Martin de Candre Original Shaving Soap

8 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (8)
Martin de Cantre Original Shaving Soap

Considered by many to be the best shaving soap on the market.

Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (4th shave)

Apparently needs little to get a good lather so I pressed a small amount into a container, briefly covered it in water and then loaded for thirty seconds with my badger brush. No problem producing lather, though I had to add some water. I then ran out during touch-ups. Slickness was okay and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t especially close and I had a rough patch. The finish was better than usual along the jawline though. My face was fine WTG. It wasn’t bad ATG either, but nowhere was especially close and I had more resistance than I’d have liked. Post shave feel was nice. I got a good whiff of the lavender, floral scent at the start. It stayed with me throughout but it’s not the strongest. Not my favourite fragrance. An average shave.

Used with: Gillette Silver Blue (1st shave)

I loaded from a dry sample this time, again for thirty seconds, but using my boar brush. I had to add some water to get a good consistency. There wasn’t enough to do all the touch-ups I wanted. Slickness was unimpressive, with it turning to a ‘sticky’ soap-like coating. That said I only picked up a solitary nick. Most of my neck was okay but the finish was patchy and nowhere was especially close. WTG on my face was good. There was more resistance than I’d have liked ATG and some rough patches at the corner of my mouth. Post shave feel was quite nice. The fragrance stayed with me throughout, I picked up a pea-like component this time. An average shave.

Used with: Personna Platinum (2nd shave)

After some lacklustre performances, I decided to give this a fighting chance and added more product to the container to give a larger loading surface. I left it dry and loaded for thirty seconds with my badger brush. Much better quantity this time. I had to use some water to thin it out but had more than enough for my usual routine and all the touch-ups. Slickness was pretty good too and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was smooth except for some slight roughness low down and along my jawline, the latter was better than usual. Perfectly smooth WTG on my face. ATG was good too, with only slight resistance and no rough patches. Nowhere quite made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was smooth and soft. I got a whiff of the fragrance early on and it stayed with my through the shave, but it’s not very strong so it’s hard to detect. The lavender seemed to dominate this time. Not my favourite scent but so weak as to cause no concern. A very good shave.

Used with: Lord Platinum Class (3rd shave)

I loaded from a dry sample for thirty seconds with my badger brush. Lots of lather this time, I basically gave up trying to use it all. Slickness was good too and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was very good but not perfect. My problematic jawline was better than usual but still had some roughness and there was a hint low down too. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG was good too, with no significant roughness or resistance. A couple of places made it to BBS and others went close. Post shave feel was good too, soft and smooth. The fragrance was present when I opened the container, the lavender dominating, but it disappeared during the shave. A great shave.

Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (3rd shave)

I again loaded dry using a shaken out badger brush. No problem producing lather again, though I had to add some water to get the right consistency. Slickness was pretty good at first, but by the last pass it was ‘sticky’ and I was left with residue on everything. I picked up a couple of nicks, but they sealed themselves before I finished. Excellent finish on my neck, very close and even my jawline was much improved. It was a little raw though. WTG my face was good. ATG was good too, but I had some resistance in a few places and nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but a little dry. I got a whiff of the floral notes at the start but don’t remember it in the shave after that. A very good shave.

Verdict

The lack of product, despite the frugal reputation, seems to have hampered my first couple of shaves and only when I boosted the loading area did I get near the legendary performance. I thought that was the answer, but then the final shave let it down. When it was good, it was very good, but there was a lack of consistency.

Fragrance-wise, it’s lavender and floral, not my taste, but it’s weak to the point of being inoffensive even if you don’t like it. Certainly not one to buy if you’re looking for a kick.

Slickness really fluctuated. At times excellent and at others I got residue and stickiness. That seems to be something that has come up a few times with my samples, although I don’t know why and I can’t see a reason for it.

While I had some highs, they were offset by some big lows. Add in the lack of availability and the cost (even if it will last a while) and I have to take a couple of points off.

Based on my experience I wouldn’t say it was the greatest (and thankfully Shave Dash saved me buying the entire thing), not even top tier. As with everything in shaving though, your mileage may vary!

Filed under: Soap, Software

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: October 28, 2016