01-08-2016, 07:53 AM
#1
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I want some help from you all. When I first started out wet shaving I suppose my main goal was to find performance for my razors from shave creams/soaps.  As I get into this and experience more and more scents, I'm finding myself wanting more refinement, more complexity from the soaps.  Now I understand that there has to be a limit to the amount of refinement a soap can have because they can't spend as much on the essential oils and fragrance oils that would create some amazing fragrance like a cologne yet still keep the soap or cream affordable, but I was just wondering, what soaps/artisans/creams do you guys find to have the most complex and interesting scents?  I'd love to hear some of your favorite scents and artisans out there.

Right now the best ones I've found are probably PAA and Cold River Soap Works but I'm open to anything out there, no matter the price.  I guess I find myself more and more wanting the FULL shaving experience from a soap, performance, scent, etc.

Let me know what are your favorites. I hear Barrister and Mann has some interesting ones? I've tried Cheshire and it was nice but similar to some other products I have already.  How is the Saponificio Varesino?

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 01-08-2016, 08:04 AM
#2
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Mystic Water - Egyptian Dragon
Caties Bubbles - QVC, LPV, LTV (In that Order)
MDC - Fougere or Original
LASC - Santa Monica Bay Rum or Topanga Fougere
BWW - Jolly Roger
B & M - Leviathon
I Coloniali - Mango Oil Shave Soap

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 01-08-2016, 08:16 AM
#3
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Here are some of my favorites:
  • LASSCo Topanga Fougere and Bespoke 
  • MdC Fougere
  • Bufflehead Tishomingo and A1A
  • Czech & Speake 88
  • Caties Bubbles LPV
Give these a try if you can and you will not be dissapointed

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 01-08-2016, 08:24 AM
#4
  • Steelman
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  • Delaware
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I'll add...

Floris #89 shave cream in blue tube
SMN Tobacco Toscano cream
PannaCrema Nuavia Rossa
Meissner Dark Limes

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 01-08-2016, 08:35 AM
#5
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Pannacrema Nuavia Rossa?  Where does one acquire that and what is it like? Is SMN Santa Maria Novella?

To those that recommend Martin de Candre, why the fougure?  Is it that incredible?  I've wanted some of that soap for a very long time and its lack of availability here typically keeps me from trying it.  I'm glad you guys are kicking in some recommendations and I appreciate it.

Unfortunately, i'm not sure Bufflehead has restocked their site for three or four months now, unless I missed the window but yea, that was a soap thats on my radar.

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 01-08-2016, 08:58 AM
#6
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You can find the PannaCrema soaps on their website; just google the name.  

With regards to complex scents in soaps, I have enjoyed Mystic Water, Barrister & Mann, and PannaCrema Nuavia.

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 01-08-2016, 08:59 AM
#7
  • ARGH
  • Senior Member
  • Boston, MA
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Here is my list


Barrister and Mann:
  • Le Grand Chypre
  • Lavanille (controversial scent, love it or hate in my opinion. I personally love it very much)
  • Fireside
  • Leviathan (also controversial scent, it took me a bit to learn how to appreciate it)
SV:
  • Colonia
  • Flying Mango
LPL:
  • Cedar Patchouli
  • Lavender Vetiver
  • Dandy
Hope you find it useful!

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 01-08-2016, 10:36 AM
#8
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(01-08-2016, 08:59 AM)ARGH Wrote: Here is my list


Barrister and Mann:
  • Le Grand Chypre
  • Lavanille (controversial scent, love it or hate in my opinion. I personally love it very much)
  • Fireside
  • Leviathan (also controversial scent, it took me a bit to learn how to appreciate it)
SV:

  • Colonia
  • Flying Mango
LPL:
  • Cedar Patchouli
  • Lavender Vetiver
  • Dandy
Hope you find it useful!

I actually find this thread very helpful, especially all of the recommendations from Barrister and Mann which is an affordable soap compared to some of the other tippy top luxury soaps mentioned here so that is really cool actually. I'm going to investigate Lavanille and Fireside.  I see that Le Grande Chypre isn't available anymore.

Before this thread I had not heard anyone praising LPL for anything other than their performance so that is interesting as well.

