Reviews of Old Spice 
Procter & Gamble (1937)

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Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

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Reviews of Old Spice by Procter & Gamble

There are 136 reviews of Old Spice by Procter & Gamble.

Nice scent, spicy oriental with strong soapy aldehydes at the beginning and a floral scent that persists throughout its (good) duration. The version in my possession is the EdT, which to my nose is more sweet than spicy with a note of vanillin that I clearly perceive from beginning to end. For me it doesn't resemble Viking by Creed but, if I really had to indicate some fragrance that reminds it, I would be inclined to say Habit Rouge, Sandalwood Cologne or even Musc Ravageur in the base notes, obviously with the necessary differences and bearing in mind that the aforementioned they have no aldehydes. Mine is a bottle from the early 90s and it is, I repeat, a great perfume; For what it costs, I don't think you can expect better. The duration is also more than acceptable given that it lasts 5 - 6 hours on the skin, where it remains with its sweet and musky base. Discreetly separated, it quickly approaches the skin and remains perceptible in the vicinity for some time but it is not a scent for a wake or to get noticed. Reading here and there on the various overseas forums, I discovered that initially, in the 1920s, the perfume, same formula today, was called "Early America Old Spice for Woman"... ehhh yes, it was a woman's perfume. Subsequently, during the Second World War, it was supplied to the American troops stationed at the front to allow the men a minimum of comfort. Upon returning from the war, of course, the men who had used that perfume at the front found it in drugstores now renamed "Early America Old Spice for Man". The name was eventually changed to "Old Spice". A classic in the United States, less known by us but definitely worth hearing and, perhaps, owning.

Old Spice has been around since 1937 and more than 80 years later it continues to sell because:
1. It's affordable and very accessible.
2. It's a well established and known brand.
3. It smells good.
Some may turn their noses up against Old Spice due to it being a common and cheap fragrance, but for what it is it's actually a pretty good fragrance. Old Spice is an old barbershop scent and so it will appeal more to older men, but the fact that it is still sold on supermarket shelves everywhere after more than 80 years means that it must have some intergenerational users. There is a complex range of notes in Old Spice but in the opening I get spicy, citrus and woody notes. As the fragrance settles some floral notes come through but the fragrance continues to be warm, spicy and a little powdery. I love the classic barbershop genre so naturally I like Old Spice. There is no doubt that the success of this scent over the years has inspired other fragrances within this genre. The humble ordinary man's scent that has had more impact within perfumery and socially than what we perhaps realise. Overall I like Old Spice even though the current plastic bottled formulation is weaker and lacks the performance of the glass bottled classic of 25 years ago. I enjoy wearing it at home after grooming, it's not something I wear outside very often apart from maybe a trip to the supermarket or running errands. I tend not to wear Old Spice to work or to social occasions mainly because it is an older barbershop scent that many people would probably associate with their father or grandfather, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer to use more refined or contemporary scents when out and about. Nonetheless respect to this stalwart of the fragrance world.

This review is for the original, Shulton Old Spice cologne.
I have been using Old Spice since most of you all were born. It is the quintessential, man's scent. The reformulations have unfortunately not been kind to OS, however, you can still easily find the original juice and its many flankers, on Ebay.
I used to own all of the flankers as well, but have kept only this and the original Lime.
Smell like a man and get yourself a bottle of the Shulton. Leave the others alone.
BTW, if I smell like an old man, then so be it. When I use Old Spice...I smell fantastic.
Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

After a comparatively warm day spent doing plenty of work, followed by cooking over a Smokey charcoal grill, a shower was called for. But by the time I stepped out of that shower, it had grown pretty cold outside. So what to wear in a cooler house for a couple of hours before bed? Old Spice.

No need to go on about the scent because you have either known it, own it or read about it in the many great comments below. I'll just say three things about this classic and wrap it up: (i) my bottle is glass and was purchased decades ago, but sniffs of newer formulations have confirmed that P&G have knocked the daylights out of this classic--if you can find older bottles, they smell better than what you can buy at the local pharmacy today; (ii) scent is a powerful memory trigger and every time I pull Old Spice off the back of the bottom shelf, it brings with it fond memories of my late father and uncles, all of whom smelled of Old Spice at many a family party--this scent layers well with beer and Irish whiskey, if my memories are accurate; & (iii) if you took high quality versions of this fragrance's ingredients and blended them today, you'd have the makings of a quite good retro hipster barbershop scent that on to which some niche house could slap a cool name and sell as a cool men's frag--this stuff is better than most folks think.

