07-17-2012, 05:58 AM
#1
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It was a circuitous journey that brought me to this product and I won't bore you all with it, but the blame rests squarely on the same guy who got me into Oud. I'd followed his advice on that and it proved excellent though hideously expensive and so when he recommended Eau d'Emeraude (Emerald Water) as an aftershave, it seemed like a low risk proposition.

Emerald Water is made by Benedictine Nuns in Bouzy-la-Forêt, France and has been made continuously since the 17th Century. It isn't specifically sold as an aftershave, but rather as a medicinal tincture for many ailments such as bruising, soreness, psoriasis, acne and diluted as a mouthwash. I wouldn't endorse it for any of those things in the absence of any real evidence of efficacy, but in the matter of a post shave lotion, I can now weigh in.

I find the smell mostly vegetal with the sage coming through the strongest. Some might also say it has a medicinal overtone, but that is not particularly strong to me. It's a pleasant scent, but nothing I would have chosen on its own. The nice thing is that the scent lasts only a little while. For me, under an hour. Maybe under 30 minutes. On the skin, the suprising thing is how little burn there is. For a concoction of approximately 50% alcohol, it's shocking how mild it is. I've tested it after several three pass shaves (I normally only do two) and the burn is astonishingly mild. It's there, but attenuated. More like witch hazel in feel than like any of the firebombs like Pinaud or Old Spice or even my beloved Floris Santal.

Afterwards, there's no residue on the skin, but it's obvious that something medicinal or soothing is going on because I have yet to feel the need for an ASB after using the Emerald Water. Normally, I shave, Alum, aftershave and then balm or if I'm feeling that the shave was particularly rough, go straight for the ASB. With the EW, I stop at the aftershave. Just forget to use the balm. Really quite remarkable.

Another thing I've noticed is that I was getting some minor acne, but since using this as an aftershave that has been reduced to almost nothing. That's no proof of anything since that can be influenced by diet, stress, activity etc., but it's worth noting. Correlation is not causation, but if any of you try it, maybe you can weigh in.

The proper comparison of this stuff, I think, would be to witch hazel which I used as an aftershave for probably 20 years up until a few years ago. It blows that out of the water. Way better. I have a bottle of Thayers that will now have to be given away because as long as I have this, there'll be no need for the Witch.

The only downside to the EW is the shipping cost. The actual product price is not bad. Online you can find the 100 ml for 7-10 Euros and the 250ml for around 15 Euros. Shipping, however, more than doubles the cost because of the high tariff on products with alcohol in them. As detailed elsewhere, I got lucky. On a conference call with one of my co-workers, I realized he was in Paris and he accommodated me by picking up a couple of 250ml bottles and bringing them back. Total cost was 30 bucks and I gave him 40 for his troubles. He wouldn't be more specific about the price and so I had to overpay him to make sure he wasn't absorbing any cost. Had they been bought online and shipped, the total would have been closer to 70 or 80 dollars. If anyone can find cheaper shipping, then please let me know.

Here's a picture of the two bottles I received. From the pics online, I thought they were plastic, but it's a sturdy, high quality glass battle with a unique cap that seems to "seat" when it's screwed down tight.
   

Here's a closeup of the list of ingredients. If it wasn't around in the 17th century, then it ain't in it.

   

Finally, the only downside to the bottles is that as dispensers, they're not so great. So, I decanted the green stuff into a bottle I got with a shave kit off eBay when I first got into DE's. It's a great vintage bottle with a glass stopper and a metal screw on top over that. I've been looking for a use for it and this is perfect. The amount you see missing from the bottle equals about 3 or 4 shaves. You don't need a lot.

   

For those of you interested in buying it online, here's a link: http://www.manufactum.com/emerald-wa...02105/?a=55527 . You may want to search a bit more, however, in case there are better deals. I've not done business with these guys so can't vouch for them. Maybe one of the fine vendors here would want to carry it if enough people were interested. In fact, I'd be willing to PIF Phil at Bullgoose some so he could evaluate.

Would love to hear if anyone else has experience with this product.

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 07-17-2012, 06:22 AM
#2
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Fantastic review! Great pics too. Biggrin

Another one that I haven't heard of until your review.
Very interesting that 50% alcohol does not produce burn. Witch hazel at 14% doesn't for me but up to 50% without any burn is amazing and really speaks to what an amazing formula they have....and around for so long!!

I was previously HEAVY into the pure oud oils.....to the HUGE detriment of my bank account and the dismay of my family, friends and co-workers, all of whom could not tolerate ANY variety of the oil.
I've since sold them all off but still long for a good Borneo frequently. Biggrin
Most Western noses are not attuned to pure oud oil.

Thank you for the review!!!

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 07-17-2012, 07:23 AM
#3
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(07-17-2012, 06:22 AM)EHV Wrote: Fantastic review! Great pics too. Biggrin

Another one that I haven't heard of until your review.
Very interesting that 50% alcohol does not produce burn. Witch hazel at 14% doesn't for me but up to 50% without any burn is amazing and really speaks to what an amazing formula they have....and around for so long!!

