Review: Trumper's Violet SC (new style)

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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Review: Trumper's Violet SC (new style)

Post by Occam » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:31 am

Gents, here is my humble review of this shaving cream that I got to defray shipping costs on another purchase (PL8) to this big island called Australia. Why didn't I choose another scent you might ask? And it would be a good question. I realised that this had a sense of yesteryear and I smell violet essences on a daily basis on the person's of old ladies who come to me as patients. And while I'm not terribly fond of it in that way, the aroma does remind me of soaps that my mother once washed my brother and I with. It has a real old time feel about it.

It's still not obvious why I made this choice, but I honestly could not think of another scent that I was more curious about, and let's face it - shavegeekery is all about trying and curiosity. Having said all that though I must admit that Corey Greenburgs positive writings on this SC did influence me to select it rather than the others. But who am I kidding? I'll probably end up trying the entire range in the fullness of time, or maybe not...


So I received the package and while more excited about the PL8 that was packed in the same box I opened up the Trumper's Violet first. The cream was so full its top surface covered half the inner lid. I took it off and took a whiff... yes the aroma of violets and old soaps came rushing into my head. The smell of Palmolive soaps of yesteryear... nice... it was only when I tried using it that I realised that this smell was pretty strong compared to other creams I've tried. It was seriously violetty.

I took it to the bathroom and gave it a whirl... using about as much as I would of Proraso by eyeballing it... a purple coloured froth started and dissipated to a light pink... but I wasn't getting the usual good lather I would with face lathering... in fact it was so bad I wondered whether I might have lost some of the cream when I wet the brush... no... wow what a disappointment it was. I realised maybe using the stuff on the inner lid which I had might have been unfair since it may have 'dried out' or changed etc.

Thinking it might also have something to do with unfamiliarity with the PL8 I decided to try again with my trusty Vulfix #2190 and some fresh cream from the tub... nice for one pass but the second application left a pale amount of lather. I'd been 'false shaving' - using a bladeless Rocket to scrape off the lather so my face was the same and was as receptive to the lather as it had just been.

I decided that maybe it was because there just wasn't enough stubble to get a decent lather. Tried again the next morning with the PL8... again barely enough lather for 2 passes using an almond size dollop of cream...

I resigned myself to the fact that people's impressions of Trumpers was right. That I had missed the boat... their creams had indeed become worthless and certainly not worth 11 pounds sterling. For some reason that's when I thought to try the new brush in a bowl again and used a bit more than an almond's worth of cream (almost 1.75 almonds worth) ... finally I had enough lather... but only just.

In the end I'm disappointed with this cream's price to performance ratio. I have come to love the smell though... it really grows on you... but I guess I'll just have to use extra big helpings which is probably exactly as Trumpers wants it... to get a decent shave. I can live with that since it will help empty this nice tub which I'll press into service with other soaps. The tub actually matches the handle colour of the Simpson brush exactly a warm beige.


Would I buy it again? I don't know right now... I'll have to finish this tub to know for sure but it's definitely a creeper... it kind of grows on you all of a sudden and then all you want to smell is violets and more violet... my PL8 reeks of it now and I love it :)
Ben

Merkur Futur in Au.

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Post by kd7kip » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:54 am

Ben-

Great review. GFT Violet is my favourite creme, although its not as it was prior to the reformulation. Too bad no other company offers this excellent scent.

One of the surprises I've discovered is my fondness for floral scents-- violet, rose, lavender-- which are now all I use (with the occasional Lime). My mother, by the way, has used violet soap and perfumes all her life, so that influences my tastes, no doubt. My wife likes the scents on me, too.

I'm running low on my tub of Violet, and will probably switch to Violet soap when its empty, as I hear the soap is still good.

-Scott
Dumb as a stump and twice as ugly...

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Post by Whistler » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:48 am

Gft Violet is one of my favourite creams also, love the smell and the thick rich lather I get, IMHO it is close to the coates I have in terms of lather, cussion, and slickness. 1/2 an alomond size drop gives me two passes on my face.

Ben, I have a tub of GFT Coconut oil cream I would trade for that Violet if it is that unpleasant to you.

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Marty
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Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:16 am

If you look somewhere in this thread ou'll see that you can achieve violet bliss without Trumper!

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Post by Whistler » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:41 am

Chris, do you still use it?
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Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:57 am

Yes, along with the other KMF creams, which are amazingly good.

Chris
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Post by loueedacat1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:10 am

I have GFT Violet and like it quite a lot. It does seem to need a decent amount to make good lather, but I view that as a positive because I need to cull my hoard of creams! :)

I'm going to get a little philosophical here, but I think it's important to just enjoy these products for what they are and not let the prevailing sentiment make you not like a cream or soap (not that that is what's going on in this case). As I got into this shaving thing, I read the cory greenberg site, and bought some GFT Violet, loved it, then got some GFT rose, and loved it more. And then as I read posts on this site and others I started seeing negatives in GFT and pining for the "old formulations" I never tried. Then one day I thought, why am I down on this cream, when a month ago I thought it was the best thing ever! So I started using them again and guess what, I love them.

