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A classic fresh scent that lingers just as long as it has to...
1st September 2019

Note: Review is of the aftershave.

I would give the disclaimer that I'm only familiar with the aftershave version of Skin Bracer; I haven't seen any cologne formulation, though I admit not having looked hard. Skin Bracer is a mentholated aftershave that does precisely what it claims: provides a cooling blast of menthol and tones and moisturises the skin. I perceive the menthol content to be comparable to that of Ice Blue, and higher than that of Ice Sport. The scent is rather nice and is structured as a two part story - an initial spark of menthol that is quickly followed by a fougere accord that soon dries down to a warm base with hints of coumarin-like sweetness. I am surprised to find no harshness in the scent, which could perhaps be due to low concentration. It reminds me of Brut, but is softer. I am also pleasantly surprised to find that Skin Bracer works excellently on my skin, as a toner and also for a bit of moisturisation. I find this to be a marginally superior product to its competitor Ice Blue, and it can be useful for pairing as an aftershave with traditional fougere scents like Brut, Paco Rabanne pour Homme or Azzaro pour Homme.

12th June 2018

A very pleasing AS splash that combines a big menthol blast and a fainter yet quite nice barbershop spice blend (lavender, etc.). It is not built to last. I don't think any menthol concoction is well suited for that. It does a fine job as an alcohol based face cooler. All of the above deserves a thumbs up.

I like to use short lived scents as well as long lasting ones. Sometimes the blast and fade fast approach is what I want. But make no mistake this will not prooject well 2 hours later, like most good colognes hope to. It does remain as a very nice fading skin scent for 8-10 hours.

This is terribly common, sad as it is a very nice splash and very affordable too. So, I rarely don it before an about town outing. I do enjoy it infrequently around the house. The same can be said about a few other "too exposed" frags like Brut. Too nice to ignore yet too common to define ones independant minded style with, IMO.

11th January 2018
Just as a warning, I rate this highly for what it is, an after shave, and not as a makeshift scent, even though the scent is likeable. I see a lot of people try and review this as a scent, and Mennen themselves even tried desperately to market it as a scent in the cologne boom of the 60's and 70's (with hilariously sexual ads to boot), but this one is simply form follows function. 20th century pre-war men's toiletries were mostly limited to the unisex eau de colognes of the last century, unless you happened to live in London or France and had access to shave shop scent makers like Penhaligon's or Ed Pinaud. The UK seemed to be most on top of catering to men with The Crown Perfumery and Geo F Trumper joining the aforementioned Penhaligon's, while France had Guerlain and Houbigant to throw guys a bone now and then, but America had nothing really besides bay rum. There also weren't many notable American-based perfumers either outside of Caswell-Massey or the door-to-door California Perfume Company (later to become Avon) to offer American men anything to replace that bay rum, and they just made their own version! Taking this all into consideration, it's easy to see why Skin Bracer would become such a big deal, alongside it's rival William's Aqua Velva Ice Blue (1935).

It's easy to see that in lieu of any proper fragrance options American guys would double-down on their after shaves, and this trend persisted (with help from the aforementioned marketing) until the market caught up, and it was the availability of Skin Bracer as a new then-modern option for men's grooming toiletries that probably made it so successful, even if it does exist as an exercise in purpose first, cosmetic appeal second. Mennen simply grafted what is more or less a mossier take on the European barbershop fougère and added copious amounts of menthol to act as a face soother after a wet shave, it's really just as simple as that. The expected burn of aftershave dissipates in only a few seconds, and is replaced by a few minutes of skin-soothing numbness, with that cold menthol smell weaving in and out of the fougère composition. Lavender plays a huge part, and I get some patchouli along with musk, coumarin, oakmoss, and a powdery note that could be heliotrope. It's a very invigorating scent despite it's age, which lends to it's continued popularity, although recent versions have dialed back both the menthol and the oakmoss, using a little more modern chemistry to sooth the skin and modern aromachems to cheapen it up. I think the huge menthol blast and mossy bottom is the biggest characteristic of this stuff, so I still go after vintage.

Skin Bracer succeeds as it has done for 80+ years as an after shave soother. Many other splashes, lotions, and cremes have both come and gone in this time, but for but a few plunks in the bucket, you can make this your best bathroom cabinet companion. As a scent? Yeah it's pleasant in that medicine cabinet meets drugstore perfume selection sort of way, but despite what vintage ads tell you, "she" will not fall for you if you manage to douse yourself in enough of this stuff to make a day wear scent out of it (might want to invest in gallons of it too by that same token). All of it's myriad flankers are also gone, and they had the same general sillage and projection anyway, so unless you need more variety in your after shave, I'd not bother hunting down old stock of them and just stick with this one. Besides, it isn't like the stuff was composed by a classical perfumer, just a trained chemist working for Mennen. Skin Bracer truly does as it's name states, and it's important from a fragrance perspective only because it was among the first of a new wave of choices for men, particularly American men, who didn't have easy access to much else. I dare you to find a more effective and pleasant-smelling removal of the shaving sting.
24th November 2017
A very refreshing aftershave that combines mint, moss, talc powder and a jolt of cooling menthol for that bracing effect. Very powdery and bitter-green but it's so clean and masculine. You may be judged for it being cheap and common but it's a guilty pleasure.
31st January 2016
For some reason, though I've always been a fan of drugstore fragrances, I'd never tried Skin Bracer. But one of my favorite all-time scents is the smell of the classic (green) Mennen Speed-Stick deodorant. I said to myself often, "too bad they don't have a cologne that smells like this." Well, they do, and its name is Skin Bracer. I think it's a fragrance you can't go wrong with, that smells of fresh-baked cookies and mentholy goodness. Totally masculine.

If you look down your nose too far, you might get tripped up. The answer is right in front of you, Grasshopper.
5th May 2014
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