This classic from ALPA continues my journey through the world of Czech cologne and shaving lotions.
According to the sources available to me, the most important of which is the website of the company itself (which also has a German language attitude, although it occasionally jolts and jolts a little linguistically), the company was founded in 1913 in Moravian Brno (Brno), which at that time belonged to the Danube Monarchy, and was initially specialised in, indeed actually, Franzbranntwein. This curious product (who still uses something like this today...?) still seems to be the top seller of the ALPA range, at any rate it is probably the only one that (in a striking blue-white-yellow design, which probably almost everyone recognizes when they see it) is also widely distributed in pharmacies, drugstores etc. in Germany
ALPA survived the two wars and communism, moved from Brno to Velke Mezirici (Great Meserich) on the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, was nationalised and privatised in 1994 (I couldn't find anything about the ownership structure, but the company seems to be owned by the Czech Republic and not by a group affiliate) and in the course of time has developed a product portfolio with which one can fill almost an entire drugstore. There are sun creams, massage oils, toothpastes, shampoos, foot sprays and everything else you need to prevent our fleeting and fragile body from getting bored too fast
While the brand has either never dared to make the leap into the fragrance business in the narrowest sense (perfumes and toilet waters) or at some point reversed it is fully involved in the Cologne waters (eight products currently on offer) and shaving waters (four plus lotions and pre-shaves). I have secured a good part of the products from my fishing line described elsewhere and can say that the design is quite unique. I don't know if you consciously make on "vintage" or simply the flacons (there are outer packaging as far as I can't see) together with labels since the 1920s or 1950s (this one here maybe since the 1960s or 1970s) hasn't changed for cost reasons, but that all looks very good, this also contributes to the fact that the batch number is hammered onto the front of the label as brutally as possible with a chatter stamp (can also be seen here on the product illustration of Parfumo), which gives it a bit of the flair of "water for the working masses".
Now specifically to Windsor Voda po holeni. One opens the puristic bottle and first encounters a large pouring opening. Splash devices are clearly overrated, this honest aftershave is not intended for spraying anyway. The first fragrance impression is a bit unsorted alcoholic. If that's resolved after a few seconds, then hello!
To start with the bottom line: Windsor has become a cornerstone and a reference product in my collection. It's a really special, very, very pleasant fragrance that I give the 9 points to without the slightest nostalgia or curiosity bonus. I perceive it as fresh (but not citric), spicy in a very special way (with a very light sweetness that gives it a nice warmth and softness) and very very clean (with a small tendency towards pleasant soap). Above all, however, the association with "HERRENSALON" immediately urged me here. I can hardly define what constitutes the special "Barbershop" fragrance, probably everyone understands something different by it. I am therefore also reserved with the label. But here, although the name and design of this fragrance do not depend on it, here is an immediate picture of how the neck and the hair roots on the ears are cleaned with the razor blade and then some nice little water is patched on it. All in all, the fragrance seems to me to be quite tricky and complex, thoroughly composed and quite honest and down-to-earth, but by no means as simple and straightforward as the "Diplomat" from the competitor house "Astrid" who I reviewed last.
What's in the water now? The manufacturer's website reads "Wood citrus fruit with herbal elements". Hmm. I sniff wood only limitedly, citrus actually not at all (although there is probably something in it, the official list of ingredients shows citral, limonene and the whole stuff. In my opinion, however, the fragrance is not characterized in this way.
Perhaps the internet shop "Pomade Shop" will help you, where you can buy this little water for cheap money even without travelling across the border. There the picture of an imperial-royal hairdresser in Budapest, Vienna or Prague is designed in the most beautiful advertising poetry (aha, that's what they came up with independently of me), and then they write, God knows where they got it from, you smell "cognac, menthol, juniper and laurel" and the scent is the "Austro-Hungarian answer to the American Bay rum aftershaves". I don't know the Bay Rums yet, but overall it sounds convincing.
"Windsor" contains caring allantoin, you can see that too, but it is not as blatant viscose-glycerinous as "Diplomat".
The projection is medium and the durability too. It is clearly below that of shaving waters such as "Floid" or "Caldey for Men", which I still smell in the evening and which for me are therefore not classic EdRs, and the short-term fresh fun of 30-120 min, which (from my point of view) typical simple shaving waters offer. I can still perceive the soft, somewhat creamy spiciness of "Windsor" after 4-5 hours if I stroke my cheek with my hand.
For the non-Czechs (well, I'm not a Czech either), I'd like to say a few words about the title of this commentary. "Holit" tears shave, and both "Voda po holeni" (aftershave) and "Holicsky Salon" (barbershop) are derived from it. So (or simply holic) is the name of the barber hairdresser (whereas the ladies hairdresser is called "kadernik"). And for me, this is indeed my "barbershop scent" from now on.