process though, it's a real pain if one is not prepared.
I love honey harvest time. How many hives do you have? I grew up with 5 or 6, I wasn't involved in their care but I did help with extraction. I particularly love fresh cut caps.

I think HP is definitely the way to go with salty mariner. I want to use it in a salt bar, has me worried enough that I've not bought the FO yet lol.
Yeah, I think it's better to plan a HP rather than do one to fix soap on a stick.

I have ten hives at the moment, and a friend of mine has 11 he needs to harvest this weekend. If he's right, should be around 400 lbs, he got 550 in June and they have been storing it up all summer. Very unusual, normally we only get spring honey. Fresh spring honey here is delightful, I never have any trouble selling it.
I think HP is definitely the way to go with salty mariner. I want to use it in a salt bar, has me worried enough that I've not bought the FO yet lol.

In my challenge soap this month I used BB's Sweetgrass, which is supposed to rice. I hand stirred and used heat transfer from my lye to make salt bars. It worked perfectly with no surprise acceleration from the fragrance, it actually went slower than I'd expect from a high CO soap. I got 3 layers and a bit of settling from the salt. If Sweetgrass is supposed to rice I think Salty Mariner would work just fine.
I've used Salty Mariner in salt bars - one color. I think heating is worse than Salty Mariner's ricing. There was some ricing, but not a problem. (I use almost exactly Irish Lass's). My mold was thin silicone inside a wood box - and there was enough heat to crack the top of the soap.

I've used both BB and Rustic Escentuals versions. I like BB better but was slightly more problematic.
Week three update:

Fierce: Has faded down to a spicey cologne scent I might even like. Quite faint (thank heavens) compared to the initial, will see how long it hangs in there, and if it scents my skin when I use it (a big NOT for me).

Drakkar: Still singing Donna Summer, but not nearly as loud. Powdery cologne scent, a bit sweet for me. Probably popular. Still reminds me of obnoxious undergrads, alas.

Cold water: Hanging in there, no change from last week. Will be making some soap with this one when my indigo gets here, definitely a blue soap, I think.

Kentish Rain: Less fresh cut grass this week, but still quite "green" -- this one is going to get green coloring if everything works out. Very pleasant. Fading a bit, but not a large amount like Fierce and Drakkar.

Made to Measure: A little less scent than last week, but otherwise identical. Very nice, I'd wear it as a cologne, but still don't know if it's what I want in soap. Good tobacco and tweed....

Sensuous Sandalwood: Still has a "powdery" scent I'm not really fond of, and it's fading. Pleasant enough, makes a nice Old Spice clone with allspice EO. May have to use more to retain much scent though (not a surprise, other reviews say the same thing)

Shave and a Haircut: No change other than it' fainter, wasn't strong to start with. Will make some nice soap someday.

Spiced Mahogany: More like the old Old Spice every day, with a bit more sandalwood and "mahogany" scent (although I don't remember much scent from the mahogany I've used in the woodshop). Very nice, have already made a batch of soap with a little more scent. Hope I didn't overdo that one. Scent is holding well.

Tobacco and Rum: Nicer, smoother scent of tobacco, tobacco flower, and rum with some bay in there. Quite pleasant, but again, I'm not sure I want to smell it in the shower. Other people will probably really like it. Holding well.

Salty Mariner: Still a light, slightly floral "water" scent. This one gets sea green when I make it, I think -- the color of the water in the Cheasapeake, I think (now that it has tons of algae in it, anyway, used to be clear back when I was young and we had to battle dinosaurs....). Holding well, but it's a light scent.

Rustic Woods: Has lost the cedar scent it used to have, and has faded. Quite pleasant, hard to describe but I find a bit of vanilla now I didn't smell before, and a bit of spice now. Will probably make some soap with this one, too, it's becoming quite nice. Unless it turns into something I don't like, eh?

I may get all excited and try these in some hot process soap now that I've figured out how to keep it fluid long enough, had a mostly successful batch of countertop HP tonight. Secret is to reserve some water, use some sugar (for extra heat).

Another thing that will give Zany a fit of giggles -- the very best "soap scent" I've found is the aroma rising from my collection of FO's. I make an nice partitioned box to keep them in because they were starting to get out of control, and that scent from the residual FO on the bottles and caps is just about perfect. Guess I'll just have to toss in some of everything I have, eh?

