Atomic Age Bay Rum Aftershave & Cologne - 7 Oz Collectible Retro-Futuristic Stoneware Whiskey Jug
This Release is Dedicated to Stephen Hawking, The man who blew my 12 yr-old mind with a Brief History of Time!
Possibly the coolest delivery system for an aftershave ever!
A Collectible Stoneware Jug?
Yes indeed my friends! Being that Atomic Age Bay Rum is so near and dear to me I really wanted to do something special, classic and what I call Rustic-Futuristic! [thanks to hashtag #RetroFuturistic I now realize I was not the first to coin this...drat!]
Aside from collecting vintage razors I am also really into antique stoneware whiskey jugs...they fascinate me! Seaforth and a few other brands dabbled with stoneware but it really wasn't until I stumbled upon a true rarity that I would be moved into action. One day while hunting in the wild (antiquing) I stumbled upon a tiny, empty blue jug of aftershave by Captain Cooke, "Blue Lightening"!
I had never heard of the brand nor when it was from but I was immediately inspired to do my own. Was this a missing link? I had the urge to raise this hearty little jug to the heavens and scream, "This belongs in a museum!". Instead I just thought it to myself with satisfaction.
As you can see in the photo the print was a bit worn and tough to read. All I can kind of make out is "Cap. Cooke's"...but even that could be wrong. Regardless, I was on the quest now to recreate such an obscure relic!
For a brief moment in time the stoneware industry played a huge part in how we lived here in the USA! From food storage, to bed pans (or Thunder Mugs) to Whiskey Jugs & more! It was on the outskirts of most towns and villages where you would find a potter's shop set up next to the natural clay deposits and a river...everything they needed to make their magic happen!
They served the local community mostly until modes of transportation evolved making it easier to ship goods. Soon competition got out of hand when larger operations came onto the scene that could produce faster and cheaper, essentially crushing smaller potters. It really was a race to the bottom from there.
The death knell for Stoneware, especially these classic whiskey jugs, was prohibition. Would it be more than ironic to raise a toast to stoneware?
Preparing these bad boys has been no small feat either! I personally have filled, corked and wax sealed all of these by hand. It has really given me a peek into how things were done in the not too distant past! [It's also given me blisters & burns...that are healing nicely.] At the end of the day, this just seems like a fitting extension of an already super handcrafted product. There's no doubt in my mind you will experience all the heart and soul that went into Atomic Age with every splash!
Included with this jug is one orifice reducer if you care to use one, rather than "thumb it" over the mouth of the jug. That said, if you do use it, you will need to remove it before you re-cork it. The only way around this was having threads added to the jug and using a screw cap rather than a cork...which would immediately kill the vintage vibe I was going for. I also included a Decorative, Custom Screen Printed Cork to be used when the jug is empty and kept as a display piece! This will add to the collectibility of these pieces in the future, so keep that cork someplace safe till it's empty!
Now, for those who are reading about Atomic Age Bay Rum for the first time, continue on to our Origin Story here:
Just a few things that make Atomic a very different Kind of Bay Rum
• Zero Clove (Find out why below)
• 5 Years in development
• Charred Oak Barrel Aged
• Scent Notes Blended to Balance
• Made w/ Face Saving Ingredients:
• Hedione Seaweed Extract, Liquid Silk, & Aloe Vera
"When you tell everybody that you don't like bay rum and Douglas Smythe makes a liar out of you...this stuff is killer!" ~ Kenny Comeaux
Atomic Age Bay Rum has been over 5 years in the making, possibly 15-20 if you take into consideration my years prior being a Bay Rum wearer and connoisseur!
"But why another bay rum Doug?"
You pose a good question. My answer, I don't think anyone has really delivered yet when it comes to a deep, complex and smooth rendition of Bay Rum. Most fall short and come off cloying to me, sometimes almost "punched in the schnauz" metallic as if it were just clumsily tossed together and rushed to market. Yet we settled...why?
While it's certainly true West Indian Bay on it's own, already smells swell, it just has so much untapped scent potential that really needs to be worked and tweaked into a harmonious blend...to just ignore this is a disservice and a crime. Being the star of the show Bay needs a good cast of supporting actors to lift it up and diffuse some of its rougher qualities, like any good perfume or performer!
[Introducing the supporting cast: Select West Indian Herbs, Spices & Citrus Notes suspended in a harmonious golden ratio.]
My mission; Create the BEST Bay Rum on the planet...lofty I know and possibly a tad dramatic, But I DID IT! I kid you not, I actually believe Atomic Age Bay Rum is the last Bay Rum people will ever buy.
"Dude, I am totally loving your soaps right now... But the mind blower is the Atomic Age Bay Rum!!!! Best bay rum EVER, and I have everyone’s bay rum!!!! I’ll be placing a big order for matching splashes as soon as it is released!!!" ~Steve Platts
To test this theory I picked out a few testers that were, in their own words, Bay Rum Haters. Typically I would have no use for people like this, I mean...how can anyone hate Bay Rum? It's like Summer in a bottle or Liquid Paradise...Christmas on Pirate Island even! But in this case, I needed them. If I could turn these guys into Bay Rum lovers, I would have succeeded in what I set out to do!
Mind you, I chose Bay Rum Lovers as well and damn if I did not make Uber Believers out of both groups!
...But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Not sure how many of you know this, but I lived in Central America for 4 years. I literally lived in a hammock on the edge of the rain forrest on the beach (for real). I didn't know the language, I didn't know anyone there, just saved up a few thousand dollars and left seeking adventure. I might add, my friends and family thought I might be having a breakdown of some sort, lol.
At the time I was doing really well, had a great apartment/bachelor pad, had a groovy cat named Max, had a swell job and was in two pretty successful bands...but I needed this and off I went with tent and hammock in tow!
