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I was browsing in a Paris antique shop one winter afternoon when a fitted leather train case caught my eye.

It contained silver-handled brushes, boot hooks, a straight razor, several silver-stoppered glass bottles…

One bottle was different. Encased in yew-wood, with a handwritten date: 1903.

Inside the bottle, there was still the faint, intriguing aroma of a gentleman's cologne. A “prescription” cologne, custom-made for a rich traveler a century ago.

Curiosity was eating at me.

I bought the case (the price was shocking) and sent the bottle to a laboratory for analysis. They broke down the residue by gas chromatography. Identified its fingerprint through spectro-photometry. The report said: an “old woody fougère.” Clean citrus notes, bergamot, “green notes.” The middle notes: clary sage…cardamom. The dry-down: leather notes, smoky labdanum…elemi, tabac, frankincense.

The detective work was impressive.

So is the thing itself.

Women like the way it smells on a man. Like a symphony that begins loudly, then soon slides into subtle, entangling developments that grow on them.

Or so I've been told.

1903 Aftershave Balm (No. 1402). Aftershave balm. Mine is non-greasy (absorbs readily), with witch hazel, aloe vera and comfrey. Apply tiny amount to fingertips, smooth over face and neck... ah, feels much better. 3.4 fl. oz., 100 ml. Made in USA.

Can not be shipped internationally.

1903 Aftershave Balm
Item No. 1402

Price: $45

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