Boomtown Bay Rum Artisan Shave Soap ~ Gun Smoke, Leather & West Indian Bay Rum
[NOTE: Choose which label you would prefer from dropdown.]
A Bay Rum This Rugged, this Stout-Hearted don't come around these parts too often...if ever.
Scent Profile: Gun Smoke, Leather & West Indian Bay Rum
Supporting Notes: Select West Indian Herbs, Spices & Citrus Notes suspended in a matrix of pure Elemi Resin and Labdanum Resin.
What Makes Boomtown Bay Rum Different:
- Zero Clove & Zero Alum
- Charred Oak Barrel Aged
- Scent Notes Blended to Balance
- Contains Elemi & Labdanum Resins
- Made with West Indian Bay Hydrosol
- Contains Seaweed Extract & Aloe Vera
Find The Entire Boomtown Bay Rum Line====>HERE!
Ahh, the Wild West, a by-product and possibly a backlash of American Expansionism & Civil War fallout, volatile times for sure and a place where the line between Outlaw and Frontier Lawman could be a tad blurry at times...rotgut blurry. This was a strange mix of strange folk indeed too; Native American Indians, Jaded Easterners, Gold Crazed Tender Feet, Railroad Men, Miners, Hustlers, Rustlers, Wranglers, Cowboys, Carpet Baggers, Gamblers, Outlaws drifting from town to town and territory to territory, The Chinese, Damaged Civil War Vets from both sides, Ex-Slaves, Farmers and European Immigrants from all over, hungry and desperate for a piece of everything this virgin land had to offer! Truly a melting pot, that proved often difficult to melt.
We often forget how fleeting these times were and how truly recent! It's true, we are talking just a few generations back and you’re there, in the thick of it. I swear when I visit a ghost town out here the conversations of yesteryear are still whirling in the air like dust devils dancing out of step. With regard to these times being just a blink of Uncle Sam's wind teary eye, let’s look at the Pony Express. This institution is iconic to us as modern-day Americans, yet the whole program lasted just a little over a year before it was derailed by the new train lines! There's something very Zen about it all and adds to the mythos and legend of The Wild West.
So, this brings us to The Western Boomtown. Granted the term was being used back in jolly old England too and the surrounding English-speaking countries but I really think our fine folks on the frontier added the BOOM! Historically, a Boomtown was a small settlement that started up around the opening of a new mill or factory during the infant days of the industrial revolution in the US, and as mentioned above, abroad. Yet the Boomtown we think of when that word is tossed around is gritty, dusty, and wild. These two syllables whether whispered or shouted evoke strong images of gun-slinging folk legends and outlaws, Cowboys & Indians, Stagecoaches, and Gold...a mother lode!
Unlike a secure job in a quaint British village, our Boomtown denizens where lured by Adventure, Gold, Copper, Silver, a Quick Pay Out, Suckers Suffering in the Greedy Grip of Gold Fever! These settlements were seeded with unsavory types as well as folks just trying to start a small family and scrape by. At the end of the day, these towns were all about gambling or taking a gamble, no matter what your venture was if you really think about it. I don't think it's any mistake that the popular slang of the time was mostly derived from games of chance; Faro, Poker, Bowling, etc...and yes bowling was quite popular in the West...the Dude would be proud.
As soon as the mine dried up most folks were on the first train or coach out of town and on to the next. With the majority leaving, businesses found themselves selling their wares to only ghosts and soon they too would be on a train. A typical Boomtown's lifespan oddly parallels the life span of an outlaw gang, 5 years...then they were dead.
So, with all this bustle in mind I decided to pour it into my latest variation on Bay Rum. It seemed the least I could do in an attempt to memorialize these Boomtown years during the growing pains of the USA. Much like perfuming is an attempt to capture something volatile & ephemeral so is this exercise and experiment I call Boomtown Bay Rum! Capturing and wrangling down the true redolence of the wild west.
West, Indian, Bay...two outta three of those words seemed to work loosely in my theme, albeit a different West and a Different Indian. Yet for the shear poetics of the compound I wished to concoct, it would suffice. As most of you know by now, I am a Bay Rum freak, and have been for years, everything about this classic splash I adore, but like a spirited painted pony it must be shaped and molded into something useful. This is not easy work and a lot of the classic specimens out there make it look deceptively simple. This humble artistry has led many budding perfumers astray. I really believe people rush their "Bay Rum" to market without truly interfacing with it, understanding it, distilling it down to all its wondrous, essential components, both useful and bootless. (useless)
Often, I find the stuff out there is used full force, and cloying...with that underlying coppery/metallic note cutting through. To make matters worse, oftentimes clove is added to the "blend"...or it is already part of the premixed fragrance they picked up. In short, not all Bay Rum is created equal...but you most likely already know this, if not, Brace Yourself!
