No man who shaves should be without this. I have a few classic aftershaves that are just must haves and this is one of them. The other top shelf ones are Speick (all time favorite) and Proraso green. This one has the simple chemistry, the strong alcohol burn, and the absolute classic shave scent of all time. Proraso green has a great eucalyptus and menthol scent that is combined with its soothing and refreshing properties to kill minor irritation. Speick...oh boy. It has a great natural scent but its party trick is healing razor burn. If I have a rough shave I go for two generous splashdowns of Speick and all is well.
But everyday shaving calls for this classic standby. It smells funky in the plastic bottle. I have all my Pinaud splashes decanted in old Speick and Proraso glass bottles, and they smell right. Ditch the plastic. Your nose will thank you.
My wife likes pricey colognes, but also appreciates Pinaud Clubman. I have matching artisan aftershaves for most of the fancy artisan soaps I use. But when I shave with a classic like Mitchell’s, Tabac or Cella, I default to my Big Three splashes, usually Clubman. Also sometimes Lucky Tiger, which is more toner, less astringent. She tolerates Speick and Proraso but actually likes Clubman.
So if I’m not using a Tom Ford, Creed, Paco Rabanne or some other spendy juice, I happily sport Pinaud Clubman without feeling like I’m slumming in the least. Not all great fragrances must cost an arm and a leg. Clubman is the longest lasting of the Pinaud fragrances and unquestionably the best. It has medium projection and will not clear the room. It is appropriate in more settings than any cologne I can think of. People who catch a whiff often have barbershop scent memories associated with it, which enhances the psychological impact of the scent: “he’s just come from the barber. He is well groomed.” Not the worst impression to give in a sales meeting or job interview. That is mostly older guys though—fewer and fewer barbers use the old barbering standbys, yet Clubman endures. Younger men and women have not discovered the scent and when they smell it, it does not trigger an association with a barbershop. It stands or falls on its own merits.
One of the things guys like about Clubman is its maturing scent character on extended drydown. It isn’t as complex as some of the expensive scents out there that intend to tell a “scent story” as initial top notes fade, revealing heart notes, drying down to the essential character of the base. Yet Clubman does tell a scent story of its own, with astringent and clean top notes, a powdery and fresh middle, and a sweet and light musk base with hints of the other notes coming through all day. The scent is a real pleasure, and I suspect that is the reason for its enduring popularity.
I’m now in my fifties and I can hose myself down each day with Tom Ford or Creed if I want. But as often as not I’m wearing nothing but my Pinaud Clubmam aftershave, and feeling great with it. If you like the daily scent of this classic, the fact that it is almost as cheap as water will not deter you.