6 Best Bay Rum Aftershaves: Evoke the Exotic in 2024

Men who know how to snazz themselves up are in short supply these days. I get it, it’s hard work keeping track of everything you need to keep you smelling and looking great. Still, we have to be on the top of our game at all times when it comes to grooming. That’s where the best bay rum aftershaves come into play.

Offering the dreamiest blend of Caribbean spices and bay leaf oil, bay rum is an essential part of any man’s shaving kit. There’s something irresistible about the nautical musk of a sailorman, so there’s no reason not to bring it to the coastline!

America’s earliest barbers relied on rum fragrances to keep their customers feeling manly. Nowadays, bay rum aftershave is more of an acquired taste. Still, with how amazing it is, it was bound to start making a comeback. Why not join this throwback movement yourself?

Read on for the best bay rum aftershaves for you.

Key Takeaways

After scouring the internet high and low and reading too many reviews to count, I’ve come to a conclusion. In my opinion, Barberry Coast tops the list of the best bay rum aftershaves for guys.

The slight fruity tones strike a perfect balance between manly and sensitive, and it’s quite gentle on the skin too. Not to mention, it moisturizes your face like few other aftershaves can.

For something a bit more high-end, St. John Bay Rum Aftershave is as good as it gets. The subtle eucalyptus adds something unique to the smell, and it makes for a great gift, thanks to the awesome bottle and presentation.

Our Top Picks

a bottle of st johns bay rum aftershave surrounded with leaves
stjohnsfragrance / Instagram

List-topper for the best bay rum aftershaves: Barberry Coast Bay Rum Aftershave

Why it’s great: When you think of the best bay rum aftershaves, it’s hard not to think of Barberry Coast. Hands down, there’s no safer product on the market, regardless of allergies or skin type. The formula is super-safe for your skin, so you get all the refreshing benefits without the usual drawbacks of alcohol-based cosmetics.

Who is this for? Anyone who likes the scent of bay rum can use this stuff. In fact, the veggie glycerin makes this one of the best face moisturizers for dry skin. It’s also a tad fruitier-smelling than a lot of its competitors (which I love), so it’s a great choice if that’s what you’re into.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: As far as this list of the best bay rum aftershaves goes, four ounces is a bit on the low side. Still, bay rum is the kind of product that you use sparingly. With that in mind, it should get you through at least half a year of semi-regular shaving.

Ingredients: Purified water, alcohol, vegetable glycerin, essential oils, extracts, absolutes | Scent: Bay rum, citrus, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, orange |  Size: 4 oz | Skin Type: All

Clubman Pinaud Bay Rum Aftershave

Why it’s great: A lot of bay rum aftershave can be expensive, but if you’re on a budget, Clubman Pinaud has you covered. Despite the low price, the scent of dark rum has an air of luxury to it, especially with the hints of cinnamon.

Who is this for? This bay rum aftershave is especially good for irritable skin, so you can also think of it as a premier part of your skincare kit. Speaking of which, the entire line of Clubman products synergizes really well, so if you have any of their balms or conditioners, this is a must-have.

Flaws but not deal breakers: The smell tends to fade away pretty quickly with this bay rum aftershave, so don’t expect it to linger all day. Either way, you can always get the 12-ounce bottle and just use a tad bit more with each shave.

Ingredients: SD Alcohol 40-2, Water, Fragrance, FDC Blue No. 1, FDC Red No. 4, FDC Yellow No. 5 | Scent: Dark rum, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus |  Size: 6 oz, 12 oz | Skin Type: All

St. John Bay Rum Aftershave & Cologne

Why it’s great: If you’re going to splurge, this is a top-shelf aftershave that’s worth every penny. Whether you go for the spray or splash bottle, you can expect that trademark rum and clove smell with just a dash of eucalyptus.

On that note, this might just be my favorite bottle design of any aftershave ever. It’s a wonderful product and a great decorative piece!

Who is this for? If you are prone to skin breakouts, you won’t have that problem with St. John. If your skin reacts badly to most razors, this stuff will get rid of that pesky stinging sensation after a thorough shave.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The clove smell is more dominant than it is in a lot of other bay rum aftershave; it is also a cologne, after all. It’s not a problem for me, but you may want to keep that in mind if you’re not a big fan.

Ingredients: SD Alcohol 40, Water, Fragrance, FDC Yellow No. 9, FDC Red No. 4, FDC Blue No. 1 | Scent: Bay rum, clove, cinnamon |  Size: 4 oz, 8 oz  | Skin Type: All

Captain’s Choice Bay Rum Aftershave

Why it’s great: If the Captain says this is one of the best bay rum aftershaves, you’d better believe he’s got a point! One of the better moisturizers out there, this product leaves your face feeling and smelling fresh all day. Cinnamon and citrus are the main aromas here, and it’s one of the best examples of these scents I’ve seen.

Who is this for? It’s safe to say that most people would really like Captain’s Choice. The formula is pretty safe, and the price is extremely fair for what you’re getting.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: A lot of people say this smells mild by bay rum standards. There’s some truth in that, but having used it myself, I don’t feel it’s the least bit watered down. Some guys prefer fragrances that don’t overpower, and that’s who this is for.

