The best aftershave picks of the season

The best aftershave picks of the season

Not just for Grandpa (or re-enacting that famous Home Alone scene), aftershave has always been a great entry point to men’s fragrance. Here, best aftershave bets for the season.

The word “aftershave” sounds almost quaint in our current day and age, reminding people of either their dads or their youth: For many men, aftershave was their entrée into the world of fragrance, pimples and dating.

And because everything is eventually new again, aftershave was destined for a comeback. “What’s bringing men back to aftershaves is the selection: There are so many new brands to try,” says Seth Harman, managing director at Toronto men’s skincare boutique Men Essentials.

Not being one to shy away from a trend, I opened a bottle of new Dior Sauvage Aftershave Lotion and channelled my 14-year-old self, slapping it on my cheeks like a Hai Karate commercial. Fresh and delicious, it has a bergamot, black pepper and lavender mix with a woody trail. Then I started to worry about the alcohol sting, however familiar.

Happily, the new blends are more gentle on skin. “Traditionally, splashes were alcohol-based, made when perfumes were diluted and alcohol added in,” says Harman. “Now, some brands create their aftershave splashes with perfume, less alcohol and something soothing or antibacterial like witch hazel or aloe vera juice, which moisturizes the skin. They’ve minimized the amount of alcohol.”

I always feel guilty about the waste that comes with splashing on aftershave, clumsily tipping the bottle too much, getting it all over me—dripping down my chest, on the floor. Perhaps this is how Dior makes all its money?

A word of warning: If you have sensitive skin, don’t be slapping this stuff on your face. “You’re better off with a balm or gel to help soothe skin and alleviate redness,” says Harman.

The best aftershave line-up:


[Left to right:] Truefitt & Hill Grafton Aftershave Splash is a green fougere—truly barbershoppy. $95 (100 ml),

Floid Aftershave Lotion Amber in “The Genuine Italian” contains amber with a powdery dry down. $56, (400 ml),

Dior Sauvage Aftershave Lotion is peppery, lavender-laced and woody. $70 (100 ml),

Suavecito Bay Rum After Bath: bay rum all the way, baby. $12 (120 ml)

Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar Aftershave Balm has notes of cedar, sandalwood and jasmine. $72 (100 ml),

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Feature_scentstyleRead more men’s scent style stories:
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PHOTO: FlickrCC/CircaSassy
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Doug Wallace is a Toronto-based writer who began his fragrance wardrobe with a bottle of the now-iconic Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel and hasn’t looked back. A big fan of scents by houses Lalique and Boucheron, he is currently having a fling with all-things-British, including Clive Christian, Floris and Penhaligon’s. He treasures the dusty shoulders of some of his more aged bottles just as much as he does the shiny young ones.