Barrister's Reserve is a special aftershave project from Barrister and Mann that contains two unique characteristics. The first characteristic was to create a base promising to be the most healing and soothing alcohol based aftershave available in the world. The second characteristic was to take discontinued, or the original versions of now reformulated aftershave scents, and revive them for the different versions of the Reserve line. For now, we have three scents to choose from, with two (and possibly more) on the way. Current lineup includes: *Classic (scent recreated from a 1960's version of Gillette Sun Up aftershave) *Spice (scent recreated from circa 1957 version of Shulton Old Spice) *Cool (scent recreated from circa 2015, but now discontinued, version of Floid Blue) Announced future scents include: *Lavender (scent rumored to be recreated from circa 1959 original version of Caldey Island Lavender) *Fern (scent rumored to be recreated from circa 1882 Vintage Houbigant Fougère Royale) ------------- Let me begin with my impression of the scents, as I have purchased one of each. Classic is my least favorite of the three scents. I'm not a frag head that can pick apart base notes with ease, but I can say I don't like it. It has a masculine + medicinal quality to it that is rather straight forward, and is something I'd rather picture a man from the 50's and 60's wearing. Of the three Reserve scents, it is also the weakest, with a staying power of maybe an hour, perhaps half that, and carries little to no forward projection. If I cared for no lingering scent from my aftershave, or if I wanted to use a cologne afterwards, Classic would be the one to choose from the Reserve line. Spice is my second favorite of the three scents, and is a dead ringer for the original Shulton Old Spice. This is the stuff I remember my dad wearing as a kid, and it certainly brings back memories. As an aside, I have recently purchased some vintage Old Spice and have noticed that the scent is somewhat degraded (weakened) from what it used to be. Ingredients sitting in a bottle for decades can do that, even with an alcohol preservative. Spice smells more fresh, and more like what I remember as a kid. Spice also has staying power, with the scent lingering 4-5 hours after application. Cool is my favorite of the three, but curiously, it is not a dead ringer for Floid Blue. Cool smells richer, less powdery, and more complex than Floid Blue. The scent also lasts longer than Floid Blue, at about 3-4 hours. Again, not being a frag head, I can only describe it as clean, fresh, and deep... It also has that slightest trace of menthol, that adds to the feel. Love this stuff! ------------- On to performance, and this is really what sets the Reserve line apart from other aftershaves. Most other thin, alcohol based aftershaves don't contain much more than alcohol and scent, acting as an antiseptic to prevent infection from cuts (small or large). Some add a minor astringent like witch hazel, but that is about it. Barrister's Reserve goes much, much farther in the healing and soothing botanical department, and a few of these are listed below, shared from another blog: Allantoin - soothing agent, moisturizer, wound-healer, etc. Swiss botanical extract - heals skin on a microscopic level. Licorice extract - anti-inflammatory. Panthenol - redness reducer. German chamomile extract - redness reducer and anti-inflammatory. Sodium lactate - moisturizer. Glycerin - cleaner, toner and moisturizer. Aloe extract - soothing agent and moisturizer. Witch hazel - astringent and anti-inflammatory. Here's a sample list of ingredients (varies by scent): Witch Hazel Water (Hamamelis Virginiana), SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denatured), Water (Aqua), Organic Licorice Root Extract (Glycyrrhiza Glabra), Glycerin, Taurine, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorella (Chlorella Vulgaris)/White Lupin Protein Ferment (Lupinus Albus), Eleuthero Root Extract (Acanthopanax Senticosus), Organic Alcohol, Fragrance, Salicylic Acid, Allantoin, Organic Aloe Leaf Extract (Aloe Barbadensis), German Chamomile Flower Extract (Matricaria Recutita), Provitamin B5 (Panthenol), Menthol, Neem Flower Extract (Melia Azadirachta), Neem Leaf Extract (Melia Azadirachta), Amino Esters-1, Ivy Gourd Fruit Extract (Coccinia Indica), Eggplant Fruit Extract (Solanum Melongena), Aloe Flower Extract (Aloe Barbadensis), Henna Extract (Lawsonia Inermis), Holy Basil Leaf Extract (Ocimum Sanctum), Turmeric Root Extract (Curcuma Longa), Pearl Powder, Sodium Lactate, Benzoic Acid, Linalool, Butyl Phenyl Methyl Propional (Lilial)(Rep2-), Methyl Ionone Gamma; Alpha-Iso-Methylionone, D-Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Citral, IsoEugenol, Cinnamic Alcohol (Cinnamyl Alcohol), Geraniol, Eugenol, Evernia prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, Benzyl Benzoate This blend of ingredients is really something special, as it has the healing and hydrating properties of a balm. Often, if I ever had any redness or irritation, I would use a regular alcohol based aftershave followed by a more cream type balm. Prior to Barrister's Reserve, the most healing and hydrating aftershave splash I've encountered was Saponificio Varesino's 70th Anniversary Aftershave, which contained all the characteristics of both a splash and a balm rolled into one. Reserve is different, in that there is no stickiness or tackiness... it clearly has all the constancy of a splash. But... it removes redness and irritation like a balm, and it feels hydrating and moisturizing without any oily residue. Often in cases where I might want a balm, I won't need it if I'm using Reserve. I will also note that the alcohol sting is less than half of that compared to other splashes. It is a pleasant burn, and not at all an overpowering one. I chalk this up to the fact that alcohol is second on the ingredient list, which is cut mostly by the top ingredient, witch hazel. The face feel hours after the shave is very, very soft, hydrated, but not moist like a balm. I just can't help touching my face after using this stuff. Summing up, this is the best performing (healing, hydrating, toning, etc.) alcohol based aftershave splash I have ever used. The scents are classic and timeless in a manner that simply aren't made anymore, and I could not recommend it enough.