Bottom line: this is a history lesson in a bottle and a must-own for every serious fragrance collector. Thumbs up.

The original bracing after shave that started and defined my journey into the world of scents.

My dad had a bottle of this in his medicine cabinet which he used faithfully and showed me what a good-smelling man smelled like. When I was of shaving age, I tried to use a couple dabs from his bottle; no one told me about the alcohol burn that I had to first endure wearing this!!

It was my bona fide rite of passage into men's cologne.

My folks then gave me a bottle of Old Spice Fresh Lime one Christmas in the mid-1980's, which continued the post-shave Old Spice utilization AND opened new vistas of fragrant experiences that continue to influence how I judge citrus-musk scents to this very day.

So count me among the many men who credit Old Spice for leading me to after shaves and colognes of all sorts for many decades now. Hats off to you. :-)

Old Spice is simply a juggernaut in the realm of men's fragrance, and for many generations of American men specifically, it was the ONLY men's fragrance there is to use. Most learned perfume collectors know the truth that would probably horrify a good cross-section of these men, and it is the not-so-curated secret that Old Spice was originally marketed as Early American Old Spice for Women (1937), with the Early American Old Spice for Men (1938) appearing a year later in the famous "buoy bottle" adorned with sailboats, but eventually being switched out for just "Old Spice", which was the original feminine formula bottled the same way as the initial men's variant. The best part about this whole thing is it just reaffirms that fragrance has no gender and marketing does the real work in convincing us what smells "masculine" or "feminine" from a cultural standpoint. Early American Old Spice was composed by William Lightfoot Schultz himself, based on inspiration from his mother's potpourri. Albert Hauck is actually responsible for retooling the scent into it's initial masculine flanker, which was just a more bottom-heavy variant with less aldehydes and citrus, but men could barely tell the difference and often just grabbed the feminine version by accident, which was more common anyway. This ubiquity among both sexes of the feminine version, coupled with the gradual adoption of the scent by more men than women, and sales figures indicating which version these men were actually buying, created the catalyst for the infamous decision to kill the "Early American" nomenclature and just sell the female-marketed formula to men. The men's scent was already abbreviated as "Old Spice" for it's stint as part of military care packages (alongside Hershey bars and packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes) given to troops during World War II. When the soldiers came back home, the buoy bottles now filled with the lady's perfume in cologne strength awaited them at the local drug store of their home towns, devoid of the "Early American" prefix, and they couldn't tell the difference. Having the stuff sort of shoved down their throat as the only way to smell good in a field of battle with no amenities probably helped men of the Greatest Generation actually come around to liking fragrance when they returned stateside, which probably helped a few bottles of English Leather (1949) or Brut (1962) sneak into their medicine chests when those competitors came out later on.

