Maurer & Wirtz "Tabac (Original)"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
TABAC ORIGINAL is a sophisticated composition fragranced with peppery-spicy notes and elegantly rounded off by exotic woods, musk, ambergris and a floral complex. An unmistakable fragrance with a discreet presence.
I did an extensive (for the time) review of this software a while back. Not much has changed, but let's give it some more detail, as my reviews contain these days. Of course, Maurer & Wirtz Tabac (Original) needs no introduction. If you've been in shaving for any length of time, you either own it already, tried it or at least heard of it. If you happen to have a German background, rest assured, your dad surely used it (as mine did). It's a staple in Germany - found in literally every drugstore at just above "dirt cheap."
The scent is potent in every product in the line, and generally falls under a love/hate relationship with generally more loving it than not. Though in Germany, like Old Spice (for example) over here in the states - #Tabac is considered "an old man scent." Welcome to the renaissance! As the blurb above promises, it's unmistakable... But certainly not "discreet." It's described as an "aromatic fougére" with top notes of aldehydes, lavender, neroli, bergamot and lemon; middle notes of carnation, sandalwood, orris root, jasmine, rose and pine tree needles and base notes of tonka bean, amber, musk, vanilla, oakmoss and tobacco. You'd think something this potent coming out of the bottle - would last through next Tuesday... But longevity is about 4-5 hours, more so on clothing. This is longer than their other scents.
The shaving cream performs almost as good the soap, but the latter is definitely better by all measures. The cream is not tallow based. Nevertheless, it's quick and easy to produce a copious amount of semi-creamy lather with good cushion, very good primary but only good secondary lubricity. Let's compare the ingredients of the cream:
Water, potassium stearate, laureth-5 carboxylic acid, glycerin, potassium cocoate, fragrance, PEG/PPG-14/4 dimethicone, limonene, hydroxycitronellal, linalool, citronellol, coumarin, alpha-isomethyl ionone, benzyl salicylate, geraniol, CL 47005, cinnamyl alcohol, isoeugenol, CL 15985 and BHT
...to the soap - which are two completely different animals:
Potassium stearate, sodium stearate, potassium tallowate, potassium cocoate, aqua, sodium tallowate, parfum, sodium cocoate, glycerin, potassium hydroxide, tetrasodium EDTA, tetrasodium etidronate, sodium hydroxide, CI 77891, limonene, hydroxycitronellal, linalool, citronellol, courmarin, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol, evernia prunastri (oakmoss) extract, cinnamyl alcohol, isoeugenol, benzyl salicylate, benzyl alcohol, eugenol, citral, evernia furfuracea (treemoss) extract
The weather's still fairly chilly (hello, it's June here, people) so I went with the balm over the aftershave (which is pretty simplistic in its formula). The ingredients for the balm are:
Water, alcohol, cetearyl isononanoate, glycerin, fragrance, cetearyl alcohol, dicaprylyl ether, panthenol, tocopheryl acetate, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, xanthan gum, allantoin, sodium hydroxide, hydroxycitronellal, bisabolol, citronellol, coumarin, alpha-isomethylionone, limonene, disodium edta, linalool, benzyl salicylate, isoeugenol, butylphenyl methylpropional, amyl cinnamal, benzyl benzoate, geraniol, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde and eugenol
That list reads just as you might expect for a mass-produced, commercial offering. Some of the usual suspects jump out though, like water, alcohol, glycerin, panthenol and allantoin. There's also a bunch of scent components, stabilizers and preservatives. The balm does a fairly good job, but comes up a touch short on both healing and moisturizing - at least when compared to today's top tier artisans. Though it's in line with the more modest offerings, if not a cut above. For the money, and having the same scent to complete your experience, it's a no-brainer. Go a bit heavier in application and it'll do great.
Hardware today was the #TimelessRazor in a .95 gap, custom base plate with an open comb on one side and a scalloped solid bar on the other, with a scalloped top cap and RazoRock Halo handle in titanium. The blade was a #PolSilver, now on shave five... I'm starting to think that like the Mühle R41 that this combo, at least, prefers blades on the fresher (sharper) side. This is my "aggressive" configuration (it both effect and looks). I wanted to see how the shave would be, as Tabac for some reason or another tends to give me among the closest shaves. I don't know that it made a difference today, but it was certainly close and comfortable! I used the scalloped, solid bar side and only did two passes. I'd put this combo at better than the mild combo after three. The #BSB Shaving Brush (also in titanium) whipped up the cream into a pile of lather in the #GTP scuttle.
Tabac. Enough said! Smelling great, feeling great.