Ease of Lathering: Tricky and difficult. The first time I tried to get a lather from this soap, it just…didn’t. I threw out that attempt and tried again to bowl lather, using the exact same technique I use with all other shaving creams. The second attempt was really not much better. I put it to my face and tried to get a decent coverage, and it just wasn’t happening. Annoyed, I went with another soap to finally get the shave going. The other soap lathered without incident, proving that I wasn’t the subject of some voodoo curse.
Upon the third attempt, I finally got enough lather to (barely) get a two pass shave. Even this provided less lather than I am used to, and ended up needing easily three times as much cream as any other product I’ve tried. Very questionable performance.
Protection: The quality of lather that I was able to create with the Pre De Provence cream was rather thin and barely adequate. I was able to get a safe shave, but even the least expensive soaps and creams have been able to provide more voluminous lather than this.
Residual Slickness: While it has proven difficult to say a lot of good things about this cream, the residual slickness was quite good. Which is important, because it produces so little lather effect that you find yourself shaving, mostly, on the residuals.
Scent: This product has quite a nice scent, very gentle. I would call it a light scent that seems primarily herbal in nature. I can’t imagine that anyone would be uncomfortable with this signature. It doesn’t strike me as either masculine or feminine. I found it to be pleasant. Sort of an “expensive hand cream” smell, I suppose.
Production/Value: In order to get even the bare minimum of lather, I found that I needed to use a great deal of this product. This cream is quite expensive per ounce, one of the more pricey products of its type that I have used. This stuff is something like six or seven times as expensive as the Derby cream, and requires at least twice as much product to get the job done. That means, in essence, it is twelve to fourteen times as expensive. Very poor value.
Notes: There are many fans of the Pre De Provence shaving soap, and it has been demonstrated to work well when purchased in the hard puck style. I can’t comment on this, as I have only tried the cream. However, as a cream, and as a shaver who has used several creams from various manufacturers, I can say that the Pre De Provence cream does not perform as required. It is expensive, lathers poorly, and requires a great volume of the product to get the job done. I highly caution you to avoid this product. If you wish to try the soap, I believe you may do well, but the cream is not well-formulated.
Readers, please let me know if you’ve had a differing experience with this soap. It’s possible that I got a bad batch, or there’s some trick that I’m not performing to get this soap to work better. I tried brushes and techniques that have been faultless with other creams, and nothing seemed to work. I don’t particularly writing negative reviews, and I have no desire to throw any artisan or company under the bus. I’d love it if everything performed great, and that it was smooth sailing on all fronts. Sadly, you sometimes hit a product that just doesn’t work, at least in your circumstance. That’s what I had with this cream.
Cheers, and happy shaving.