Another Italian classic.
Used with: Personna Platinum (4th shave)
I loaded straight from the pot for thirty seconds using my badger brush. There didn’t look to be too much on the bristles, but a bit of water and some work turned it into plenty for my usual routine. Slickness was good, although I did pick up a few small nicks. They sealed themselves before I finished shaving. My neck was generally good, but not especially close and a little raw. Plus I had some roughness in my usual trouble-spots. Smooth WTG on my face, while being hit-and-miss ATG. Some areas were nice, but I had a few spots of resistance and even roughness. Post shave feel was soft but a bit dry. The fragrance was a strong marzipan, both as a I loaded and during the shave. A pretty good shave.
Used with: Rapira Swedish Supersteel (1st shave)
I left it dry and loaded with a shaken out boar brush. Again, the amount of product on the bristles didn’t look enough but a bit of water made it blossom. Slickness was pretty good once more and I only picked up a solitary nick, which closed itself before I finished. My neck was left smooth except for the usual trouble spots, which had a bit of roughness. No problems WTG on my face, and while ATG was generally pretty good too there were a couple of patches of roughness and areas with a little bit more resistance than I’d have liked. Post shave feel was soft but dry. I got a good dose of the fragrance at the start, but I don’t recall it after that. A good shave.
Used with: Feather Hi-Stainless (3rd shave)
I loaded with a fairly damp synthetic brush. It didn’t look like I had a lot, but scooping up the suds and working them on my face soon turned it into tons of lather. There was so much I had to stop myself rather than try and use it all. Slickness felt good and I didn’t pick up any nicks, though I was left with some irritation on my top lip. My neck was generally good, though I had a bit of roughness in the usual trouble-spots. WTG my face felt smooth. ATG was good too, with only the minimum of resistance. Post shave feel was nice and soft. I got a whiff of the fragrance when I opened the tub, but don’t recall it after that. A very good shave.
Used with: Personna Med Prep (2nd shave)
I left it dry and loaded with a shaken out synthetic brush. I wasn’t sure I had enough on the brush but it quickly worked itself into plenty of lather. Slickness felt pretty good but it didn’t prevent me picking up a few small nicks. They didn’t survive to the end of the shave, sealing themselves. My neck was very good, if slightly raw, with the only suggestions of roughness in my usual trouble-spots. No problems WTG on my face. ATG was pretty good too, although I did have an area of resistance on one cheek. My top lip had some irritation too. Otherwise it was smooth but nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was a bit disappointing and quite dry. I picked up the fragrance strongly at the start and it was there very subtly during the shave too. A very good shave.
Used with: Gillette Stainless (1st shave)
I again left it dry and loaded with a shaken out synthetic brush. Again there didn’t look to be enough but as soon as I started working it up on my face the volume increased immensely. Good slickness and I only picked up the odd, small nick, which were sealed by cold water. My neck didn’t feel especially close and I had roughness in the usual places. WTG my face wasn’t as smooth as with some either, though there was nothing bad. Similar story ATG, but with the odd area of resistance, nothing bad. Post shave feel was okay. I got a whiff of the fragrance at the start and subtle hints throughout. A good shave.
This is perhaps the standard against which all other almond ‘croaps’ are measured. This long standing Italian entry has stood the test of time and earned its reputation.
I had no problem picking up its time-honoured fragrance, the marzipan scent of almonds was strong and, although it faded into the background a little, was enough to stay with me throughout each shave.
It was a delight to lather, despite initial loading looking a little lean. As soon as I showed it some water I found it worked into a good coating with plenty for several passes.
Slickness generally felt fine but the protection level could have been higher as I seemed to pick up nicks (albeit small ones) on most of my shaves. A minor niggle. Post shave feel wasn’t quite as good as some either.
The price point on this soap, plus its availability, really make it a must-have. It comfortably out-performs or matches products that cost a whole lot more, making it easy to understand why it has endured for so long.
I have also tried the extra pure version, which is aimed at the trade. This supposedly shares the same ingredients but isn’t cured as long. I would say its purer brethren has a slight edge, but it’s marginal.
The only question is whether you can stand the almond scent.