And we did get at least 400 lbs of honey, maybe 450. Puts him at a half ton for the year, off 11 hives. We are now looking for ways to market it, half a tone of honey is a LOT of honey.....
Lucky you!

homer honey.JPG
You never picked up the spicey vanilla notes from Rustic? I may need to try this in a soap. Also, what's your damage with Donna Summer? Just curious.
Drakkar was released in 1972, just about the peak of the Disco craze. Very popular with the "bigger than their britches" fraternity types and other wannabe fakers, at least in my part of the world. Too many guys who thought "if two drops is good, half the bottle of something expensive is much better, that way everyone knows I have tons of money to blow on things".

Too many memories of being gassed by people wearing too much at disco bars, I guess. And it's not really my type of scent.

I prefer the 80's, the music was better.
As someone who strenuously avoids most scents marketed as "masculine" (because it usually means a musky herbal or chemically ocean top note and not much more) I was glad to read about your experience and the follow up. I may try one or two of these after all.

And, isn't Zany the Enabler a character on Game of Thrones?
Drakkar was released in 1972, just about the peak of the Disco craze. Very popular with the "bigger than their britches" fraternity types and other wannabe fakers, at least in my part of the world. Too many guys who thought "if two drops is good, half the bottle of something expensive is much better, that way everyone knows I have tons of money to blow on things".

Too many memories of being gassed by people wearing too much at disco bars, I guess. And it's not really my type of scent.

I prefer the 80's, the music was better.

I grew up on Motown and later and a surprising variety of genres thanks to my mom. Disco is one of them but I also blame WKTU for being good for playing disco mixes in my tweens (90s). I'm still surprised by how many songs I can pick up on and remember hearing growing up.

Back to Drakkar, I guess I can see your point. I really get the Axe thing too (it's really not attractive to smell a stinky dude or a dude who likes to smell like Axe)
Week four update:

Fierce: Has faded considerably, but not changed. Much less offensive to me at the current odor level, but I'm not looking forward to using this bar. Not my kind of scent. Reminds me of the locker room at the Y in Sault Ste. Marie for some reason today.

Drakkar: Also much tamer than before, has morphed a bit too. Sweeter, but still reminds me of pretentious frat boys for some reason. Bad memories from being a nerd in college, I think. At this strength should be a popular fragrance, just not for me.

Cold Water: Nice water scent, has faded some. Very pleasant, made a batch of soap dyed light blue with indigo with it last week.

Kentish Rain: Holding well, a little less fresh cut lawn and a little more generic floral, but quite nice.

Made to Measure: A little lighter now, but still smells of quality tobacco and tweed jacket. Great scent, just not sure it's meant for soap.

Spiced Mahogany: A little lighter, a little sweeter. Some sweet spice now, less wood, but light. I've used this in some HP soap, scent holds better there so far at two weeks.

Shave and a Haircut: Has faded some more, same scent. Would be a problem if you like strongly scented soaps, I think. It's fine for me, but I suspect it would be nearly unscented for quite a few people. Very pleasant.

Sensuous Sandalwood: Faded a bit, but less "powder" scent, so I like it better. Very nice scent alone, will make a very close copy of Old Spice with equal parts Allspice EO. Will eventually end up in bath and shaving soap, I think.

Salty Mariner: Has faded a bit, scent is unchanged. Very pleasant, may need a bit more to hold the scent for a full cure for some people. Will make some sea green soap this weekend with this, I think. Quite pleasant

Rustic Woods: Has faded some more, and morphed a bit. More cedar, less vanilla, but very nice. Will end up in soap at my house eventually (there really is a limit, I think, on how much soap I need to make this fall....).

I ran these past a couple friends, and their favorites were Kentish Rain, Cold Water, Salty Mariner, Spiced Mahogany, and Rustic Woods. One really liked the Sandalwood, too. I forgot to take the Fierce along, and they both recognized Drakkar, but don't want it in soap.

I will start using these samples in the shower after six weeks are up, and probably do a HP sampler as well of the ones I've not already used in HP soaps -- I suspect some of them will hold much better without the high lye activity at the beginning.
Week five update:

Fierce: Faded a bit more, but still present. Still smells like arrogant adolescent at the mall to me, but other people will like it. Still slightly pink, too.

