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What Is Bay Rum Cologne?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2014
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Bay rum cologne is a fragrant blend of natural oils made from bay leaves and Caribbean rum. The spicy concoction is often used as men's aftershave lotion or after-shower body splash. Bay rum has a distinctively rugged scent and is commonly used for skin care as well. The origin of bay rum dates back to the 1500s, when it was inspired by Caribbean seamen who immersed bay leaves in rum to create an invigorating scent. Although many people create homemade bay rum cologne by using their own recipes, the fragrance may be purchased at specialty stores as well.

Bay rum cologne is typically made from the leaves of bay trees that grow exclusively on the islands of the West Indies. Bay rum colognes and aftershave lotions are often exported and sold globally. Although natural bay rum cologne was extremely popular and widely sold during the early 1900s, production phased out during the second world war. It wasn't until the late 1940s that bay rum cologne was manufactured once again.

During the late 1950s, bay rum colognes and soaps were manufactured in New York. By the early 1960s, the fragrance was being distributed and sold all across the continental United States. Shortly after, bay rum cologne was reintroduced in many parts of the world.

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In addition to colognes, perfumes, and soaps, bay rum may also be found in deodorants, skin care products and talcum powders. Most bay rum products are considered to have a masculine, rustic scent. Other exotic oils are incorporated into many bay rum colognes as well.

Many men use bay rum cologne as a skin toner. The natural ingredients used in bay rum help remove dirt and oils that may clog pores, while providing a cool and refreshing scent after shaving. Additionally, many bay rum colognes include skin moisturizers.

Some manufacturers of bay rum products offer a cologne sampler. These may include variations of bay rum colognes, such as bay rum and sandalwood or bay rum and sage. Many of these colognes were inspired by United States cowboys during the 1800s, who were treated to bay rum scents after a shave at barber shops along the trail.

Unlike most men's colognes, bay rum is not typically dispensed from an ordinary spray bottle. Some manufacturers of bay rum fragrances offer their products in glass or plastic bottles, while other fragrances are offered in more decorative packaging. It's not uncommon to find bay rum cologne packaged in old-time bottles. A bay rum product might also come packaged in a captain's ship designed bottle.

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