SOTD - October 30, 2015

Barrister and Mann

Shaving Product Review - Barrister and Mann "Hallows"

Today's SOTD was hauntingly good! Courtesy of the highly anticipated Barrister & Mann Hallows #soap and #aftershave!

Check out my #MailCall and first impression of Hallows from yesterday which gives quite a bit of detail and background, especially of the packaging, so be sure to check that out as well. Today's it's all about using the stuff!

As I mentioned yesterday, and as people familiar with #BarristerMann soaps know... You can't huff a virgin tub. It just doesn't give you the true scent. In fact, I think not giving these soaps a proper break-in is what scares a lot of people off... Give them a chance by lathering them a few times. I didn't do any test lathers, so as I do once in a blue moon I bloomed the puck slightly. Not surprisingly, a little bit of an oily liquid immediately formed. Once lathered, things improved immensely, scent-wise. I suspect that over the next couple of shaves, it will continue to improve - just as Leviathan and Lavanille did for me (and blossomed into truly incredible scents).

The soap is a light brown color, and the lather generated was also lightly brown. Not as much as Lavanille which can be much darker, depending on the oxidation of the vanilla. Typical ease of generating lather - just load a bit heavier than with other soaps you might be accustomed to. Add water to taste; the soap can take it. I don't find it overly thirsty but I may just be used to thirstier soaps. I also bowl (scuttle) lather.

The lather was typical B&M - copious in quantity, super creamy, cushioning and slick! I had plenty of it in the scuttle for a nice three-pass shave. The heat of the scuttle, besides keeping the lather warm - filled the bathroom with the scent. It really doesn't get much better than this, especially in the cooler months. Speaking of the scent...

The official scent profile is oakmoss, cedar, cocoa absolute, black pepper, labdanum and Sri Lankan vetiver. Some have described it as "chocolate covered death and decay." Dark, earthy, smokey and chocolately are some adjectives that come immediately to mind.

On top I get a sort of sweet, woodsy oakmoss... It mutates slowly into a green, peppery scent, but there's more going on here. The bite of pepper fades as the labdanum and cocoa absolute middle notes dance with the top notes. Towards the bottom, the Sri Lankan vetiver starts to grab you. This is not your happy, bright green vetiver. This version is deep, full-bodied and complex in its own right. Still green - but darker... Smokey, with definite wood/root notes. Once fully dried down, there's an underlying chocolately note present from the cocoa absolute.

Between the soap and aftershave, the aprés-shave face feel is among the best out there. Not overdone, just the right amount of moisturizing without feeling greasy or tacky. Yesterday and even this morning, I had the sense that the silage (projection) of this scent wasn't as strong as the others - or at least, different; less "obvious." Turns out that's not the case. It's definitely there - but perhaps more subtle. I catch whiffs of it regularly, and a co-worker noticed it also. I look forward to it haunting me all day - it's scary good! :)

The hardware today was the #Merkur #Futur razor fitted with a #PolSilver blade on shave four. The titanium-handled #BSB Shaving Brush made quick work of generating the plush suds in the #GTP scuttle. An easy BBS result was had!

Truly outstanding shave today with some equally outstanding software. If you missed out on Hallows this year, that's too bad. But take heart; scents like Leviathan and Lavanille are also wonderful, as are the rest - with equal performance. Consider any of B&M's products and you won't be let down. I've been a fan since July and now I can't get enough.