Over the past several weeks, I have been fortunate enough to be afforded an opportunity to test out several products from a newcomer to the wet shaving market. Bill Neumann II, founder of Wm. Neumann & Co., continues an apothecary tradition started by his great-grandfather, William Neumann, at the turn of the century. Located in Williamsburg, VA, he opened up for business in the last few months of 2012. Bill’s great-grandfather made several notebooks filled with detailed notes for fragrances and other men’s products while he operated his own pharmacy in Detroit. Those notes have been preserved and passed down for three generations, and are now the cornerstone to Bill’s formulary for his fantastic new line of grooming products.
Traditional Italian soft soaps have been popular among wet shavers for many years. They blur the line between shaving soaps and shaving creams because they contain soap ingredients, but most are soft and putty-like in texture similar to thick creams. Recently I tried Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla, which is another well-regarded example of these classic Italian products. Having had good experiences with similar soaps, such as P.160 and Volobra, I was looking forward to seeing how Cella’s soap performed.
D.R. Harris & Co. of London has been producing some of the finest luxury personal care items for over 200 years. Their line of shaving products is well respected among traditional wet shavers as being some of the best available. The Marlborough stands out as one of the unique offerings among the more traditional fragrances, such as sandalwood, lavender, rose, etc., in which shaving creams and soaps are usually offered. This article takes a closer look at one of my favorite shaving soaps, D.R. Harris Marlborough.