12-10-2013, 09:48 AM
#1
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A few months ago Will of Barrister & Mann started a thread about what do members prefer in their aftershave splashes, alcohol or no alcohol. I wrote back that I prefer no alcohol. Before we get into what happened next, let me just give some background.

I have fairly sensitive skin, mainly rosacea on my cheeks and it can get pretty dry around my mouth during winter time. I've always liked splashes for their ease of use (splash and go!) and my favorites are alcohol-based ones like Krampert's Finest where the alcohol's sting and drying effects are lessened (Proraso is just deadly, causing my face to turn beet red). But on the whole, I generally use balms and thicker ones at that. My "desert island" balm is Pre de Provence Aftershave Balm, which is thick. But during summer time it'd be nice to use something lighter. I've used Lucky Tiger After Shave Tonic & Face Lotion which advertises itself as no-alcohol (more in a minute) but my face still gets dry.

Background out of the way and back to the story. After I answered Will's thread, he generously offered to send me a sample of his Kyovu Alcohol-Free Aftershave Splash (so we'll get the "legal disclaimer" language out of the way, I didn't buy it and I have no affiliation in any way, blah, blah, blah). Because we are both in the Boston area, we agreed to meet up.

It was fascinating talking with Will about all sorts of things, from how he got into soap-making(his family ran a bakery so he grew up in an environment of scents and baking/cooking/alchemy), to the development of online traditional shaving forums, to even his conversations with other artisans (nothing earth-shattering; I just love hearing about people producing goods through hard work and dedication). He told me some of his philosophies, including being transparent with Barrister & Mann (for instance he lists all of his ingredients, including breaking down the "scenting" ingredients, and not just general "fragrance" or "parfum", as he wants no one with say an allergy to a particular essential oil to be under an misapprehensions). He even told me about how even splashes billed as no-alcohol, like the aforementioned Lucky Tiger, can use alcohol as emulsifiers.

I agreed to use his Kyovu Alcohol-Free Aftershave Splash for a while and offer my thoughts. I hesitate to call this a review since Will told me he still might be tinkering with his formula. However, I have to say, its great! First, the appearances: it looks like lemon juice, very lightly yellow-colored and not viscous.

Since there is no menthol or alcohol, there is no sting or "cooling effect" nor is it an antihemorrhagic. However, it is calming and, with ingredients like aloe and witch hazel, it is antiseptic as well. it feels very good on my skin afterward. It goes on like a splash would, coats my face evenly, and absorbs as quickly as any splash should.

It doesn't leave my face tacky afterward, but does leave it feeling fresh and supple. Usually after a splash, I will use a facial moisturizer, but I don't feel the need to with this one. And, most importantly, it doesn't leave my skin "angry" or causes my rosacea to flare up.

I'm not very good with scents, but here is the description from B&M's site: "a blend of lemon, bergamot, lavender, rosemary, oakmoss, and patchouli." I definitely get the lemon first and foremost, which I like a lot; I generally prefer "brighter" and "cleaner" scents. I also pick up the bergamot, but before this starts to sound like a morning cup of tea, the other scents serve to weigh down the splash and give it an earthiness that keep it from smelling like Lemon Pledge. Personally I would prefer a lighter and airier scent profile, but I also see the potential pitfalls with trying for lighter and airier and ending up with "kitchen counter cleaner" scents. Will's layering of scents definitely has purpose and serves a purpose.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hammamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Juniperus Communis (Juniper) Flower Water, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Nereocystis Leutkneana (Bull Kelp) Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Lactobacillus/Chenopodium Quinoa (Quinoa) Ferment Extract Filtrate, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Aqua, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) Oil, Citrus limonium (Lemon) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Fragrance, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Benzoic Acid

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 12-10-2013, 09:53 AM
#2
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Great write up Thanks Josh!

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 12-10-2013, 10:06 AM
#3
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I haven't picked this up yet since I have too much AS at home but it's been on my radar. I love B&M soaps.

