Portland Soothing Shave Cream

8 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (8)
Portland Soothing Shave Cream

Another home grown product that I hadn’t really heard of, although this is fairly new to market.

Used with: Derby Extra (3rd shave)

The directions suggest this is a brushless cream, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I loaded my badger. I needn’t have worried. It didn’t take much to produce enough for my usual passes, though I did use some water to thin it out and work up for my second pass. Slickness felt good (excellent after the second pass) and I only picked up a couple of nicks low down on my neck. It was worth it though, as the finish there was good, lacking most of the usual rough spots. One side of my jaw had some roughness but the other was perfectly smooth. Above that was glorious, with only a single patch around my mouth to blemish it. Quite a few places, though not all, made BBS ATG. Good post shave feel. The fragrance is described as ‘sea salt’ which is hard to pin down. Not sure how to describe it except to say that it’s salty. It’s certainly fresh, quite energizing and not like anything else I have. It’s good and strong, stuck with me through the shave and lingered subtley after. I quite like it. All in all, a great shave.

Used with: Shark Super Chrome (1st shave)

I lathered with my boar brush this time. No problems producing the lather, although I was struggling for quantity during my touch-up phase. Slickness was far more average this time and I picked up a handful of nicks. They were generally small and sealed by cold water. My neck was very patchy and didn’t feel close anywhere. My jawline also had rough spots. My face was pretty smooth, but I had patches around my mouth and nowhere felt great ATG. Post shave feel was pretty good once again though. The scent wasn’t anywhere near as strong this time as last. I could still pick it up occasionally, but no more than a hint. A very average shave.

Used with: Polsilver Super Iridium (2nd shave)

I lathered using my badger brush, using a few dips of my bristles to produce a glossy lather and plenty for my shave. It was still thick enough to clog a bit on the first pass. Slickness was good and I didn’t pick up any nicks, though I did get a little irritation on my top lip. My neck was pretty good, with only the odd patch. Despite giving it special attention, my jawline had rough spots. Aside from some areas around my mouth, my face was nice and smooth. Most was close to BBS ATG while some areas made it to smooth heaven. Post shave feel was pretty good, though not up to the best. The fragrance was dialled down again, but I got the occasional whiff. Not so sure about it, but it’s not offensive. A very good shave.

Used with: Super-Max Blue Diamond (4th shave)

I used a warm flannel to help soften my beard before face lathering with my badger brush. No problems producing a glossy lather using a bit of water, but it was still thick enough to clog my blade. Slickness felt fine. I think I picked up a couple of small nicks but they sealed themselves before I finished shaving. Despite spending extra time in the touch-up phase my neck and jawline were still a little patchy. My face was pretty good, with only the odd hair on my top lip disturbing it. My chin was the only area that made it to BBS ATG though. The rest was close and smooth WTG. Post shave feel wasn’t bad but not up to the best. I picked up the salty scent throughout and it lingered subtly for a while after. A good shave.

Used with: Rapira Swedish Supersteel (2nd shave)

I lathered using my boar brush, using a few dips to help thin out the cream to a glossy consistency (I used a bit more water on my second pass). It still clogged my blade. Slickness was good and the only nick I picked up sealed itself before I was done. I spent a bit of extra time and was rewarded with a good finish on my neck, if not entirely patch free. My jawline also had some rough spots. My face was smooth with no roughness to disturb it. Only a few areas made it to BBS ATG though. Post shave feel was nice, though maybe not quite up to the best. I picked up the scent at the start but it died down during the shave, moving into the background. It lingered subtley afterward. A great shave.


This is made in England, in small batches, or at least that’s what is says on the box. It’s only a plastic tube once you get past the box, but it is well designed. The branding’s nice and some thought has obviously gone into the design. It may not seem like much but it does add a little something.

Performance was generally very good, though slickness was very reliant on working the lather properly and it seemed quite thirsty. Post shave feel was good too, combining well with the subtle clinging of the scent.

The fragrance definitely lives up to its description as sea salt, it even creates that salivating effect on the tongue that proper salt does. I’m not sure it’s the sort of thing you’d fall in love with, but it’s bright and breezy for those who shave in the morning.

It’s normally £16, although you can knock that down to £14.40 if you select the subscribe and save option on their website. For that it needs to be a top-notice performer and, while this is good, it wasn’t quite top-tier for me. If you want to try something different then it’s worth a go for the scent alone though.

Disclosure: Men’s Society generously sent me this as a free sample.

Filed under: Cream, Software

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

Last updated: September 10, 2015