So we all get great ideas and perspective from these sites, and learn about great new things to try, but I think it's important to live in the moment and enjoy these creams for what they are, not dwell on what they aren't, and be sure we aren't "training" ourselves not to like some of them.

Another example is classic soaps - I liked them, and then I read all kinds of negative commentary, and thought "yuck - not triple milled, yuck, not tallow, yuck, not QED," and tried them again after a while again and thought, you know, I really do like these soaps (as well as QED, but for different reasons). Alot of these things we are buying really are great and we should really enjoy them all.

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Post by kd7kip » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:57 am

loueedacat1 wrote:I have GFT Violet and like it quite a lot. It does seem to need a decent amount to make good lather, but I view that as a positive because I need to cull my hoard of creams! :)

I'm going to get a little philosophical here, but I think it's important to just enjoy these products for what they are and not let the prevailing sentiment make you not like a cream or soap (not that that is what's going on in this case). As I got into this shaving thing, I read the cory greenberg site, and bought some GFT Violet, loved it, then got some GFT rose, and loved it more. And then as I read posts on this site and others I started seeing negatives in GFT and pining for the "old formulations" I never tried. Then one day I thought, why am I down on this cream, when a month ago I thought it was the best thing ever! So I started using them again and guess what, I love them.

So we all get great ideas and perspective from these sites, and learn about great new things to try, but I think it's important to live in the moment and enjoy these creams for what they are, not dwell on what they aren't, and be sure we aren't "training" ourselves not to like some of them.

Another example is classic soaps - I liked them, and then I read all kinds of negative commentary, and thought "yuck - not triple milled, yuck, not tallow, yuck, not QED," and tried them again after a while again and thought, you know, I really do like these soaps (as well as QED, but for different reasons). Alot of these things we are buying really are great and we should really enjoy them all.
Very true. The old formulations were very good, and I regret that Trumper's has gone the direction they have gone (reformulations, plastic bottles for EDC, dropping several products such as hair dressings, hideous language in their catalogue, etc.). I used to be quite the Trumper slut, and still am, by and large.

Violet and Rose and the rest are still good cremes. GFT still makes my favourite colognes (Wild Fern, Spanish Leather, etc.) and hair dressings (Eucris & Coronis). I've branched out a bit, but I still grab a GFT pot more often than not.

-Scott
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Post by Hoos » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:22 am

Trumper's violet is one of the two creams I use with a new blade. I'm assuming it's the newer formulation - kind of feels whipped and not as dense as C&F creams.

But it performs like a champ for me. And the scent is great, lasts for the shave, but doesn't linger for the day.
Brent
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Post by LostInCincy » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:52 pm

Please, please, please everyone keep in mind that there are a lot of people new to this who could easily have the same high-quality Trumpers we've all enjoyed for years. Because of all of the threads on here about new formulas, I think a lot of guys are getting down on creams because they don't know any better. I honestly don't think this bad batch of Trumpers is that prevalent.

-Dan

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Post by loueedacat1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:07 pm

LostInCincy wrote:Please, please, please everyone keep in mind that there are a lot of people new to this who could easily have the same high-quality Trumpers we've all enjoyed for years. Because of all of the threads on here about new formulas, I think a lot of guys are getting down on creams because they don't know any better. I honestly don't think this bad batch of Trumpers is that prevalent.

-Dan
Do you mean the "reformulation" was one batch, and new batches may be back to the good formula?

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Post by desmoface » Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:41 pm

I had a tub of Trumpers Violet and thought it produced an amazing amount of lather for the amount of product used. Unfortunately, I was very let down by the shave. Wound up selling it off.

That said, my skin just may not like the Violet content, and it's the only Trumpers cream I've used, so I have to reserve judgement on them. Stuff lathered like nobody's bidness, though.

Steve

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Post by LostInCincy » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:01 pm

loueedacat1 wrote:
LostInCincy wrote:Please, please, please everyone keep in mind that there are a lot of people new to this who could easily have the same high-quality Trumpers we've all enjoyed for years. Because of all of the threads on here about new formulas, I think a lot of guys are getting down on creams because they don't know any better. I honestly don't think this bad batch of Trumpers is that prevalent.

-Dan
Do you mean the "reformulation" was one batch, and new batches may be back to the good formula?
The truth of the matter is that nobody knows. There have been some reports here and there, but what's most telling to me is that the complaints have been different. Some people complain about the scents changing in some Trumper creams. Others talk about the texture. The texture and scents of Harris creams changed all at once at the same time as the packaging. There've been no really bad samples of T&H, except for the West Indian Limes.

So, since I really have not seen that many reports of bad creams from Trumpers, I'd prefer to believe for now that there is no such thing as "new" vs. "old." What seems the most ridiculous is seeing new people scared off by the bad reports on here. Or even worse, seeing people get their cream, not be blown away and then just assume it's "new." The whole thing is beyond absurd at this point, and there are well-intentioned gentlemen on here who've been wetshaving for about a year decrying how "unacceptable" the new creams are and that they're "simply not as good."

