SOTD - June 27, 2017

Tallow + Steel

Shaving Product Review - Tallow + Steel "Himalaya"

Value (Cost, Packaging and Performance)

Lather (Density, Glide and Feel)

Post-shave (Healing, Moisture and Feel)

Scent (Quality, Strength and Longevity)

Each bar has three metrics, each representing 33% of the total (11% = below-avg, 22% = avg, 33% = above-avg, except cost)

Explore ancient and exotic scents from a region equally so - and far away - with Tallow + Steel Himalaya #soap and #aftershave from their all-new 2017 lineup!

This warm and spicy blend of essential oils harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas stimulates the senses, transporting you to the small villages that dot the landscape of Nepal and India.

This blend is centered around authentic Amber oil - extracted from million-year-old fossilized Himalayan tree resin. Exotic oils hailed for their impressive scent qualities like jasmine, vanilla, and rhododendron combine with other unique oils from this mystical region for a scent that reflects the soul of adventure.

The essence of Himalaya is one that shuns the everyday for the extraordinary: a complex scent created using the most exotic of ingredients.

I've written two very extensive articles on the new line, the first being Meet the All-new Tallow + Steel Products with the follow-up Tallow + Steel 2017 - First Impressions which covers the reformulations and performance (besides other aspects) so I won't repeat all of that here. I'm strictly focusing on the scent and any additional notes today.

Himalaya is an interesting scent, not too unlike the prior generation the likes of Dark or Rainforest. Not that it smells like them, rather has that #tallowandsteel "signature." That is - it's different than what you might be used to. Officially, the notes of Himalaya include amber, Himalayan cedarwood, benzoin, tobacco, labdanum, vanilla, jasmine, rhododendron, palmarosa, cardamom, beeswax and sugandha kokila. That certainly seems like a mouthful, and rest assured, it is. It's a complex, deep accord with many nuances. In fact, it was a little hard to pin down exactly what was going on at first.

If you're at all familiar with the limited run of Shiva's Cognac for a French forum earlier this year, Himalaya is almost identical; lacking the more citrusy overtones of the former. The primary hit is the ancient amber and woodsy cedar (both sourced from the Himalayas) with the light tartness of tobacco. These are interwoven with the sweet, vanillic notes of benzoin and vanilla itself, combined with complex florals by way of the jasmine, rhododenron (from the Himalayas) and palmarosa (from India). You're likely familiar with the scent of jasmine; a rich, sultry aroma - and palmarosa is exactly as it sounds; rosy (the latter blending quite well with the cedar). Cardamom and sugandha kokila (from Nepal) add an exotic and sensual, sweet spiciness. Lastly, there's the beeswax which further boosts the warm sweetness.

With all that going on, you're probably wondering what the overall vibe is. Himalaya is warm and sweet overall - both slightly floral and spicy. Like I said earlier, it's probably unlike most scents you've come across. I'd classify is as an oriental, perhaps not surprisingly. At first blush it's familiar, yet foreign. Personally, I got a mental image of a time in my youth spent at an Austrian farm, with a variety of scents on the wind. While it smells really nice, I'd probably place it last out of the five new scents in total. Clearly not everyone will see things the same way... But I wasn't as completely blown away by Himalaya as I was the other scents - which are just that much more bombastic. This isn't a slight of Himalaya - not at all.

I'd place the scent strength at slightly less than the others with a similar longevity of maybe four hours, tops. This is a scent you can wear more readily than some of the others, like Morocco.

Like all of the new scents, and as already mentioned regarding the sourcing of ingredients from the region, 10% of the profits from Himalaya are donated to Volunteers Initiative Nepal, who's mission is to empower marginalized communities, through enhanced educational programs and community training.

Hardware for today's shave consisted of the by-now familiar #TimelessRazor in the "mild edition" with a #Stork handle and a #Feather blade on shave three. The #SOC brush made quick work of lathering this soft soap, and is definitely the way to go on these. The #GTP scuttle kept it all nice and warm for the duration. I'm finding this razor is just very predictable, regardless of blade. It's mild and comfortable, yet delivers an exemplary shave. One thing I'm noticing is that it prefers newer blades... A phenomenon prevalent in more aggressive razors. At least with the Feather blades. With each shave, it gets ever so slightly less efficient each time. That might sound like an obvious pattern, but it wasn't quite as pronounced with the PolSilvers. Perhaps Feathers dull a tad faster. They start a bit hot, peak on shave two and slowly decline from there.

Another really plush shave with some great hardware and software. It's almost too easy these days. So yeah, Himalaya is warm and sweet, both floral and spicy. Definitely exotic, yet approachable and not quite as extreme as some of the other scents. It's perhaps the most complex of the new offerings, and slightly lighter than the rest (or at least, less in-your-face). Other than perhaps West Indies or Maya I think Himalaya will offer the broadest appeal. Both Morocco and Boreal are "simpler" accords and more hard-hitting - which I think would appeal to people differently than these.