Tag Archives: Barrister & Mann

Review: 42 Shaving Soap by Barrister And Mann

42 Shaving Soap by Barrister & Mann

42 Shaving Soap by Barrister & Mann

42.  It is “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”, according to one of my favorite books ever, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I loved the books so much I even have a gold-embossed collector’s edition hardcopy of the entire trilogy.  Yes, all 5 books!!

So grab your towels my friends, because that is exactly the one thing you need when you’re a galactic hitchhiker.  That and, if you’re lucky, a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: an alcoholic beverage which, when drunk, feels “like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped ’round a large gold brick”.  This drink happens happens to be one of the ingredients of this incredible smelling soap.  Ok, Don’t Panic, I’ll start making sense now.

First things first, this is a very limited edition soap that was created to celebrate Towel Day, which is a celebration of the life and writings of Douglas Adams, the author of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  When I got an email from Barrister & Mann announcing that only 140 jars would be made, I had to get one immediately.  And this is now my go-to soap.

I have reviewed B&M’s Seville before, giving it the rare 5/5 stars.  The performance is just about the same for this tallow soap, and while I will not edit my previous review, I will bring it back just slightly from the edge of perfection, because I didn’t -always- get a perfect lather.  That said, what I like about this soap is that if lathered up right, in the right conditions, it is just that, perfect.  It’s super cushioning, it’s super slick, and it rinses clean and easy.  For me perfection was found in face lathering with a boar brush (my Semogue Owner’s Club boar brush), which with a good amount of water, and a decent amount of swirling, produced a super rich lather that was enough for a minimum of 4 exceptional passes.  It’s hard for B&M’s soap to let you down, thought a few times I didn’t get the lather I hoped for when using my Da Vinci badger.

When I first saw this soap, I -really- hoped that I would like the scent.  I love the books, the story, the characters, and I’m sure the style of the writing influences even the style of these reviews.  And seriously, it was not a letdown.  The scent is awesome.  Like Arthur Dent, the main character, it’s distinctly British.  It is very much a gentlemanly scent that could fit right in with some of the old-time British soaps like Truefitt & Hill and Taylor of Old Bond Street.  It’s citrusy-floraly with a hint of muskiness and … well, downright Britishness.  But Britishness with a bit of an aloof character to it.  To be direct, it’s a mixture of items plucked from the storyline: Petunia, Ambergris, Tea, and Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, which for the sake of simplicity, is lemon.  It’s a light, fresh, and delicious scent that’s perfect for summer, and it is my absolute go-to soap, probably until it’s all gone.

I’d say get some, but you can’t, because like I said, it’s limited edition.  You may notice that I like to start my reviews by saying I’m a lucky guy.  I figured in tribute to the silly nature of Douglas Adams, I would end with it: To be one of the few people in the world to have this soap in my rotation, yeah, I’m a lucky guy.

  • Scent – 5 (well done)
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

 

Review: Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash - Bay Rum

Barrister & Mann Kyovu Aftershave Splash – Bay Rum

Ahh the life of a fake pirate is good.  There’s nothing like pretending to be on an old pirate ship, completely not at sea, nor smelling the salty air.  I also am very lucky because don’t have to pay attention to the upkeep of our cannons, mainly due to the fact that I don’t have any.  But what I do have is this incredible aftershave on my face that makes me think that indeed I am sailing the seas in search of rum, women, and booty.  Often the latter two are one in the same.

Today’s smell is one I often wear.  Barrister & Mann’s Kyovu Aftershave Splash in Bay Rum.  Kyovu comes in three scents:  Bay Rum, Seville (the scent of which I have already given a tremendous amount of love), and Cheshire, which is a lovely patchouli-based scent.  But this bay rum.  Yeah, it’s awesome.  Yet another take on bay rum that is just outrageously good.

