Set Sail St. Barts for Men 
Tommy Bahama (2007)

Average Rating:  70 User Reviews

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Tommy Bahama
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Reviews of Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama

There are 70 reviews of Set Sail St. Barts for Men by Tommy Bahama.

After about a year of wearing this and several other TB fragrances, I'd have to say this does what Tommy Bahama would have wanted it to do, only not for long enough.

It makes you feel like you ARE a refreshing tropical drink on a warm Caribbean island. It's a summer scent that instantly perks a guy up and prepares him for having fun in the heat.

Men love it, women love it, even my dog loves this one.

Unfortunately it lasts about 30 minutes, at the most, and then it's over. I would recommend you do a dozen sprays of this stuff -- no kidding -- because 10 minutes later it will smell like you'd done two. And an hour later you probably won't smell it at all.

Sad, really. But, given the price, not too unexpected. Buy two bottles.
Jun 12, 2020

Tommy Bahama is nothing if not consistent with their aim of giving a slice of paradise for the working stiff. Like Banana Republic, their clothes aim at the middle-tier entry-level white collar person that would have enough cash to take a vacation to Virginia Beach, but not an island getaway like their boss takes yearly; Tommy Bahama therefore fills the gap with aesthetic via their products. With Set Sail St. Barts for Men (2007), a part of the "Island Getaway" oeurve of fragrances, the brand seeks to go outside the usual realm of aquatics by infusing some elements of the vacation experience into the scent. This roughly translates to sand, surf, and libations infused with the aquatic DNA of the perfume itself. A lot of people online erroneously claim this to be a downmarket clone of Creed Virgin Island Water (2007), but both scents released simultaneously and don't share much in common besides a theme, so I think it's the usual "FragBro" posturing insisting that anything sharing a common thread with their revered non-plus ultra brand is somehow an imitator. Truth be told, the Creed in this instance is done better since there is a vast difference in quality of base materials between them, but I'm less a fan of the top notes in it because I don't care for coconut much in fragrances beyond a few exceptions, so the Tommy Bahama gets some kudos for not utilizing as much of it. For the price of what Tommy Bahama sells versus the Creed, I can definitely see this as a valid frugal alternative, but it is not even close to a clone in qualitative terms let alone design.

Fragrances that try to be "vacation in a bottle" are usually very hit or miss for me, because I have to like the location being emulated, and I'm the weirdo that prefers the alpine vibe to the island one, although I do like what this offers. In any case, there is a opening note of bergamot, lime, and what to me smells like someone mixed a bit of margarita with pina colada and suntan lotion. Agave and aloe vera come into the mix next, followed by a marine accord that seems more hedione-backed than calone-backed, but both are present. Dihydromyrcenol "aquatic" boosters are present but in very low dosage since this is not a "blue" aquatic in the traditional body wash sense in spite of the bottle color, especially as vetiver and guava notes enter the heart. Set Sail St. Barts has an early use of a synthetic ambergris accord in its base alongside a detergent-like white musk molecule, being something to the effect of timberol (Firmenich captive related to IFF's karmawood and containing norlimbanol) mixed with galaxolide and sea salt in a very jarring way. This expected cheap-out in the base would have been okay if a few other things were added to mask the potency of the materials used, but instead Set Sail St. Barts runs ashore on the jagged rocks of aromachemicals wielded far too bluntly. Longevity is middling as is the projection, but also not unexpected for an affordable fresh fragrance you can find more at discounters than even Tommy Bahama's own boutiques. Use is intended for hot weather and casual situations, so I'd abide that if were to wear this.