My advice: Take the advice you find here, order some products and decide for yourself. If something doesn't amaze you at first, realize that you may just not be used to it and give it some time and experience before judging the cream.

-Dan

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Post by drmoss_ca » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:32 pm

Dan,
As a long time user of the old, and a horrified purchaser of the new, I have to say there is a difference for sure. If you can't detect it - I envy you!

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

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Post by Hoos » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:39 pm

And, as with all things shaving, YMMV.

I have tub of the "new" formula T&H West Indies Limes. After letting it sit on the shelf for a couple of months, I enjoy using it. The scent has faded somewhat and it smells more "soapy" now. But it is one of my go to creams for shaving with a new blade.

The cushion and slickness it provides makes it one of my safety nets. Will I buy it again? Only time will tell. The Trumper's violet does the same thing for me, but it may be of the old formulation. I don't know.

With all the different products available (regardless of their formulation date), everyone can find the right product for their shaves. Have some of us newbies missed out on some very nice, reliable classics? Possibly. Again, time will tell.
Brent
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Post by LostInCincy » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:58 pm

Chris, it's more a matter of not personally having seen any of the bad samples. From what we've observed, I'm just not sure it's as widespread as we first thought.

That said, "horrified" is the appropriate term to describe my reaction to the new D.R. Harris creams. Coming out at the same time as the new packaging, I can only conclude that this was intentional. For Trumpers, however, there seems to be very little uniformity in the complaints and not the same number of bad reports. T&H even less so. Taylors, of course, is a whole different story.

Time may prove me wrong, but as I continue to stop in shops and see only good products, I'm less inclined to advise newbies that their cream must be the newer, awful variety.

-Dan

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Post by Bob » Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:00 pm

I have both the old and the new. The pots have different packaging, and were purchased over a year apart. I bought the new pot via the internet right after I read Gordon's "crack of doom" thread, in the hope of getting an old pot (my only local Trumper's stockist doesn't carry the violet, only the more "manly" scents). Unfortunately, I received a pot of the new stuff.

I can tell you truthfully, Dan, I have had both pots opened and examined them side by side. Here is what I know:
  • * There is a difference in consistency. The new pot is less dense, and has a more "whipped" consistency. This, however, may be due to aging.

    * There is a difference in color. This doesn't bother me much. Again, the change could be due to aging.

    * There is a definite difference in scent. A marked difference. I don't see how aging is going to change this. I have opened the pot a few times since I bought it, in the hopes that the scent is becoming more like the old Trumper's violet. The scent is not changing back into the old scent.
It may just be that Creighton's put out a bad batch. The change in fragrance, however, has me worried that there has been a reformulation. The smell is what made the Trumper's violet so special, at least to me. That scent is gone. Will it come back in a future batch? Perhaps it will. I certainly hope so. If I had to bet, though, I'd bet that they reformulated it.
--Bob--

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Post by kd7kip » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:02 pm

Bob wrote:I have both the old and the new. The pots have different packaging, and were purchased over a year apart. I bought the new pot via the internet right after I read Gordon's "crack of doom" thread, in the hope of getting an old pot (my only local Trumper's stockist doesn't carry the violet, only the more "manly" scents). Unfortunately, I received a pot of the new stuff.

I can tell you truthfully, Dan, I have had both pots opened and examined them side by side. Here is what I know:
  • * There is a difference in consistency. The new pot is less dense, and has a more "whipped" consistency. This, however, may be due to aging.

    * There is a difference in color. This doesn't bother me much. Again, the change could be due to aging.

    * There is a definite difference in scent. A marked difference. I don't see how aging is going to change this. I have opened the pot a few times since I bought it, in the hopes that the scent is becoming more like the old Trumper's violet. The scent is not changing back into the old scent.
It may just be that Creighton's put out a bad batch. The change in fragrance, however, has me worried that there has been a reformulation. The smell is what made the Trumper's violet so special, at least to me. That scent is gone. Will it come back in a future batch? Perhaps it will. I certainly hope so. If I had to bet, though, I'd bet that they reformulated it.
Agreed 100%. Consistency, colour and scent all different between two separate pots-- one with address on lid, one without.

-Scott
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Post by loueedacat1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:17 pm

[quote="kd7kipone with address on lid, one without.

-Scott[/quote]

Does the old/good version have the address on the lid, or does the new/bad version have the address on the lid (I want to see which I might have).

If I've got the bad one I'll continue to enjoy and hope to get blown away by the good one!

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Post by Scrapyard Ape » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:31 pm

loueedacat1 wrote:Does the old/good version have the address on the lid, or does the new/bad version have the address on the lid (I want to see which I might have).

If I've got the bad one I'll continue to enjoy and hope to get blown away by the good one!

The "good stuff" has the street addy on the lid. The "satan-spawned, vile concoction that is responsible for everything bad in the world stuff" does not have the street addy.
~Greg

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