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 12-10-2013, 10:47 AM
#4
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Glad you liked it, Josh! I've actually perfected the assembly method so there's no longer any settling of the compounds (for awhile, the allantoin and a couple moisturizers would settle out and you had to shake the stuff, but I finally figured out how to fix that without changing the formula). I'm also working on Bay Rum and Cheshire (Earl Grey Tea) versions of the alcohol-free formula and am planning to incorporate a compound called DL-Panthenol, which is a powerful moisturizer and (more importantly, at least to me) redness reducer. I'm open to questions from anyone if you're curious!

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 12-10-2013, 10:50 AM
#5
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(12-10-2013, 10:47 AM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote: ...I'm also working on Bay Rum and Cheshire (Earl Grey Tea) versions of the alcohol-free formula...

Now this, this is something I'd be interested in. To me a nice BR no-alcohol splash is a holy grail.

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 12-10-2013, 11:21 AM
#6
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(12-10-2013, 10:50 AM)jpakstis Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 10:47 AM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote: ...I'm also working on Bay Rum and Cheshire (Earl Grey Tea) versions of the alcohol-free formula...

Now this, this is something I'd be interested in. To me a nice BR no-alcohol splash is a holy grail.

Look for it in January. Biggrin The only difference between the fragrance in the AS and the fragrance in my Bay Rum soap is that there will be no rum in the AS so as not to incur the wrath of the ATF or the TTB.

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 12-10-2013, 02:25 PM
#7
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(12-10-2013, 09:48 AM)jpakstis Wrote: He told me some of his philosophies, including being transparent with Barrister & Mann (for instance he lists all of his ingredients, including breaking down the "scenting" ingredients, and not just general "fragrance" or "parfum", as he wants no one with say an allergy to a particular essential oil to be under an misapprehensions).

The ingredient list you posted, while it does include various explicitly named fragrance oils, also includes the generic "Fragrance" towards the end.

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 12-10-2013, 02:46 PM
#8
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(12-10-2013, 02:25 PM)hoseunyan Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 09:48 AM)jpakstis Wrote: He told me some of his philosophies, including being transparent with Barrister & Mann (for instance he lists all of his ingredients, including breaking down the "scenting" ingredients, and not just general "fragrance" or "parfum", as he wants no one with say an allergy to a particular essential oil to be under an misapprehensions).

The ingredient list you posted, while it does include various explicitly named fragrance oils, also includes the generic "Fragrance" towards the end.

That's fair. I use a synthetic oakmoss replacement because actual oakmoss absolute costs a fortune and I'm not large enough to buy it in quantities that would mitigate the price. I make the information as available as I can, but because many (most) fragrance manufacturers consider the compositions of their fragrance oils to be proprietary information, the best I can do is ensure that the fragrances do not contain any phthalates or nitro-musks (which I'm quite careful about). Unfortunately, they won't give me any more information than that and I have not yet switched over to developing my own oakmoss rendition (which will take quite some time because oakmoss is not a simple fragrance). Everything else in the blend is an essential oil.

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 12-10-2013, 03:00 PM
#9
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(12-10-2013, 02:46 PM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 02:25 PM)hoseunyan Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 09:48 AM)jpakstis Wrote: He told me some of his philosophies, including being transparent with Barrister & Mann (for instance he lists all of his ingredients, including breaking down the "scenting" ingredients, and not just general "fragrance" or "parfum", as he wants no one with say an allergy to a particular essential oil to be under an misapprehensions).

The ingredient list you posted, while it does include various explicitly named fragrance oils, also includes the generic "Fragrance" towards the end.

That's fair. I use a synthetic oakmoss replacement because actual oakmoss absolute costs a fortune and I'm not large enough to buy it in quantities that would mitigate the price. I make the information as available as I can, but because many (most) fragrance manufacturers consider the compositions of their fragrance oils to be proprietary information, the best I can do is ensure that the fragrances do not contain any phthalates or nitro-musks (which I'm quite careful about). Unfortunately, they won't give me any more information than that and I have not yet switched over to developing my own oakmoss rendition (which will take quite some time because oakmoss is not a simple fragrance). Everything else in the blend is an essential oil.

