A few days ago we got a pretty remarkable surprise in the mail: a ton of goodies from La Cienega based Baxter Of California. Like, it wasn’t just a face scrub—it was a lot of different goodies to help keep a man looking his best. It was almost perfectly timed since we had been meaning to run to the store to buy a new supply of both deodorant, soap, and pomade. Surprise: Baxter had us covered! Now that we’ve gotten to sample the somewhat ridiculous amount of products they carry, we wanted to give you a breakdown of how these things work, feel, smell, and who you should get them for, if you want to gift some LA grooming stuff for your man or yourself. Let this be your guide!
• Super Close Shave Formula (Jar): This little jar of shaving cream seems like a little but will certainly be a lot. It’s the kind of thing that you dip a finger into, massage onto your face, and feel it expand and get you all lathered up to shave. I usually use Proraso Sandalwood Shaving Cream which is smooth and great but Baxter is a bit more refined allowing for your blade to slide across your face, leaving you looking and feeling like a baby face. I was impressed and went in having little expectation, honestly.
• Hard Water Pomade: We’ve used this before and it is like a gooier Bumble & Bumble Sumotech, almost akin to a gel. It does an effective job of giving you a shine and styling hold and doesn’t leave your hands—or hair—feeling like you just put some sugary bleh on you. It’s also blue like water. Surprise!
• Clay Pomade: This is a thicker pomade that obviously feels and works more like a clay. It has a more muted finish and gives you a firmer hold than the Water Pomade. I’m not one for the harder pomades so this one is going to get more use by Bobby who does like the way these are. If you are familiar, it’s similar to the label.m Mud Clay product. Notice that both of these pomades are a great deal thicker than the slip and slidey Slick Pomade.
• Hydo-Salve Lip Balm: This is actually something we had lying around and wanted to include as we are super into it. The lip balm is extremely refreshing on the lips and doesn’t feel too creamy or oily or like you just applied some sort of lip liner you’ve seen modeled by a celebrity woman for Revlon. It has a very, very light mint hint too.
• Deodorant: This was the biggest surprise to us since it’s an odd circular tube of deodorant. It’s actually super clear and has a strong, manly scent to it that does not feel too terribly like Axe or other “man” products. The packaging on this and presentation is quite wonderful and makes a lot more sense than using the feeble oval sticks we are used to. We may have been converted to this very fancy deodorizer.
• Daily Face Wash: Although we didn’t use them at the same time, this Face Wash is certainly meant to go with the shave cream as both have that almost medicinal, clean, smooth feeling to them. It’s absolutely unscented which makes for an interesting wash. We’re used to the slightly peppier Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash. Not sure if this one holds up to that…
• Facial Scrub: This is another item we already had for some time before the surprise. We love this product and it really scrubs the shit out of your face to make you feel like you are getting every single toxin out of your face. We use it a few times a week only and then alternate with a lighter wash. It certainly is good for cleansing your skin if you’ve been too active or getting too dirty lately. There are also thick scrubbing agents that (delightfully) feel like sand on the face.
• Bergamot & Pear Body Wash: We’ve used this several times and love, love, love it. This can smell a *little* feminine but the bergamot does an effective job of not letting this soap get too sweet on you. It leaves you very soft and never dries out your skin either, which is very important.
• Hand & Body Moisturizer: This was another surprise, which we never would think to get. This is a very manly moisturizing cream that has a very, very subtle peppered eucalyptus scent to it. That’s not the right description of the scent, no, but it is a kind manly scent that reminds me of a more tame incarnation of what my very masculine grandpa used for after shave.
• Oil Free Moisturizer: This moisturizer follows the same pattern as the shaving cream and face wash in that it’s very medicinal and serious about keeping you moisturized. It’s nice, yes, but again we’re a little used to Kiehl’s Facial Fuel with SPF. That cream having a *tiny* scent may put it over the edge for us…
• White Wood Number Three Candle: Truth be told, we’ve never smelled or used a Baxter candle so these were super great surprises. The first is the woodsy White Wood Number Three which is described as having “Birch Tar, Leather, Guaiac Wood, Rosemary Oil, and Cedar” scents to it. This is a manly candle. It’s exactly that wooded leathery scent that we did not know that we wanted. We’re obsessed with it and—as you can see—we’ve already gotten halfway through it.
• White Wood Number Two: The older brother to Three, this candle is lighter with a “Bergamot, Mandarin, Mission Fig, Santalum, and Vetiver” slant to it. The scent is sweeter here but the vetiver and bergamot help to keep it grounded on earth instead of flouting up like a cloud. The delicacy of this scent does make it very different (but it is still woodsy).
• Noi Series: Jasmin: This candle is the sweetest in our bunch but has the best packaging out of everything. It’s a black candle with a pattern of repeating dots printed on it and embossed dots on the bottom. The box follows similarly but has a wordy, traveling description of the brand’s history and scent story of the candle. There is powerful jasmine here mixed in with gardenia and very faint vanilla, making for almost a pear-y hit on the nose. This is good…but different.
So, as you can see, Baxter has tons of good stuff. There are a lot more for sale on their website and you can always walk into their store and ask for some help in shopping for goods for you or your man or lady. If you have some extra time to spare, we highly recommend you read brand head Jean-Pierre Mastey’s Featured Interview that we shared last year and tells the story of how Baxter came to be.