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C.O. Bigelow vs Proraso Green

I tried the Proraso Green and the C.O. Bigelow (COB) shaving creams a first time two years ago when I gave DE shaving a go. I loved the scent but didn’t continue using either due to the menthol (which I fortunately no longer mind, to some extent). Along the way, I found out that Proraso made COB’s cream. It is often said COB is repackaged Proraso Green. Having re-discovered and liking Proraso, I bought a tube of the COB to see how they compare.

Packaging — Proraso needs no introduction. To those unaware of COB and/or outside the US, this is C.O. Bigelow (sold in full and travel size tubes):

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Ingredients — Proraso's website and product lists are identical. COB's website and product lists are not identical. COB's website states to check product for most up to date list. The tube I have doesn't list Camphor, which is odd. I've seen the reviews online where Camphor was listed. Additionally, COB has Shea butter. Full lists at end of post.

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Scent — Identical profile. COB feels a bit more concentrated out of the tube and once lathered.

Texture/Color — COB is whiter and a touch thicker than Proraso. COB is left and Proraso is right in the following picture.

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Lather — For the same quantity out the tube, COB produces a bit more denser lather. Not a day and night different but it's observable. I am not sure if the presence of Shea butter is a contributing factor.

Performance — Overall the same but somehow the shaves were a touch closer. The difference is minimal but observable. Here again, the Shea butter may be influential.

Post-shave — Overall the same.

Conclusion — Considering the minor differences in texture/color, lather and performance, the COB shaving cream is more of a Proraso Green tweaked to COB's specifications/preferences than a repackaged Proraso Green. Since COB has Shea butter, I would extrapolate that COB is Proraso Red with the scent of the Green. If you see no difference between Proraso Red and Green in terms of performance, you likely won't see a difference between COB and Proraso Green.


What are you thoughts on COB vs Proraso Green?


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A FYI, that I found out while learning about the COB shaving cream: C.O. Bigelow is one of the (or the?) oldest pharmacy in the USA while a location in still standing in NYC.

It does carry a good amount of shaving goods from different brands and their own. I haven't been yet but I intend to include it in the shaving stores 'Pilgrimage' when I visit NYC next time.

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Some good reads:



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C.O. Bigelow

Website: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Menthol, Camphor, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus globulus Leaf Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Metasilicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, HYdroxyehtyl-cellulose, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Geraniol, Parfum (Fragrance).

Tube: Aqua, Stearic Acid, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Potassium Hydroxyde, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Sodium Coccyl Glycinate, Menthol, Parfum, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Sodium Metasilicate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Dictate, Amyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Eugenol

Proraso

Website: Aqua (Water/Eau), Stearic Acid, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance), Menthol, Camphor, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus globulus Leaf Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Metasilicate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Geraniol.

Tube: Aqua (Water/Eau), Stearic Acid, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycerin, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance), Menthol, Camphor, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus globulus Leaf Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Metasilicate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Geraniol.
 

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Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Sir @Golden_Edge , your post above is extremely well written! Of course, since I live in Italy, I do not have any knowledge regarding C.O. Bigelow and cannot therefore provide any comment on it. But your reasoning is sound and the idea of describing C.O. Bigelow with Shea Butter and Eucalyptus Oil as Proraso Red with the scent of Proraso Green seems correct to me, too. By the way, the only true difference I notice between Proraso Red and Proraso Green is the fragrance, performance-wise Red and Green are almost identical.
 
Sir @Golden_Edge , your post above is extremely well written! Of course, since I live in Italy, I do not have any knowledge regarding C.O. Bigelow and cannot therefore provide any comment on it. But your reasoning is sound and the idea of describing C.O. Bigelow with Shea Butter and Eucalyptus Oil as Proraso Red with the scent of Proraso Green seems correct to me, too. By the way, the only true difference I notice between Proraso Red and Proraso Green is the fragrance, performance-wise Red and Green are almost identical.

Thank you Marco. You are an experienced shaver and I take your word for it that Proraso Green and Red are equally performant. Based on my limited experience, the Red felt a touch slicker than the Green; hence the extrapolation (which should have included my experience). All in all, unless it's for nostalgic reason (many in the US started shaving with COB), there is no need to reach for it over Proraso Green - they are 99.9% identical.
 
@something better

Latest financial news I read about the Bed Bath & Beyond company is that it's going out of business and closing all stores.

Also, COB is American company founded in 1838 and not a brand of Proraso.

Never seen any place but bed bath and beyond. Disappointing to hear they are going out of business. The mall near me is decimated by businesses closing.
 
Never seen any place but bed bath and beyond. Disappointing to hear they are going out of business. The mall near me is decimated by businesses closing.
BB and B has been bleeding cash since around 2018; it's a miracle they survived as long as they did. Malls are going the way of the dinosaur no thanks to online retail, at least in the larger metro areas.
 
Unlike others I find a noticable difference between Proraso Green and Red. Red is noticeably thicker out of the tube, doesn't get as slick, and also is prone to "gum up" as the lather dries out. I always assumed this was down the butter content. The lather of the Green seems more stable by comparison. The Red is perfectly usable, but Green is the king.

I would say if they seem the same in performance, the Bigelow isn't the same formula as the Red, but who knows?
 
I like stores like C.O. Bigelow and Pasteur Pharmacy and wish there were more of that kind in North America.

Of the two, I like C.O. Bigelow better and find they have more Old World charm than Pasteur and that not only because they call themselves “chemists”. 🇬🇧
Pasteur, for that matter, have their trademark “stuffed labyrinth” messiness. :biggrin1:


AOS and other run of the mill mall stores are no match for these two…



B.
 
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