Friday, 11 March 2011

Shaving: the cream of the crop

My blog entries on shaving (here on methods and here on blades) seem to have gone down well here. So I've been looking at a few different shaving preparations and trying them out.

First the cheapie. King of Shaves' Azor Advanced Shaving Gel Sensitive costs £2.99. It's presumably got some mint in it which is refreshing but a little offputting if you want to use your own choice of scent over the top of it. It's transparent and very slightly slimy - took a little rinsing off afterwards and I'd guess repeated use would start to clog a razor if you weren't careful. But hey, for three quid it's fine.

Moving a little upmarket there's Omorovicza Soothing Shave Cream. Smooth it onto your face, scrape away and rinse. The scent reminded me of Germoline from when I was a child. The smoothness of shave was beyond any doubt and the smell didn't hang around but for £17 I might have hoped for a little easier glide from the razor on my skin. Funnily enough I got this from the King of Shaves gear at almost a sixth of the price.

All of the above are non-foaming. Nothing wrong with that - except I'm in the habit of taking my glasses off before shaving, and a visible track of where the foam's vanished is a good way of checking you're not missing bits if you can only see a flesh-and-foam blur. It may just be me - the founder of King of Shaves actually started the business with a shave oil because he didn't want the bubbles.

I got a more foam with Ole Henriksen Clean Shave (pictured right), which felt and smelled more masculine than any of the other items on offer. It's got stuff like cucumber and Eucalyptus in it and it felt refreshing and pleasant to use. This would be a good choice for a daily routine if you can run to the £26 a bottle it goes for on Amazon; not everyone is going to be that flush but it's certainly pleasant to use. I aspire to the day I can make this my regular choice.

A little more old school is the soap I tried from - it's pleasant to use, only lightly scented and they also sell a relatively inexpensive shaving brush (£19.99 which, for genuine bristle and the amount of foam it'll hold and the heat it retains, compares favourably with a lot of brushes on the market). The soap, pictured left, is £24.99 but this does include a useful ceramic dish.

It also includes, as does the brush, a hell of a lot of packaging - as you can see from the picture, the presentation box is such that if you buy much of it someone from Greenpeace will come and personally duff you up (I don't mean this seriously, in case there are any lawyers reading). And although I enjoyed using the soap I couldn't find refills on the website, and wouldn't want to order yet another dish and presentation box. It's listed on the website under "gifts" so presumably they're only expecting to sell one-offs.

A few weeks ago I put an entry up including notes on my experience with The Bluebeards' Revenge, which you'll find for around £16. I'm still very fond of it. The Henriksen could probably supplant it as my favourite, but the price difference means it's probably not going to do so permanently for the moment.

Coming soon: the scent of a man - I'll be looking at aftershaves, Eaux de Toilette and colognes - starting with what the differences are between those terms!


  1. Thanks for this! Looking forward to the hext one (the difference) - Ole Henriksen sounds like it's worth a try!!!


  2. It is - it's just whether the difference between this and the others is worth the money. Up to you...

  3. Shaving creams should not just have a soothing and relaxing effect on one's skin but shaving creams should also nourish the skin like a water to a plant.


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