I was previously HEAVY into the pure oud oils.....to the HUGE detriment of my bank account and the dismay of my family, friends and co-workers, all of whom could not tolerate ANY variety of the oil.
I've since sold them all off but still long for a good Borneo frequently. Biggrin
Most Western noses are not attuned to pure oud oil.

Thank you for the review!!!

You sold off your OUD?? Aargh. Wish I'd been at that yard sale.
Did you try the ones from Agar Aura? Or Oriscent?

Oh, one other thing regarding the Emerald water. It isn't that there's NO burn, it's just unusually mild compared to all the other alcohol products I've tried.

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 07-18-2012, 05:37 PM
#4
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Great review, another to add to my list of products I'd like to try...

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 07-18-2012, 06:26 PM
#5
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(07-18-2012, 05:37 PM)ben74 Wrote: Great review, another to add to my list of products I'd like to try...

Ben,
Here's a link to a site in the UK that also sells it and maybe it's a bit cheaper for you to get in Australia. The shipping for what I was going to order from them was over 40 dollars and the items totaled 25 dollars. Just seemed ridiculous,to pay 50% more for shipping than for product.

http://www.buckfast.org.uk/buyonline/sho...full&id=78

mark

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 07-18-2012, 07:38 PM
#6
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Thanks Mark, I'll check it out!

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 07-19-2012, 04:47 AM
#7
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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Yes, Ensar and Taha were my go to's as well as Micah,Oudline and Oudhasi.
I sold the oils all in one shot to a collector.
The sale made way for some good RAD!

Still, surprisingly mild for minimal burn with 50% alcohol.
I love old school products!


(07-17-2012, 07:23 AM)oakeshott Wrote:
(07-17-2012, 06:22 AM)EHV Wrote: Fantastic review! Great pics too. Biggrin

Another one that I haven't heard of until your review.
Very interesting that 50% alcohol does not produce burn. Witch hazel at 14% doesn't for me but up to 50% without any burn is amazing and really speaks to what an amazing formula they have....and around for so long!!

I was previously HEAVY into the pure oud oils.....to the HUGE detriment of my bank account and the dismay of my family, friends and co-workers, all of whom could not tolerate ANY variety of the oil.
I've since sold them all off but still long for a good Borneo frequently. Biggrin
Most Western noses are not attuned to pure oud oil.

Thank you for the review!!!

You sold off your OUD?? Aargh. Wish I'd been at that yard sale.
Did you try the ones from Agar Aura? Or Oriscent?

Oh, one other thing regarding the Emerald water. It isn't that there's NO burn, it's just unusually mild compared to all the other alcohol products I've tried.

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 07-30-2012, 05:12 AM
#8
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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I wanted to add my 2cents.

Mark kindly sent me a generous sample of this elixir, (in a very cool vintage bottle!) and I have tried it out after my last several shaves.

I have to admit that I am usually not an alcohol based aftershave guy. I usually find the burn unpleasant and I never seem to get any decent skin care properties from any of them.
Granted, I haven't tried anything close to all that is out there, mainly because of the previously bad experiences.
I am a huge cologne/EdT person having spent many years on Basenotes so when I started wetshaving, I thought I'd be big into the aftershaves. Not so.

There have been only two alcohol based splashes/lotions that have previously agreed with me, one being Krampert's Finest, my usual go-to A/S and Speick which has been a close second.

All that said; with some trepidation because of my usual alc/A/S based experiences and the fact that Eau d'Emeraude has a 50% alcohol base, I dove in and gave it a shot.

The first time out, I had some irritation with my shave due to using both a new to me razor and a new to me blade. I used the NY Shaving Co. Long Handled Mariner (great razor at a great price(!) and a Supermax Platinum blade,(never again for this blade;note that it was the Platinum, not the Super Platinum)and along with the irritation came a few weepers but what the heck, I just went for it. First, though, a cold rinse and then...
Wow......really???? Just a little bit of burn and then.....excellent, soothed, refreshed skin. OK, though.....now comes the skin dry out I thought.....wow again. No dry out.

My skin felt refreshed, slightly moisturized and quite smooth plus the weepers were sealed up, (cold rinse helped but the A/S sealed the deal).

The scent is very subtle. It has a medicinal quality, otherwise, I can't really place it. It becomes even more subdued very quickly and then disappears without a trace to my nose. Using this along with any cologne/EdT, etc. will not be a problem.

The subsequent trials with this product have proven to be equally excellent. In fact, even better. I have gotten the quantity used down pat and while it makes a bad shave better, it makes a good shave stellar!

Fantastic stuff I say. There is certainly a reason that this product has been around for so,so long.
Again, a tremendous thanks to Mark firstly for his excellent review and more so for his generous sharing of this old, magical water.

I would love to see this available Stateside by one our amazing enablers. Otherwise, I say it's worth a shot ordering from overseas.
Biggrin

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 07-31-2012, 04:07 AM
#9
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Eric,
It was a delight to share and to have my impressions validated. I thought I might be crazy, but your experience perfectly mirrors mine. All of my other aftershaves are cooling their heels in my den. This is the only product that killed one of my AD's. Simply a perfect product...well, perfect if one of our US vendors carried it. Then it would be "more perfect".

mark

(07-30-2012, 05:12 AM)EHV Wrote: I wanted to add my 2cents.