It was truly another world, a whole other planet! I was pretty much taken in by the "local" artisans, thus gaining much needed gringo street cred. I use parenthesis because these artisans traveled all around Central & South America setting up their blankets or foldable tables worth of handcrafted wares to sell to tourists.
Having an in with the artisans and no time limit, I got to see many things a lot of tourist traveling through don't often get a chance to. One of the things that was memorable was working on a pineapple farm, believe it or not! I was totally blown away by the fact that a plant would only yield just one pineapple! This hardly seemed like a sustainable crop...but I do love a good pineapple.
Then there was the SUGARCANE!
I had a few Swedish friends that worked on a farm where cane was grown and processed. The whole lay out looked like Jurassic Park and the juicing machines looked to be fresh out of the industrial revolution...oh man, the noise of those machines! But that was just the beginning of my journey into the history and traditional process of Rum Making.
You see, this farm or "finca" was especially set up for rum makers in Nicaragua where this sweet juice and molasses was to be shipped. [Fun Fact: They have such an over abundance of molasses in Costa Rica its actually sprayed on the dirt roads to keep the dust down!]
Being a non citizen in Costa Rica I had to leave the country every 90 days for at least 3 days in order for my visa to renew, so I would make the trek every 3 months to either Panama or Nicaragua. I love Panama but Nicaragua was magical, especially the Island of Ometepe...but that's another story for another time. I will say it has a very Scooby Doo mystery type vibe about the place...but I digress.
It was in Nicaragua where I was lucky enough to tour some distilleries and hear the history...what a rabbit hole of Awesome for this gringo to stumble upon.
Geesh, this sales page is turning into a slight memoir...I may have to Cliff Note it.
Well, what I'm getting at is RUM. I fell in love with rum in Central America. I thought I understood this golden elixir before I entered the jungle, but I did not. Real Rum is like medicine and should not be mixed or blended with anything, there's no need to when it's made right! I felt an immediate affinity for the stuff, partly due to the fact that I like a good drink, but also because Bay Rum was my signature scent.
Back home in the US some people actually thought I naturally smelled like bay rum, I wish...but that's how much of Bay Rum was interwoven with the very fabric of my being.At my old job fellow workers would know I was on the scene before they even saw me...it was the Bay Rum wafting in first as if I held the door for it.
So just to be crystal clear, I love Bay Rum. I always have, I read as much as I could about the stuff, wrote many a blog on it and even made a few How To tutorials on this little olfactory wonder...which also has many a medicinal benefit too I should add!
If I was going to create the BEST Bay Rum I was going to need to tap into all that I had learned over the years. I was going to need to approach this challenge differently than others...and so it began.
Clove, What Clove?
First thing I needed to do was take clove out of the recipe. There is Absolutely NO REASON for clove to be in a Bay Rum aftershave. For one, the stuff will burn the hell out of your skin, some fellas react worse than others. Two, the West Indian Bay and Clove are cousins from the same family and possess so many similar traits. So much so, most folks assume they are smelling clove when they are just smelling part of the West Indian bay leaf profile.
In researching why clove was so often used I was brought back to rum making. In traditional Spiced Rum, clove as well as many other spices were/are used. Naturally when combining Bay and Rum in early traditional recipes clove would end up in the blend by default...it was infused the rum that was used! Rum that was meant to be quaffed and consumed, not splashed on freshly shaven skin. So for that, you will find zero clove in Atomic Age Bay Rum.
Up To The Task w/ a Cask?
Next was the maturing process. Typically I mature or age my aftershave/colognes in glass for 4-6 weeks (sometimes longer!). This is all well and good but I really wanted to explore using charred oak barrel casks. There's a reason why the best rum is fermented in Oak Casks rather than not so great rums fermented in Stainless Steel or other vessels...barrels are not cheap, but on an alchemical level, worth their weight in gold!
You see, The tannic influences of the charred oak wood adds subtle notes of vanilla, coconut, peach and even clove...without the clove! Making this switch added a whole new level of depth and presence, if you will. There really is an amazing difference when compared next to a bay rum matured in simply glass...two very dramatically different animals.
Why Dilute The Magic?
Next is my addition of West Indian Bay Hydrosol or Flower Water. Hydrosol is a byproduct of the distillation process of procuring Bay Essential oil (Pimenta Racemosa). This is all done by small batch in my lab by me to ensure purity and quality. I chose to use the hydrosol rather than just plain distilled water as is done with all other bay rum aftershaves and colognes. It's tough to just rush through this process in words so I created a short behind the scenes video especially for you, my dear reader.
Then there is the skin food! As with all Phoenix Shaving & Crown King Aftershave/Cologne I use nothing but the best, face saving ingredients. Such as, Seaweed Extract, Liquid Silk, Vegetable Glycerin, Aloe Vera...and then there's Hedione, you're welcome!
I REALLY COULD GO ON FOREVER ABOUT THIS STUFF...I NEED TO WRAP IT UP!
Needless to say I am ecstatic about the release of Atomic Age Bay Rum! Atomic is both timeless and masculine, elegant and smooth, sophisticated without being pretentious, bold but exotically alluring and mellow.
In short, Atomic Age Bay Rum is the fruit of my own private, calculated study in Bay Rum crafting and I could not be more proud to add another chapter to the long sailing history of Bay Rum!
Experience the difference, experience the future, experience Bay Rum the way it was meant to be, Atomic Age Bay Rum!
Ingredients: Alcohol, West Indian Bay Hydrosol, Essential Oils,Fragrance Oils, Hedione, Seaweed Extract, Liquid Silk, Glycerin, Aloe Vera
7 Oz Stoneware Whiskey Jug, 2 Corks, 1 orifice reducer