All right, thanks for the explanation.

Another thing I'm interested in is the shelf life of the product. Do you have any idea how it might change if used up very slowly over a long time period? One of the things I like about alcohol-based splashes is that they last forever without turning bad. This is important to me because I have a very large rotation of aftershaves, each of which doesn't get used all that often.

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 12-10-2013, 03:32 PM
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(12-10-2013, 03:00 PM)hoseunyan Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 02:46 PM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 02:25 PM)hoseunyan Wrote: The ingredient list you posted, while it does include various explicitly named fragrance oils, also includes the generic "Fragrance" towards the end.

That's fair. I use a synthetic oakmoss replacement because actual oakmoss absolute costs a fortune and I'm not large enough to buy it in quantities that would mitigate the price. I make the information as available as I can, but because many (most) fragrance manufacturers consider the compositions of their fragrance oils to be proprietary information, the best I can do is ensure that the fragrances do not contain any phthalates or nitro-musks (which I'm quite careful about). Unfortunately, they won't give me any more information than that and I have not yet switched over to developing my own oakmoss rendition (which will take quite some time because oakmoss is not a simple fragrance). Everything else in the blend is an essential oil.

All right, thanks for the explanation.

Another thing I'm interested in is the shelf life of the product. Do you have any idea how it might change if used up very slowly over a long time period? One of the things I like about alcohol-based splashes is that they last forever without turning bad. This is important to me because I have a very large rotation of aftershaves, each of which doesn't get used all that often.

The formula is good for at least a year-and-a-half and is more likely closer to two. I use a preservative made from fermented radish leaves that is quite powerful, but unfortunately, without the use of parabens or phenoxyethanol (which I do not consider to be safe), I can't guarantee that it will last longer than the time I quoted above because the product doesn't contain any formaldehyde compounds or alcohols. That said, I'm currently developing an alcohol-based aftershave with an entirely different (but still highly effective) complement of botanicals that will not require any preservatives. I'm mostly waiting on my approval from the TTB for a use permit for perfumer's alcohol, after which time I will begin testing it in earnest. I also sell samples of the Kyovu if you think that would be a better option for you.

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 12-10-2013, 03:47 PM
#11
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(12-10-2013, 03:32 PM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 03:00 PM)hoseunyan Wrote:
(12-10-2013, 02:46 PM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote: That's fair. I use a synthetic oakmoss replacement because actual oakmoss absolute costs a fortune and I'm not large enough to buy it in quantities that would mitigate the price. I make the information as available as I can, but because many (most) fragrance manufacturers consider the compositions of their fragrance oils to be proprietary information, the best I can do is ensure that the fragrances do not contain any phthalates or nitro-musks (which I'm quite careful about). Unfortunately, they won't give me any more information than that and I have not yet switched over to developing my own oakmoss rendition (which will take quite some time because oakmoss is not a simple fragrance). Everything else in the blend is an essential oil.

All right, thanks for the explanation.

Another thing I'm interested in is the shelf life of the product. Do you have any idea how it might change if used up very slowly over a long time period? One of the things I like about alcohol-based splashes is that they last forever without turning bad. This is important to me because I have a very large rotation of aftershaves, each of which doesn't get used all that often.

The formula is good for at least a year-and-a-half and is more likely closer to two. I use a preservative made from fermented radish leaves that is quite powerful, but unfortunately, without the use of parabens or phenoxyethanol (which I do not consider to be safe), I can't guarantee that it will last longer than the time I quoted above because the product doesn't contain any formaldehyde compounds or alcohols. That said, I'm currently developing an alcohol-based aftershave with an entirely different (but still highly effective) complement of botanicals that will not require any preservatives. I'm mostly waiting on my approval from the TTB for a use permit for perfumer's alcohol, after which time I will begin testing it in earnest. I also sell samples of the Kyovu if you think that would be a better option for you.

Fair enough, thanks for replying.

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 12-10-2013, 03:51 PM
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(12-10-2013, 03:47 PM)hoseunyan Wrote: Fair enough, thanks for replying.

