Ease of Lathering: Easy. Mostly.
The first shave I had with this creme, I seriously missed the water content requirements (brush too wet), and ended up with a sub-par lather. That was my fault. I wondered, though, what was up with the Proraso cream, and went with a very dry brush, working up for the second lather. All was well, with a very good production of lather and excellent quality in that case. Because the Proraso soaps in the tub are so easy to lather, I don’t know if there’s any great advantage in the cream, if any. I believe that bowl lathering, as I always do with creams, tends to take a bit longer than face lathering. Since I like to work the lather on my face in any case, the big advantage is that you can keep some in the bowl for later passes. Thus, you can have absurd amounts of suds, without dropping it all over the shave den. I would say that the lather of the Blue is very similar to the White soap. To my way of thinking, the White might have a bit of an advantage in yogurt-style thickness. This cream, to me, is not as easy to lather as Taylor’s. Perhaps not quite as easy as the Derby I’ve tested. Still, not difficult at all, provided you have some control over the amount of water going in.
Protection: Proraso soaps, for a mass produced product, tend to have good protection. The Blue is no exception. Once well lathered, there is a lot of thick, creamy lather to be had. There are soaps that protect a bit more, but there is more than sufficient protection provided.
Residual Slickness: I wouldn’t say that residual slickness is the foremost attribute of the Proraso formula, but it’s not a weakness, either. Face feel after the shave is not as good as Taylor’s, nor is it as good as the high-fat soaps. A moisturizing preshave or a bit of aftershave balm might be a smart idea, but that will depend on your skin and the weather in your area. With the price of this creme, you may as well do yourself a favor and simply lather up plenty for the number of passes you like to do. In wet shaving, scrimping on the soap is typically a mistake, whether it’s Arko or Aqua di Parma. Load the living daylights out of it. Unless, I suppose, you’re waiting out nuclear winter in a bunker somewhere, and have to make your soap last until it’s safe to go outside. In which case, carry on scrimping, and peace be with you.
Scent: Of the Proraso types I’ve used, the Blue has, far and away, the least attractive scent. This is, I should say, to my nose. I can’t smell with other people’s noses. They won’t let me, and getting their olfactory bulbs wired up to my brain constitutes not only a hurdle that medical science isn’t capable of, but also a human rights violation.
Okay, back to the soap. Frankly, it’s a little chemical in nature, and has no real positive aspect that I can highlight. It isn’t a potent scent, by any means, but it doesn’t really have anything that I can really hook into. A lot of other people have lauded the way the Blue smells. Just not me. Whatever that means. I might have rabies or something.
Production/Value: As with all Proraso products, this is a good value for the money. For a reasonable price, Proraso gives you a big tube of cream, and that cream is of good quality. Not as cheap as some, but probably less than half the cost of, say, Taylor of Old Bond Street. I got my tube for about $6 American money at the end of 2016, for reference.
Notes: There are many glowing reviews of this product online. By and large, it gets very high marks, and many shavers prefer the Blue product to the other Proraso soaps and creams. For me, this is not the case. I would put it last in line among the Proraso soaps, and by a large margin. I don’t like the scent, and the aloe and vitamin E formula doesn’t seem to give me any perceivable advantage. That said, there’s a hat for every head, and it might be just the thing for you. I ended up gifting my tube to a friend, because I simply collect too much product to let something I’m not absolutely in love with hang around. It’s better to put quality products into hands that appreciate them better.
Cheers, and happy shaving.