The brutal truth is most guys who grew comfortable with Old Spice never grew beyond it, and a blue-collar toiletries empire was created from that complacency. Additionally, most Old Spice created after the discontinuation of the "Early American Old Spice" name, along with Early American Old Spice for Women itself, fits the description of what people think Old Spice smells like, with decreases in quality when we move farther into the future as older ingredients were replaced with modern alternatives. Modern juice maintains the personality of the older stuff, but is a pallid and washed-out impression made to pinch every penny, and doesn't even come in a glass bottle anymore. Since the variation is so great from era to era (far more than most other long-lived scents with lots of reformulation), I'll make it clear what I'm describing is middle-era Shulton, which is stuff from the 1950's until 1990, before Proctor & Gamble took over to morph the brand into a men's grooming division. Anything from roughly the 50's to the end of the 80's made by Shulton in a white glass bottle will be as I describe it here. Old Spice opens with orange, lemon, nutmeg, clove, star anise, clary sage, and aldehydes, forming that classic barbershop oriental accord every American man knows. Cinnamon, carnation, geranium, jasmine, heliotrope, and pimento berry form the middle. At this stage, Old Spice has much in common with feminine orientals made by Jean Carles, such as Shocking by Shiaparelli (1937), Tabu by Dana (1932), and Indiscret by Lucien Lelong (1936). The deciding factor setting Old Spice apart from these peers is what it does with it's spices, and that gained it favor with men. The orchestration of it's characteristic baroque base also helped reassure men of their masculinity in the dry down. Vanilla, nitromusks, cedar, frankincense, styrax, coumarin, oakmoss and amber all sent Old Spice into woody animalic overdrive once they show up. The original "Early American Old Spice for Men" version by Albert Hauck was a little darker and drier than the feminine formula, but as a slight alteration proved irrelevant as mentioned above, since this William Lightfoot Schultz-penned formula became the only one used in time. Classic prime Old Spice doesn't smell quite like anything else, and despite being an oriental, has an odd "coolness" to it's opening and transition to the middle due to it's use of sage, geranium, and jasmine, which greatly contrast the warmth of the orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla in the mix. Old Spice doesn't have a true "cool" or "fresh" note per se, but the counter-balancing plays tricks on the nose. Without Old Spice, things like Pierre Cardin Pour Monsieur (1972) or Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein (1986) would have never gained traction.

Old Spice is still an oriental, and still therefore quite warm, so it can be very cloying in heat regardless of it's iconic smell, which makes me wonder how guys made it their one and only signature scent during blazing summer weather. However, the biggest problem with Old Spice isn't it's lack of versatility, but it's ubiquity in the US. For all intents and purposes, Old Spice was the successor to bay rum, which is also quite heady with it's bay leaf and clove interplay, and was a favorite at the turn of the 20th century when it caught on like wildfire in the US. Old Spice was unintentionally the next step in taste evolution for men because of it's similarity to bay rum, even if minty "clean" products like Skin Bracer (1932) also coexisted alongside it. Old Spice's rich mulled orange aroma and musky woods base just hit the spot better than competing fougères with Americans already familiar with bay rum, and it likely became the de-facto scent even for US guys not deployed in WWII, then passed down from father to son. It's pretty hard to wear Old Spice stateside in the 21st century, even if using the more-synthetic newer juice, because that thick semi-virile and assertive aroma, while pleasing in it's own right, is just so closely associated with everyone's father or grandfather now that many walking past will be taken back to a previous point in their life which not everyone wants to revisit. This is part of the problem Old Spice has to somehow overcome: the monster that is it's own legacy as a former monopoly on the smell of the average American man. Obviously Old Spice seldom has such problems in overseas markets, and it once dealt with this issue by having a dozen flankers that Shulton doled out in the late 60's through 80's, until Proctor & Gamble came knocking. P&G's solution to battling this beast was to pimp the name of Old Spice itself into a line of unrelated young men's body sprays, grooming, and bath products, all with cheekily-themed names like "Wolfthorne" or "Swagger" and hideous commercials to match, which succeeded in making Old Spice (the brand) seem cool again but destroyed whatever dignity remained of the original scent's legacy. After all is said and done, the Old Spice most people know is still just a period-correct women's oriental perfume that appeals to guys; once you wrap your head around that concept, then everything else just falls by the wayside, and you either like the stuff for what it is, or you don't. Obviously a thumbs up from me, but don't let that sway you from reaching your own conclusions.

Easily among the all-time best bargains in fragrance. It's amazingly well-blended. Even modern formulations retain a high degree of sophistication and style. Don't be put off by its supposed “grandpa” or “too common” reputation. Just splash a little on for the sheer enjoyment. Don't be surprised if women lean in a little closer to catch a whiff. Old Spice is widely regarded as a “daddy” fragrance. There are times when being perceived as daddy isn't a bad thing at all. A soft vanilla/carnation scent, Old Spice would smell great on beautiful, confident women as well. It's maybe the male-marketed equivalent of Chanel No. 5 in terms of worldwide fame and instant recognition. Old Spice, a well-worn pair of jeans, a flannel shirt. . . straight from iconic style heaven.