Set Sail St. Barts is a perfect guilty pleasure on the cheap if you can stomach the abrasive base. The first twenty minutes or so of the perfume are quite wonderful and make you yearn for a bottle of Pacifico or Carta Blanca beer while conjuring Jimmy Buffet tunes in your head, but much beyond that mental getaway, and the brutal reality of laundry detergent mixing with a spilled drink snaps you back to staycations at home because you couldn't afford air fare on your salary at the time but didn't want to be cut a check for unused vacation hours. Creed Virgin Island Water on the other hand, despite it's extreme retail price (and much-less extreme but still expensive rate at discounters), can get you "there" then keep you "there" for the duration with its ambergris/ambroxan base, because the dry down never feels conflicting with the rest of the perfume or done in a hurry like it does with Set Sail St. Barts. The last thing I want in something meant to be escapism in a bottle is a sudden reality check 30 minutes in, and even if that weren't the case, the majority of the wear is middling and harsh on the nose, like a tickle that never leads to a sneeze. As a whole, Tommy Bahama Set Sail St. Barts is a novel fragrance that does something different compared to peers in its price range, but is seemingly also hobbled by that very price range in the R&D that developed the scent, making it fail to go the distance and keeping you high and dry on the mainland. Test and see for yourself. Neutral.
May 13, 2020

NOT a clone to Virgin Island Water

Smells like a margarita mixed with Dawn dishwashing soap.

Dec 4, 2019

I guess I'll address a few things regarding SSSB by Tommy Bahama.

First, this isn't a typical aquatic. It's not loaded with dihydromyrcenol and it doesn't come across as bright or shrill as many aquatics do. This basically smells like you've spilled a margarita on yourself. The bright lime and salt notes are good at keeping the boozy tequila accord, musk, and vanilla from making this anywhere near having any of the thick or sometimes cloying qualities that those notes can create. This is a very fresh fragrance that absolutely evokes being in the islands or near the ocean.

Second, it does not smell like Virgin Island Water (2007) by Creed. They smell like they could be in the same family, but they don't smell the same (I own and wear both, so I am very familiar with them). As I said earlier, SSSB smells like you spilled a margarita on yourself; VIW smells like you spilled a mojito on yourself after applying Banana Boat suntan lotion. They are both great summer scents, and they both have the same "vibe," but they are not similar, otherwise.

Which brings us to the most important point in this whole diatribe...

SSSB can be found for around $20 for a 100ml bottle at basically any TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross, and it's been that way for years. As far as a bang-for-the-buck scent, I have said before and will continue to say that SSSB (and St. Kitts (2015) --also just easy to find at the same stores for the same price--) is one of the best value fragrances out there. It's a ridiculously good warm weather fragrance, and absolutely worth sampling. I'd even go so far as to call it a blind buy if the notes that it contains sound good to you.

100% thumbs up for St Barts!
Aug 11, 2019

Found a 100ml bottle for $20 at Nordstrom Rack and bought it blind based on reviews.

For the price this is pretty much no brainer for summer. It smells like a classic margarita with the lime and salt notes. A couple hours in the notes are pretty much the same on my skin but just toned down and a skin scent within 4 hours.

This stuff makes me want to drink in the sun with minimal clothing.
Jul 18, 2019

So I'm gonna burst your bubble right away with if you think this is a clone or copy of Creed Virgin Island Water(VIW). It isn't. However that doesn't mean it isnt any good. it actually is pretty dang nice. I bought this hoping it would smell just like VIW which is a scent I wear a ton in the hot humid parts if the summer. The only problem with VIW is longevity. I tend to have to reapply it which uses up a ton of juice and it isnt exactly cheap. So I was looking to find a suitable "clone". Did research and saw a few Alexandria that were in the 60 dollar range and just couldn't sink 60 bucks into a clone. Then I saw st barts. Which most reviews claimed was a dead ringer for viw I figured hey I'll give it a shot if the price is right most reviewers said you can usually get them at marshalls sometimes for dirt cheap. So I went to marshals and sure enough it was there. 19.99 for a 3.3 oz. Can't beat that with a stick not even if the performance sucks. Well upon first spray it had a "kinda" viw thing going on. But that dies pretty quick and begins to turn into it's own thing. This isnt a bad thing because what it turns into is a fresh citrus mainly lime scent with underkeys of aquatic accord and a hint of booze. Dont be scared by these aquatic accords because this certainly isnt headache inducing aquatic. Overall it's a very nice ridiculously cheap frag. But my search for a viw comparable frag continues. But in the meantime I'll have no problem enjoying st barts. Even if the performance is pretty poor. It's so cheap spray away grasshopper.
May 6, 2019

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