If you’re reading this, then I have no doubt you’ve heard of Al’s Shaving Products. They’ve been around for a while, and the big guns in the shaving world, folks like Mark H. (Mantic59), and Michael Ham (LeisureGuy) have given them great reviews. So who am I to judge? I figured it was time to find out.
I ordered a sample pack from Al’s website and it arrived fairly quickly. In the sample pack was an assortment of 7 small tins with creams in it. They are all very interesting and very pleasant scents. Highlights for me include Goodfellas, Al’s take on barbershop, Calabria, a citrusy-musky treat for the senses, and of course, Calypso, which is Al’s take on bay rum.
Let’s talk scent. Here is how Al describes it on his website:
Calypso can be described as cool, refreshing, bracing. There is also a warm, friendly, honest feel to this fragrance and one that is extremely natural. On top of this, there is also, strangely, a shadowy, deep, mysterious, spicy quality. The scent itself may be relatively simple but its impression is complex
Indeed! It is a very warm take on bay rum. And it seems to be built more on the middle and base notes, so you get a lot more of the spicier, sweeter, and more complex side of bay rum. Another thing to note is that once you get water involved the scent opens up, in the same way a great scotch will often open up a little after adding a splash of water to it. Really nice indeed. And the scent is quite present throughout the shave. It’s not light in any sense but also not strong enough to anger my sensitive skin. A very nice balance.
As for the lather, this does produce as advertised. It is often referred to as the bomb because very little of the product is needed to achieve the explosion of lather you will get when lathering this up. Seriously, I used a small amount of cream, and after a 3-pass shave I squeezed out my brush and scooped the leftovers from my mug and had a tennis-ball sized dollop of lather in my hand.
As for the performance, this is a very slick lather. Not as cushioning as, say, Taylor of Old Bond Street’s cream, but where it might lack in cushion, it makes up for in slickness. And let me just say that Taylor of Old Bond Street is so good at being cushioning, that it’s almost unfair to throw this comparison around. As for the lather life, it did feel slightly thinner on the 3rd pass, but still provided an ultra-slick layer of glide for my razor (a Merkur Futur set on 1 for the last pass).
The price for a tub of Al’s is a little higher, but the soap is a little more dense, and you also need less of it to get the same, or more, lather out of it. It really is as advertised, a lathering beast! A very excellent-smelling lathering beast.
- Scent – 5
- Lather Performance – 4.5
- Lather Life – 4.5
- Overall – 4.5