These days, not too many shaving products appear on the wet shaving scene without my knowledge. Sure, there are plenty of brands I have yet to try (don’t worry, I’m coming for you). But I am usually aware. So, when Blaviar contacted me about trying one of their new aftershave balms, I was a little surprised. Here was a company with a product unfamiliar to me, looking for an independent, honest review. I took this as an unique opportunity to try a shaving product about which I had no prior knowledge or opinion.
I think the most interesting aspect of the Blaviar “Sigma” aftershave balm to highlight is that it doubles as an eau de cologne. This might seem a little confusing because he term “cologne” has become so all-encompassing today to include any level of men’s fragrance, but there are actually quite a few distinctions. Bespoke Post ran a very informative article on the different types of fragrance concentrations a few months ago. Most aftershaves contain enough fragrance oils to run in the level just below eau de cologne, known as eau fraiche. Aftershaves normally have more healing and nourishing properties than a typical eau fraiche, which is traditionally solely fragrance-oriented. What Blaviar has developed is an aftershave whose fragrance lasts significantly longer than most traditional aftershave balms. I have been getting somewhere between three and four hours of noticeable fragrance from this balm. Contrast that with the more common “less than an hour” aftershave balms, and Blaviar’s “Sigma” is already a winner.
Of course, what good is a stronger fragrance if it’s not a good fragrance. This classic fougére opens with citrus and florals before settling on a mildish base comprised mostly of woods (cedar and sandalwood). I think this is a perfect year-round, office-friendly fragrance, suitable for just about any occasion. If you are not traditionally a fragrance wearer, this is the perfect jumping off point, as “Sigma” is very approachable, but complex enough to garner compliments. If you are a seasoned scent user, this aftershave balm wears extremely well as a layering piece. I would recommend adding something like Green Irish Tweed or Terre d’Hermes.
Finally (and obviously) the most important component of this review is how the Blaviar “Sigma” functions in its post-shave duties. I found this balm to be extremely nourishing and moisturizing after my shaves. While not greasy, I should mention that this balm is on the heavier side of aftershave balms. Some balms absorb almost instantaneously upon application, while others sit on your face, in a thick coating, never really penetrating your skin. This aftershave balm requires about half a minute to do its work. I didn’t mind this at all, because in my normal shaving routine I usually clean up my brush, razor, and bowl after applying my aftershave. This clean up is the perfect amount of time to the “Sigma” to settle in.
I am typically wary of products that claim to perform two jobs in one, like hair-and-body washes or shampoo/conditioner blends. In the end, they don’t seem to complete either task all that well. Blaviar’s “Sigma” aftershave balm stands out from that crowd. It functions well its post-shave treatment, and the fragrance is one I would wear as a standalone cologne.