Shaving Gallery Shave Lather

What is your opinion on fine shaving creams and hard soaps? Do you like Trumpers, Coates, Taylors, Truefitt & Hill? Post your reviews and opinions here!
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Ken
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Shaving Gallery Shave Lather

Post by Ken »

I had hoped this review would turn out better. I appreciate the efforts that this firm makes to provide natural products. However, my experience with the shaving cream was disappointing.

I ordered a tub of the Bergamot and Bay, and also a sample of the Lime and Tea Tree Oil. First off, I disliked the fragrance of the Bergamot and Bay. It wasn't very pleasant. This is of course a matter of taste. The lathering properties were not. I found it very difficult to get a decent lather. It was difficult to keep lather in the brush without relathering, something I normally do not have to do. Indeed, something happened that I have never seen before in a shave cream. Some of the lather congealed into small pieces of soap and nothing I could do with the brush would break up the soap. I tried this cream, despite not liking the fragrance, five or six times. Every time but one I got at least one piece of soap and once two pieces. Never did I get a really good lather.

This congealing did not happen with the Lime and Tea Tree oil The smell was nicer, but not anything special. It lathered somewhat better, but I still experienced razor drag.

It may well be that I received a defective tub of shaving cream. But that I got it and the fact that it differed somewhat from the sample suggest that, at best, Shaving Gallery has some work to do. I'd be interested to know whether others had a similar or different experience.

Ken
Last edited by Ken on Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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wenestvedt
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Re: Shaving Gallery Shave Lather

Post by wenestvedt »

Ken wrote:Indeed, something happened that I have never seen before in a shave cream. Some of the lather congealed into small pieces of soap and nothing I could do with the brush would break up the soap.
Ken, I think it must be environmental, whether heat or humidity I couldn't say: I just received samples from Truefitt & Hill, and the shaving cream they sent did the same thing.

There were tiny bits of what looked like un-dissolved cream in the otherwise nice lather, much like unmelted butter in chocolate, or balls of dry flour in under-mixed batter. Weird to see, and it seemed to me as though it took some of the loft out of the lather.

Based on their reputation I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume this was a bad one, but you're not alone. :7)
fisherc
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Post by fisherc »

Ken:

I use this cream regularly and have not observed any of the issues you describe. I find this cream to be very similar in efficacy and performance to the three T's. However, the fact that the SG cream uses no synthetic fragrance, no colorant and no parabens is a big plus for me. I agree that the Bergamot/Bay fragrance is the least appealing of their offering. The Cedar is outstanding and the lime/tea tree is a very mild "citrusy" sort of blend that is neither lime nor tea tree to my nose.

Chris
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Ken, Sorry to hear that it didn't work out with the Shaving Gallery creams. I've not tried them myself. The only time I've experianced what you described has been with quite dehydrated traditional creams, where during the lather building, I'd get these little chucks of hard soap-like stuff that resisted dissolving. Regarding the poorish lubrication of the lather from the lime/tea tree sample, I wonder if there was too much water? I know you tend to use larger high end brushes that hold a great deal. Maybe this Shaving Gallery cream requires less water then the traditional creams? Just a thought.
Regards,
Gordon
northadams
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Post by northadams »

Hey Ken, A big fan myself for a new thing except for the wife and young monkeys' (four now-how did this happen?) I was quite fond of the SG creams when they appeared, not so much for their scents but for the clean ingredients. I did find the cream a bit too thick for my liking (a bit like the old Taylor or Coates pots that had been taking a slumber on a shelf for a while.) A bit pricey too for the size. Try the new Coates when it appears sometime soon.

Max
Ken
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Post by Ken »

The cream in the tub was somewhat thicker than I would have expected. Perhaps it was dried out, but it seemed different from dried out creams I have had before. In any event, when something is sent out by mail order from a small firm, it should be checked out before being sent.

The tea tree sample was not all that bad. It just wasn't as good as traditional creams, in that it allowed some razor drag. My motto with almost any size brush is the less water (generally) the better, so I don't think that was an issue. Samples, of course, are not always representative of what a product can do at its best.

Ken
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Post by bernards66 »

Ken, Okay, that pretty well puts 'paid' to that theory. It's really too bad, as I know that that stuff is pretty pricey. Small comfort to you, I guess, but any vague notions I may have had about ordering some of this stuff have been pretty well put to bed by your posts. I don't know, perhaps I'm just getting old, but I'm getting less and less inclined to experiment with products outside the range of stuff from firms that I know from experiance usually deliver the kind of products that I like. Increasingly, I find myself just re-ordering favourites, or re-visiting ones haven't used in several years, and less ordering ones that are entirely unfamiliar. Guess I'm just not that much fun anymore ( chuckle ).
Regards,
Gordon
yourmando
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Post by yourmando »

Ken, I think your experience is atypical. My experience is dead on with what Chris F. described. Of the dozens of creams I have owned, this one definitely belongs on the "top shelf." I also appreciate the lack of added color and parabens, and very few fragrance ingredients in the form of EOs. I've had no congealing issues and find the cream very lubricating--more so than some tradional English creams like D.R. Harris.

Yes, the scent is a matter of preference. I personally don't like Bay Rum types of scents, and find the Bergamot Bay much better. The (real) bergamot in place of a clove scent is a brilliant move, in my opinion.

