The Drake range is an invitation to travel to distant islands, across oceans and centuries… Drake draws its inspiration from romanticized piracy, and the products are based on a traditional and timeless fragrance: Bay Rum.
Drake - On the origins of a special range
Drake's shaving brush
Drake was originally an American brand of shaving brushes that fell into oblivion a long time ago. I fell in love with one of their designs: slender black handle, facets along the base, and a hint of colour at the waistband. This Drake shaving brush had the elegance, colours and shape that fit perfectly into Darwin’s universe.
With the Drake brand name registered, I set about redesigning the original Drake shaving brush, so that I could offer it to a new generation of enthusiasts. The current model is a bit bigger, wider, but still keeps the elegant lines of the original model. For the knot, I opted for real badger hair, as I like it: very soft, good backbone, short. The result was beyond my expectations, its unusual size does not go unnoticed, and its shaving qualities are already proven.
A pirate's range
Once the Drake brush was recreated, I decided to include it in a different range, named after it. The name Drake not only had the quality of starting with a D, but also evoked for me Sir Francis Drake, a privateer who in the 16th century travelled the seven seas to defend the royal crown of England. I was therefore freely inspired by his history, his time and his profession to create the Drake range around the theme of piracy. And if you look closely at the original logo, the letters seem to be made of bones…
It was now time to find the right presentation for such a brush, such a project. I was looking for a container that would not be disposable (no more single-use cardboard packaging, it’s recyclable of course, but we can do better). The study of the world of piracy brought me the solution quickly, a barrel! A good old wooden barrel had the right shape, the reusability that suits me, and of course the right look.
Drake's Bay Rum
Story of a laurel concoction
Once upon a time there was a pirate named Drake, who was in love with a mermaid. The mermaid loved him very much but could not give in to his advances, repelled by his prickly beard. So Drake travelled the seven seas in search of a lasting solution to this untamable beard. It was in a small, secluded port that Drake met Darwin, an apothecary from Brittany, who recommended his quality products for a clean shave. Drake set about the task straight away, and his beard put up little resistance, leaving a smooth skin and a confident smile on the pirate’s face. He then returned to his beloved, who offered no resistance to the call of love and a soft face.
Drake designed his Bay Rum fragrance with the apothecary, so that it would be like him. His booty, his travels and his adventures are reflected in the spicy notes of this Bay Rum, and here we are at his side on the deck: we smell the sun of the West Indies at the opening, fruity, acidulous. Then come notes reminiscent of the daily life of sailors: cedar wood from the ship, lemon to fight scurvy, rum to warm the soul and precious spices in the holds. Finally, just when you think the sea has taken everything from you, the gunpowder speaks and the fire lights up the deck, leaving you in the smokey remains of what was. Drake has survived to bring us his favourite aftershave, and Darwin is honoured to be able to offer it to you.
Drake's Bay Rum - Composition
Bay Rum is a traditional fragrance, whose centuries-old recipe is based on laurel, alcohol and spices. From this base, it is the choice of ingredients, spices, their origin, their dosage… that will make all the flavour and the particularity. Ours contains these different ingredients:
- St Thomas berry and bay leaf: two similar fruits that remind us of bay leaves, but soften them. Where the bay leaf is green and bitter, the bayberry is fruitier, sweeter and milder.
- Citron: Native to India, it brings a woody and fruity note at the same time. It is a citrus fruit similar to lemon, with a fragrance reminiscent of cedar.
- Frankincense: woody, quite mineral smell, with slightly spicy aspects.
- amber rum: warm, sweet, spicy.
- ambergris: powdery, warm, it helps to link the different notes and gives a nice depth to the fragrance.
- cade (juniper) wood: smoky woody
Drake's duck fat shaving soap
Drake’s shaving soap differs from other Darwin soaps in that it includes dodo… no duck fat in its composition for a thicker lather and suppler skin.
Did you know? In English, “drake” means a male duck. This is why I wanted to study the addition of its fat in the formulation, and the result is there. The dodo on the packaging is therefore an avian reminder, an echo of the mallard: inhabitant of a distant exotic island, and coming from a bygone era, its image seemed to me more interesting and closer to the world of piracy than our good old French mallard.
The bowl is made of real coconut shell. This one comes from Vietnam, where it is a by-product of the food industry. Cleaned and polished, it is light and strong. Once your soap is finished, keep it as a shaving bowl, as its natural roughness is very effective in helping to build a lather!
Drake's Shaving Soap
Discover our Drake range in this short video :
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