Ease of Lathering: Very easy. Bowl lathering the Trumper’s cream is equally easy as the best creams I’ve tried. A small amount of the product whips up into a thick and voluminous lather, more than enough for a three pass shave.
Protection: I believe that the Trumper’s cream has a slight edge on the Taylor’s in terms of the thickness and protective nature of the lather. Slight. I would say that it seems the equal of the St. James cream in this category. A very rich and useful lather that feels luxurious and nutritive is provided by the Trumper’s product.
Residual Slickness: The shaving creams I’ve tried have typically provided adequate, but not exemplary slickness. I believe that this is likely to do with the prevailing formulation. They are typically based in glycerin, rather than coconut oil or tallow. Though glycerin is a slick component, it doesn’t have the same “fatty” slickness that those other components I mentioned often possess. That said, there is a spectrum.
With creams that come from mass manufacturers, most don’t leave quite the same level of slick film behind that an artisan soap would do. This isn’t a problem, but you have to be a bit more assiduous with relathering to maintain your best protection.
As shaving creams go, the Trumper’s cream has very nice slickness. Post shave feel is also quite nice. This tracks with St. James of London in terms of richness. This is where the higher cost (in relation to Taylor’s, which is the least expensive of the classic English shaving creams) seems to bear out.
Scent: Often, inexpensive soaps and creams can provide solid performance. Many of them have pleasant scents, as well. In my experience, one of the tell-tales of a more expensive soap or aftershave is that the scent is longer lasting once deployed. Although I am not a perfumer, my instinct on this score is that the fragrance oils and essential oils that are used in more expensive products are of greater quality. Perhaps there are secondary elements in the mix that act as fixatives for the scent profile and keep it going longer. I’m devolving into guesswork, so I’ll stop.
The long and short of it is this: the Trumper’s product has a long-lasting scent that hangs around for hours after the shave. What’s the scent like? Spanish Leather is a great name for the product. There is a leather-based scent, with a warm cologne underpinning. I think it would go well in tandem with a tobacco scent or some of the “dirtier” woodsy scented aftershaves. I quite like the Spanish Leather scent. It isn’t my absolute favorite, but it could certainly find a place in my rotation.
Production/Value: Geo F. Trumper creams are in that middle ground between Taylor’s (reasonably high value) and D.R. Harris or Trufitt and Hill (champagne budget stuff). Although I think it has a few tangible points in its favor when compared to Taylor’s, whether this is worth several dollars more per tub is a point you’ll have to work out for yourself. I would like to point out that, when amortized over the life of the product, most soaps and creams are not particularly expensive. If a product gives you significant improvement in a functional or subjective assessment, it may be worth the extra cost. Trumper’s, for me, would likely be a luxury shave product, one that I dusted off from time to time, rather than using as my day-to-day regular.
Notes: Trumper’s cream is really nice stuff. You can get a great shave out of it. The same can be said for many other soaps and creams that go for less. Its scent is a bit more refined and long lasting, and its formula feels a little richer. One thing to consider is that, if my information is correct, the Trumper’s formula still utilizes Parabens as a preservative. If they are known to irritate your skin, or if you have strong aversions to their presence in your skin-care regiment, you’ll want to research this and perhaps make your purchase elsewhere. If you find yourself drawn to some of the old, classic English shaving products, Geo F. Trumper’s are certainly in that pantheon, and deserve a look.