Spencer & Devon Shave Cream

Spencer & Devon

If you’re a traditional wet shaver and you wander around the web like I do you may have seen the Spencer & Devon ads.  I got some a while back and have been using it on and off for a while now.  The verdict?  I like it.  It lathers easily and generously, provides excellent lubrication and cushion, and the scents are unusual but pleasant (though of course YMMV when it comes to smell). 

There are three versions, Unscented (and hypoallergenic), Spice, and Sagebrush:

Spice is described as “cinnamon, bergamot and mandarin essential oils” but I get mostly a mandarin orange note off it (almost a tangerine), more “tart” than “sweet.”

Sagebrush is my favorite.  It’s described as “sage, cedarwood and pine needle essential oils” and the “woody” notes are unmistakable.  This is one of the very few shave products I’ve used that actually evoke a “scene” with me: every time I use it I imagine I’m on horseback riding the back country of the western US.  My wife likes this scent as well.  It smells relatively strong in the tub to me but mellows nicely when lathered.

I consider the Spencer & Devon shave creams to be competitive with other top-shelf shave creams in terms of performance: they’ve taken the classic formulas and put a modern twist on them.

General Ingredients:

  • Shea Butter
  • Aloe Vera
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Salicylic Acid (bump reducer and anti-irritant)
  • Olive and Avocado Oil
  • botanical extracts

(I was a little worried when I read the ingredient list and saw Kaolin clay.  My skin is sensitive to Bentonite and its derivatives (like Kaolin), causing an unpleasant burning sensation.  But there can’t be a whole lot of it in the Spencer & Devon creams because it doesn’t bother me.)

 

 

mantic59 mantic59 (524 Posts)

also known as "Mantic59." Shave tutor and sharpologist.


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Comments

  1. Shave Dude says:

    I want to try it, but at that premium price, I’m scared I might like it! For the price of 3 tubs, I could buy a new straight razor.

  2. Bhorsoft says:

    I’ve been using both the Spice and Sagebrush for almost 3 months now and it is certainly performs like a top shelf cream. I’ve use a bunch of creams from the bottom, middle, and top of the shelf and S&D compares well with the best of them. It is a long lasting lather (I can get 4+ passes if needed), is slick and offers a lot of cushion.

    Although comparatively expensive, the tubs are larger than a lot of other tubs with a similar price. With S&D a little goes a long way. I expect my S&D creams to last a lot longer than my T&H or eShave creams although they are used about the same amount in my rotation.

    I do agree about the scents. Sagebrush (to me) smells exactly as Mantic describes. It’s my favorite “woodsy” scent of all my creams and soaps. The Spice doesn’t do it for me – I detect a hint of Raid in it’s smell. However, shave performance is identical between the two. When I run out of S&D I will definitely buy the Sagebrush again.

  3. bsmyn0708 says:

    How long before everyone lusts over this crap on the forums? Just another over-priced, mediocre product, marketed towards marks.

    • mantic59 mantic59 says:

      The performance of S&D is far from “mediocre.”

      • The review should then say so — that is mediocrre. Now it says

        “I consider the Spencer & Devon shave creams to be competitive with other top-shelf shave creams in terms of performance: they’ve taken the classic formulas and put a modern twist on them.”,

        leading to the impression that it is a rather good product, not at all mediocre. Reading between the lines one can decipher, though, that it adds nothing new performance wise. The classic formulas are hardly nothing to write home about, and giving them a new scent and a hefty price tag isn’t exactly a new concept either; everyone and their mother is doing that now, riding on the wet shaving wave where products that cost pennies to make can be sold for dozens of dollars by giving them fancy-and-funny brand names, home-made status, or some royal endorsement.

        On the other hand, I have yet to read an online shave cream review where the product would not be outright outstanding, and to provide, yes, great slickness or lubrication and copious cushion — plus it shaves very close, very, very close! Actually, I have yet to read a shave cream review that would tell anything useful about the product at all — except that it is very good indeed.

        These kind of shave cream reviews, formulated as advertisement, add nothing to this or any other blog and just seem to act as content fillers. My suggestion is that if there is nothing to write about, then write about nothing that time. Often less is more. Readers appreciate when someone puts thought and effort in the content, like is generally the case here — and thanks for the authors for that. That is, every medium does not need to be another Badger and Blade.

        • mantic59 mantic59 says:

          I think you did not read my reply correctly. I said S&D “is far from mediocre.” That means I think it is very good. I think it performs as well as Trumper’s, Truefit, or Taylor’s creams (for example) plus it offers a scent profile unlike those products (of course smell is in the nose of the beholder). The price is not out of line compared to those similar products.

          Product reviews on Sharpologist try to include a list of ingredients and a scent profile, items that I find are not often listed in other reviews. And there have been reviews of products that did not perform well (a recent example is my comment about Ingram Menthol in the “5 Face Freezers” post).

  4. I’ve seen the online ads for D&S cream; the ingredients list reads high quality, but at $28 they’re a bit pricey for my taste. My personal limit is $20 for a cream or soap. YMMV. When so many fine products are available for less, I’d rather have quantity (variety).

    Tero: Cushion is how well the lather protects against razor burn. Many shavers regard Col. Conk soap for shaving; though affordable and slick (lubricating), I get razor burn any time I use it (not enough cushion).

    • Whoops, should be S&D cream.

    • To me this sounds like you are using too much pressure, as a lubricating lather is the best defense against razor burn given that no pressure is used and the blade angle is correct. The purpose of using shaving lather is, after all, lubrication.

      • I suppose that could be a possibility, but it only happens when I use Col. Conk. I don’t get razor burn using any other soap or cream, and I own many.

        • Shave Dude says:

          You’re not the only one that finds the Col to be lacking cushion. It builds a great looking lather, but the protection just isn’t there for me.

  5. My tub of sage brush was just shipped from Amazon. I really hope it is as good as you say. This will be my first time using a traditional shaving cream with my ‘new’ old gilette double edge and a hand-me-down shaving brush my dad gave me.

    Here’s to trying out traditional shaving for real!

  6. “It lathers easily and generously, provides excellent lubrication and cushion, …”

    What is cushion?

    • mantic59 mantic59 says:

      Protection against irritation.

      • Mantic59:

        I have to ask you since you do so many reviews. Have you had a chance to review Proraso’s new sandalwood and Shea butter shaving cream (Red Tube)?

        I really like this and the scent has a very nice woody aroma and it softens the skin. I divide shaving creams into two categories, ones you use ever day and those premium ones you use on special occasions, or maybe when you’re trying to create a special occasion. This cream is a nice everyday shave cream with a premium scent but not at a premium price.

        http://www.joe-barber.com/Proraso-p/sct-prsosw.htm

        • mantic59 mantic59 says:

          I have not tried it yet but it is on my list!

          • mantic59:

            I just had the opportunity to review the Spencer & Devon with the crew. The spice has a very nice scent and is exactly the scent I imagined. The Sagebrush is peculiarly interesting. I don’t know what is about it but I keep taking the lid back off and revisiting the scent. Quite intriguing!

            I have heard that it is a flatter shaving cream but I don’t believe it. We performed a lather test with an almond size amount of Spencer & Devon and there was plenty of lather. After loading the brush and doing a squeeze out there was plenty of lather to do a three, maybe a fourth pass. I think some folks just put too much water in the brush, diluting the soaps.

            Overall, we like it and are thinking about carrying the line at Joseph Barber & Company

            DK

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