Retro Drugstore Score: Pinaud Clubman Styling Gel

Founded by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud in 1810, Pinaud “can be found in virtually every barber shop and men's club across the United States,” according to its website. Now, that’s a claim we look forward to testing on a zany cross-country grooming road trip one day! For now, we’ll take their word for it.

The Score

Founded by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud in 1810, Pinaud “can be found in virtually every barber shop and men's club across the United States,” according to its website. Now, that’s a claim we look forward to testing on a zany cross-country grooming road trip one day! For now, we’ll take their word for it.

Pinaud has some pretty neat history. According to the brand's site, Edouard Pinaud served as the perfumer for the court of Napoleon III and created his first aftershave, “Lilac Vegetal” for the Hungarian calvalry. We suppose if you’re supplying an army, you produce in bulk. That might explain why the Clubman Styling Gel we scored from Amazon comes in a 16-ounce plastic jar. That’s right, a full pound.

The Verdict

The somewhat off-putting smell of Clubman—along the lines of Lime Jell-O mixed with petroleum and the ineffable essence of…possibly diaper(?)—is completely redeemed by the most excellent and regal icon of the Pinaud Clubman gentleman. He looks like a mashup Mr. Peanut and Oscar Wilde.

As for the consistency: It's goopy. If it weren’t for a smell that stings the nostrils, we could see ourselves accidentally shaving with this stuff one a bleary-eyed morning. It’s that goopy.

Many of Clubman Styling Gel’s claims are similar to that of Vitalis Hair Tonic. It promises to keep hair “neat, and well groomed all day,” and for the most part, it succeeded. It did, however, leave our locks a little matted. Perhaps because we used too much? Because it comes in such a large size, we were inclined to use a lot of it. Call it the “clean plate club kid” in us. That’s probably not a thing in France.

The website also brags: “Bob Hope was a lifelong fan of the products, as are Kirk Douglas and Donald Trump, which proves that quality never goes out of style.” Could the combination of Clubman and a cotton candy machine be the secret to the Donald’s infamous hair style? Give the slightly crispifying and matting effect it had on us, we're guessing that claims of the Trump's affinity for this green goop have been greatly exaggerated.

For a full list of Birchbox Man’s Retro Drugstore Scores, go here.

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