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D.R. Harris Marlborough Shave Soap

Item Description

This review is for the Marlborough shave soap from D.R. Harris.

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this review. I bought this soap from Shaving Essentials approximately six months ago. They special ordered it for me since the mahogany bowl is not common among those who stock Harris products. I was hooked from the moment I opened the shipping box. The soap's packaging has an old world look to it and the mahogany bowl has a stunning grain. It is a very understated and classy presentation.

Lets start with a visual observation of the soap itself. Thankfully it has no dye or colouring that I can discern. It is a white soap that is not quite as large in diameter as T&H Luxury Soap or George F. Trumper hard soaps though it is thicker. Appearance and presentation is top shelf. Only Penhaligon's meets and exceeds the packaging but I doubt their bowls match the beauty of this Harris product.

Next up is scent. I really like this one. It has a cedar/lavender/woodsy scent that is hard for me to pin down but I instantly liked it and became aware rather quickly that it is one of those scents that is comforting to me. I feel completely at ease using it.

Lathering ability is superb. An honest 10 rating for me. This soap loads up off the cake quite easily and explodes into luxurious, creamy lather in just seconds. It is not one of those that turns to suds quickly either. You have to really try to mess this lather up.

The shave itself is superb. Really it is essentially as good as anything I have used. There may be others that were a tad more protective such as Provence Sante but I would not want to wager on the difference. A close COMFORTABLE shave is the expected norm. I have not had a single bad shave with this lather.

Moisturising properties are completely satisfactory to me. It is not uber moisturising like the above mentioned Provence Sante or Institut Karite but it is not drying at all. It leaves my face feeling quite normal and only a routine after shave application of choice is used. It is not even necessary most of the time.

Overall, I have to say that I am impressed with this shave soap. While it is pricey, I think you need to keep certain considerations in perspective. If you have a number of hard soap lathers in your rotation as I do, then each one is literally going to last for years. The cost per shave vs times used seems to trump costs in this case. Even if you were to use this soap daily, I think it would easily last 4-6 months. So for me, the price was fair even though it went just over $30 U.S. for this version with the mahogany bowl. If you forgo the wooden bowls, then I think the refill cakes are less than $18 and that makes a most worthwhile option in my estimation. I am of the opinion that much like Penhaligon's and Trumper, a man should have at least one item in his toiletry locker from D.R. Harris. You will hard pressed to do better than making that item one of their shave soaps.

Regards, Todd

Discussion
This is my original posting about the Marlborough soap

Latest reviews

Pros: It works
Cons: Just the smell.
Lol.. well, I picked up a used portion of this soap in the wooden bowl on the BST about 50% used. I could not find any samples of it at the time, but wanted to and this seemed to be the only way to procure this.

I am not going to make this a long review, but just and to the point. Okay first, presentation is good. The wooden bowl is very nice, which looks good on the counter and stored away. It whips up and makes a decent lather, not out of this world good, but pretty decent nonetheless.
It is ok moisturizing, I didn't really notice that but I don't recall my skin being extremely dry after using it.

My biggest complaint is the scent. I know a lot of guys like the scent, and I am not saying it is an outrageously disgusting scent because people like it. To me, the name fits the scent. Marlborough... more like a carton of busted up Marlborough Reds smoked down to the butts. It was like lathering up essence of ash tray from a Waffle House. This is just what I get, and I know my sniffer is not your sniffer. However, the scent is very fleeting, and goes away, leaving you with the opportunity to use an aftershave with an alternative and much more acceptable fragrance. I don't write this review to persuade people not to buy it, just an honest review on what I gather from this product. Cheerio mate .
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
0.00 star(s)
Lather
4.00 star(s)
Quality
3.00 star(s)
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
4.00 star(s)
Cons: I can't get this soap to lather
No matter how much I try, I just can't get this soap to make enough lather for a multipass shave. I have no problem lathering MWF, Tabac, Williams, L'Occitane Cade, etc, but I just know what the trouble is with this soap. I've tossed two pucks into the trash after a couple of weeks wishing and hoping it would lather....but without success. Never to buy another puck again.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Lather
2.00 star(s)
Quality
3.00 star(s)
Efficacy
2.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
3.00 star(s)
Pros: Great lather
Cons: A bit finicky
A great soap, with a mild yet lovely scent. Very easy to build into a thick, creamy lather. Excellent performance, on par with any top-end soap. A bit expensive, but what can you do? Highly recommended.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
4.00 star(s)
Lather
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
3.00 star(s)

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Phog Allen
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