1889 Superior Bay Rum

Brand: LBCC Historical Apothecary

Scent Description: The author of this recipe wrote a great deal about it. He said, “This is without question considerably stronger than the majority of bay rums that are sold. This recipe makes a bay rum that is truly superb, to use after shampooing or shaving. There is something that seems peculiar to this particular combination. Most gentlemen like a bay rum that will take hold sharp ; they generally find it a difficult matter to get any such at the barber shops. The particular bay rum made after this formula will prove very satisfactory, as it is much pleasanter to use than the ordinary kinds. It also gives to the heated skin during the summer season a very cooling and refreshed feeling. It would be difficult to find its superior.”

I always enjoy reading and researching original recipes. Every great once in a while, I find the original maker or author writes about his recipes detailing the exact way to prepare it, and/or a paragraph describing why it’s better than others on the market at that time. That always fascinates me. I wanted to find the oldest recipe I could for Bay Rum, but I ran into a snag ( Just a teeny one). If you research Bay Rum recipes, the ingredients are all over the board. We have over the years diverged from one of the original recipes that dates from the 16th century, where it is said that sailors use to rub the bay leaves on their skin as a type of cologne. By the late 17th century one of the first “Bay Rum” items that was actually produced and sold was made by Danish traders. It was a lotion made from rum, bay leaves and rose water. Rum and rose water was catalogued to have been carried by Columbus in 1492 for medicinal purposes. So in my search, I picked this recipe, because I was intrigued by the authors writings and documentation. I liked the fact that he realized even in the 1880’s that Bay Rum wasn’t as strong as many gents would have liked. He tried to fix that issue with this recipe by using distillation and oils. So I wanted to see how strong this actually is. From the writings, this specific recipe appeared to be quite popular with great reviews in its day. Before each use you should give the bottle a good shake.

Leave a Review