Shaving Product Review - Talbot Shaving "Inchcolm"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
Inchcolm is my way of honoring my late grandmother, a true flower of Scotland, who always taught me to do what I think is right, and I'll never go wrong. She grew up in Kirkcaldy, where the Firth of Forth is home to a small island, named Inchcolm. It's history is long, and I can't help but feel that my Gram's love of history and the solitude of nature would have led her to Inchcolm island more than once in her life.
The scent profile reflects some of the notable ecology of the area she grew up: Scottish Heather dominates the scent, as I know how big a fan she was. Aquatic notes blend with sage, oakmoss, juniper berry and cedarwood to compliment the floral top. Those who love florals will appreciate this unique take on the scent.
Inchcolm is the fourth "official" offering by #TalbotShaving. The first was actually Ilex but more of a test batch - the first true release was Iliahi Ridge followed by Holland Glen and Edison Lake. If you haven't heard of them before, it's a fellow wet shaver named Chad Irish. He's dabbling in soapmaking for fun and as a creative outlet on the side and as such, the batches are extremely small (think Bufflehead small) and on the order of 36 tubs, as was the case for Iliahi Ridge. Needless to say, these batches sell out within minutes, if that. I'm lucky enough to have a tub of Holland Glen and Edison Lake. The only downside is that only soap is available; no aftershave. Value is excellent at $12 for three ounces. It was released on August 10, 2017 with just over 30 tubs made.
Officially, Inchcolm has notes of heather, carnation, lily of the valley, hyacinth, oakmoss, white musk, sage, juniper berry and cedarwood. While Edison Lake was somewhat "aquatically inspired" I definitely got that vibe more today with Inchcolm as the florals brighten the scent overall. They're subtle, to be sure - in fact, I wouldn't describe Inchcolm as a floral as much as I would an aquatic. Either way, it's a light, fresh scent that should pair well with lots of aftershaves and colognes. The other notes of oakmoss, white musk, sage, juniper berry and cedarwood work with the florals nicely, for a well-balanced scent. Scent strength is about medium. If I had to pick a favorite of the two, I'd go for this one - I really liked it. In fact, I paired it with Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio (since the Barrister's Reserve Classic by #BarristerMann is somewhat light in scent and longevity).
The soap is a firmer consistency, not unlike Barrister and Mann white label/glissant and the like. This makes loading with a wider variety of brushes and techniques a breeze. The ingredients of the soap are nice indeed, with several skin foods and slippery oils:
Potassium stearate, sodium tallowate, aqua, coconut milk, shea butter, potassium hydroxide, castor oil, fragrance, glycerin, sodium hydroxide, lanolin, palm kernel oil, babassu oil and meadowfoam oil.
Performance was very respectable. The lather produced was creamy, with very good density, primary and secondary lubricity and resultant face feel. Load this soap a bit longer than usual and add water to slowly to taste, as it has a bit of a narrow sweet spot. The cushion was very good and the slickness during the shave as well. Only the residual slickness dipped slightly.
Packaging is basic, but very nicely executed. These are the same tubs that Catie's Bubbles and Dapper Dragon use. The label quality is on par with the former (and better than the latter). While the neck of the tub is narrower than the overall diameter, it does serve to keep proto-lather contained and there's plenty of room for loading. Branding is clear and consistent (among the two releases so far and the teased upcoming releases). Artwork is simple and in an illustrative style (essentially a stylized compass) in line with the company motto of "Explore."
Hardware for today consisted of the #TimelessRazor in a custom "mild edition" with a #Stork handle and a #PolSilver blade on shave three, with the #WildWestBrushworks brush doing its thing in the #GTP scuttle.
I was impressed with the scent of Inchcolm and as noted, it's definitely got an aquatic, slightly floral vibe to it. A bright scent that can easily pair with a lot of other scents. Performance of the soap (like the other offerings from #TalbotShaving) is very good indeed. Aside from a slight dip in residual slickness, it's above average to be certain. Compared to Edison Lake I'd give this one the tip o' the hat. If any of the Talbot Shaving soaps needed a matching aftershave, it's this one.