Gun smoke or Gunpowder was an obvious choice for this accord, but it couldn't be overpowering, it had to play well with the other notes. Being no stranger to using a gunpowder note [see Tombstone & Home On The Range] I had a bit of an advantage, but still it proved a challenge when paired with my bay rum blend.
Being that Gunpowder is peppery, sulfurous, and pyrocaustic, I had to really get into the DNA of my current Bay Rum formula and drop down that metallic note I spoke of earlier, practically remove it entirely...which is not an easy task. To be honest, you really can't remove and isolate part of a scent’s genetics, but you can neutralize it. This was done with Elemi and Labdanum resins, they really took the sharp edges off an already relatively smooth formulation, so much so in fact that it had to be bumped back up, but without adding more bay. This was done with patchouli, but not straight patchouli oil or absolutes which proved far too potent, but with dried patchouli cut leaves & stems. I created a simple tincture in oil to be used in my soap and an alcohol tincture to be used in the splash and EDP. That slight hint of Patchouli's icy green signature proved to be good medicine in treating the deficit I was experiencing in the target shape of the fragrance. Without catching my breath, I moved onto the Leather...
Primitive, Sensual, and so damn Wild West! Much like Bay Rum, not all Leather notes are the same. It's a fact, the scent of leather can be anywhere from Sweet, Powdery, Light, Dusty, Sharp, Woody, Smokey, Resinous & Flora. What I needed for this West World I was constructing from the ground up was Dusty, Smokey with a tinge of Birch Tar and Sharp, but not too sharp! This took a lot of trial and error and once the scent was created it then needed to be the precise ratio or, ominously, like Gunpowder, it had the potential of being way to overpowering. Leather really is a tricky note to utilize in any blend due to its strength and unruliness...Leather does what it wants, like the honey badger. Needless to say, it took quite a few batches to get this right, 7 in fact. Lucky # 7! Seemed fitting in keeping with the game of chance vibe.
Smoothing in the cracks
It was then time to build up the overall shape and presence of the blend with traditional West Indian Spices, Herbs, and Citrus Notes. Some of these elements are what I call Ghost Notes, you may not notice them in the moment, but if I removed them, you'd notice. Other additional and subtle tones will also toy with your senses during dry down, like playful shadows weaving in and out of your awareness until you are left with the true root notes of the compound. Dramatics aside, this is not really a game with your nose but a fun way to describe a complex perfumer's device that is designed to ease you into the depths and soul of Boomtown Bay Rum! The final piece was the Charred Oak Barrel Aging a practice I have been using and perfecting for the last few years now.
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 contribute 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 truly is an amazing difference in the scent when compared next to a bay rum matured only in glass...two dramatically different animals.
The Final Piece
Lastly 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 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 other bay rum aftershaves and colognes. This practice is a substantial part of the soul of my Boomtown Bay Rum Splash/Cologne, and timing is truly of the essence...and there is a duality to that. To create a pure, clean hydrosol one must know exactly when to remove the heat as well as when to slowly "paint" with the heat. This skill comes with practice, practice that makes for a wholeness of character not seen or captured in other aftershaves.
So, What Does Boomtown Bay Rum Smell Like?
Pure ambrosia to the nose of the gunman, lawman or landlocked sailor of yore! Boomtown Bay Rum is Bold, Distinctive, Evocative, Spicy yet smooth, Invigorating, Robust, Animalic with a brightness and big personality. Unique to Boomtown Bay Rum, as I briefly touched upon above, it contains some excellent Resinoids, Labdanum and Elemi.
Labdanum beefs up the animalic undercurrent with its woody, leathery warmness that hints of pepper, tar, coffee and tobacco. Elemi, an ancient resin dating back to the time of the Pharaohs (Faro: the theme remains intact), is also spicy & peppery but contains more pronounced woody-grassy facets not found in Labdanum, this synergy creates an interesting interplay of sensation when both are combined with traditional Bay Rum elements.
When all was done I collapsed back into my desk chair and wafted a freshly poured bottle of Boomtown under my nose and breathed it in and smiled. Impatiently, I breathed it in again but this time with an open mouth so that I could taste it too....BOOM! Be you a Bay Rum fan or not, there is no doubt in my mind that you will absolutely fall under Boomtowns spell.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly or Five Different Labels?
Yes, you read right, there are 5 different labels! Three different aftershave & Shave Soap label designs and two different designs for the Star Jelly & Shampoo Puck. I figured folks could mix and match the different components, really recreate that mixed Boomtown vibe in your shave den, or wherever it pops up! That said, I'm not sure how long I will offer different labels. In the past I have tried this and typically folks favor one over the rest and that will be the one I eventually stick with...let’s hope it’s different this time around though.
Now it's time to Stake Your Claim in Boomtown...Go West Young Man.
4 Tub - VEGAN
Ingredients: Potassium Stearate, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Aqua, Potassium Kokumate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Potassium Castorate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Cocoa Butterate, Potassium Avocadoate, Parfum [Fragrance]