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Taylor's New v. Old Formulations - A Primer

Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to compare the old and new formulations of some Taylor creams. This topic has been discussed at some length elsewhere, but I hope to pass along some of my own observations and give people data to make their own conclusions.

Executive summary: The scents of many of the creams have been drastically changed, mostly for the worse. This has been couched in the justification of "EU regulations", but I personally believe this is a an attempt to make these creams more accessible to modern tastes. Luckily, the shaving qualities of these creams are still exceptional.

Here is what Taylor claims they have done (ref: Barry Klein statements in SMF, etc.)

1. They have moved to decals on the lids instead of the old screen printing system, to allow more flexibility in packaging.

2. The amount/type of colorants have been changed/reduced due to EU regulations

3. Creams are now filled to the top to avoid the "half-full" cream effect

4. Creams are allowed to settle to avoid crystallization on top and provide a consistent texture.​

OK, here we go with my observations. First, the lavender. The original lavender was really something different and unique. Personally, as someone who grows lavender, I think it smelled nothing like lavender, but it was an interesting and relaxing scent. The new cream is more lightly colored, as shown below (sorry, my old tub is pretty empty)

New stuff is on the right, old on the left.

The new scent is a real lavender EO scent. It is a sweet lavender scent, compared to the (for instance) more minty AOS cream. This is probably the only change to these creams that is actually an improvememt.

Now for the lemon & lime. This one is just a travesty. First, once again, the amount of colorant has been reduced, as shown below:

You will also notice the texture is quite different between the two. So much for the consistency issue, more on that later.

The original scent was something very masculine. It had the citrus on a very strong woody base, which was one of my favorites - no sweet kid stuff. The new scent is a sharp, crystallized, candy sweetness, kind of similar to T&H Limes. The woodiness is gone almost completely. I should also mention that with all these comparisons, I did a blind sniff test - my wife randomly put the old and new tubs under my schnozzola while my eyes were closed. I can very easily tell the differences between the old and new formulas of all these creams.

The rose is another sad story. Once again, the original had a very strong woody base note that took this floral scent into the highly masculine arena. It was also easily the strongest rose scent out there among shave creams. The new scent is very faint, and is sweeter. The amount of colorant, as before, has also been reduced:

Honestly, it is now hard to separate this scent from something like T&H, which is very faintly scented. A real shame - this stuff used to be such a heady fragrance.

The Avocado has also undergone a major change. The original scent was a "green, soapy" scent with juniper. The new one bears it no resemblance. It smells just like a citronella candle. Yes - insect repellant....
You can tell the old and new Avocado by the color change in the label (and the fact that the new ones have the stick-on label):

Old is on the right.

The only bright spot in this saga is the St. James. It appears that they have not tinkered with the formula or amount of scent in this classic. Thank goodness.

At this point, you are probably groaning, and asking "but how do they shave?". The short answer is very well indeed. If I was a stickler, I would comment that the lather is of a slightly different nature - a bit softer than before, but very slick and cushioning. The Avocado in particular, I think, may actually shave better than the old version. This stuff is really teflon for your face, if you are willing to put up with that sweet citronella scent.

So there you have it. Taylor still continues to provide fantastic value and a wonderful shave. Unfortunately, we have seen the last of some truly classic fragrances, but that is the nature of the world we live in. Maybe they can come out with a "Taylor's classic" range later in time and make scads of money. I honestly believe that Taylor has used the aegis of the EU changes to take the opportunity to "update" their scents. Remember, this is my personal view of the changes, and is based entirely on speculation. It may well be that the real reason for the scent changes was compliance with EU regulations, but I find it hard to believe that Trumpers, T&H, Harris, etc. aren't racing to reformulate if that was the case.

And as for Taylor's claims of "consistency in texture, no crystallization", etc.... Poppycock, I say. I have seen as much variation in texture between creams as I ever have, perhaps more. I have seen super-loose creams and creams with a hard crystallized layer on top.

