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Barrister and Mann's new Omnibus base: discussion and reviews

This came on the brown truck today, took a full week. Worth the wait!

I just had my evening shave before dinner, but already sprayed the EdT earlier. This was a blind buy for me and I couldn't be happier. I know I like, and have, leather scents. However, this one is actually soft compared to what I was expecting. The EdT isn't really an Eau, there is no water in it. It's like a two thirds strength extrait!

I won't say too much about the shave this early on. On the negative column, the aftershave has a problem ingredient. My cheeks are red around the edge, but no burning. I will have to see how long this lasts, I am not too worried because I don't shave in the morning. The soap is everything I wanted from Reserve that it didn't deliver. It feels a lot like it on the face, the lather stability is eternal. I have problems with Excelsior drying and flaking on my face because I am slow. This soap takes so much water, the most I can ever remember. The first pass clogged up my razor good in spite of what I thought was enough water. I added a ton more. This tub is going to last forever, despite loading enough for four passes. I may have to cave and pull out the synthetic though, this shaving glue pulled several hairs on my least expensive badger.

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I just had my second shave with Omnibus so I broke out the synthetic

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Such wet, so slippery 🐕
This is definitely the way to go with Omnibus, but not exactly photogenic ;)

I really don't like using a synthetic, but I am not willing to sacrifice any more badger hairs. I will have to look into getting a dedicated brush for B&M. Although this base has excellent slickness, I don't think the residual slickness is up there with the best and that might be for the better. It has the best rinse off that I have every used. One neat hack around the residual issue is solved by not rinsing the razor too much, the soap is so tacky that enough stays on the razor to allow for buffing without re-lathering. I also used an oil pre-shave this time and could feel it on my skin between passes.
 
I've changed my mind about the hardness of this "soap". Excelsior is harder. I found this from having to pile up the soap on the edge of the tub to the middle and it was not easy to do with omni which has a wet dough consistency in the tub- it is definitely more croap than a soap.
 
I've changed my mind about the hardness of this "soap". Excelsior is harder. I found this from having to pile up the soap on the edge of the tub to the middle and it was not easy to do with omni which has a wet dough consistency in the tub- it is definitely more croap than a soap.

How long have you had your Excelsior?

I find that nearly all soaps become harder over time. I even have some that started out as croaps that are now quite hard after several years. About the only soap I have that refuses to harden is the original formula by Murphy and McNeil. I sill have a few tubs that are still quite soft and have to be scooped out rather than loaded from the tub.

Because "water" is the first listed ingredient in Excelsior, the soap should become harder as water evaporates. Unless your tub of Excelsior is recent, it may be harder than when first opened, leading to a false comparison with Omnibus, especially if the difference is minor.
 
I have all the bases except reserve. I have 42 in Glissant, which is harder than both Excelsior and Omnibus. Followed by the modified hardened Soft Heart 42. That stuff is pretty firm. I think the firmness of Omnibus and Excelsior are similar. Omnibus may be a little harder, but that is splitting hairs. Neither are too soft for me. I have two Omnibus now, and maybe a half dozen Excelsiors. They all lather easy, which I like. Excellent performers. If I were counting shaves per tub, or trying to get the most bang for my buck, I’d just use Arko every day. But I don’t care about that stuff. It’s all about the chill experience, and the enjoyment of fine shaving products for me. Regular Soft Heart is the softest of them all in my opinion. But it also lathers easy, has a great face feel, and a nice post-shave feel. They are all winners in my book. I never tried reserve because I like the more off-the-wall scents, and the reserve scents never called to me.
 
How long have you had your Excelsior?

I find that nearly all soaps become harder over time. I even have some that started out as croaps that are now quite hard after several years. About the only soap I have that refuses to harden is the original formula by Murphy and McNeil. I sill have a few tubs that are still quite soft and have to be scooped out rather than loaded from the tub.

