Zartgefuehl aka Zartgefühl Men’s Secret Aftershave Balm | 100ml | Made in Germany


Everybody wants some | Handmade in Germany | nee Prinz aka Prince Charming

SKU: zartmenssecretbalm Categories: ,


sample = as much as can be jammed within a ~24x12mm plastic reservoir via lil’ wooden stick [w/o touching balm or spilling beyond jar base’s top when sealed]

Welcome to the *only* stock-keeping-unit we have, out of ~370, that commands get-on-your-knees demand.  My wife’s joked it should be listed as an “invitation only” item, like Hermes – contact your sales representative for further information… spend often and deeply, and you’re then invited to buy.  Funny thing is, she’s right; you could list this balm that way and there would be some poor humans dumb enough to engage for it.

I get why Jay Leno won’t have a Ferrari, and I, too, don’t want my wife to ever humor Hermes for behaving as they see fit (though she already has, for she’s just one of their didn’t-get-the-bag-that-matters low level suckers)“We’re not going to sell this to just anybody” is how Hermes/Ferrari disingenuously approach the concept of making the actual cost of an item much more than any advertised retail price, the true figure shrouded in secrecy.

Please, if you’re wealthy; don’t reward such behavior with money, even if it is the finest aftershave balm on this planet.  Which, perhaps, this is.  Were it a stable thing I’d give it the crown, but it has to be babied, doesn’t like jostling or hot or cold, so it is the best with caveats.

Anyway…along with their fine shaving soap, we’ve also got Zartgefühl‘s awfully awry ‘Men’s Secret’ (nee Prinz Charming) balm, too.  Let it be known; it remains an unhappy and poorly-fulfilled life for all that do not try this odd stuff – they just don’t know that yet, and perhaps that makes them better off for it.

Actually, it is happiest not to know, for to know invites in to your heart and mind that most awful robber of joy, “comparison”.

Don’t nobody not like this one – it is impossible.   This is the least-elastic SKU we’ve ever had the pleasure to handle, and this will NEVER be for sale on The Big River of Fakes.

Surely snobby shaving-dom’s most unique embalming agent, the Prince goes upon your skin heavier than an ultra-experienced State Farm Insurance adjuster‘s patiently-delivered-with-a-straight-face horse manure, with feel from the jar ranging from a thick shortening consistency to a moderate mayonnaise to a runny ice cream sifted with a fine, silty sand.

Don’t you worry of that physical consistency variance, however, for this cannot be denied; regardless of the variable feel in the hand, a tiny pea’s worth of the goods selected via your baby wooden spatula (to keep its ever-pure ingredients just that)   vigorously rubbed into wet skin leaves one in absolute heaven in about half an hour.   Your skin is SOFT!

Whilst some – myself, for one – could wax on far too long about the tremendous inelasticity of this most special of SKUs, suffice to say we’ve a impossibly cheap looooong term customer (he’s bought since 2010!) retiree ~1hr south of us, a human of accomplished means [he’s an emm dee].  This fellow never submits anything but minimum value + heavy + inexpensive orders, so as to maximize the bang-for-the-buck stupid no-such-thing-on-this-planet ‘Free Shipping’ setup we, like many, use for humoring fools.  That dude has bought this very costly stuff…TWICE!

If you knew what is known here, that would boggle your mind.    The world’s cheapest bastards do not spring for the sherry cask, you see, no matter how much means they’ve obtained, or how little time they’ve left on their actuary’s good lifespan clock; there’s something cheaper similar, is there not?   Of course there is, you moron.

And yet, this most devoutly-frugal of men bought this Prince Charming / Men’s Secret stuff, presumably after his previously-purchased sample was fully consumed via a rubber spatula, where undoubted hours were spent perfectly coupling that spatula to the sample reservoir’s interior boundaries.

I’ll prefer being poor over being cheap any day, because when I went to India for a wedding in 2004 (I was actually something of a wedding celebrity, because whoever traveled the furthest to attend the wedding is designated in various wedding ceremonies as a special person) I saw plenty of incredibly poor people that seemed, shockingly, really happy.  They shook my world.  They were seemingly free of meaningful Earthly possessions, and yet they were happy.  They were what one in the Western Hemisphere must qualify as special people, and yet they were not rare.  I saw lots of them.  Still think about it, even in a float tank as I’m about to go into ~sleep.

