Another old-school legend of the British shaving stable.
Used with: Super-Max Blue Diamond (2nd shave)
I scooped out a small amount of cream and it easily flourished into a thick lather with little effort from my badger brush. Slickness felt pretty good but it didn’t prevent me picking up a few nicks, some significant enough to beat cold water. My neck was very good, although I had some roughness in the usual spots (but less that I’m used to). No problems WTG on my face. One of my cheeks was rougher than I’d have liked ATG but otherwise the finish was good. Nowhere made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was okay but a little dry. I got a blast of the fragrance when I opened the pot, but it died back to barely noticeable during the shave, it was there though. It’s a powdery scent and while I enjoyed it initially it became a little tiresome. A good shave.
Used with: Gillette Nacet (1st shave)
A small amount of cream was quickly converted into a thick lather by my boar brush. I added a bit of water to both thin it out and increase volume. Slickness felt good but didn’t prevent me picking up a few nicks, though they were sealed by cold water. My neck wasn’t especially close and was a little tender, but my usual trouble spots were lessened. No problems WTG on my face. ATG wasn’t great, with more than a few places rougher than I’d have liked. Nowhere went close to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but dry. The fragrance wasn’t as strong this time, but accompanied me throughout. The reduced potency made it a bit more palatable. Certainly not a bad scent. Some of the issues with this shave may have come down to a shave late the day before, leaving me less stubble to work on and giving my skin less time to recover. A pretty good shave.
Used with: Feather Hi-Stainless (3rd shave)
I scooped a small amount of cream out and rubbed it into my stubble before working it with my badger brush. I had to add some water but it soon turned into a glossy lather. Slickness felt good and I didn’t pick up any nicks (a rarity with this blade). My neck was very good with even my usual trouble spots barely noticeable. There was some roughness on my jawline but not bad. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG wasn’t bad but I had more resistance than I’d have liked in a few places and nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was nice, with my skin feeling soft. I got a whiff of that chalky fragrance again but it’s not so potent now. It was with me throughout the shave but you barely notice it unless you pay attention. It’s dominated by a high note that sticks in the back of my throat and is a little irritating. Not awful though. A very good shave.
Used with: Sputnik (4th shave)
Once again a tiny amount of cream (think pea-size, maybe smaller), along with a bit of water, was all that was required to produce plenty of lather. Slickness felt okay and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was generally good, not a close as some but close. My usual trouble spots were lessened but there was still some mild roughness. No problems WTG on my face. There were no problems ATG but neither did anywhere approach BBS. Post shave feel was pleasant, soft but a little dry. The fragrance was stronger this time, I got a blast when I opened the pot and it stayed with me, albeit much more subtly throughout the shave. It’s a rowdy scent that demands attention, too much for my tastes, but not bad. A very good shave.
Used with: Treet Platinum (4th shave)
I think I was overly stingy with the cream this time as I had to add in a bit more for the second pass. I think I added a bit too much water as well because the slickness was fine but I picked up a ton of nicks. Not unusual with this blade though. My neck was okay, not especially close and my jawline was worse than it’s been in a while, plus it was a bit raw. WTG my face felt fine. I wasn’t so lucky ATG where the finish was very uneven. Nowhere was too back but there were a lot of patches. Post shave feel wasn’t bad. I didn’t get the initial blast from the fragrance but it was there throughout and even lingered subtly afterwards. An average shave.
The sample pot wasn’t massive so I assumed I’d only be able to squeeze three or four shaves out of it, but there was more than I thought and because so little cream was required it went a long way.
It was easy to lather, even using a small amount of cream. It’s not the most expensive out there, but isn’t cheap either. The fact that you could stretch it so far suggests it’s better value than a ml comparison would reveal.
Slickness was okay, protection wasn’t always top notch though. It wasn’t bad when it came to performance and I certainly got some good shaves, but these were balanced with a few average ones. So overall it came out as a bit middling. Some of that could come down to the amount of cream I used.
The thing you paying for is the scent though, which is what Penhaligon’s is famous for. I picked Blenheim Bouquet as it’s a classic. Introduced in 1902 and supposedly worn by Sir Winston Churchill, it’s been around a while.
I found it quite chalky and it stuck to the back of my throat like a powder. While its insistence is initially quite refreshing and enlivening, I found I tired of it quite quickly and it became a little irritating. So not everyone’s cup of tea. If you like scent-packed products then their creams won’t disappoint.
As a shaving product it’s pretty good and I wasn’t disappointed with the performance. If you’re buying it for the scent I’d recommend trying to get a sample before you dive in though.