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Art of Shaving trial

Well, the good folks at AOS were kind enough to send me a package of samples which I was quite eager to experiment with, given their rather mixed reviews. I thought I would share my impressions as a rather unbiased (although rather still unknowledgable) newcomer to the wetshaving scene. On to it...

While I am admittedly rather unknowledgeable about facial washes and scrubs, theirs did seem rather effective and I will certainly consider their products further when I look into such in the future. Their facial moisturizer was very good, but not extraordinarily so: a pleasant mild scent that goes on heavy but disappears impressively fast to leave a great long-lasting finish. It doesn't change the world of moisturizers, but it certainly helps make it a better place.


Hair-wise, their shampoo and conditioner had a delicious rosemary-peppermint aroma (epecially perfect in the conditioner) that I loved. The shampoo was extremely effective, but too harsh for my thin and soft hair and left it feeling stripped and dry, but the conditioner was fantastic. While it didn't quite bring my hair back to its pre-stripped condition, it came close while feeling fantastic on my scalp and filling the entire room with an absolutely incredible scent. I will absolutely be purchasing this in the future and believe it will do a terrific job if combined with a more gentle shampoo. Not being a hair gel guy, I didn't try theirs, but it certainly has a pleasant soft bergamot scent.

The Shave
Without a doubt the best I have experienced to this point. I can think of three possibilities as to why:

1. A higher cream-water ratio. Having used my usual amount of cream, I found that I had too much water and had more 'bubbly' than actual cream. Originally I thought I might get two shaves out of the packet, but hey, one good shave is better than two bad ones, so I tossed the rest of the sample in. Wow! Suddenly I had Joel-like lather in seconds with peaks to die for. I cannot wait to experiment using a similar ratio with my other creams.
2. The use of a pre-shave oil. Maybe it helped. Or maybe it didn't. With the fact that I got such a superior lather this morning, it's really hard to tell what to attribute it to. Certainly my face and hands were rather disgusting and I would look for other shave oil alternatives before choosing AOS, but if this is what made me have such a great shave, I'm all for it anyway.
3. Simply a superior cream. Okay, so perhaps this isn't that likely, but it's possible. At the very least, the cream is very good. I had the unscented, which appeared worthy of such a title, but I'm pretty sure I'll try something a bit more interesting when I pick some up later on.

The after shave balm was again very good, and very similar to their moisturizer. With plenty of both of them left (as well as the face wash and scrub), I'll try them for a few more days to see my final verdict, but they're certainly quality products. Without a doubt, however, my absolute favorite of their products is their sandalwood cologne. It's extremely potent, but complex, and while I highly doubt it's pure sandalwood, I found the combination delightful.

Quality stuff. Try it. Heck, they'll send you a free sample, so what do you have to lose?
Thanks for the review. I think the shave creams are excellent. The undiscovered gem, though, as you rightly point out is the conditioner. Awesome tingly feeling on the scalp, and leaves your hair feeling great.
I also found the conditioner to be top-notch. I like the shampoo as well.

I was less thrilled with the face wash. The scent just didn't do it for me. There was something a little pungent in it that I just couldn't get over. Worked well though.

The cream was great. Tons of great lather. To bad they sent an unscented one.

Out of all the samples I've received, the ones from AOS were, by far, the best in terms of presentation. They really go out of their way to make the sample kit pleasing to the eye.
Xert, I have to agree with you on the cream.

AOS seems to get bashed alot on the forums, but I think it is as good, if not better than most other creams available.
Thank you all for your kind words. Even thought I know that the first rule of shaving is to trust your own face, it's comforting to discover that so many others share my experiences and that I was able to accurately identify some standout products despite my inexperience with them. I did forget to make mention of AOS's superb packaging - clearly this is a company which welcomes the opportunity to share it's products with the general public.

Todd, I actually picked up the Pre de Provence soap before reading Ron's recommendation and absolutely love it. It's easy to see why it's such a favorite. Castle Forbes is right at the top of my list to try. They did kindly agree to provide me with samples as well, so I'll be sure to post something when I receive them.
I have used the AOS bar bath soap. GREAT soap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lather, smell and just wow!!!! No soapy residue when you rinse either! Highly recommended.

Shorty, I know that when I requested a sample, I never received an email back from them, but the samples arrived none the less. It just took a few weeks from the time I emailed to the time the samples showed up in the mail.
The Nordstroms in downtown Seattle, the Flagship store was a bit resistant to giving me samples. I got one for the Lavendar, but could not score anything else. Oh and guess what I was told. The "salesgirl" told me that TH and AOS are made in the same factory in England.

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