Ingredients: Alcohol, witch hazel, essential oils and extracts, glycerin | Scent: Bay rum, citrus, cinnamon |  Size: 4 oz | Skin Type: All

GABELS Bay Rum Aftershave

Why it’s great: All of our picks are top-quality, but quantity’s pretty important too. If you shave very often, consider getting a sixteen-ounce bottle of GABELS to last you a while. This is a no-frills, gets-the-job-done kind of bay rum aftershave – it smells great, and there’s a lot of it.

Who is this for? Don’t like shopping for cosmetics every other month? This two-bottle deal is one of the best you can hope to find. The cinnamon scent is a bit more pronounced here, too, so it’s a great pick if you like your aftershave with a bit more spice.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Besides just cinnamon, there’s more clove here than in most other bay rum aftershave. I’m a big fan of it myself, but keep it in mind if you’d prefer something more “rummy”

Ingredients: D Alcohol 40, Water, Sucrose Octaacetate, Bay Oil, FD&C Yellow No. 5 | Scent: Bay rum, cinnamon, clove | Size: 16 oz  | Skin Type: All

Henri et Victoria Aftershave Balm

Why it’s great: All the classic scents in the best bay rum aftershaves can be found here, and then some. With the faintest hints of vanilla and flower extract, Henri et Victoria offers an alternative to the typical macho formula. It’s hard to put into words, but this is one of the most summery-smelling aftershaves I’ve come across.

Who is this for? Despite the bay rum scent, there isn’t actually any alcohol in here. This makes it a great pick for guys with sensitive skin. Say goodbye to razor redness, too, if you tend to have problems with that!

Flaws but not deal-breakers: You typically need a little more per shave to make this stuff stick. The smell of this bay rum aftershave could last a bit longer, but it’s very affordable and the end result more than makes up for it.

Ingredients: Water, aloe vera gel, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , avocado oil, Polawax(TM) NF-PA(MV), cetyl alcohol, oat protein, sodium lactate, glycerin, dimethicone, panthenol, allantoine, cyclomethicone, isopropyl myristate, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, sorbic acid, menthol | Scent: Bay rum, jasmine, fennel, flower extracts, vanilla |  Size: 6.32 oz | Skin Type: Sensitive

a bottle of clubman bay rum aftershave splash
clubmanpinaud / Instagram

What to Look For in the Best Bay Rum Aftershaves

Size

In general, aftershave comes in bottles of 4 ounces or more. How long that’ll last you depends on how often you shave. Still, you’ll probably get more use from a single bottle of bay rum aftershave than you would from its alternatives. After all, you don’t want to smell like you’ve had a few too many every time you go out!

Scent

Bay rum aftershave offers a unique mix of rum and West Indies bay leaf. More often than not, you can also expect notes of cinnamon, clove, or peppermint. These scents may not be for everybody, so be sure to study the bottle before deciding on a purchase.

Ingredients

When it comes to bay rum aftershave, alcohol is an obligatory part of the mix. Essential oils and other extracts are also extremely common. As far as grooming products go, you won’t find a lot of allergens in this stuff, but it never hurts to check the ingredients list to be safe.

traditional shaving essentials for safety razor
the_canuck_shaver / Instagram

How We Chose

When it comes to aftershave of any kind, brands tend to make a lot of bold promises. From claims of long-lasting smells to moisturizing and even skin-cleansing properties, there’s a lot of fake information that buyers should be on the lookout for. In picking our 6 favorites for the best bay rum aftershaves, we considered everything from the ingredient list to the company reputation before narrowing it down.

Company reputation: Does the company have a long-lasting record of success with other products? Have they ever released a mainline product that under-delivered on its promises?

Price: Is there a product listed to account for everyone’s budget? I made sure to include a bay rum aftershave that anyone could afford, as well as products that were genuinely worth the price tag.

Customer satisfaction: What does the online discourse about these aftershaves look like? Is there a general consensus on the pros and cons that each of the products offers?

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to grooming and fashion, few names carry as much authority as Andrej from FashionBeans. His expertise is not just rooted in theory but is backed by an extensive portfolio of work that spans various aspects of men’s lifestyle and grooming.

This commitment extends to the realm of aftershaves, where Andrej applies the same rigorous standards to ensure that only the best bay rum aftershaves are recommended to you.

His selections are not just about the fragrance; they are about how these products fit into a holistic grooming regimen that prioritizes quality, effectiveness, and the user’s overall well-being. Trust in Andrej’s expertise is not just about following advice; it’s about embracing a lifestyle where every product counts towards a better, more confident you.

Final Verdict 

And that’s that for the best bay rum aftershaves. For my money, Barberry Coast Bay Rum is the top option, thanks to its unique smell, safe formula, and reasonable price. Henri et Victoria Aftershave Balm is another great choice if you want something that smells good but is alcohol-free.

FAQ

    • Yes, you can use bay rum as a whole bunch of things, including aftershave. A lot of people even use it as a deodorant and if the formula’s gentle enough, a substitute for soap. What makes it such a good pick for aftershave is the timeless smell, forever synonymous with machismo and manliness.

      • Bay rum aftershave is popular with barbers because it offers something a little different. Sure, there are some great-smelling aftershaves out there, but Bay rum makes you smell like you just got done shaving.

        • Yes, bay rum is one of the most masculine scents there is. There’s a reason old-time sailors relied on this stuff to keep them smelling rugged. No body wash for them! Just be sure to combine it with the right deodorant or perfume to make it all make sense.

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