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 01-08-2016, 12:08 PM
#9
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I'm really into fragrances and review them for a German website. I'm also annoyingly picky, hard to please, and snobbish about the use of cheap fragrance oils. With that disclaimer, here are some of my picks for best scents:

PannaCrema Nuavia Blu (complex spicy fragrance that uses high quality fragrance oils)

Martin de Candre Fougere (soapy clean fougere fragrance - smells very refreshing)

Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere (new version) (as much as I love the old colonia version, I prefer the new one - smells like almond, high quality essential oils, and money)

Tabula Rasa Steampunk (a violet-based fragrance that somehow conjures images of the steampunk aesthetic)

Barrister & Mann Cologne Russe (a cologne-style fragrance with a spicy/leathery Russian aesthetic - very nice in an aftershave splash)

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements CAD (reminds me of Fine American Barbershop aftershave - barbershop aesthetic with a slightly sweet twist)

XPEC (if you are not into fragrances, and don't know what a chypre is, you might just hate this scent - nevertheless, it reminds me of a very well done $1250 perfume)

and from the top-shelf fragrance brands, basically anything by...

Creed

Penhaligon's

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 01-08-2016, 01:48 PM
#10
  • Wrathen
  • Senior Member
  • Gulf Breeze, FL
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I'm going to have to look into a few of these.

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 01-08-2016, 04:21 PM
#11
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(01-08-2016, 12:08 PM)NeoXerxes Wrote: I'm really into fragrances and review them for a German website. I'm also annoyingly picky, hard to please, and snobbish about the use of cheap fragrance oils. With that disclaimer, here are some of my picks for best scents:

PannaCrema Nuavia Blu (complex spicy fragrance that uses high quality fragrance oils)

Martin de Candre Fougere (soapy clean fougere fragrance - smells very refreshing)

Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere (new version) (as much as I love the old colonia version, I prefer the new one - smells like almond, high quality essential oils, and money)

Tabula Rasa Steampunk (a violet-based fragrance that somehow conjures images of the steampunk aesthetic)

Barrister & Mann Cologne Russe (a cologne-style fragrance with a spicy/leathery Russian aesthetic - very nice in an aftershave splash)

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements CAD (reminds me of Fine American Barbershop aftershave - barbershop aesthetic with a slightly sweet twist)

XPEC (if you are not into fragrances, and don't know what a chypre is, you might just hate this scent - nevertheless, it reminds me of a very well done $1250 perfume)

and from the top-shelf fragrance brands, basically anything by...

Creed

Penhaligon's

Wow this is great information and descriptions.

I have heard some polarizing things about xpec and the pannacrema. Why do you guys like these products? I feel like you all have excellent noses and I'm trying to get some feedback contrary to what I've heard like too strong or weird or whatever else I've heard.

This thread has all but guaranteed I'm getting martin de candre and some barrister and mann products by the way.

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 01-08-2016, 04:26 PM
#12
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(01-08-2016, 04:21 PM)SCShaver Wrote:
(01-08-2016, 12:08 PM)NeoXerxes Wrote: I'm really into fragrances and review them for a German website. I'm also annoyingly picky, hard to please, and snobbish about the use of cheap fragrance oils. With that disclaimer, here are some of my picks for best scents:

PannaCrema Nuavia Blu (complex spicy fragrance that uses high quality fragrance oils)

Martin de Candre Fougere (soapy clean fougere fragrance - smells very refreshing)

Acqua di Parma Collezione Barbiere (new version) (as much as I love the old colonia version, I prefer the new one - smells like almond, high quality essential oils, and money)

Tabula Rasa Steampunk (a violet-based fragrance that somehow conjures images of the steampunk aesthetic)

Barrister & Mann Cologne Russe (a cologne-style fragrance with a spicy/leathery Russian aesthetic - very nice in an aftershave splash)

Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements CAD (reminds me of Fine American Barbershop aftershave - barbershop aesthetic with a slightly sweet twist)

XPEC (if you are not into fragrances, and don't know what a chypre is, you might just hate this scent - nevertheless, it reminds me of a very well done $1250 perfume)

and from the top-shelf fragrance brands, basically anything by...

Creed

Penhaligon's

Wow this is great information and descriptions.

I have heard some polarizing things about xpec and the pannacrema. Why do you guys like these products? I feel like you all have excellent noses and I'm trying to get some feedback contrary to what I've heard like too strong or weird or whatever else I've heard.

This thread has all but guaranteed I'm getting martin de candre and some barrister and mann products by the way.
PannaCrema Nuavia is brilliant. On top of the performance (which is probably the best that I've tried), the scent smells like it was constructed using a proper perfumer and top quality fragrance oils. I love it! The number one of the two irreplaceable soaps in my rotation, along with Martin de Candre Fougere.