Because "water" is the first listed ingredient in Excelsior, the soap should become harder as water evaporates. Unless your tub of Excelsior is recent, it may be harder than when first opened, leading to a false comparison with Omnibus, especially if the difference is minor.
I was thinking that also. My tub of Seville is at least a year old. I don't know how long it was on a shelf prior- but i assume not long since i bought it not long after a restock- so 1 year old is a reasonable assumption. Omnibus could be the same hardness after 1 year, but i won't be finding out, at least with this tub of Leviathan. I have a new tub of Seville in omnibus, but i won't be touching it for a while. I've been trying hard to 3017 this last lump of excelsior Seville just to be done with it.

I would compare omnibus with Milksteak in terms of hardness. They seem to be pretty similar- croapy.
 
So now I find myself in the middle of the Ominibus/Leviathan Wars. Reviews, mostly glowing, are piling up. The first scent out in Will Carius' tour de force Omnibus base is the legendary Leviathan. I placed an order in the initial release though my usage has been somewhat delayed.

The Omnibus base really is extraordinary. It takes a great deal of water and keeps delivering slick and thick lather.

The scent of this soap is growing on me. Of course, the name conjures up images of Moby Dick, a book I read some years ago. For me, however, my reference point is not literary. The scent with its notes of leather and coffee brings me back to the smell of dusty books that I had to access while doing research in grad school. Back in the day, we used real books. Our research was fueled by coffee and driven by the fear of not making the cut. So the scent memory is vivid for me.

The best Barrister & Mann scents for me are Le Grande Chypre and Beaudelaire. As to whether Leviathan rises to that level, time will tell. In any case, the Omnibus base is cause for celebration and makes using Leviathan a pleasure, in and of itself.
 
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And this is what i get with Fougere Gothique-
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Forgot to get a picture, but I am now four shaves in total. I went back to the badger and no longer feel the need to buy another synthetic. I am looking forward to trying Omnibus with boar during the upcoming Decemboar. This stuff rinses out of my two band as easily as it does off my face.

I have moved from tub loading to scraping some out with my fingernail like I do with pomade. Smooshing it into the bowl has eliminated the potential of pulling hairs. This base takes so much water that I spray down the lather a lot just to generate the proto lather. This base takes a moderate amount of time to build, but the danger of over aerating it is non existent. I have weighted my usage now and this is a 80 shave tub for me and I am considered a light loader somehow. That makes this the most expensive soap in my collection, next to Zingari Man, per shave. By quite a lot, more than SV. This is not a complaint, just an observation to consider when reordering.

After four shaves, I am already comfortable recommending this base to anybody. I have no reaction to anything including the fragrance. I believe Will is making an effort not to hurt his customers, but if I find out differently I will update my review.
 
Forgot to get a picture, but I am now four shaves in total. I went back to the badger and no longer feel the need to buy another synthetic. I am looking forward to trying Omnibus with boar during the upcoming Decemboar. This stuff rinses out of my two band as easily as it does off my face.

I have moved from tub loading to scraping some out with my fingernail like I do with pomade. Smooshing it into the bowl has eliminated the potential of pulling hairs. This base takes so much water that I spray down the lather a lot just to generate the proto lather. This base takes a moderate amount of time to build, but the danger of over aerating it is non existent. I have weighted my usage now and this is a 80 shave tub for me and I am considered a light loader somehow. That makes this the most expensive soap in my collection, next to Zingari Man, per shave. By quite a lot, more than SV. This is not a complaint, just an observation to consider when reordering.

After four shaves, I am already comfortable recommending this base to anybody. I have no reaction to anything including the fragrance. I believe Will is making an effort not to hurt his customers, but if I find out differently I will update my review.
Hmm. I have not been successful in making this soap load well from a bowl. It's so gooey I can't get a solid little lump in a shave bowl, only a bunch of stringy pieces that my brush picks up without lathering.
 
Amazing concept isn't it? Sell a product that you know your customers won't have a reaction to using, or in the case of other artisans, tell your customers if one product burns your face then buy a different scent.

I do not believe that your statement is fair. There are millions of shavers and every one is slightly different in their allergies, sensitivities, and scent preferences. There is absolutely no way that any soapmaker can know whether their products will be suitable for use by every potential customer. Thus, the best advice is to discontinue use if you experience irritation. I doubt that any artisan is intentionally trying to harm anyone, so the concept is far from novel.

