I had the privilege of trying some of Barrister & Mann’s soap while they were still testing out their product and when I heard that they were finally ready to go live with their soaps, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some. The package arrived today, I cracked it open straight away, took a look and a smell at my choices, grabbed the Bay Rum and headed straight for the shave den – otherwise known as the bathroom I share with my wife.
The soap came packaged in a lovely paper type wrapper – simple but effective – gives it a classic feel. I almost felt bad opening it up – but of course I did and took a deep breath – the Bay Rum scent was fantastic. Not overpowering, a nice blend of scents – I sensed some cinnamon at first followed by a refreshing spiciness. Over the last few weeks I have been using Taylor of Old Bond Streets Lemon & Lime along with their Grapefruit blend, making the Barrister & Mann Bay Rum a nice change.
I used my latest brush, the Vie-Long Horse Hair Brush, for my first lathering of the Bay Rum but I probably should have started with my Boar Brush – being a fresh soap I could have benefited from the added firmness of the Boar Hair. Regardless I was still able to produce a decent lather (see photo) using the horse hair brush; resulting in a more creamy, rather than foamy lather. The lather also provided excellent lubrication for my blade, allowing for a more than comfortable shave.
It wasn’t until I broke out the boar brush that I saw the full potential of the Barrister & Mann. The lather was full, much more full than with the horse hair brush. I would partially attribute the difference in result to the brush, but also to the amount of water I used for my second lathering. I used quite a bit more water with the Boar brush than I did with the Horse hair, and as you can see from the image the difference is pretty clear. Admittedly, it was much nicer to apply this lather than the one with my Horse hair brush. I paid closer attention to the scent with my second pass, and as I expected it was subtle enough that it didn’t interfere with enjoying the shave, but at the same time reminding you that it was there. By the end of my shave my face felt great, no irritation and my skin felt nice and soft with just a nice hint of the Bay Rum still lingering.
For a brand new company the product is fantastic, just as good as any other big name shave soaps I have used. According to their website Barrister & Mann pride themselves on using quality products which they have listed right on their website, something you don’t see very often. To top it off their soaps are priced right – take a look at their shop. I will be testing out several soaps from Barrister & Mann over the next few weeks so stay tuned for further reviews.