As for XPEC, it's a great cream. Performance is awesome, especially slickness. I don't own it only because there are other creams that I like (or might like if I get ahold of them) better, but it's a quality product. The scent is one of those things that requires acclimation. It is in the chypre genre of perfumery which can be very divisive. Some find chypres to smell very old, dated, and unpleasant. But those who are into perfumery as an art tend to find the chypre genre as one of the most refined of them all. A good example of a chypre fragrance is Guerlain Mitsouko, while the one that I mentioned that XPEC reminds me of is Roja Dove's Diaghilev (which goes for $1250 for a 100 ml bottle).

I just realized that I forgot another great scent (others have probably slipped me mind also) - Czech & Speake Oxford & Cambridge. This is one of the best lavender fragrances I have come across and performance matches the quality of the scent.

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 01-08-2016, 04:28 PM
#13
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(01-08-2016, 07:53 AM)SCShaver Wrote: I want some help from you all. When I first started out wet shaving I suppose my main goal was to find performance for my razors from shave creams/soaps.  As I get into this and experience more and more scents, I'm finding myself wanting more refinement, more complexity from the soaps.  Now I understand that there has to be a limit to the amount of refinement a soap can have because they can't spend as much on the essential oils and fragrance oils that would create some amazing fragrance like a cologne yet still keep the soap or cream affordable, but I was just wondering, what soaps/artisans/creams do you guys find to have the most complex and interesting scents?  I'd love to hear some of your favorite scents and artisans out there.

Right now the best ones I've found are probably PAA and Cold River Soap Works but I'm open to anything out there, no matter the price.  I guess I find myself more and more wanting the FULL shaving experience from a soap, performance, scent, etc.

Let me know what are your favorites. I hear Barrister and Mann has some interesting ones? I've tried Cheshire and it was nice but similar to some other products I have already.  How is the Saponificio Varesino?

B&M is my favorite and imho has the most complex scents. This is all subjective of course but try some and see for yourself. There are plenty of good artisans and many have great scents, but if complexity is what you are after that is what B&M is known for.

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 01-08-2016, 04:47 PM
#14
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I like single notes that are cleaner so I would say most Mystic Waters floral scents are delicate but long lasting.  Deluxe Shaving also has some amazing scents along the same thought process.

If you're looking for something more complex, then XPEC takes the cake for me.  I didn't like it at first, but it's since grown on me.

To echo others, if you're looking for something at a more accessible price point, Barrister and Mann has some fantastic stuff as well as Saponificio Varesino has some great scents at a slightly higher price point then BM.

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 01-08-2016, 07:11 PM
#15
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I'm quite a frag-head myself, with a reasonably refined nose, and I've also been very picky when it comes to shave soap scents.

First thing that comes to mind is Barrister & Mann, because Will is obviously a fragrance aficionado and puts a lot of care and intelligence into his scent compositions. He's not afraid to let many of them be idiosyncratic, which means many of his scents are more divisive, but they're always thoughtfully constructed. Some are safer (though still great) like Seville, Cheshire, or the Latha line, while others, like Leviathan, Lavanille, and various limited releases, are more particular. But if you're looking for scent refinement, you need to be watching Barrister & Mann (a lot of his notable stuff comes out seasonally or in limited release).

I've been pretty impressed by the Cold River fragrances. They may not be as adventurous as B&M, but the ones I've smelled are tasteful and natural-smelling.

MdC regular scent is interesting: lavender with herbs and, I believe, benzoin. It's a medicinal, masculine lavender, and I like it. The Fougere is very legibly a fougere, and pretty musky and rugged at that. My first reaction with it was a bit repulsed, to be honest, but it's growing on me steadily (this is based on a sample).

Tabac is worth mentioning here! It's a classic, old-world tobacco-flower accord, and very nice, especially if you're willing to stand a bit out-of-time. It really grew on me, and now I have the aftershave and the EdC.

I've also enjoyed D.R. Harris Arlington as a nice herbed citrus, and their Windsor is reminiscent of Terre d'Hermes, if you're fond of that fragrance.

Enjoy!

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 01-08-2016, 08:30 PM
#16
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(01-08-2016, 07:11 PM)onethinline Wrote: I'm quite a frag-head myself, with a reasonably refined nose, and I've also been very picky when it comes to shave soap scents.