I am highly sensitive to scents containing lime, lemon, grapefruit, clove, cinnamon, menthol, and peppermint. Suppose I were to successfully lobby regulators to remove all products containing these scent notes from all shaving products. That would eliminate hundreds of the products from the marketplace, including most citrus scents, bay rum, chypres, numerous aftershaves, etc. Many shavers love scents containing these scent notes and have no problems using them. Telling millions of shavers they cannot access those scents because they irritate my skin would be grossly unfair.

Likewise, there are those who are allergic to lanolin and glycerine, although I am not. Should those ingredients be banned from all soaps because a small percentage of the population is allergic?

Suppose regulators prohibited the use of any and all animal based fats in production of shaving soaps because some folks have adapted a vegan lifestyle and believe use of animal fats is cruel. That would remove nearly all of my favorite soaps from the marketplace.

Lest you think the situation is far-fetched, perfumers in the EU were forced to reformulate their perfumes because oakmoss essential oil, one of the more common ingredients used in perfumery, was found to cause skin contact rashes in a small percentage of the EU population. New regulations have thrown the perfume industry into disarray, altering both the formulas and the aromas of many world-famous perfumes. Should the sensitivities of the few control the purchases of the many? It is not like people were dying because they applied perfume.

I had a friend with a severe allergy to tree nuts. While dining at a friend's home, he inadvertently consumed a trace amount of nut, even though both he and the host were well aware of his allergies. Unfortunately, he had left his Epi pen and home and he was dead of anaphalactic shock before help arrived. Although that was tragic, I am not suggesting that all nuts be removed from the marketplace. I love peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and other nuts. I am snacking on walnuts as I write this.
 
I do not believe that your statement is fair. There are millions of shavers and every one is slightly different in their allergies, sensitivities, and scent preferences. There is absolutely no way that any soapmaker can know whether their products will be suitable for use by every potential customer. Thus, the best advice is to discontinue use if you experience irritation. I doubt that any artisan is intentionally trying to harm anyone, so the concept is far from novel.

I am highly sensitive to scents containing lime, lemon, grapefruit, clove, cinnamon, menthol, and peppermint. Suppose I were to successfully lobby regulators to remove all products containing these scent notes from all shaving products. That would eliminate hundreds of the products from the marketplace, including most citrus scents, bay rum, chypres, numerous aftershaves, etc. Many shavers love scents containing these scent notes and have no problems using them. Telling millions of shavers they cannot access those scents because they irritate my skin would be grossly unfair.

Likewise, there are those who are allergic to lanolin and glycerine, although I am not. Should those ingredients be banned from all soaps because a small percentage of the population is allergic?

Suppose regulators prohibited the use of any and all animal based fats in production of shaving soaps because some folks have adapted a vegan lifestyle and believe use of animal fats is cruel. That would remove nearly all of my favorite soaps from the marketplace.

Lest you think the situation is far-fetched, perfumers in the EU were forced to reformulate their perfumes because oakmoss essential oil, one of the more common ingredients used in perfumery, was found to cause skin contact rashes in a small percentage of the EU population. New regulations have thrown the perfume industry into disarray, altering both the formulas and the aromas of many world-famous perfumes. Should the sensitivities of the few control the purchases of the many? It is not like people were dying because they applied perfume.

I had a friend with a severe allergy to tree nuts. While dining at a friend's home, he inadvertently consumed a trace amount of nut, even though both he and the host were well aware of his allergies. Unfortunately, he had left his Epi pen and home and he was dead of anaphalactic shock before help arrived. Although that was tragic, I am not suggesting that all nuts be removed from the marketplace. I love peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, and other nuts. I am snacking on walnuts as I write this.
lol what? What exactly isn't fair and to whom is his statement unfair toward? Nobody said or suggested anything about discontinuing or restricting anything. He was complimenting Will's efforts to formulate a base to be reactive to as few people as possible and recognizing that it is, in fact, a greater effort than stating "just try another scent".
 
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