Shaving Product First Impression - Barrister and Mann "Hallows"
Introduced in 2013 for the Sharpologist Scent Off where 20 pucks were made, it proved quite popular as buzz grew. It was released again in October of 2014. But this year, the buzz hit a fever pitch and Hallows sold out in blinding speed! The soap (210 tins) sold out in 29m while the aftershave (160 bottles) held on for 45m... And just like that - it was over. I was very determined to get in on it, and at 12:00am on October 23, I was already placing items in my cart; seemingly as Will as adding them to the site.
Let's start with the packaging. This packaging goes to eleven. I cleared away the well-packed goodies and nestled inside were the three components of my order; Hallows soap, aftershave and a T-shirt (I had to!). Each was wrapped in black tissue paper and sealed with a silver, embossed sticker (save for the aftershave, which was bubble wrapped). Even the envelope containing my invoice was sealed with a little glitter skull sticker. This is how packaging is done, folks. The attention to detail and care is evident. I felt like I was truly receiving something special!
I couldn't take the excitement anymore and carefully unwrapped everything. Now for the real test... What does it smell like?!
First a moment to say that if you're familiar with #BarristerMann soaps... You just know not to huff the virgin tub, thinking you'll get the real scent. No, this stuff needs to be lathered once or thrice before you can really do that. That said, it smells... Way funky. So, onto the aftershave...
The official scent profile is oakmoss, cedar, cocoa absolute, black pepper, labdanum and Sri Lankan vetiver. Some have described it as "chocolate covered death and decay." Dark, earthy, smokey and chocolately are some adjectives that come immediately to mind.
On top I get a sort of sweet, woodsy oakmoss... It mutates slowly into a green, peppery scent, but there's more going on here. The bite of pepper fades as the labdanum and cocoa absolute middle notes dance with the top notes. Towards the bottom, the Sri Lankan vetiver starts to grab you. This is not your happy, bright green vetiver. This version is deep, full-bodied and complex in its own right. Still green - but darker... Smokey, with definite wood/root notes. Once fully dried down, there's an underlying chocolately note present from the cocoa absolute.
In short... OMG - this scent is incredible! Complex, dark. I already very much enjoy Leviathan and Lavanille - but this one may just take first place among my favorite B&M scents. I'm a big fan of vetiver, so not entirely surprising... Though I really appreciate each of them. If you're familiar with the "heavier" B&M scents, Hallows fits right in. You might say it's more "generally palatable" than the other two, for people that haven't been fans of those (though I can't imagine why; they rock IMO). Yup, this stuff is a winner.
I'll be giving this software the full monty shave tomorrow and will give an in-depth review of the experience. I suspect there will be many things to like - as is typical of B&M products, in my experience.