I'll continue to buy their products, while at the same time lamenting the loss of some really nice scents.
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Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Bar none, the most important scientific paper ever published was Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

This is a close second.
Hey Scotto,

Do you know anything about the Almond? I am just curious since I was going to add it to my next order. It is one scent that I am lacking and need to figure out which one to purchase. Yeah..yeah...I guess which one to purchase first is more like it. I have a jar of C&E Almond en route but we all know that it has a different type of almond scent. I will be in Vegas in a couple of months so I plan on stopping by T & H...I have tried all of their creams except for the Lavender and Almond so it may be one of the pots I leave with from there. For $13.50 it isn't a big risk but was just curious if you had any insight since the reformulations...


Bob O.
I actually just finished the last of my tub of the old Almond, so I'll know about the new one soon. I am guessing they didn't dork with that one, though, since there was no color and the scent was very straightforward.
No, this can not be called a primer! This is definitely Taylor of Old BS Advanced creamology! Good job Scotto! I don't know if this should go for the Noble Piece Prize for the pieces of shave cream scattered about or a Pullitzer for creaming the rest of shaving journalism..:001_rolle

Thanks for a great side-by-side comparison of Taylor's creams. I personally think that something else changed in the Rose other than less colorant; quite possibly a different fragrance or something. The reason being, that the NEW Rose makes my face feel like I painted it with kerosene! :w00t:

I bought a tub of the "Old" formula off the boards, and when that's gone, I too shall just call it the end of an era. Being a lover of Rose creams, I will move on to T&H or perhaps Salter [don't like the Trumper].

"The only one who likes change is a wet baby!":biggrin:
I'll echo the comments above Scotto and add a bit of my own personal opinion(like you really wanted it.LOL)

First of all, I hope this will finally dash a bit of this AOS and T&H bashing that goes on on some forums. You know the line. T&H is "forcing" their customers to buy newer lines of products. Yeah, right, whatever. If the rose scented T&H cream was selling that well, you'd have never seen it leave these shores. Likely Taylor was responding to not only the EU regs(btw, i don't dismiss the EU angle at all. Search the web for info on this 800lb. gorilla. it ain't pretty)but market trends and customer requests. Would anyone seriously believe that Taylor waltzed into the door of Creighton's and said; "what the hell, let's completely change up our product line, **** off a few message board types, pay you to reformulate the cream soap, repackage it, and we'll all go have a pint and laugh ourselves silly". All for the sake of "forcing" us to buy a newer product line? I just don't buy it. I think that while costs, regs, etc. could be a big part of it, quite frankly I think they were just responding to customer/market research. I've been told by two different vendors on two continents that the AOS and Truefitt Comfort line are outselling Trumper, Taylor, and Truefitt traditional stuff by a large margin. Their customers are asking for and buying the products. I've seen posts by Robert of TGS that his barbers, having their choice of products, exclusively use AOS shave cream though it's tons more expensive than their domestic brands. That should tell us something. Though I'm personally dissapointed that I didn't get to try the old formula Taylor rose scented cream, your description of the performance says it all. Time will tell if Taylor of OBS made the right choice. My instinct tells me that some enterprising American firm will stand in the gap eventualy with a cream soap line that mimics the old traditional scents that we've only really recently discovered on this side of the puddle. If there's a market for it, someone will sell it to us. Simple as that. BTW, does anyone doubt that this is not the first time that scents or consistencies have changed with any of the 3T's over the years? I suspect it's NOT the first time.

Regards, Todd
Here you go Todd! I have it from a responsible source that T&H has formulated and manufactured their UC cream in Canada to avoid the EU BS..:ohmy:
Hi Ron. Now that you've mentioned it, I certainly remember someone mentioning that fact but can't remember where or when. I suspect that if an enterprise wanted to make a floral scented cream they could approach that firm(or Creighton's) and have it made to spec. The EU monster will come to haunt the member nations I'm afraid.