First thing that comes to mind is Barrister & Mann, because Will is obviously a fragrance aficionado and puts a lot of care and intelligence into his scent compositions. He's not afraid to let many of them be idiosyncratic, which means many of his scents are more divisive, but they're always thoughtfully constructed. Some are safer (though still great) like Seville, Cheshire, or the Latha line, while others, like Leviathan, Lavanille, and various limited releases, are more particular. But if you're looking for scent refinement, you need to be watching Barrister & Mann (a lot of his notable stuff comes out seasonally or in limited release).

I've been pretty impressed by the Cold River fragrances. They may not be as adventurous as B&M, but the ones I've smelled are tasteful and natural-smelling.

MdC regular scent is interesting: lavender with herbs and, I believe, benzoin. It's a medicinal, masculine lavender, and I like it. The Fougere is very legibly a fougere, and pretty musky and rugged at that. My first reaction with it was a bit repulsed, to be honest, but it's growing on me steadily (this is based on a sample).

Tabac is worth mentioning here! It's a classic, old-world tobacco-flower accord, and very nice, especially if you're willing to stand a bit out-of-time. It really grew on me, and now I have the aftershave and the EdC.

I've also enjoyed D.R. Harris Arlington as a nice herbed citrus, and their Windsor is reminiscent of Terre d'Hermes, if you're fond of that fragrance.

Enjoy!

Great assessment! I'm with you on your impression of B&M - Will definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to fragrances, and more importantly, he seems to care about what he is doing and the history of the art.

I'd also second your pick of Arlington, which is a fantastic fresh fragrance that reminds me a bit of Neroli Portofino from the Tom Ford Private Blend.

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 01-09-2016, 02:29 AM
#17
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(01-08-2016, 07:11 PM)onethinline Wrote: I'm quite a frag-head myself, with a reasonably refined nose, and I've also been very picky when it comes to shave soap scents.

First thing that comes to mind is Barrister & Mann, because Will is obviously a fragrance aficionado and puts a lot of care and intelligence into his scent compositions. He's not afraid to let many of them be idiosyncratic, which means many of his scents are more divisive, but they're always thoughtfully constructed. Some are safer (though still great) like Seville, Cheshire, or the Latha line, while others, like Leviathan, Lavanille, and various limited releases, are more particular. But if you're looking for scent refinement, you need to be watching Barrister & Mann (a lot of his notable stuff comes out seasonally or in limited release).

I've been pretty impressed by the Cold River fragrances. They may not be as adventurous as B&M, but the ones I've smelled are tasteful and natural-smelling.

MdC regular scent is interesting: lavender with herbs and, I believe, benzoin. It's a medicinal, masculine lavender, and I like it. The Fougere is very legibly a fougere, and pretty musky and rugged at that. My first reaction with it was a bit repulsed, to be honest, but it's growing on me steadily (this is based on a sample).

Tabac is worth mentioning here! It's a classic, old-world tobacco-flower accord, and very nice, especially if you're willing to stand a bit out-of-time. It really grew on me, and now I have the aftershave and the EdC.

I've also enjoyed D.R. Harris Arlington as a nice herbed citrus, and their Windsor is reminiscent of Terre d'Hermes, if you're fond of that fragrance.

Enjoy!
I just got DR Harris Windsor a couple weeks ago and I love it. Arlington is sort of a citrus/fern type scent correct?

Additionally I just ordered samples of the Barrister and Mann Lavanille and Fireside soaps from Maggards, along with a sample of the Cologne Russe splash. We will see how it goes.

I think I'm definitely going to get my wife to get some Martin de Candre next month but I cannot decide if I want some of the newer Pannacrema luxury line as well or xpec, something else like that. 

This thread has been immensely helpful and I appreciate the ideas, these are really going to help me expand my shaving software.

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 01-09-2016, 04:03 AM
#18
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
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B&M Lavanille - One of my favorite scents. Very complex yet authentic. Comes in a great wide tub which is always a plus. My only concern with it the lather is brownish, so I don't use my higher end brushes with it.

Strop Shoppe Russian Tea - Very elegant scent combined with the marvelous performance of Strop Shoppe soaps. Cold weather scent for me but considering it is somehow fresh one may use it in spring and fall, too.

Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet - Exquisite! If only the performance was on par with the scent...

Tiki Soaps The Captain - Very sweet scent, definitely enjoyable. Nice performance, too.

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 01-09-2016, 04:13 AM
#19
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Barrister & Mann: Le Grande Chypre, Leviathan, Fireside, Hallows, Seville, Lavanille, Cologne Russe

Chiseled Face: Sherlock, Trade winds

XPEC

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 01-09-2016, 04:29 AM
#20
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Midnight & Two
Beaver Woodwright
Al's

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