Over my past 4 shaves I have been lucky enough to use Barrister & Mann’s HALLOWS. A limited edition soap that is highly regarded in the wet shaving world. I myself was unable to get a jar as I couldn’t keep awake until the 1am local time release. However, A very generous fellow Canadian and B&M fanboy sent me a sample….for that I am super grateful. This just happens to be the same gent whom gave me the generous sample of Fougere Aromatique. I thank him, but my wallet weeps as because of his samples I have acquired quite a few tubs of B&M. This post is all about the Hallows and my overall thoughts from my first impressions to this mornings shave!
So, first things first. I have been using Fougere Aromatique for the past week or so and must say it is outstanding in every aspect including scent….yeah, I wasn’t sure if I was a Fougere fan but this has made me one. Fresh, green, slightly floral and a touch earthy…..almost whimsical. With that being said I knew I would really scrutinize the next soap sample I was going to use….Low and behold I get a sample of Hallows!! what better soap to try than the massively hyped Hallows. I remember seeing the B&M Production calendar, and seeing Hallows was being released again in limited quantities. Needless to say I was very excited to get a tub, but alas I slept through the release and it was sold out by the time I woke up. Not that I needed more soap, but I really wanted to get this one as a few of my friends have the last edition and are massive fans of it to say the very least.
Fast forward to mid week last week and I got a package from a friend that contained HALLOWS!! Boom, I was pumped and could not wait to try it!
THE FIRST SHAVE!!!
Soap : Barrister and Mann Hallows
Brush : Plisson
Razor : EJ HEAD / iKon Handle
Blade : Gillette Platinum Blade
Aftershave : Barberry Coast Havana Balm
That scent! To say I was shocked by the scent would be an understatement. Upon my first sniff/blooming/lathering the cocoa hit me like a ton of bricks. In all honesty its about all I could smell for my first use. Sure there was other stuff but I think I was so shocked by the cocoa that it was all I could wrap my nose around.
I was shocked because I was expecting something more earthy and brooding and extremely dark. Not decaying body dark, but decaying foliage dark. Instead upon my first use I got dark chocolate. Once lathered the scent strength did increase quite a bit.
The shave itself was outstanding. Not a bad thing about it. Typical B&M performance on the soap. Extremely easy to load and face lather, and you can add a ton of water to increase the slickness as much as you want without destroying the lather. Just a wonderful performing soap….What I expect from all B&M soaps.
The Razor and blade combo was fantastic. Effortlessly smooth shave with the added weight from the handle and a nearly flawless BBS shave.
To finish the shave I splashed on Thayer’s cucumber, waited a few minutes, then hydrated with Barberry Coast Havana to carry over that cocoa note.
I chose to keep the set up the same for this shave except for I gave the Gillette Sheraton a shot. The Sheraton is a razor that likes to take bites out of me each and every time I use it. However I saw a gent on one of the groups had used it and got a great shave so I knew I had to try it again…..but we will talk about that later……..
Hallows round #2! I will admit my initial impression was quite clouded by my shock at how much cocoa I detected. For this shave I was prepared for the cocoa note and was able to find other notes lingering in the scent as well. in fact it is not exactly as chocolaty as I had thought at all. Yes the cocoa note was still the most prominent to my nose but there were other scents in their as well. It became like a Chocolate Diamond as I like to say. It reminded me of B&M Diamond dipped in dark chocolate. the scent made me picture cocoa bean plantations and harvesting the beans. there was a bit of an earthy and woodiness that I was admittedly blind to my first go around.
The soap once again was outstanding. And the scent was growing on me.
the Sheraton was the other star. I was super light handed and careful and got one of the best shaves I have ever gotten. I had zero nicks, cuts, weepers, or irritation. What I got was a BBS shave and a new found respect for the Sheraton. No longer will it be stashed at the back of my razors, instead it will be upfront and get a weekly use from now on….or until it bites me again.
This Mornings SHAVE!!!
Now since it was early this morning and I didn’t snap a picture I will just tell you that my set up was the exact same as my previous shaves with the only difference being I used my Barley Gold Edwin Jagger and a Feather blade.
I can honestly say the scent of this soap has really got me intrigued, and my opinion of it has changed greatly since my first shave with it. This soap has great scent strength and there is a note of dark chocolate or maybe it is closer to roasted cocoa beans, but there really is soo much more now that have used it a few times. I get a definite woody note. I also get something slightly resinous….amber maybe, that’s the only resin I can think of. also there seems to be a leathery vibe as well. I am not sure if that comes with the roasted cocoa or is a different note all together. I wish I had the note breakdown of the soap to see and maybe then I could really pinpoint what I smell. Others have said oakmoss and cedar amongst others and those do sound correct, my sniffer just isn’t refined enough to place those exact notes.
That shave itself was again an awesome BBS experience. The EJ/Feather combo always pleases me and never lets me down.
I am really enjoying diving into these samples and using them up. Rarely had I ever used a soap more the 2-3 times in a week. however, this has really helped me get to know these soaps and really pick out the notes in the scent. I will use Hallows and the Aromatique until they are gone and then use a new sample to completion.
Cheers everyone and keep on shaving!!!