Pré de Provence Shaving Soap

8 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (8)
Pré de Provence shaving soap

Made in France and hailing from a region that produces a lot of skincare products.

Used with: Bolzano Superinox (3rd shave)

I pressed a few of the shavings into a container and briefly covered them in water as I wet my face. I then loaded for thirty seconds using my badger brush. Lather wasn’t an issue but I had to add some water to first and second passes to help reach the right consistency. Slickness was excellent and I didn’t pick up any nicks. I did seem to spend a far bit of time on touch-ups but it was worth it. My neck was left very smooth with only a hint of roughness along my troublesome jawline. My face was smooth WTG. It was good ATG too, with some resistance in only a couple of places. Nowhere quite made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was very good. Sticking my nose in the pack (and right up to the shavings at the end) I was able to pick up a nice, floral scent, but it’s subtle. I didn’t get it at all during the shave. A very good shave.

Used with: Voskhod (1st shave)

I covered the shavings in water as I wet my face, then loaded for thirty seconds using my boar brush. I didn’t have a problem producing lather but I did run out during touch-ups. Slickness was very good again and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was very good compared to normal, with only some roughness along my jawline. It was a little tender though. WTG my face was smooth. ATG wasn’t bad either but there was some resistance and nowhere got close to BBS. Post shave feel was nice and soft. I got a whiff of the scent at the start but almost nothing during the shave itself. It was closer to a soap fragrance this time, with a hint of more complex scents. A good shave.

Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (2nd shave)

I briefly covered the shavings before loading for thirty seconds with my boar brush. I didn’t have a problem producing lather but I did run out during touch-ups again. I added some water to help increase the volume early on and that left it quite runny by the end. Slickness didn’t impress this time, with it being ‘sticky’ on my face. That said, I picked up a single nick and it sealed itself. My neck wasn’t bad, but I had some roughness in the usual places. No problems WTG on my face but I had a few areas of resistance ATG. Nothing too serious but more than I’d have liked. Nowhere went close to BBS. Post shave feel wasn’t bad, but nothing special. Sticking my nose to it I was able to pick up a quite ‘soapy’ scent, but I didn’t register it at all during the shave. A pretty good shave.

Used with: Gillette Silver Blue (3rd shave)

I pressed a few more shavings into the container to boost the amount of product and give me a larger loading area. I left it dry and loaded for thirty-odd seconds using my badger brush. No problem producing plenty of good lather. Slickness was good too and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was very good except for along my jawline. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG there was a slight rough patch on one cheek but otherwise was good. Nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was okay, a little dry though. I got a whiff of the fragrance at the start and some subtle wafts during the shave. It’s low key at the best of times, but pleasant enough. Again, more of a ‘soap’ scent. A good shave.

Used with: Personna Platinum (4th shave)

I left the shavings dry and loaded with my badger brush for thirty seconds. No problem producing a good lather for the first pass but I had to add some water to the second to boost it and that left it very runny for touch-ups. Slickness was okay, felt a little soapy and it deposited a scummy layer on my sink. I picked up a few nicks though they were sealed by cold water. My neck wasn’t bad, with roughness confined to the usual trouble spots. It wasn’t especially close either though. WTG my face was good. There was more resistance ATG than I’d have liked as well as a fewer rougher patches. Nothing too bad. Post shave feel was smooth but not especially soft and quite dry. When I opened the container I got a heady draft of the scent, but I don’t remember anything after that. A pretty good shave.

Verdict

Although everything about this product screams French artisanal roots, as best as I can see the brand is actually owned by a US company called European Soaps, LLC. I’m not doubting the soap is actually made in France though (there is a French distributor listed on the packaging). Might explain why it isn’t easy to get hold of in the UK.

Producing a basic lather was never an issue, even from a few small shavings. Getting enough of the right sort to do the job seemed a problem though.

For something that contains shea butter I was a little disappointed with the post shave feel. It wasn’t bad but didn’t deliver what you’d expect. Slickness was generally very good, but did suffer in some of my shaves.

Not one for those that like a strong scent. It’s floral and pleasant enough, but so subtle I struggled to pick it up even with the product directly under my hooter. There’s also a variant called No. 63 with a different fragrance, designed for men (apparently).

After the first shave I thought this was going to be one of my favourite products, but my enthusiasm was tempered as the shaves went on. Mainly because slickness seemed a bit haphazard, it was hard to achieve the right consistency without over-watering it and for all that was good there was something to spoil it.

Far from the worst product I’ve tried and it certainly did the job, on occasion it did it exceptionally well too.

Filed under: Soap, Software

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

Last updated: October 15, 2016