The modern juice is still a true performer with excellent value. A fantastic blend of scents with a very appropriate moniker, as well. This could easily be the king of all barbershop scents except for the frugality of the average barber. Its cheap but was never cheap enough to meet their requirements. Instead OS made its way big time as an over the counter frag. I would consider it to be a prized gem if it were not so darn common. So, I still must have it about, it was dad's scent on those rare days that he wore one. I truly enjoy this one off and on in the privacy of our home.
I wish I could find something very similar yet different enough to wear out and about.

Rugged, manly and
Disturbingly feminine
To this post-niche nose.

Life barely hiding
That Fashion subverts itself
By very Nature

Proving that Fashion's
Time and gender both cannot
Be precisely known

Theorized somewhat
Originally by those
Loud boys called Blue Cheer

Was apparently

Not lost on Coco
In her prior researches
On Time's wavy locks

Lovingly set free
When she trimmed her own one day
And Blue Cheer didn't.

Despite its low price and ubiquity, I think it's still one of the best fragrances ever constructed. It's top notes, which remain for only a few minutes, are citrus and cinnamon (the cinnamon lasting longer than the citrus). Its heart a warm rose, and its base a creamy amber. The dry down is powdery. A truly wonderful scent that has earned its place as a classic. Unfortunately, it isn't something I would feel comfortable wearing out of the house due to it's perceived cheapness and lowliness. A more refined example of this spicy, oriental would be Guerlain's Habit Rouge, which is more leathery and waxy, but it's a much more sophisticated example of this class of scents.

The stuff is classic... What else is there to say?
The original Shulton is what I'm talkin about here people! I work as a firefighter in a busy city so needless to see if I'm going to smell like something other than smoke it better be masculine. I'm a younger guy so I don't overdo it but the senior men appreciate the classic vibe as it relates to a strong physical work ethic and overall masculine nostalgia. Some things never die.

I respect everyone's views on this fragrance ..if you don't like it then fair enough but for me to give this fragrance a bad review I'd feel pretty mean ..I can't begin to imagine the amount of good times men have had while wearing this through the ages's like critisising a Swiss army knife or a nice pair of levis..old spice has been a man's best friend and has kept the population growing for decades. As far as the scent goes it comes across as warm and soapy splash that finishes off a great shave ..carnation and vanilla give this a wonderful smoothness that never gets scratchy and overly cheap..very recognisable in silage.

I love it, fresh clean not overpowering, and perfect. It takes a certain individual to wear this scent and pull it off. The drydown is where the magic happens in this scent. One of the best scents ever made

I have to give it a thumbs up just for its staying power. I wouldn't wear it now unless I was really nostalgic. It was spicy, cinnamon, oak moss, a real man's fragrance. Everyone's grandfather and father smelled of this in the 50s-80s. Make fun of it if you want, but it has been around longer than most of us have.

Best tag line on a fragrance.

"If your grandfather hadn't worn it, you wouldn't exist".

An obvious classic, I do not wear this out but love to apply after a shower and shave in the evenings. Leaves you feeling clean and fresh. Really unique and to me still smells very natural which is more than can be said for many modern offerings. I see this as separate from my other fragrances and keep it for home use along with Brut and Cavale.

(This review is for the original formula by Shulton)

Wow, what a spicy/creamy scent! I recently acquired a NOS set of Old Spice aftershave and cologne from the late 1950's - early 1960's. The original formula is such a treat, nothing like the Old Spice sold today from Procter & Gamble! I highly recommend the vintage version, but if that is not an option for you then I would suggest the version made in India. Though the Indian formula is not identical to the stuff sold once upon a time, it remains pretty close. I just cannot understand why P&G hacked up the formula of this classic (as if ruining the bottle and logo wasn't enough).

