Shaving Soap Review: Barrister and Mann Bay Rum:

Posted: December 19, 2016 in Shaving Articles

Ease of Lathering: Moderate. Barrister and Mann soap is a hard puck. It isn’t hard to lather, per se. However, it does take a bit of experimentation to get the hang of it. Barrister and Mann indicate in their literature that their soap is “thirsty”. This is one hundred percent true. It needs more water to work to its best advantage. I found that, if you leave what would typically be an immodest amount of water still in your brush, it turns out to be about right for B&M. Once you give it the water it needs, things get a whole order of magnitude easier.

Protection: Excellent. Barrister and Mann make a fine quality soap, based in tallow, with lanolin in there to further help the face feel. Once lathered up, it does the job with assurance and aplomb.

Residual Slickness: This is a very slick soap. About as slick as I’ve ever experienced. As long as there’s water on your face, the razor will slip across with no problem whatsoever.

Scent: The Bay Rum scent here is nearly the same as the Pinaud Clubman Virgin Island Bay Rum aftershave, if you’re familiar with that. I would say that the soap might have a slightly more complex scent than the aftershave, but they mesh almost perfectly in overall note. I would say that the scent is forward, but not overpowering. It does linger on the face a bit after the shave, so my advice would be to utilize an aftershave with a similar scent. I would say that a bay rum or perhaps a sandlewood might be a good choice. For me, I go with the aforementioned Clubman scent. Subjectively, I quite like the bay rum, and find it to be a really nice scent. It’s a dark, sweet, spicy scent, and would likely be considered a “fall scent”.

Production/Value: Barrister and Mann’s “white tub” line is at the higher end of what I’d consider mid-priced soaps. Currently, it’s available for about $20 for 4 ounces. For me, that verges on luxury pricing. That said, the solid puck should give a lot of shaves, and this is a very well-formulated soap. I believe it is a perfectly fair price.

Notes: Some people are literally fanboys for Barrister and Mann. I can see why, as my experience with this soap has been overwhelmingly positive. I have been fortunate enough to have experiences with a lot of fine soaps, and each of them have a certain set of advantages. I can’t say that B&M has totally soured me on other soaps, because that would not be accurate. That said, I feel like I could easily recommend a soap from this line to you. Specifically, I could encourage you to try it once you’ve gotten a good number of shaves under your belt, and begin to know what it is you like best. For the absolute beginner, perhaps another soap might serve you best and be more economical.


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