SOTD - July 11, 2016

Barrister's Reserve

Shaving Product Review - Barrister's Reserve "Spice"

Today's is the first of three reviews focusing entirely on the new and upcoming Barrister and Mann Barrister's Reserve - and the scent for today is Spice!

They come in 100ml bottles @ $24.99 each w/FREE shipping in the USA - order here for 10% off!

Before you read further, be sure to check out my first impression from yesterday which features an introduction to Barrister's Reserve - especially the ingredients. Consider it "part one" of each of these reviews as I won't repeat that here. Today's review is all about Spice which is a faithful recreation of vintage Old Spice #aftershave as made by Shulton. The sample it was recreated from, in fact, hails from 1957.

The four parts of the Barristers's Reserve review are:

In 1938, William Lightfoot Shultz introduced the world to this Oriental spicy fragrance with a colonial/nautical theme. Procter & Gamble later acquired the brand in June 1990 - and controversy has ensued ever since - on whether or not the formula has changed. It has been scientifically proven that it has ( That said, the scent may be "similar" - but the quality of the ingredients is quite likely not! However, the Old Spice still produced in India is near identical to the vintage juice. So yes, you can still get "the good stuff" today (it's $8/50ml).

It opens with spicy, citrusy top notes: nutmeg, lemon, orange, star anise and aldehydes. The floral middle notes are carnation, jasmine, geranium, cinnamon, heliotrope and pimento. Finally, the base notes are ambergris, benzoin, cedar, vanilla, tonka bean, and musk... Whew!

Suffice to say, the scent of Spice is a dead ringer as it smells wonderfully like the original with a medium+ scent strength, and the most potent of the three. It does calm down somewhat quickly as it dries down. I got a full five hours out of it, and using some agitation and damp hands I could extend it a bit farther - even in the shower this morning, I could still smell it when the water first hit.

Performance wise, the new Barrister's Reserve line sets a new line in the sand, not just for artisan products but for everyone out there. Until now, I maintained that Saponificio Varesino was the best in the world... It may have gotten dethroned. It's awesome, don't get me wrong - but can sometimes be a little tacky and the scents don't last as long as I'd like. The packaging (even the newest) leaves something to be desired as well.

Barrister's Reserve has none of those issues, yet leaves the face feeling superbly nourished, moisturized and calm. There's a certain... Silkiness to the skin. It feels absolutely lovely! There's alcohol in the splash, but you don't get that typical feeling from it (there's a reason for that which I'll explain another time). You'll feel it on any nicks but otherwise - smoooooth. Also no tightness of the skin; since there's no alum. It applies as an ever so slightly thicker than liquid and very quickly dissipates into the skin which seems to just soak it right up. No tackiness whatsoever.

Since today's shave was without incident or irritation, I didn't get a real taste of the calming and healing properties... I'll need to test this on the next two shaves. In any event, I couldn't stop feeling my face!

For the purpose of reviewing each of the Barrister's Reserve scents, I have chosen to stick to a trio of products that will remain static, so as not to introduce variables... I also won't get into the specifics of them, so as not to take away from the focus of the review. The #soap is Martin de Candre which likely needs no introduction. It's an excellent soap, but perhaps not best known for its post-shave face feel properties (it can be a little drying). Therefore, a good test of the #BarristerMann juice. I can't wait to pair up with a proper B&M soap though... That should seriously amp up the experience! The #Dovo silvertip badger brush just because it's nice and matches the finish of the #Feather AS-D2 razor (which I shimmed) and fitted with a fresh #PolSilver blade. The #GTP scuttle kept the suds contained and warm.

All in all, I must say I got a truly lovely shave but the highlight was clearly the Barrister's Reserve which left my face feeling incredibly relaxed, moisturized and... Silky. There is absolutely nothing left wanting in performance - and the scent is dead-on. I suspect this product line of scents will be very, very popular. Stay tuned for the next review!