While still relatively a newcomer (founded in 1996) to the wet shaving field, Art of Shaving is quickly making inroads through the world of luxury shaving. Acquired by Procter & Gamble (who also owns Gillette) in 2009, in some sense has an extremely rich pedigree of the shaving world that can stand toe-to-toe with the big names like Taylor of Old Bond Street and Proraso.
While many wet shaving fanatics may give a lot of flak to Gillette and their high priced multi-bladed cartridge based razors, P&G’s Art of Shaving brand is an entirely different beast…to some extent.
If there is one common complaint about the Art of Shaving products that many wet shavers share, its going to be the costs of the products.
Weighing in at a hefty price tag of $23, its double the price of the Proraso Shaving Soap ($10) and substantially higher than the price of Taylor of Old Bond Street’s flagship Sandalwood shaving cream ($15) for about the same amount of volume.
However, on the flipside to the price of this shaving cream is that its one of the most easily accessible products you can obtain within the USA at their brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike the other brands mentioned earlier, Art of Shaving has impressive clout when it comes to availability. With currently over 70 stores across the country, they are relatively accessible for the majority of the population.
With this accessibility, men are easily able to go in and test out the scents of these products and select the one they want. However, if you aren’t one of the lucky men living near an Art of Shaving store, you can easily purchase their products on their website or through online retailers like Amazon.com.
Accessibility aside, the ingredients found in the shaving cream are pretty standard of most luxury shaving creams. Regarding scents, Art of Shaving offers the following lineup:
If you aren’t familiar with Sandalwood, its a natural ingredient that smells very woodsy and gives off a old familiar scent. Men often liken the scent to smelling like their Grandpa or old school barbershop given that its one of those classic smells that has been added to several different types of shaving products over the years.
Given that sandalwood is portrayed as “manly”, this shaving cream, unlike the Cremo and other citrus scented shaving creams, isn’t necessarily unisex – sorry ladies.
Scent aside, sandalwood does actually provide some great skin care benefits as well. Some of the stand out properties of sandalwood essential oil includes:
Another key point of consideration on this product is that its dubbed as being both a brushless and shave brush capable shaving cream. Given all of the great exfoliation benefits that are realized when using a shaving brush, we would only recommend that you use this product with a proper badger hair brush for maximum performance.
Also being that this product is marketed as being brushless, its naturally a bit thinner of a solution as opposed to a shave soap like that of Proraso’s that requires a longer bloom time before you load the shaving brush.
Like most shaving creams, the Art of Shaving shaving cream a little will go a very long way. Therefore when loading your brush for the first time, we would recommend go no longer than 10 seconds and building up a lather in either your scuttle, hand, or directly to your face to test the results (remember you can always add more).
Given that not much shaving cream is required in order to build a rich lather, although this shaving cream is priced considerably higher than similar products in this arena, it should last you several months – even if you shave daily.
Which brings us to the next point, performance.
From the initial loading to the peaks that you experience when testing out the lather on this shaving cream, it does perform just as well when compared to the other heavyweights in this industry. Most importantly the glycerin contained within this product will help provide a slick lubricant that will help retain the moisture in your skin when you go to make the appropriate passes with your razor of choice.
In addition to the lubrication, the cushion of this product when lathered properly is what you come to expect when using luxury shaving cream products and doesn’t fall short.
This shaving cream can be used with cartridge, double edge safety razors, and straight edge razors. Both the cushion and the lubrication provided by this cream will allow for repeatedly comfortable shaves even if you do multiple passes in one shaving session.