I'm not quite a "young man" anymore, but I'm not "old" either. I've loved Old Spice since I was a little boy, and I can remember sniffing at my dad's bottle in my parents' bathroom and thinking that the name suited the smell very well -- to me it smelled "older" and it was definitely "spiced." My dad wore it and the smell made its way into the favorable part of my brain. By that measure, I've never worried about smelling "old" or whatever wearing it because I wear it for me, not for anybody else. The smell that got etched into my memory was whatever formulation was going around in the late 80s and early 90s. You know, the one that others moan about. I love this scent, and it was my first aftershave. I will say that this formulation, which came in a glass bottle, was different from the one in the plastic bottle you can find today. The plastic one smells good initially but then turns very cloying and synthetic, so I just threw it away. The glass one I grew up with didn't do that, it was just nice and mellow, clean and warm with no chemical smells. Now at age 28, I have both a glass bottle of P&G OS that is the formulation I grew up with, and an old bottle of Shulton OS that I only came to know recently. I love them both. They're similar but distinctly different. The Shulton, to my nose, smells "older" for sure, and by that I mean heavier and spicier. I can only wear the Shulton one during cold weather, and all I need is the aftershave. The Shulton cologne is too much for me. Anyway, I love them both and to me they are timeless and respected. Whatever lucky girl I end up with is going to have to learn to love Old Spice if she doesn't already, because I have no intent to part with this beloved smell of classic masculinity. I attached a photo of my two bottles in case anyone was wondering what they look like. The aftershave on the left is Shulton, and the cologne on the right is P&G.

In post WW-II America, every dad and grand dad had a bottle of Old Spice in the bathroom medicine cabinet. It is probably the most popular male scent ever produced.

The original is a barbershop fantasy - the citrus, bay, clove spiciness is very strong and lasting. Bracing and the cinnamon, amber, frankincense and vanilla base warm it to a powdery softness in the dry down.

A masterful barbershop fougere.

Beware the current reformulation with its emphasis on rose, pepper and bay. It bears no relation to the original.

A late returnee to Old Spice here and the surprise is a pleasant one. I've encountered bottles at varying points in the last 30-odd years, but now it seems the time is right.
I can't remember if the scent of those past bottles differs from the current one I have. This one is the 'original' aftershave, purchased in Europe and apparently made here. Very reasonably priced and in the satisfyingly weighty glass bottle.

Some of the negative reviews have dismissed it as a cheap musk-bomb, but that's a highly simplistic appraisal. As it goes on the first experience is the spiced orange-bergamot with a light talc-like undertone. This rapidly gives way to the cinnamon mingling with roses, but the bottom notes also start to emerge quite early on. Eventually those bottom note aromas of woodiness, muskiness and the frankincense -citrus spiciness, which is really there throughout, give a warming finish. Like warm, spiced brandy and woodshavings dropped into a beautiful lady's leather handbag...if you will!
The top and middle notes don't last quite long enough before the bottom notes take over, which is it's only real fault. The spicy dry-down also manages not to smell like detergent.

Yes, it has the associations with traditional grooming and barbershops and clubs of another era (nearly everyone once wore it), but that is reassuringly satisfying. Old Spice doesn't shout like a modern fragrance, it is subdued and self-assured.

Some young-men under 30 will probably not want to, or be able to wear Old Spice without feeling self-consciously fogeyish; though for others it may just work. The 20-something crowd need not even apply to club Old Spice, but for the over 30s it can work a treat.

A very spicy and floral scent that has stood the test of time. I'm in my mid 30's and use it every day. If you want to experience the true classic scent of Old Spice, you need to purchase the Indian made version. It comes in the classic glass bottle and has the "true" fragrance of Old Spice. For some reason, the USA Proctor and Gamble version smells too sweet while the Indian made version smells just right (more spicy and less sweeter than the USA version).

What else can be said about the grand daddy of men's perfumery? Probably the most successfully marketed fragrance of all time and still smells great even straight out of the plastic bottle.

Although, I never agreed with P&G changing to plastic so I just refill my vintage glass bottles with the new stuff. Keep the splash alive, wear your Old Spice proudly and give your son someone to look up to even more. Thumbs up for Dad's everywhere!

4 stars

Smiling after reading many reviews from positive to quite response? It's Old Spice for Crips sake! Yes, it does remind me of gentler days, Dad, barbershops, manual transmissions, black and white TV' what? It is what it is...a classic (well, the Shulton version anyway). Good for a Saturday morning splash after a meticulous shave with nothing on the agenda except to put on your worn flannel shirt, jeans, boat shoes and get out and clean the garage! Now off to a lunch of PB&J and some Campbell's Tomato Soup!

Must have smelled really exotic when it was lounged in 1973.
This is a comfortable home scent, the older version. Haven't bought a bottle in years though.

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