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Quality for price -- Taylor, AoS, EJ, T&H, GFT, Harris, Penhaligon

This has been bugging me for a couple of days -- when does the step up in quality exceed the step up in price?

I can usually find Taylor's creams for <$16 per jar. AoS is a set $22. Harris/Trumper/T&H/Caswell are all 30-38, Penhaligon is $50. Other than a brand mentioned in the Robb Report, what do I get from Penhaligon that I won't from Taylor or AoS?

I think of this like I would for audiophile components: Why buy the $5000 Krell amp when I can get 95-98% of the utility from the Rotel one that costs $1299?

Any insights?
you can probably get the similar shave from all, with very minute differences. I think that with a decent soap (even one less than $5) you can get a great shave if u lather properly, these creams just make it easier to make gobs and gobs of lather and SMELL wonderful.
This comes up from time to time and while it is certainly a legitimate question, if you stick with traditional shaving long enough you will find the answer to be; All and none of the above.

Is that a cop out ? Maybe but there is so much variability in how these shave lathers performs for each individual depending on skin type and water quality, that making a true best for cost analysis is pretty hard. On the straight up cost vs quantity issue it is hard to beat Taylor of Old Bond. However, there is another brand that performs just as well in my opinion and gives even more shaves per container and that is Fraser's. But again, this is pretty hard to put a true finger on. I love Castle Forbes and it is one of the most expensive creams around. Yet I use maybe 1/8 tsp per shave so a jar of it lasts me forever in my large rotation. Sorry but it is not easy for me to make these comparisons anymore. All of them are so cheap per shave it is hard to worry about it too much.

Regards, Todd
I think it's a valid question, but it's a hard one to answer. For example, I'm really enjoying Mr. Taylor's right now; so much so that I'd still buy it if it had a higher price tag. How much more is hard to say. I suppose the economist in me would suggest I plot my shaving cream utility curve.

I like Todd's comment about considering it from a cost per shave perspective. When viewed through that lens, I find it an easier pill to swallow. For me, I approached the switch to DE shaving as a gift to myself. I have a 19-month old and another on the way, so free time is quite a rarity. However, I've found a way to get a great start to my day even if it means getting up half an hour earlier (30 minutes is like spitballs hitting a battleship to this sleep-deprived dad). I happily give of myself for my family, and the vast majority of my money decisions have much contemplation behind them. So if I happen to drop $35 on a shaving cream every once in a while because I think the scent fits with my idea of a perfect Sunday morning, then so be it.

Sorry to wax philosophical like that. I guess the short answer is that you don't need to spend big dollars to get an enjoyable shave. As much as I love the TOBS creams, I've found I gotten great results with the Bigelow/Proraso cream that frequently goes on sale for about $5/tube. I hope this helps!
For most of these, you are paying extra for the brand name, but also some great scents. The performance of the brands you mentioned that I have tried is comparable (TOBS, Trumper and Penhaligon's). Castle Forbes is superior in performance. That said, the scents of Trumpers Violet, TOBS Shaving Shop and Pen's Endymion, Blenheim Bouquet and Opus 1870 are awesome to my nose. If you really dig a scent, sometimes it's worth spending a little more to spice up the shaving experience.
I think the best quality for price is a tub of TOBS that you can get on amazon for 10 bucks with free shipping. I found T&H and Trumpers provide a bit better lather, and scents are much more pleasing, but those benefits were just not worth the extra price in my opinion.
I'll just throw my $.02 in here as in the past I very often considered this same topic.

First: I would be hard pressed to get a better, smoother, more comfortable shave out of anything as I I get with Proraso. It is simply excellent. And if I had to, I could shave with it every day.

Luckily, I don't have to.

I have three different TOBS creams (among other soaps and creams :001_rolle) and they are simply a dream to shave with. So much creamy goodness, all warm and wonderful from the heat of the scuttle. And the scents are to die for.

But is the resulting shave any better than what I got with the Proraso? No, not really.

And, I'm guessing that the same is going to hold true when my Cella and P.160 show up tomorrow.

Listen, life is tough. And there are a thousand things screaming for our time and money. But, if we can indulge ourselves a little with a simple luxury like a $15 or $25 tub of shaving cream that is going to last for months and start (or end) our day in the right frame of mind, then who cares? Don't analyse the joy out of the experience.

indulge yourself with a pot of high end cream, lather up and enjoy.

I think the best quality for price is a tub of TOBS that you can get on amazon for 10 bucks with free shipping. I found T&H and Trumpers provide a bit better lather, and scents are much more pleasing, but those benefits were just not worth the extra price in my opinion.

And to me they are worth it. OTOH, I won't pay big money for after shaves.

TOBS is amazing stuff, but I love the scent of Trumper Limes. For me it's worth the extra money, while IMHO Skin Food is overpriced.
I just use and do what I like without getting too involved in the details of it all. Once a product performs well (all shave creams must for me to even consider them) then I buy the scent I like. CF Essential Lime Oil, T&H Rose,
DH Harris Lavender, TOBS Sandalwood, etc.
I really enjoy the cheaper stuff like Proraso. It works awesome and like Greglam said..I could shave with it everday as well and be completely satisfied.

On the other hand I have a tub of TOBS Avocado....which is also awesome stuff. I use it and get a great shave and then I think .... why did I pay 3 times more for this stuff when Proraso is just as good if not better?

I have the financial means at this point to try different stuff. The variety is what it is all about in my opinion. If you have the means then I would try all the stuff you can afford and give them all a go. Worst case scenario...if you get something you dont like....flip it on the BST.

I have tried to "justify" the higher price of more expensive soaps and find that cost per shave breakdown is the best way to do that. In some cases the triple milled variety soaps seem to offer the greatest bang for the buck since they last so long.

Just my 2 cents! :001_cool:
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