Last night I was stuck on what soap to use for this mornings shave. So on our Canadian Wetshavers group I asked the question of which of my three new soaps to the den should I use. And the victor was B&M Rhapsody. The tub is new, but I have a sample as well just like the Diamond. I tried each once and had to get full tubs. The other soap was Wholly Kaw which I will use this weekend or Monday morning. So today I am actually going to review Barrister and Mann’s Rhapsody!
Rap City, The birthplace of Hip Hop, The Big Apple……….NEW YORK! It goes by many monikers. One thing is for sure is that NYC is an extremely eclectic and vibrant city. It is hard to describe the metropolis as there is just SOO much going on. It is such an intriguing place with literally something for everyone. I feel that Barrister and Mann’s Rhapsody(William you spelled Rap City Wrong………kidding) really does a great job of capturing that spring time feel though. So today I will try to give a fairly detailed review of my thoughts on this soap.
PACKAGING : The first thing you notice with this soap is the packaging. This soap comes in a clear tub. not the usual white tub that soaps had previously came in. It is a great look as you can see the copper color of the soap right through the tub. Next is the Label. This is a really wicked looking label. It certainly stands out with its rainbow silhouette of the NYC skyline. This is a beautiful label. It’s not too busy and is a total eye catcher. This is about as close to a perfect score as I can give. Unless you pay way more for a soap in a glass jar or a fancy wooden bowl this packaging is as nice as it gets in my opinion. 9.5 out of 10.
SCENT : Now scent is very personal, so take all that I say with a grain of salt and not as gospel. The scent of this soap is complex and very VIBRANT to my nose. It is bright with somewhat fruity notes of pear, cherry, and apple blossom. These really come out when lathered and bloomed. The other notes that I pick up are some woods, patchouli, and a really nice hit of citrus from orange and lemon. Despite the notes I would not call this a fruity scent. More of a zesty citrus. From reading the notes on the B&M site it sounds like it may be a muddy scent, but it is blended really nicely and is a soap you will keep on sniffing. Despite its vibrant/citrusy scent it does have a depth to it as well that I think would make it a great year round scent and not just for spring/summer. On a nice fall day this would be a great soap to use. I would love to get my hands on a decant of the cologne that this scent was loosely modeled after. I feel this could be a polarizing scent at it is pretty in your face. Great scent strength along with the scent itself. To my nose this is a 9 out of 10…..but may grow even higher after more usage.
LATHERABILITY : Oh my, now this is where I feel B&M soaps truly stand out. Rhapsody was no exception. This stuff started producing rich creamy lather in the tub in seconds while I was loading. I mean like crazy fast. I used the Muhle STF today to lather and wow does it ever lather. Once the brush was loaded after about 15 seconds I started to face lather. Instantly great lather was forming and I just added a few drops of water to the brush and BAM!! Rich, Thick, slick yoghurt like lather. Just incredible latherability. Not finicky at all. On par or better than soaps like Tabac and Haslinger that a renowned for how easy they are to lather. An EASY 10 out of 10.
PERFORMANCE : I don’t think I am alone in saying that Barrister and Mann to me is the Artisan standard in shaving soaps. I find I compare all my other artisan soaps to B&M as I feel that it is simply the best for what I am looking for in a soap. Unless there is user error I get outstanding performance from all B&M soaps. Easy to lather and the lather is TOP NOTCH. So Protective and slick and cushioning. And the lather lasts. Zero degradation of lather over time when I apply it. With many soaps if you leave it on your face for too long it starts to dissipate. Not an issue with Rhapsody at all. So creamy that it feels like pure luxury. I cannot think of a single negative about this soaps performance…well, maybe it makes other soaps look bad!? OUTSTANDING Performance and another 10 out of 10.
POST SHAVE : Yet another area that B&M sets itself apart from most soaps. The post shave of Rhapsody is great. leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished with zero dryness. I will not claim it to be the absolute best as that honor goes to Haslinger Schafmilch, but this is up there with all the other soaps with great post shave. I’m sure it’s the lanolin and shea butter and Kokum butter that have something to do with it! 9 out of 10
OVERALL : Rhapsody is an absolute winner in my book. From the first look, to the wonderful scent, to the performance and post shave this soap is top notch and as good as any soap I have tried. The scent is really the only thing I could see someone not liking about this soap. The only soaps I could possibly rate higher than Rhapsody would be Haslinger Schafmilch. And the only reason it’s post shave. If scent is taken into consideration they are a dead heat. Every other aspect is perfect or pretty darn close in my opinion. 9.5 out of 10.
Now onto today shave!!!!
Razor : Wade and Butcher 6/8″
Brush : Muhle STF
Soap : Barrister and Mann’s Rhapsody
Toner : Thayer’s Lemon Witch Hazel
Aftershave : Queen Charlotte Soaps Iced Key Lime
Had an awesome shave with the straight. It’s the third straight shave with a straight edge and its gotten better each day. Less irritation on my neck and a DFS shave overall. I get a nice feeling of accomplishment every time I survive a straight shave without massive blood loss.
One thing I will say about this shave was that the Queen Charlotte Iced Key Lime Balm is absolutely amazing! This stuff is ice cold and felt great in the humidity this morning. I love the scent and I think it mingled well with the citrus notes of the Rhapsody. A great shave to end the week and I look forward to next weeks shaves.
Have a great weekend my friends!!! I also have some BIG personal news I will talk about Monday! CHEERS and stay smooth.