Mark kindly sent me a generous sample of this elixir, (in a very cool vintage bottle!) and I have tried it out after my last several shaves.

I have to admit that I am usually not an alcohol based aftershave guy. I usually find the burn unpleasant and I never seem to get any decent skin care properties from any of them.
Granted, I haven't tried anything close to all that is out there, mainly because of the previously bad experiences.
I am a huge cologne/EdT person having spent many years on Basenotes so when I started wetshaving, I thought I'd be big into the aftershaves. Not so.

There have been only two alcohol based splashes/lotions that have previously agreed with me, one being Krampert's Finest, my usual go-to A/S and Speick which has been a close second.

All that said; with some trepidation because of my usual alc/A/S based experiences and the fact that Eau d'Emeraude has a 50% alcohol base, I dove in and gave it a shot.

The first time out, I had some irritation with my shave due to using both a new to me razor and a new to me blade. I used the NY Shaving Co. Long Handled Mariner (great razor at a great price(!) and a Supermax Platinum blade,(never again for this blade;note that it was the Platinum, not the Super Platinum)and along with the irritation came a few weepers but what the heck, I just went for it. First, though, a cold rinse and then...
Wow......really???? Just a little bit of burn and then.....excellent, soothed, refreshed skin. OK, though.....now comes the skin dry out I thought.....wow again. No dry out.

My skin felt refreshed, slightly moisturized and quite smooth plus the weepers were sealed up, (cold rinse helped but the A/S sealed the deal).

The scent is very subtle. It has a medicinal quality, otherwise, I can't really place it. It becomes even more subdued very quickly and then disappears without a trace to my nose. Using this along with any cologne/EdT, etc. will not be a problem.

The subsequent trials with this product have proven to be equally excellent. In fact, even better. I have gotten the quantity used down pat and while it makes a bad shave better, it makes a good shave stellar!

Fantastic stuff I say. There is certainly a reason that this product has been around for so,so long.
Again, a tremendous thanks to Mark firstly for his excellent review and more so for his generous sharing of this old, magical water.

I would love to see this available Stateside by one our amazing enablers. Otherwise, I say it's worth a shot ordering from overseas.
Biggrin

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 07-31-2012, 05:43 AM
#10
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Great review interesting product.

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 07-31-2012, 03:08 PM
#11
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thank you for a superb review. Now there's something else to add to my "want", um nope, "NEED" list. Wink

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 03-19-2013, 06:49 AM
#12
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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Can anyone update us on the availability of this product? I couldn't find it on Manufactum.

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 03-19-2013, 12:55 PM
#13
  • VT_Hokie
  • 2-Band Bandito
  • Charleston, SC
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Great review Mark.

As you know, this one wasn't for me but I can see a lot of the guys on here really digging it.

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 03-19-2013, 01:29 PM
#14
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(03-19-2013, 06:49 AM)Andrew Wrote: Can anyone update us on the availability of this product? I couldn't find it on Manufactum.

emailed the links to you Andrew, but others may want to know as well:
http://www.buckfast.org.uk/buyonline/sho...full&id=78

http://www.gdeslys-boutique.com/product_...anguage=en

It doesn't appear that Manufactum has it on their site any longer.

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 03-19-2013, 01:51 PM
#15
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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And bad news from Buckfast:

"BECAUSE OF NEW POSTAL RESTRICTIONS INTRODUCED 14/01/13, WE ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED TO SEND PERFUMES OR AFTERSHAVES OUTSIDE THE UK."

I was hoping to order the Emerald Water from them along with Lotion Opaline (seems to be in the same vein).

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 03-26-2013, 12:23 PM
#16
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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This just arrived from France. Bravo Colissimo!

[Image: 8592502831_33e60fec90_b.jpg]

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 03-26-2013, 12:57 PM
#17
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(03-26-2013, 12:23 PM)Andrew Wrote: This just arrived from France. Bravo Colissimo!

[Image: 8592502831_33e60fec90_b.jpg]


Looks great! Where did you order from?

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 03-26-2013, 01:01 PM
#18
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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I ordered from here:

http://www.gdeslys-boutique.com/product_...anguage=en

The monastery website links to this shop.

Shipping fees are ridiculous, but it arrived in less than a week. I split the order with someone to defray the shipping. A little.

There is an option for two large (500ml) bottles with a free 100ml bottle. Good one to split with someone else.

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 03-26-2013, 04:24 PM
#19
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I ordered a couple directly from the Buckfast website and they just arrived today. No problems at all.


I love the scent!

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 03-26-2013, 05:15 PM
#20
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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(03-26-2013, 04:24 PM)EagleDuck Wrote: I ordered a couple directly from the Buckfast website and they just arrived today. No problems at all.


I love the scent!

Huh! I wonder what that message on their website about not shipping colognes and aftershaves outside the UK was about? Maybe Emerald Water falls outside those restrictions because it is labeled as a remedy for skin and oral health, not labeled as an aftershave? Funny, because it has more alcohol than AS.

Well, now I know about Buckfast.

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