6 Coate’s Superior Shaving Creams, A Multi-scent Review

About a decade ago, Coate’s Brushes Ltd was purchased by the famed brush-maker Simpson, who eventually stopped production of those branded brushes as well as the creams they were making, and sold off the brand. Someone re-started the brand up in 2010, however producing a different (and more limited) line-up than the original scents available.

That having been said, there’s a lot of people who think that those original formulations were very much so underrated in their time. In fact, our host Mantic is on record saying that their Tea Tree cream is (or at least was, in 2006) one of his favourite shaving creams.

But recently a fellow redditor stumbled across a place that was had boxes and boxes of stock of the stuff. So he decided to do us all a favour and let us see what the fuss was about (also being sold via Shave My Face). Mind you, it looks like he’s running low on stock, so you might want to hurry.

Personally, I found that each of these performed pretty much identically, although I know there’s some who thought that one cream was better than the others. I found it lathered up very easily, with some really good volume, providing a decently thick cream with good lubrication. It required perhaps a bit more than the average amount of water that most creams would need. And after the fact, it did leave my face feelings fairly nice and moist. All in all, a really good shave. I’ll be giving the lather quality an 9/10.

As for the scents…

The rose was a fairly decent fragrance emulation of actual roses (of course, actual rose oil is bloody expensive, so the bulk of the rose scents you come across will be fake). It was a decent enough strength, good from the start, with a bit of fading. Pleasantness: 8/10; Strength; 8/10; Overall: 7/10.

The lavender didn’t do quite as good of a job; too cloyingly sweet for my tastes. Rather strong as well, which of course I would have enjoyed had the scent been more pleasant. P: 5/10; S: 9/10; O: 6/10.

The lime was rather nice; it seemed to be a reasonably sweet lime scent, kind of like a lime-ade. I thought it worked, smelled nice. It started off strong, but started fading, and faded quickly. P: 9/10; S: 8/10; O: 8/10.

The almond was more of a plain almond than the marzipan type scent you often get from a lot of other shaving soaps; there was still a bit of sweetness there (which I think is probably just inherent to the other ingredients of the shaving cream, as the only scented ingredient listed appears to be Benzaldehyde), but it wasn’t nearly as predominate. It didn’t fade quite as drastically as the lime, however it also didn’t start out as strong, so I’d say overall it’s about on par there. Actually, rather similar to the way the rose’s scent performed. P: 8/10; S: 8/10; O: 7/10

The sandalwood was nice and sandalwood-y, again a fragrance oil version, but a good one IMHO. It had a decently strong aroma that only faded slightly. P: 8/10; S: 9/10 O: 9/10

And the Tea Tree… well, I can see why Mantic liked it so much. The tea tree oil provides an invigourating green scent, with a bit of sweetness to it. It started out and stayed nice fairly strong throughout the entire shave. P: 9/10; S: 9/10; O: 9/10.

The six pack sample I tried costs $20 if you’re in the US; $25 to Canada; $30 elsewhere. All things considered, I think that’s a reasonable price to pay to try a cream that you might not ever get a chance to otherwise.

Related Links: Coates Rises from the Dead! (Mantic’s video review of the new reformulated shaving cream)

Ingredient Listings:

Rose: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, parfum (fragrance), sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben, Cl 14700 (FD&C Red No. 4), Cl 17200 (D&C Red No. 33);

Lime: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, citrus acida (lime oil), sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben, Cl 19140 (FD&C Yellow No. 5), Cl 42090 (FD&C Blue No. 1);

Tea tree: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, melalueca alternifolia (tea tree oil), sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben;

Almond: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzaldehyde;

Sandalwood: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, parfum (fragrance), sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben, Cl 19140 (FD&C Yellow No. 5), Cl 14700 (FD&C Red No. 4), Cl 42090 (FD&C Blue No. 1); and

Lavender: Aqua (water), stearic acid, myristic acid, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycerin, triethanolamine, parfum (fragrance), sodium hydroxide, methylparaben, propylparaben, Cl 17200 (D&C Red No. 33), Cl 42053 (FD*C Green No. 3).

Palpz Palpz (35 Posts)

Royal Canadian Naval officer; amateur shave soap reviewer; political junkie


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Comments

  1. I recently acquired the entire range in 1.7 fl.oz tubes except the Rose and absolutely love it. The lather is very rich and provides excellent cushion. Highly recommended, I just duplicated my order.

  2. Somewhere I have an old tube of Lime. It’s been in storage, so I’m hoping it hasn’t “died on the vine”.

  3. Tourettes Tuna says:

    The Tea Tree does sound particularly nice, but I’m a little concerned about the parabens in the ingredients list. I’m wondering if the parabens weren’t part of the reasoning behind Simpson’s disposal of the brand in the first place. That said, there probably isn’t enough of the stuff in exisitance that one could make it his go-to cream, and there probably isn’t any harm in adding it to the rotation for an occasional throw back shave. After all, it is always instructive to try the products that have a reputation for high performance.

    • The parabens had nothing to do with what happened to Coate’s–the marketplace was changing and like so many companies and they couldn’t adapt quickly enough.

    • I think that the whole uproar about parabens as an ingredient largely came up, or at least became more popularized, after they stopped production.

    • Inequilibrium says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the parabens. It’s impossible for them to penetrate the skin in a soap that’s only going to be sitting on the surface for a few minutes. In fact, even in creams and lotions, there’s not really evidence that parabens would be absorbed into the bloodstream. You’d get a higher dose of parabens by eating a few blueberries.

    • Tourettes Tuna says:

      @Inequilibrium: Thanks for the input on skin absorption of parabens. A currsory look at the stuff (inconclusive studies and propaganda) would suggest that they are suspicious chemicals, but the MSDS really only suggests that they are possible irritants and that you might be alergic. The worst case is propylparaben, which is toxic in case of inhalation (I don’t usually breath shaving cream). Also, it is probably only serious at fairly high concentrations.

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