My pleasure. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Smile

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 12-10-2013, 10:34 PM
#13
  • refles
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Oh an alcohol based aftershave.. interesting news. I'm eagerly awaiting my bottle of Kyovu but one on an alcohol base would be nice for those mornings that need it as well.

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 12-11-2013, 06:27 AM
#14
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(12-10-2013, 02:25 PM)hoseunyan Wrote: The ingredient list you posted, while it does include various explicitly named fragrance oils, also includes the generic "Fragrance" towards the end.

hoseunyan - sorry about that. I didn't even look at the ingredient list when I cut and pasted it. It looks like your question was answered.

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 12-11-2013, 09:02 AM
#15
  • CRAusmus
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This one has had my eye ever since the talk of it began. I'm gonna have to give this a try as I really love non-alcohol aftershaves for the colder/drier months of the year. And I absolutely love the scent of Seville.

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 12-11-2013, 11:10 AM
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(12-11-2013, 09:02 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: This one has had my eye ever since the talk of it began. I'm gonna have to give this a try as I really love non-alcohol aftershaves for the colder/drier months of the year. And I absolutely love the scent of Seville.

Then this is probably the aftershave for you. Biggrin We're going to be switching to brown bottles with kraft labels soon (the frosted/transparent look didn't quite work out the way I wanted) and as I said I will be adding DL-Panthenol to the mix as a redness reducer (I've been really impressed with a couple products I've used that incorporate it), so if those are things you'd like to wait for, we should be rolling them out in January.

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 12-11-2013, 12:41 PM
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I'm allergic to juniper, so I guess I'm out. But it looks like a nice product.

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 12-11-2013, 01:19 PM
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(12-11-2013, 12:41 PM)kingfisher Wrote: I'm allergic to juniper, so I guess I'm out. But it looks like a nice product.

Stay tuned for an alcohol version that will not use any hydrosols. Also, no vetiver. Tongue

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 12-11-2013, 02:46 PM
#19
  • CRAusmus
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(12-11-2013, 11:10 AM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote:
(12-11-2013, 09:02 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: This one has had my eye ever since the talk of it began. I'm gonna have to give this a try as I really love non-alcohol aftershaves for the colder/drier months of the year. And I absolutely love the scent of Seville.

Then this is probably the aftershave for you. Biggrin We're going to be switching to brown bottles with kraft labels soon (the frosted/transparent look didn't quite work out the way I wanted) and as I said I will be adding DL-Panthenol to the mix as a redness reducer (I've been really impressed with a couple products I've used that incorporate it), so if those are things you'd like to wait for, we should be rolling them out in January.

Don't know that I've tried anything with that element to it. The only ones that I have tried are Peary & Henson and KC Atwood by Prospector Co. Love them both, but really want to grab yours; and will be before too much longer.

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 12-11-2013, 03:23 PM
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(12-11-2013, 02:46 PM)CRAusmus Wrote:
(12-11-2013, 11:10 AM)BarristerN_Mann Wrote:
(12-11-2013, 09:02 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: This one has had my eye ever since the talk of it began. I'm gonna have to give this a try as I really love non-alcohol aftershaves for the colder/drier months of the year. And I absolutely love the scent of Seville.

Then this is probably the aftershave for you. Biggrin We're going to be switching to brown bottles with kraft labels soon (the frosted/transparent look didn't quite work out the way I wanted) and as I said I will be adding DL-Panthenol to the mix as a redness reducer (I've been really impressed with a couple products I've used that incorporate it), so if those are things you'd like to wait for, we should be rolling them out in January.

Don't know that I've tried anything with that element to it. The only ones that I have tried are Peary & Henson and KC Atwood by Prospector Co. Love them both, but really want to grab yours; and will be before too much longer.

I came across it in the excellent Anise/Bergamot aftershave by Hardy Shave Products. I was so impressed with the performance that I actually made him an offer for the formula on the spot, but he declined, so I've decided to simply incorporate panthenol into my aftershaves instead. Smile

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