Martin de Candre Huile Vegetale Camomile Review


* When I went into the store, I asked for a preshave product and this is what I was pointed to.

* The consistency is a little off-putting – feeling almost like congealed animal fat – thicker than a gel, but not completely solid.

* Upon contact with skin, it instantly liquifies and creates an ultrasmooth layer,

* Trying it with different shave soaps/creams, it simply improved every product I used it with.

* Only a small amount is necessary, so the 50 ml jar lasted me nearly an entire year.

Summary:  Last year, before I went to Paris, a fanatical wet shaving friend gave me a list of products to pick up for him.  Martin de Candre is a traditional family-owned soap making business that has been in operation for 40 years.  Their products are very difficult to find in the US and even a challenge to find in Paris (don’t bother with department stores – go directly to Planete Rasoir).  Although the texture of the product is a bit strange, it is one of the best products that I have ever used.  Reading the ingredient list and doing some research online (thank you Timothy on Badger and Blade) – it is a mix of coconut oil with propylene glycol and chamomile.  It is quite slick and works as an amazing preshave.  It also works as an aftershave and is usually sold as such as well.  I have normal to dry skin so it works really for me.  If you have oily skin, it might be too slick for you.   It’s also one of the first products that I have run completely out of.  Keeping it in my bathroom closet, I found myself reaching for it with every shave.  The simplicity of its composition seems to make it even more decadent.  The chamomile smell is slight and will not fight with any cologne that you might put on over it.  I will definitely be buying another jar of it when I go to Paris this year.

Martin de Candre products are available from the Martin de Candre website and Planete Rasoir.

Disclaimer: No disclaimer needed as I own a full bottle. Image courtesy of Martin de Candrew website.


I Coloniali Facial and Shaving Balm Review

* The shaving balm is meant to be either a preshave or an aftershave.

* With a consistency between pudding and hair conditioner, it is slick and goes on smoothly.


Razo Rock Baby Blue After Shave Review


* On first application, Baby Blue has an alcohol smell that is quickly replaced by citrus.

* Although there is alcohol, I don’t get any burn whatsoever on freshly-shaved skin.


Taylor of Old Bond Street Coconut Shaving Cream Review


* Taylor of Old Bond Street is a family business that has been making male grooming products since the 1850s.

* The coconut shaving cream smells really good; almost like a trip to tropics.

* The cream is very smooth and has the feel of moisturizer on your skin.

* Foam is easily mixed up when aerated with a brush and a bit of moisture.

* The resulting shave is incredibly smooth without the need of a preshave.

Summary:  I visited the Taylor of Old Bond Street store when I was in London last year at the suggestion of a wet shaving aficionado. The feel is a very old school, upperclass gentleman’s club, yet there is a friendly feel and a real focus on service.  I had tested one of the creams previously but decided to sniff all of them to see which I liked best – the decision was between almond, rose, and coconut.  Something about the coconut spoke to me and I’ve enjoyed many amazing shaves ever since.  Not only is a preshave not necessary, an aftershave balm/lotion is optional- which is saying a lot since I have extremely sensitive/reactive skin. The 150 gram/5.3 oz bowls are priced between 8 and 9 pounds in the store – which is quite reasonable for the quality and if you buy them in the US, the markup isn’t horrible considering the import fees – putting them at between $14-$16 each. A funny story, though, looking at the ingredient lists, I saw coumarin and thought to myself why would they put in the prescription drug for preventing blood clots as that didn’t seem to fit with the genteel old school natural approach.  A little bit of research proved I was being an idiot – as coumarin is a fragrance compound and is completely unrelated to Coumadin.

Taylor of Old Bond Street products are available through West Coast Shaving,
Italian Barber, and Amazon.

Disclaimer: Product purchased for review – no disclaimer need. No financial compensation is received for this review or any others. All opinions are mine. Image courtesy of West Coast Shaving.