Chris has noted here before that the proprietor has worked at Trumper for many years before starting her line. I don't know if she was ever involved in making Trumper's cream, but if you look on the jar you will see "Made in England" even though Shaving Gallery is based out of Georgia. It clearly wasn't created from first principles.

Armando
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Post by hedonist »

I dont post here that regularly but I did need to chime in on this b/c I would hate Ken's post to dissuade users from trying out this wonderfull cream. I know that for users like Chris Fisher, the all natural aspect of this cream is a huge selling point; it is to a lesser degree for me. However, what is great about this cream is the efficacy. I've use all the top shave cream (with the exception of DR Harris), and Shaving Gallery consistently provides more lubrication than anything ive used before, save for maybe NancyBoy. But I find Nancyboy doesnt work as well with a brush after the first lathering, it was designed to be used brushless. Shavingallery however, is truly a brush friendly cream.

In short, give it a try guys, it's great. Just my 2cents. YMMV
Ken
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Post by Ken »

Well, Chris, Hedonist, and Armando did not experience what I did (although Max did notice a thickness in the cream). I have to assume that I got a defective tub. I think I will contact Shaving Gallery and see whether they will replace it, and I'll report back.

Ken
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Post by Ken »

I spoke with a woman (not Lauren) at Shaving Gallery and she mentioned that they have two consistencies of shave cream: one is softer than the other. This may account for the difference in consistency that Chris experienced in the Lime and Tea Tree Oil (in a different thread). In any event they are sending me a replacement (though I forgot to ask which consistency it would be) so I'll see how it goes. She was very pleasant about it and said there was no need for me to return the tub they had previously sent me.

Ken
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hampsteronastick
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Post by hampsteronastick »

I have not tried Shaving Gallery cream but I do have what appears to be an old jar of Forcan that suffers from butter-in-the-bowl syndrome. This cream was sitting on a shelf at a beauty supply house with Booster products and I thought it might be Frasers. Since the label had fallen off and it was only identified as shaving cream $10, I had to try it. Sorry for rambling. I can get an incredible shave but only if I warm my bowl with boiling water. The extra hot bowl quickly melts the butter-like lumps that seem to linger under normal conditions and I have water for tea (not in my latte mixing bowl) while I'm shaving. A cream that could easily have been written off is now a favourite. I guess it helps that I do like the smell.
Dan
Daddy, why are you dipping the hampster in whipped cream?
It's not whipped cream, it's shaving cream.
Daddy, why are you shaving the hampster?
bernards66
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Post by bernards66 »

Ken, Well, that's interesting. Are you saying that they deliberately make their creams in two different consistancies? And, if so, I wonder which is which? Are some of the scents in the thicker style, and the others in the more whipped version? Strange.
Regards,
Gordon
Ken
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Post by Ken »

Gordon,

I'm not sure. The web site doesn't indicate that there are two different types. I'll see what I get when they send me the replacement.

Ken
fisherc
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Post by fisherc »

The Lime/Tea Tree cream is a new cream for SG. I believe that the first batch they got in was a bit on the "runny" side. Subsequent "batches" should be more "firm." You may have just received one of the "runny ones." Generally speaking the SG creams, irrespective of scent, are of the same texture as the three T's.
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Post by northadams »

The SG lime/tea tree cream is not on their website yet and I had forgotten about the review from Chris. Maybe the Bergamot tub dried a bit upon arrival. Who knows. I know it's an unusual scent and some may not take to it at all but I became quite fond of their Cedarwood offering. With the Lime now available and a reported consistency of the three T's I feel more encouraged. The all natural ingredients may certainly be worth a second look. I'm not quite sure about their A/S products though being that I have only about a week's worth of the original Harris A/S milk left.

Max
Ken
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Post by Ken »

Chris,

The woman distinctly said that there were two different consistencies, which would mean that the "runny" batch was not a mistake. Of course, she may not know; presumably someone should ask the owner to clarify this. I'll see what comes in my replacement shipment.

Ken
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Post by Ken »

Well, I received the Cedarwood replacement last evening and shaved with it this morning. It is clear that my original tub of Bergamot and Bay was defective. The Cedarwood was much softer, slightly more so than, say Coate's or Trumper's. It had a nice pearlescence and, most important, I had an excellent shave. Whether it is as good as Coate's or Trumper's I'm not sure, but it was very close indeed.

However, while I felt that the Cedarwood fragrance was better than the Bergamot and Bay, which I really disliked, I detected something of the same note I did not like in the Cedarwood as well. It reminds of some household substance that I can't quite identify. Perhaps the tea tree oil is the culprit, at least for me.

So, I'll give the Cedarwood fragrance some time, but I doubt that it will ever be as attractive to me as the fragrances in the shaving creams from Trumper, Coates, D.R. Harris, and AOS. I would still recommend that people try the product, because if you like the fragrance, I think you will like the shaving results.

Ken
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Post by bernards66 »

Ken, I very much appreciate you taking the time to follow up with us on this. Yes, perhaps it is the tea tree oil, as I gather that that is in all of their creams. I don't care for the scent of it, myself ( as well as having a mild reaction to it ). That's why their Tea Tree is the one Coate's cream that I don't use.
Regards,
Gordon
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