Bay Rum Uses

by Lori A. Selke

Bay rum is the name of a men's cologne first produced in the Caribbean in the 19th century. The exact recipe varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but generally includes West Indian bay, rum, spices such as cinnamon and clove, and sometimes citrus oils. It began as a medicinal tonic but gradually became merely a men's grooming aid, albeit a quite versatile one.

Classic Cologne

These days, bay rum is used primarily as a men's cologne. It's a versatile scent that can be worn day or night. It's a classic masculine scent and makes a good "signature scent" that people will remember you by. As with all colognes, use it sparingly. Dab it behind your ears and on the center of your chest. Don't rub it in; let it dry naturally.

Old-Fashioned Aftershave

Pat on bay rum in place of your usual aftershave after your morning ritual. The high alcohol content makes it an effective astringent, which reduces skin irritation and also cleanses any nicks and cuts. It may sting a little when you apply it. Use it sparingly, and skip applying any cologne.

Handy Hair Tonic

Bay rum was once a barbershop staple, used especially for scalp massages. Today, you can use bay rum to slick down stray hairs and provide a bit of sheen to your style. As a hair tonic, it provides its signature fragrance, so once again you may want to take a miss on applying cologne as well.

Quell Bad Odor

If you're particularly fond of bay rum's scent, apply it as a deodorant. It won't prevent perspiration, but the astringent action of the alcohol will temporarily dry out your armpits and tighten your pores. The spice and citrus fragrance, meanwhile, will mask any stray body odor. Bay rum doesn't just fight odors on your skin. Add a few drops to a room diffuser or just spray a small amount into the air of a room to disguise off-odors.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.