First off, it’s alcohol free.  So this should reside right at the front line of your “My skin is a bit irritated today” aftershaves.  And for a splash, this has a lot of botanical ingredients that make this feel like you just put on a balm.  It starts out with two of the best ingredients for aftershaves:  witch hazel and aloe.  Awesome.  And then there are a half dozen or so botanicals, like lavender water, willow bark extract, Qinoa extract, cucumber water…  I could go on.  The ingredients list is very large, and for the most part they are not the hard-to-pronounce chemicals.  It’s just a large list of botanicals.  Really really awesome.  And it definitely feels that way when you put it on.  Ingredients-wise, I friggin love this stuff.  One special ingredient is panthenol, a powerful redness reducer and moisturizer.  And yes, it does reduce redness, which can come in handy considering how often you shred your neck with that blade.  Easy son…

As for the scent.  Here we have a really nice take on bay rum.  Luckily the maker of this stuff lists out his bay rum scent profile:

a rich, spicy blend of West Indie Bay oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Styrax Benzoin (a warm, woody vanilla scent) and a touch of Cinnamon

Let me tell you something… That is a really great blend.  No clove, and no christmas potpourri worries here.  Strait up bay with that orange/cinnamon scent.  Now the benzoin, which you don’t see too often, is a damn-near perfect ingredient for this profile.  That woody/vanilla base is just right up my alley for what I like in a bay rum.  And it’s something I’m going to look for in future bay rum purchases.  The combination is a really spicy warm sweet bay rum.  Really really awesome stuff.

And let me tell you something.  I have all three scents.  You really should at least order a sample of this Kyovu stuff.  I feel strongly that you will love it.  If bay rum is not your thing, then don’t even think twice about trying the Seville scent.  I can’t get enough.

Review: Barrister & Mann – Seville Shaving soap

Barrister And Mann - Seville Shaving Soap

Barrister And Mann – Seville Shaving Soap

Recently, I’ve been doing several writeups on the new generation in shaving products.  Not your traditional names like Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, or D.R. Harris.  True, those guys have been around for a long time, and theres a very good reason for that.  But there is a new crop of shavemakers that truly deserve some high-end recognition because their products are just outstanding.  And recently I have added a new favorite to my list:  Barrister & Mann.

I recently ordered a sampler pack of their soaps, which also came with a sample of their awesome Kyovu aftershave.  The aftershave will get a separate review another time because it’s that good.  For today, I want to tell you about the first soap in their sampler that I have tried, Seville.  Oh man is it good.

This is a tallow soap, which is a breakaway from what seems to be the normal in the new generation of soaps and creams.  Most of them are vegan, or at least non-tallow soaps.  And they’re good.  They’re really good.  And this soap is on par with them all the way, and meets the demand of those shavers out there who prefer tallow soaps.

The scent is a blend of everything that is right in the world.  I have been a bay rum guy for a long time, but this scent is muscling its way into the #1 spot in my routine.  It’s an amazing barbershop scent that just leaves me floored with how good it is.  It’s a blend of bergamot, lemon, patchouli, oakmoss, lavender and rosemary.  I’m sure most of you are scratching your heads trying to imagine the scent, and thats why I almost hesitate to list it.  When lathering, shaving, even rinsing, the scent is the right blend, at the right strength.  This is one of those rare scents that simply take you away from the daily grind and make shaving something you want to do.  When you hear dorks like me say “the zen of shaving”, it’s scents like these that make up the zen part.  Have I mentioned yet that I like this scent…. a lot…?

As for performance, this stuff is right up there with the best.  I used my Duke 2 badger brush and built up a substantial lather, that was exquisitely thick and creamy.  It whips up super easy compared to other tallow soaps, that can sometimes flatten.  It does exactly what you’ve come to expect from a quality soap, giving your face an ultra-slick and cushioning layer of protection.  The razor glides with ease right through the whisker, leaving your skin feeling untouched yet as smooth as it can get.

One more thing to mention, their prices are outstanding for the quality inside of these products.  This is one of the better price-to-value ratios in the market.  Once you try them out, you’ll feel like you just ripped them off.  In my opinion, you did.

I say it all the time:  I’m a lucky man.  And I’m lucky now because I still have an entire sampler pack of Barrister & Mann soaps to go through.  And one of them is a bay rum.  Oh yeah.  Life is good.  Barrister & Mann is great.  Get some.

  • Scent – 5
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

5’s are for those things that just seem impossible to prove.  The scent is great, the lather is great, super slick and super protective, and is easy to whip up.  The lather lasts wonderfully for a full three-pass shave and then some.  I can’t think of any way to improve it.  How can I not give it a full 5.  Nice work guys.  Nice work.