Another premium product from a London-based barber.
Used with: Super-Max Super Platinum (2nd shave)
This is part of a three-piece system, so I started with the pre-shave scrub. Not sure I got a full pump but I massaged it onto my skin then washed off. After the scrub I used one pump of cream to build the lather with my badger brush. From what I gather it’s not supposed to create a thick lather, but the first pass was pretty standard, though subsequent passes were a little thinner than I’m used to. Slickness was okay, nothing special, but I didn’t pick up any nicks despite the blade tugging like mad during the first pass. My neck was very good compared to normal, though not perfect. The only real roughness was up by my jawline (as usual). Apart from the odd hair in the various crevices around my mouth, my face was smooth. A few areas even made it to BBS ATG. Post shave feel was okay, nice and smooth but nothing too special. The fragrance is shared by all of the products and I found the mixture of sandalwood and clove very pleasant. It’s quite subtle, but is enough to be picked up throughout the shave and to linger in the post shave balm. It’s slightly sweet, more fruity than woody to my nose. Nice. A very good shave.
Used with: Treet Platinum Super Stainless (1st shave)
I again started with the scrub to prepare my face. Using the suggested one pump of shave cream I wasn’t certain there was going to be enough for my badger brush to build for my usual routine. I needn’t have worried as the lather proved sufficient. Slickness felt okay and I didn’t pick up any nicks. In places my neck felt much better than usual, but it wasn’t perfect, especially up by my jawline where there was still plenty of roughness. I didn’t quite get everything in the harder to reach spots around my mouth, but these were the only patches on my face. The odd place made it to BBS ATG but this was the exception rather than the rule. Post shave feel was average. I didn’t pick up much of the fragrance during the shave, but it was there, albeit subtly, through all three stages. It lingers nicely with the post shave balm and is a pleasant scent. A good shave.
Used with: Shark Super Stainless (4th shave)
I prep’d with the scrub, then used my badger brush to lather up from the single pump. I got plenty for my usual three-ish passes. Slickness felt okay with water, non-existent when tested with a dry finger, but this seems to be the norm. I picked up a single nick. My neck wasn’t perfect, but was better than usual, my jawline too. Above that was smooth with only the odd stray hair. A couple of places made to BBS ATG, but they were a rarity. Post shave feel was very nice, though not as good as some. The fragrance is very nice, though quite subtle. I got a good whiff at the start of the shave before it settled into the background. You definitely need the balm if you want it to hang around, which I did. A very good shave.
Used with: Wilkinson Sword Classic (3rd shave)
After the scrub I used a couple of pumps of cream (the first pump wasn’t a complete one) and that was plenty for my badger brush to produce a good lather. Again, slickness when wet was sufficient and I picked up a solitary nick, which was sealed before I finished. My neck wasn’t perfect but was generally pretty good. The rough patches on my jawline were lessened, but I had some on my throat. My face was nice and smooth but nowhere quite made it to BBS ATG, though it was close in places. Post shave feel was good but not great. I again enjoyed the scent, but it didn’t seem as present this time. It lingered subtly in the balm though. A very good shave.
Used with: Rapira Platinum Lux (1st shave)
I again prep’d with the scrub, then a single pump of cream was all I needed along with my boar brush to lather up. Slickness was fine and I didn’t pick up any nicks. The finish on my neck and jawline was better than usual though not perfect. There was also a rough patch on my throat. My face was smooth and a couple of places just about made it to BBS ATG. Post shave feel was good rather than great, but still nice. The scent doesn’t seem as strong with each shave I have, maybe that’s just me getting used to it. I picked it up in the scrub and balm, but don’t remember it in the shave itself. It is fairly subtle though, so I may simply have missed it. I do like it. Another very good shave.
Part of the appeal, for me anyway, of traditional wet shaving is the ceremony. Yes there are benefits to the products and end result, but building the lather, using a brush and the rest add to the joy. Using the Pall Mall cream heightened this and turned each shave into an event.
This review only covers the cream, but it’s part of a three-step system that starts with a scrub and finishes with a post-shave balm. All carry the same sandalwood and clove scent. Matched with fantastic presentation, it presents a shaving vision as much as anything else.
I loved the scent, the performance was good and the pump bottle is unique, providing a simple way to get a consistent amount. The system works well, but I don’t think the scrub added anything (to the shaving process, it seems to work well enough as a scrub, though I have too little experience to tell).
Coming in at £22.50 it’s on the higher end, putting it above even the more established names. It should last quite a while though, with the pump supposedly granting ~200 shaves per bottle.
I never failed to get a good shave using this, but it didn’t quite pitch up with the best when it came to post shave feel and I didn’t get an exceptional finish that some products have provided.
That said, if money is no object (and it’s hardly the most expensive cream), I’d happily recommend it.
Disclosure: Pall Mall Barbers kindly provided this as a free sample.