Scent: 10 – if you enjoy the floral angle 7 – if you don’t
A couple of weeks ago one of the readers of this blog contacted me and asked if I would be willing to review Al’s Sapone da Barba – Private Stock – shaving cream. Always willing to try a new product I of course agreed. When I questioned his affiliation with Al’s shave soap he responded by telling me he didn’t have any, he simply loved the soap and felt it didn’t receive enough attention. This is a bit more pressure than I am used to when it comes to a review. I have received samples in the past, but always from companies, never from an individual willing to dish out cash from his own pocket for shipping. In the end I agreed to give it a fair and unbiased review.
The first thing that popped in my head when I first opened the sample was that it reminded me of Geo F Trumper Rose shave cream. But unlike the Geo F Trumper, Al’s shave soap was much more appealing to me. I still had some of the Geo Rose in my cabinet so I tested their scent side by side. Although they both smelled like roses the Geo was much stronger, forceful – one of the issues I had with it when I reviewed it. Al’s on the other hand seemed to have the balance down a bit better – the flowery fragrance wasn’t overpowering, and I doesn’t feel like you are walking into a funeral home when you open it.
When it came to lathering I was more than impressed. I was able to whip up a lovely thick lather, using my Best Badger brush, in seconds. The lather itself did a great job of providing a slick surface, lots of cushion, but what stood out for me the most wasn’t the performance – perhaps if it was unsatisfactory it would have – but the scent. With many soaps the fragrance seems to fade as you apply the lather on your face and then proceed to shave. What I noticed with Al’s Sapone da Barba was that it seemed to not only linger longer than I am accustom to, but it also seemed to take on a different dynamic – losing its floral scent in exchange for some of the other scents mentioned in the description of the soap – in particular the sandalwood. Needless to say it was a pleasant surprise.
A three pass shave left my face feeling soft and irritation free. Always a good sign.
I can understand why the reader who sent me this sample wants to help the product receive more visibility, it has a complex scent and an effective product. If you are interested in picking some up here is a link to the website. It seems a bit pricey to be honest, but if you can afford to splurge a bit, and you enjoy floral scent shave creams, I don’t think you will be disappointed.