June 8, 2005
Today, I went back to one of my favorite combos — the vintage Gillette adjustable DE loaded with a Merkur blade, and Taylor’s Rose shaving cream in the tub. Working that Rose into a nice, thick lather with the brush swirling around in my lefthand palm, the aroma that wafted through the bathroom practically gave me a contact high.
Taylor is one of the great wetshaving finds. A genuine UK-made shaving cream that usually sells for less than half what competitors Trumper and Truefitt & Hill cost per tub or travel tube, Taylor is right up there with any cream on the market at any price, and truth be told, many serious wetshavers prefer the lather they get from Taylor creams to anything else. It’s a rich, densely whipped cream, and the line features a lineup of scents ranging from Sandalwood to Lemon-Lime that just knock me out (I’ll talk at length about Taylor’s uniquely incredible Avocado shaving cream soon, as it deserves a whole chapter to itself).
Now, when I first got into this whole traditional shaving trip and encountered rose scented toiletries for me, my first reaction was disgust. I’ve always hated the smell of roses, whether at a florist or on the over-perfumed bosom of an elderly relative (female, although some of my elderly male relatives have bosoms as well). Nothing spells “old lady smell” more to me than the heavy, suffocating, funereal scent of roses. Just the thought of it made me make a bad peanut face.
But then I started hearing how rose scented shaving creams were designed especially for sensitive skin, because rose water has a soothing and calming effect on skin irritation. So I picked up a tub of Taylor’s Rose to try it, and that’s when my nose did a complete 180 — I discovered, much to my confusion as a husband, a father, and a man…
I love the smell of roses!
The smell of Taylor’s Rose, and then later Trumper’s Violet cream, hit me like a ton of bricks. In an instant, I went from having hated floral scents my whole life to suddenly loving them so much I found myself buying some colognes that were floral as well. Truth be told, I went on a bit of a violet binge after discovering how much I loved the smell of Trumper’s Violet shaving cream, and I bought a bottle each of Trumper’s Ajaccio Violet and Santa Maria Novella’s Violetta colognes, the latter of which my wife now wears — okay, that sounds like Corky Sinclair from “Waiting for Guffman”, I’ll give you that. But it’s true. And it smells great on her, better than it does on me. But I digress.
Rose. Yes. Taylor’s Rose cream smells utterly wonderful, and is a much fresher and more — dare I say — manly scent than the cloying, awful rose colognes you’re probably used to. Turns out rose and violet scented toiletries like shaving cream have been a staple of the British aritocracy for hundreds of years. Who knew? What I do know is, Taylor’s Rose smells incredible, and it shaves like a dream if you find that other shaving creams and soaps cause burning or other skin irritation when you shave with them. It comforts, soothes, never burns or itches, and always results in a spectacular shave and a lingering aroma that perks up my senses. Highly recommended.