Shaving Product Review - Le Barbier d'Bourbon "Sandalwood Collection"
Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)
Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)
Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)
Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)
CLEAN: Conquers oily hair, beards, skin & stink with the power of Tea Tree Oil.
SLIDE: Prevents razor burn & bumps everywhere you shave while keeping your beard & skin underneath healthy, clean, and soft.
WHIP: Promises the ultimate in Wet-Shave Luxury even without a brush. Pairs well with straight & double edge razors.
PUCK: Provides a Barber Close shave every day, perfect for use with a brush and bowl.
SOOTHE: Fights razor burn & bumps everywhere you shave & itchy dry skin anywhere you don't.
Today we're taking a look at the Le Barbier d'Bourbon Sandalwood Collection which consists of five products in its entirety and include SLIDE, WHIP, SOOTHE, PUCK and CLEAN. We picked up the first four products and today reviewing the first three. They all have a nice, somewhat subtle but rich sandalwood scent - as well as the same shade of blue, thanks to CI 42090 (Blue No. 1) - save for SLIDE. But I digress... Who is #lebarbierdbourbon you might ask? They're still fairly new and somewhat unknown - born in 2016, but only going live in March 2018 (but their origins trace back to 2006). Comprised of two partners, Andre (the owner) and Zack (general manager). For the full history, check out their About Us page and their website in general.
Starting with the packaging, it's all top notch and commercially viable. The containers all have a consistent theme; black containers and black boxes for the smaller items (SLIDE and SOOTHE) and are robust in materials. The logo is clear and presentable on all items as is the rest of the branding and product information. The labels are perfectly applied; straight and sans air bubbles - and are durable and waterproof. With the exception of very few artisans, this is as good as it gets. Clearly this was a professional effort in design, execution and even production... Clearly aiming to scale, the products are made and packaged in China in larger quantities than most artisans shoot for.
As mentioned earlier, other consistencies include product coloration and scent. As for the latter, it's essentially the same strength in all products tested. While no official notes are given, it's essentially just one note; sandalwood. It smells subtle, nice - and besides the obvious sandalwood, somewhat familiar. Unfortunately, it doesn't have very much sillage at all but longevity is about 4 hours. This is a cohesive line of products, from start to finish - though I think two additions would really complete it. The first would be a deodorant and the second some sort of aftershave or Eau de Toilette to boost scent strength and longevity (it's worth pointing out that you can easily layer your own scent on the existing products). As luck would have it, I'm told there will be deodorants, solid colognes and other fragrances in the future!
I did not have CLEAN so I cannot comment on it. Rather, I started with SLIDE right after my shower, applying it and rubbing it onto my face and stubble while it was still wet. While essentially a collection of oils, I did not find it heavy or, well, overly oily. It soaked into my skin and stubble rather nicely - obviously softening both. Then I followed up by lathering a #GTP scuttle full of lather using the WHIP cream. Loading was easy, being quite soft (which is good as the contained is too narrow to load like you might regular soaps). After a little bit of working it with the brush, it made abundant lather which was medium in density and cushion, provided very good primary and good secondary lubricity. Finally, I followed up with SOOTHE which is their post-shave balm, or rather a lotion. It too soaked into the skin fairly quickly, but still took about ten minutes (I used a bit too much). The resulting moisturization and skin feel was excellent.
Let's take a quick look at the ingredients of their products:
|CLEAN||Water, Tetradecanoic Acid, Hexadecanoic Acid, Glycerin, Dodecanoi Dodecanoic-Acid, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Aloe Extracts, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Diazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, BHT, CI 42090 (Blue No. 1)||SLIDE||Castor Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)|
|WHIP||Water, Tetradecanoic Acid, Hexadecanoic Acid, Glycerin, Dodecanoic Acid Dodecanoic-Acid, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Aloe Extracts, Hydroxyethyl cellulose, Diazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, BHT, CI 42090 (Blue No. 1)|
|PUCK||Polypropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sugar, Stearic Acid, Water, Lauric Acid, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, CI 42090 (Blue No. 1)|
|SOOTHE||Water, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerine, Dimethicone, Steareth-21, Steareth-20, Fragrance, Olea Europaea Fruit (Olive) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Cabopol, BHT, Disodium EDTA|
The hardware for today consisted of the #AboveTheTie #Windsor fitted with a #PolSilver on shave two. I was eager to shave with it again since my first encounter with the Windsor to see if it shaved just as nicely. I have to say it did! Very nice shave with this razor though the efficiency dropped a little; more like the Timeless Razor in the .68mm blade gap. A bit disappointing, but not surprising... Shaving a few days growth always shaves closer for me than the next day or two. Plus there's the blade gap which is fairly close (though obviously a different design). Regardless, I loved it. The brush is a sweet piece from #WildWestBrushworks in a black, blue and white resin with a unique pour. It sports a 26mm Tuxedo knot.
I was impressed starting with the packaging and overall presentation. High quality boxes, containers and labels with excellent consistency on several fronts. The products all performed well. Not up to top tier artisan offerings (which have rather extreme performance) but definitely above average and better than most commercial offerings. Priced at $15 each, save for PUCK which is $12 I'd say the value is very good indeed - though CLEAN pushes it a bit, as you get 500ml (16.9oz.); comparable to most similar OTC products. To be fair, it can be used as both a body wash and shampoo. Thumbs up for Le Barbier d'Bourbon!