Regards, Todd
Just for clarity, in putting together this thread, I first slogged through pages and pages of info on EU cosmetic regulations, but ultimately decided it was too boring to summarize. I do believe that more than likely they had to change the colorant in the cream due to these regulations. What I don't believe is that they had to change all the scents so drastically - I think they took the opportunity to "update" as you say since they were making alterations anyway. Needless to say, this is just Scotto speculation, though.
I had a number of jars of Taylors (Eton, Shave Shop, and Lavender) that I sold recently and although I seem to remember at least one of them had a sticker label, they were all of differing consistency. The one constant was that the jar appeared half full. I only used them around three times each but, again, the jar looked nowhere near as full as the jars on the right in your images.

The only Taylors I still have is the old Avocado, which is the same as what I describe above.
Phog Allen said:
Hi Scotto. Well, after reading my sort of diatribe I thought it might have come across as sounding a bit boorish or even slightly negative. I suspect you are correct about the scents. Most of these firms have been using fragrance oils for years rather than the more costly essential oils. With the exception of lavender essential oil and cucumber extract, most EO's are just too expensive to use in these mass produced products. Personally, I like the idea of less colouring. In fact, I'd just as soon they took it out. While I haven't noticed the brush discolouration that others have, I noticed that if you let the lather get a bit over wet in the shave bowl, you can see the colouring agents separating from the soap base in the water. That's too much tinting for me! Besides, it would actually save them money in formula costs. It's there for a reason. Most people "eat with their eyes" as I've heard more than one cook say. I'd bet you could take a rose cream with it's colour and without, side by side and most people would say the tinted cream smelled better. Just by looking at the cream when they sniffed it. They expect roses to be red. Just some thoughts. While I agree that much of what Taylor did seems to be a company decision, the whole EU thing is a monumental pain in the arse. There's no way a bureaucracy like that can ever be anything more than a camel. A horse designed by a committee.

Regards, Todd


I suppose that is why Taylor's Lavender Cream sells for $13 and Castle Forbes Lavender Cream sells for $35. Is it worth the difference? Some say it is. I suppose I will find out since a tub of Castle Forbes arrived here yesterday afternoon. But when I opened the tub to savor the Lavender scent, I must admit I had a bit of a shock seeing the Lavender cream was white! After recovering I just enjoyed the pure Lavender fragrance and realized that I was dealing with the "real thing" here and it didn't need color to mascarade as Lavender!

The only other Lavender cream I have is D.R. Harris [sells for $30] and it is "darkly" colored and that is precisely why the CF "scared" me when I opened it. Is the CF better? I cannot say for sure if D.R. is made with EO or fragrance, but I am sure someone here will know. However, I have ready many posts that CF is the creme de la creme, so I shall soon form my own opinions about yet another shave cream.
Hi Ron. Concerning the Taylor vs. Castle Forbes shave creams, I'd have to say it 's a slam dunk for the CF, period. As is normal, the usual caveats apply. It's the best to ME, maybe it won't be that good for YOU. As far as performance goes, the CF beats every other cream I've tried hands down. The scent is pure, clean, fresh and minty lavender and I love it. It is the densest cream I've ever used. 1/4 tsp. gives me four plus passes in the Vulfix super. I absolutely think it's worth the money. As you've noticed already, it needs NOTHING to prop it up. It is a real Cadillac product. I'd put it up against any other shave lather out there. Just keep this in mind. With this cream being so thick, you may need to spread it around a lathering bowl with your fingertips to get it lathered up a bit more easily. Once you get the water hydrating into it, get ready for some nice lather.

BTW, if some of you notice the editing in this post, I only did it because the other one was just too long. It was more about my experiences with CF rather than responding to Scotto's post. I must commend your efforts on this subject. I've just seen too much BULL on the forums(not this one really)about this new vs. old Taylor reformulations. A super, solid effort with comparison pics that didn't draw any conspiracy theory conclusions nor did it let Taylor off the hook for the subpar scent efforts. You plainly stated your experiences with the old vs new formulas based on ACTUAL results and not a regurgitated "me too" based on a single shave or maybe two a year or more ago. This is almost like a good newspaper report and I will reference it when next considering a Taylor cream purchase. Way to go bud!

Regards ,Todd
Excellent job Scotto. It's a shame to hear about the Avocado and Rose. I'll be a bit more frugal with my old formulations.
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