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Scent Off: Barrister And Mann Hallows

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Welcome to “round 2” of the first Sharpologist “Scent Off!”  We’re taking the next few weeks to challenge artisan shaving soap makers to come up with a Fall/Winter “seasonal” scent, judged by our panel of illustrious wet shaving experts.  Last week we started the competition off with a soap from Mystic Water.  This week we continue the judging with an entry from Barrister and Mann, “Hallows.”

Barrister and Mann

Artisan Bio: Barrister and Mann was founded with one mission: to produce a high-quality shaving soap made by hand in small batches and to offer it in scents unlike anything else on the market. We take pride in thinking outside the box during product development and we’re very excited to be part of the Scent-Off. We wish all the competitors the best of luck!
Scent Description: Taking inspiration from the swamps of Boston, we combined vetiver, oakmoss, black pepper, cocoa, labdanum, and cedar to produce a deep, cold scent suited to the chilly, bitter days of late October. Gloomy, rich, and perversely elegant, Hallows is a reminder of why men once feared the dark.

Judges Comments on Barrister and Mann Hallows

Judges were asked to evaluate the entry by shaving with it at least three times and based their score on Scent (up to 10 points), Performance (up to 10 points), and Presentation (up to five points).  Here are some of their comments along with the averaged score:


  • It’s got that dirty root scent, but without that overly synthetic note that so many have.”
  • “Barrister and Mann’s scent definitely captured the fall season. The warm and woody scent grew on me with each use and by the third shave I came to really enjoy it. Definitely a scent I could see myself desiring in October and November, with the changing of the leaves. Well Done!”
  • “Unfortunately the Hallows smells just like clay. Nothing else came through for me.”
  • “This to me, is a light, fresh spicy scent that does go with the season.”
  • “I really liked the fragrance a lot. It was assertive and present throughout the shave. I could not specifically identify the fragrance notes—my nose is illiterate—but I did enjoy the smell.”
  • “This scent of Hallows is not overpowering but is readily evident.  A true manly scent.  The scent lingers after the shave but does not interfere with an aftershave or cologne.”
  • “Barrister and Mann’s description of their scent seems perfectly accurate. I can’t say that I’m really all that much of a fan of the scent itself; while I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant, the combination just doesn’t do it for me. The strength was definitely up there, without much fading.”
  • “A manly scent , but well balance and , again , very elegant.I see it more suitable for winter/cold time more than for summer/hot time.”

Score: 7.8


  • “I was impressed with the lather. Easy to get going and very luxurious. I tend to like soft soaps, so this was right up my ally. Stable and had that great secondary lubricity that I want in my lather.”
  • “You can’t ask for much more in the performance department. The lather is very easy to build and offers great cushion and protection. Slickness can be dialed in by varying the amount of water in the lather; post shave feel is excellent. The soap worked equally great when face lathered, palm lathered and bowl lathered. Few soaps on the market will out perform this one!”
  • “Great lubrication & cushion. Very easy to make to make a lot of lather that really stuck to my face.”
  • “The puck is spongy for a cake soap but was easy to lather and produced big suds. It did seem to like more water in my opinion. The cushion was decent and the soap was non irritating.”
  • “I did have a bit of lather fading, but only in one of the shaves. Possibly operator error. Overall, quite a good lather.”
  • “Hallows is a little thirsty but rewards the user with a rich lather that provides a great cushioning for the shave.  The lather is slick and leaves the face feeling smooth and conditioned long after the shave.”
  • “The performance is typical of Barrister and Mann’s; excellent. Just be sure to use enough water and you’ll get a great lather with good thickness, glide, stability, and good moisturization to boot.”
  • “The shaves have been incredible comfortable , since the ingredients of this soap takes care of my dry skin like champs , and I truly appreciate that.The lather , as I say is very , very slick.”

Score: 8.9


  • “The simple paper wrapped is nice for a refill, but the paper felt damp, like the soap was slowly seeping into it. I like the design.”
  • “The presentation was simple but nice. The puck came hand wrapped in paper and will fit nicely into most shaving mugs. Nothing too fancy, but very environmentally conscious.”
  • “Came to me in ordinary packaging. Nothing to indicate this was for the holidays.”
  • “Simple paper wrap with the Hallows skull around the puck. Nothing fancy, but again, nice for the season.”
  • “Barrister & Mann give us a special label, but fall down with having an incomplete package, as it were.”
  • “A great soap from Barrister & Mann with a creative logo design.”
  • “It’s a puck wrapped in paper with a paper label.”
  • “This soap comes wrapped on a paper with two stickers (both front and back) , but hey , this is a refill , so its all good.”

Score: 3.1

Sharpologist Staff

Sharpologist Staff

12 thoughts on “Scent Off: Barrister And Mann Hallows”

  1. I’m doing a piece on Hallows for my blog and just noticed that you hadn’t put a “scent off” tag on this post.

  2. B&M soaps are some of the best, producing luxurious, rich lathers with interesting scents. Hallows certainly reminds me of Boston swamps, but that is not an odor that I’m particularly fond of. I much prefer their other fall scent, Nocturne, which reminds me of sitting around a crackling fire with a nice hot mug of spiced cider. I did think that the Hallows minamalist packaging was fitting for the theme they were expressing, which seemed to go over the heads of some of the judges.

  3. Ok. I’ve seen this many times for this brand of soap (among others). Thirtsy soap. What exactly does this mean? I’ve used this brand a lot and am wondering if I should be adding more water to my mix. How do I tell if I get the proper cushion and lubrication? When I add more water to my soaps they just seem to thin out. By the way I got one of the Hallows pucks and love the scent!

    1. A “thirsty” soap is one that needs a lot of water (or at least more water than usual) to make a good lather.

  4. I’ve actually used this. The best thing is the hint of black pepper in the scent. It’s not overpowering, but it’s definitely bracing. In a certain way, it’s kind of fresh — and it’s a big change from the softer, muskier scents you often seen in soaps.
    Also, the packaging is boss. Gotta love Barrister and Mann. 🙂

  5. Barrister and Mann is probably my favorite soap right now. I was bummed I didn’t manage to get t puck of Hallows during the 5 minutes that they were for sale

    1. They were actually up for sale for a bit longer than 5 minutes, but the speed at which the soap sold definitely caught us by surprise. We expected to be sitting with it for a few weeks at least. If there is a Winter Scent Off, we will definitely make more of our submission for that so that more people can give it a try.
      There are a few people who were not fond of the scent; you could probably find one of them on B&B or such and pick one up.
      Glad to hear that you’re satisfied otherwise, though!

      1. It seems like there have been 2-3 Hallows pucks that went on B&B in the past week or two. I always miss them. Having been present at the inception of the Scent Off, and even trying to help get it off the ground, I have been waiting for each new bit of detail and each new soap. By the time I realized that this soap was available, the link on B&B took me to a “dead” page. I do hope I can find some of this on one of the forum sell/trade pages. I’ve only tried Ferox, and love it. Thanks B&M for creating a soap for this event! I know you said that there would only be 20 pucks, ever, but perhaps sometime in the future you could do another limited run…

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