SOTD - April 7, 2017

Barrister and Mann

Shaving Product Review - Barrister and Mann "Petrichor"

Spring has sprung and April showers bring... Petrichor! Barrister and Mann has brought back this classic scent from 2014, called Petrichor in a #soap and #aftershave. How does it fit in today?

As mentioned, and according to the History of Barrister and Mann the Petrichor scent was originally released in July 2014 (along with a few others). It hasn't been produced since, and only true #BarristerMann fans and collectors have sought it out - until now. As I let everyone know a while back, it was re-released on April 1st, 2017 - it will be produced until June 9th as it's considered a seasonal offering. With this re-release, it brings a friend in the form of a Tonique aftershave. Obviously, the packaging is all new, with new waterproof labels, complete with graphics - and the soap tub is the latest clear/black style. Sharp eyes will notice that the typeface used is the same as that used in the Passiflora release from a while back. Finally, the soap is the new Glissant base.

Everyone knows that smell of damp soil after rain. Properly known as "petrichor," it's actually the smell of the chemical geosmin, which is produced by spores in the ground. Here at Barrister and Mann, we really love that smell, so we decided to make a shaving soap and aftershave version! Our Petrichor soap and aftershave smell like walking through the forest after a brief Spring storm. Rainboots recommended.

I won't talk about performance today. It's just like the other Barrister and Mann soaps of late... Awesome. So what about the scent then - and how does it compare to the likes of PAA La Tierra Mojada and Chiseled Face Summer Storm? Check out those links, and especially the exciting conclusion and results of the #PetrichorShootout I did in the past for some context. Let's first describe what "petrichor" is...

Petrichor is described as "the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek πέτρα petra, meaning "stone", and ἰχώρ īchōr, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology." While that's a description of the scent, it fails to mention the main star of the show... Geosmin is an organic compound with a distinct earthy aroma produced by a type of Actinobacteria, contributing to the strong scent that occurs in the air when rain falls after a dry spell of weather or when soil is disturbed. This soap and aftershave scent contains a healthy (if diluted) amount of actual geosmin to produce the petrichor scent. There's also a nice helping of a beautiful oakmoss absolute that comes from Herzegovina.

How does it compare to the other, aforementioned products? This is the most natural scent of the three. It's petrichor and not overly "flavored" by other notes. Unlike La Tierra Mojada there's no bamboo, sages, floral hydrangea and juniper or neroli and petitgrain, nor any patchouli, vetiver and labdanum. In short, it doesn't smell like a garden after a rainstorm. On the other hand, unlike Summer Storm there's no pine and citrus, floral hints or the overriding scent of fresh cut grass. While Petrichor definitely has a green, fougére vibe - there are no "distractions." It's primarily a damp, earthy smell with hints of green. Would you want to smell like a pile of dirt all day long though? It actually dries down quite a bit and there's mostly an oakmoss base that remains - so, yes. And yes, because "some people" have expressed their "concerns" before, this was necessary to add to the product description:

Unfortunately, because we're not wizards (yet), we cannot make Petrichor smell like whatever it would smell like around your house. We're kind of limited to making it smell like New England. Please don't be mad at us.

Hardware today includes the #Merkur #Futur razor with a #PolSilver blade on shave three, which I dialed down to a "sub-one" setting (that is, just under "1" on the dial) for a nice, easy - yet highly efficient - Friday morning shave. The #Dovo silvertip badger brush made quick work of generating the plush and performant lather in the #GTP scuttle, where it stayed nice and warm, like springtime garden dirt in the sun.

If you're looking for "the real deal" when it comes to petrichor, this offering from Barrister and Mann is the closest out there, the best performing (all around) and made with some very high quality ingredients. If you prefer different "flavors" of the petrichor experience or just a fan of the genre, definitely check out the other two offerings - especially Summer Storm which is phenomenal in its own right. Spring has sprung and this timely release is sure to please the fans without question.