Bay Rum

Scent is a very personal thing; to some, the right scent is a melody of pleasure. But others are effectual nightmares that do the opposite of inviting close contact. When combined with a person’s body chemistry, it’s hard to tell what a particular scent will do, result in fascination or act as a repellant. Personally, I’ve had a long relationship with the scent of Bay Rum.
Bay Rum is a uniquely Caribean originating scent that has traveled widely over the centuries. Its origin story, which may be true, is that it was a concoction made of leaves from the Caribbean Bay tree ( not the bay leaves you cook with) mixed with rum. The mixture was a combination of insect repellant and cologne and was invented by the buccaneers and pirates of the Caribbean islands.

It was the principal aftershave used by my father, a marine engineer, when I was growing up. It was also the preferred method in the house of disinfecting any cut or bruise. Pour enough of the stuff my dad used on, and after the screaming was over, nothing was going to find an anchorage for infection.

At some point, my father moved on to Old Spice, and it was my first aftershave as well. But eventually, we both drifted back to the old standby.

So, it can be hard to buy presents for me, but someone figured out that the gift of Bay Rum was always welcome. As a result, I have Bay Rum shaving soap, body wash, and bath soap. I also have enough bottled Bay Rum aftershave to flirt with the scent in its many forms consecutively for well over a week. That’s without repeating a specific conjuration of ingredients, and it is incredible how so many recipes can be called Bay Rum and smell subtly different.

Scent is a very personal thing. For me, Bay Rum encapsulates a lot of family history while allowing me to vary my scent subtly daily. Not for me, those flowery concoctions sold in the cosmetics department for women to buy for hubby. Nope, it’s old school: Buccaneers, pirates, the Caribbean, and adventure. Arrrr!


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