Drakkar: Faded some a mellowed, much nicer now that when fresh. Close to the original, but no my personal idea of what I want soap to smell like. Also still a bit pink.

Cold Water: A bit more faded, but no other change. Very pleasant.

Kentish Rain: A little change in the scent, no longer has that fresh cut grass smell, but it's very pleasant. I'm thinking a medium green for this soap color, still smells "green" to me.

Made to Measure: No change.

Sensuous Sandalwood: Less powdery smell, has faded a bit, but still there. Still different than Bulk Apothecary's version. Will definitely make some soap with this.

Shave and a Haircut: Starting to remind me of Made to Measure now, seems to be gaining in strength a bit. Very pleasant.

Spiced Mahogany: More spice, less vanilla? Or more vanilla and less spice, maybe. Has mellowed a bit, very nice. Already made soap with this one, HP, and it's stronger, but is also mellowing like this tester did.

Salty Mariner: Has faded a bit, but still plenty strong for me. A bit milder, too, somehow. Very nice scent, a bit less perfumy now.

Rustic Woods: Cedar and vanilla now, smells like fresh cut redwood, too. Very very nice, has mellowed and faded some. Probably changes more than any of this sampler.

Hope this is of some value, and I'll write up reviews for the spreadsheet, too.
Week Six update:

I'll be starting to use these in the shower soon, will post updates as I use them.

Fierce: Has faded considerably, and is now the spicy scent I was expecting from the descriptions. Helped a bit by the fact my house is full of basil scent at the moment, harvested a big handful for drying. I'm curious as to what Fierce will be like in use.

Drakkar: Also much fainter, but not really changed much. Too cologne like for me in soap, but it would likely be popular for selling soap. Very powerful even when faded, at the rate most people scent their soaps I'd have had to put it outside.

Cold Water: a bit lighter but no change in scent. Is stronger so far in HP soap.

Kentish Rain: Muted a bit, has mellowed some as well, very pleasant. A bit of the fresh cut grass is back. My idea of soap scent, not like a cologne or aftershave, just a nice clean scent.

Made to Measure: No change.

Sensuous Sandalwood: No change except it has faded a bit. Will make a bigger batch with this one I think, and it's a possibility in shave soap as well.

Shave and a Haircut: Still a nice light scent, but it's changed a bit and seems stronger. Another very nice soap scent rather than cologne.

Spiced Mahogany: Has mellowed a bit, more vanilla, less spice. Very pleasant. This one is also much stronger so far in HP, will see if it morphs in the same way -- I like the current scent in CP better than the HP scent.

Salty Mariner: No change. Still a very pleasant scent for soap.

Rustic Woods: Cedar and vanilla, some spice, also very nice. Will make some soap with this one someday.

I've been collecting some more scents to try out, will do another set of testers when I get a chance (up to my eyeballs in grapes and winemaking at the moment, hopefully that will be done this week).
Time for an update:

I tried the Fierce in the shower. It has faded to a nice, spicy scent, but is too persistent for me, it hangs around on my skin even at the very low rate I used. If you like the scent it's a good one, very strong though.

Drakkar is next, and sadly this batch of testers is getting DOS so I may not be able to work through them all before they go too far off to use. Must have been that Field lard I used, everything I put it in has gone "south", while my used doughnut fry oil (half soy, half canola) is perfectly fine....
Time for a couple updates:

Finished the Fierce bar, so started on the Drakkar and Rustic Woods and Rum samples.

Drakkar is very close to the cologne, and stays around in the soap pretty well. Faded to tolerable for me, but not my favorite scent (never did like colognes from the 70's). Should be a good seller at moderate usage level, it's persistent. Not as bad as the Fierce, which stayed on my skin for a couple hours.

Rustic Woods and Rum now smells almost identical to my Spanish Cedar soap dish, with a bit of vanilla and rum. Very pleasant, will probably scent a standard batch with it sometime. Thought for a moment I was just smelling the dish, but the other tester (an old spice clone that was too weak) didn't pick up anything from the dish. Rustic woods, indeed. Spanish cedar is popular in humidors for cigars, nice spicy cedar and something extra scent.