I once heard a hilarious story about Maria Shriver’s frugality, that she was on Nantucket and got a cookie at a bakery and balked at the price, remarking that it doesn’t matter how rich you are, “no cookie is worth $___.”  I get it.  “Worth” is hard to measure, because what’s worth something to someone is worth less, or more, to another.  Price/quality tradeoffs are not linear in the beer-and-pretzel exchange, and some rare people don’t give a shit – they just want to be to the far right on the quality line, and price be damned.

So, what’s unique about Men’s Secret balm?

Well, sourcing naturally-occurring versions of commonly-synthesized cosmetics products for the ingredients, for one; that adds heavily to cost.

In perhaps the most staunchly-impractical display of idealism in wet shaving software, Men’s Secret balm has neither water nor alcohol nor preservatives nor stabilizers.  The consistency is not stable…at all.  Batches vary even piece to piece within each shipment.  Most water-free aftershave options employ beeswax for stability, but this stuff with its pure shea butter base runs the gamut of whipped butter to softer than a cannoli’s innards to a sandy/liquidy ‘tweener.   A solution, not a compound, it has no internal defense to separation.   Expose to heat and it liquifies.  Get too cold and it becomes dense, gritty sand.  It is like a mogwai.

The most glorious consistency is obtained if the product is kept ~60° F / ~16° C, where it is rather like original Crisco... 60°F is about as low as you can go without it starting to thicken, while higher temps makes it thinner.   It is, in essence, the shea butter equivalent of ghee, with fragrance added via a costly essential oil.  And nothing more.  I heartily agree, I like it best when consistency’s right in that middle zone, served cool to a face, but never cold, and NEVER warm.

Function’s unaffected, though, as temperature variances don’t impart a chemical change (such as with spoiled milk for example).   Some users keep theirs in a wine fridge around ~60°F, using less volume (but, one presumes, an equal weight than if at room temp), rubbing on clean palms until feeling like a flat thin grease slick instead of sandy frosting, and bludgeoning the still-moist skin with that…it feels absolutely terrific in just a bit, and dedicating it to the wine chiller saves on the AC costs at the house when out for the day, for if you live in the hot parts of the US and allow your house up to ~78°F when you’re not at home, “the Prince” (now “Men’s Secret”) will _not_ be happy.

Zartgefuehl could *easily* have forced a permanent light/whipped texture via the aid of the tiniest addition of some supplemental stabilizers, but they are stubborn, and they wanted only the best absolutely uncompromised ingredients.   One must adore idealistic people, and idealist companies more and more as they age – for it is a most admirable quality to be so stubborn, and a key to why anyone can become a closeted Francophile once they take on the virtue of the French patience in their maturation.   Bless Earth’s brilliantly stubborn idealists with their degrees in chemistry, we all are their benefactors!

The calmness imparted to the face once Men’s Secret absorbs is, simply put, remarkable.  Everyone loves it! Two hours on you’ll, never feel better, and while it’d be spiffy if all that were possible with a light feeling going on (think Pond’s cold cream next to your butter in the fridge), that’s wishful thinking.  To love him is to love that thickness, and if you find something that makes your face feel softer, sell some to ‘ole TSS.

Apply to wet skin, working the buttery balm into the moisture left on your face.   Top off with a little toner if that’s your preference, but don’t use too much.   I like a bit of toner myself, but I still want to feel the tiniest bit of grease, it makes the feeling +1hr on better.

Use as little balm as possible, a cornea’s worth (about the size of small baby green pea) is entirely sufficient.   Expect almost a year of daily action from a 100ml tub.  Keep the tub cool, not cold, and never warm.   Use with a little wooden stick or very clean hands’ fingernails scraping the top of what you’ve got left like a little squeegee.

There is a quite light but distinct sandalwood/citrus/powder odor from Men’s Secret, as with fine French talcum powders.  It is certainly a delightful scent, but it is subtle.  This isn’t an alcohol-based splash and it isn’t a water-based USA-made aftershave, either.

We offer a 30 day return-for-full-refund policy on most things we sell, including this SKU.  Would you believe, in over ten years of selling this stuff, nobody’s ever  sent it back?

Additional information


100ml Jar, 100ml Jar (SOME DENTS AS ARRIVED), 24x14mm Sample Jar