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5 Wet Shaving Products I Have Used For Almost 20 Years And Still Love

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time concept: vintage hourglass

My interest in traditional wet shaving is going on 20 years now.  And despite robust growth of the niche, with many more products to choose from now, I still have a few long-time favorites.

An Early “SOTD” Picture

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I recently came across this “shave of the day” picture from 2005 in my old Flickr account:

A couple things in the image jumped out at me immediately: the tube of Trumper Violet and the Merkur Progress adjustable razor.

Trumper Violet was the first wet shaving product I tried with a floral scent–and also when I realized that floral scents can be quite masculine.  Plus Trumper Violet performed (and still performs) the best overall out of the Trumper shave creams for me (I think their shave soaps’ performance has taken a dive over the years though) and I still replace a tube when it gets used up.

The Merkur Progress epitomizes my preference for adjustable double edge (DE) razors.  It was my first “real” DE razor (after a couple false starts with a plastic Zorrik DE razor and a vintage Gillette Super Speed from the 1950’s that turned out to be damaged) and I still prefer the Merkur style, even though I now use a Parker Variant–which is very Progress-like but addresses most of the little annoyances I had with the Progress.

Three Others

There are three other shave products from this period I still keep in my den: DR Harris Arlington shave soap, Truefitt & Hill Trafalgar shave cream, and Castle Forbes Lime shave cream.

One of my first reviews on Sharpologist was of DR Harris Arlington shave soap.  Since then a great many “premium” (and “ultra-premium”) shave soaps have appeared, mostly from artisans, eclipsing DR Harris’ shave soap performance.  But to their credit, DR Harris shave soaps can still hold their own–particularly among the “old school” British shave soaps, where many have been reformulated into a mere shadow of their former selves.

In all the years I’ve used this shave soap I’ve only had to refill it a couple times: partly because of the number of other shave products I have in the den, but also because Arlington is one of the few “triple-milled” shave soaps so it lasts a long time.

Truefitt And Hill (T&H) Trafalgar shave cream is another “old timer” in my shave den.  It’s another product that got featured early in Sharpologist’s life.  Like DR Harris Arlington, T&H Trafalgar has largely been eclipsed by other products, performance-wise, over the years, though it can still hold its own.  But I admittedly adore the scent and it still occupies a spot on my shelf and have gone through several tubes over the years.

One last “old timer” in my den that doesn’t suffer from comparative performance issues for me is Castle Forbes Limes shave cream.  Another product making its first mention in Sharpologist early-on:



Castle Forbes lime‘s scent is sweet and strong (too strong for some), both in the tub and lathered on the face.  I like to tell people that it’s like getting smacked in the face with a key lime pie.  It is a completely refreshing, invigorating lime scent that also happens to perform spectacularly for me.

One Other Mention

There is one other razor that has been getting regular use since 2015: my OneBlade Genesis single-edge razor.  Admittedly it’s not for everyone but has occupied a spot in my frequently-used shave product shelf since it was launched over five years ago now.


As a relative “old timer” in traditional-style wet shaving I’m happy to see the robust growth of the niche’.  But it’s also nice to see some products enduring through the years and continuing to be favorites.

What products do you continue to use even though there may be many more options now?  Leave a comment below!



Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

5 thoughts on “5 Wet Shaving Products I Have Used For Almost 20 Years And Still Love”

  1. Trumpers Violet is, by a wide margin, my favorite shave cream. The scent is fantastic and performance is top-notch. I have tubes and tubs in reserve, but too bad that the Trumpers shave soaps are a crime against humanity

    I am huge fan of DR Harris Arlington and Windsor soaps, they may be the last of the famous British shaving royalty not to have screwed up their soap lines.

    And keep going, Mark! I have learned so much from your YT videos and articles

  2. Is TOBS Rose cream still good, or has it also fallen?

    Can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog for 10+ years

    1. I haven’t tried TOBS Rose in a while, I’ll have to pick one up. Thanks for sticking with me for that long! 🙂

  3. Since, you like D.R. Harris shaving soaps (as do I), I highly recommend D.R. Harris Marlborough to your attention, both the shaving soap (tub or stick) and aftershave. The fragrance is cedar and sandalwood, and it is also available as a cologne. I have Arlington as well, but I prefer Marlborough (ymmv).

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