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Barrister And Mann Terror With Synthetic Menthol

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[Ed. Note: Terror is no longer available.  This post will remain on the site for archival purposes.] Today Barrister And Mann releases their Terror shave soap (and aftershave splash) with a synthetic form of menthol.  Is this alternate skin-cooling ingredient for you?

Why Is It Called “Terror?”

Probably not for the reason you’re thinking. 🙂  The product is inspired by HMS Terror, a British warship that sank in the Arctic with all hands in the 1800’s.  It was discovered under the ice a few years ago.  Will of Barrister And Mann talks more about the Terror in a recent Wet Shaving Talk podcast (starting about 19:40 into the ‘cast).

As an homage to the story Barrister And Mann set out to create a shave product that smells–and feels–like ice.  The individual elements are described as “Frankincense, Cold Water, and Peppermint.”

Synthetic Menthol?

Menthol is a well-known cooling agent (and topical anesthetic) sometimes used in shaving products (probably most famously in Proraso).  Sharpologist discusses the in’s and out’s of menthol in this article.

There are now synthetic cooling agents that work like menthol (kinda…) but are less “intense” and longer-lasting.

This soap also uses the Barrister And Mann “Excelsior” soap base.

Barrister And Mann Terror shave soap ingredients (paraphrased): aqua, glycerin, potassium stearate, potassium tallowate, sodium stearate, fragrance sodium tallowate, coconut milk, passeium kokum butterate, methyl gluceth-10, xanthan gum, sucrose cocoate, potassium ricinoleate, sodium kokum butterate, allantoin, shea butter, lanolin, jojoba oil, sodium lauryl oat amino acids, fragrance, sodium ricinoleate, tetrasodium EDTA, tocopheryl acetate.

My Experience With Barrister And Mann Terror Shave Soap And Aftershave Splash

I received a pre-launch sample from Barrister And Mann so I could time this review with the launch.  West Coast Shaving And Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements links are affiliate.

Having grown up on the shores of a lake in Wisconsin, I think the scent of Barrister And Mann Terror comes admirably close to the scent of that lake in Winter.  The soap’s scent is very mild, and softens even more when lathered on the face, so to me it’s almost scent-free and should not interfere with any after-the-shave fragrances you may wish to apply.

I have previously mentioned a (mild) difficulty I have had lathering “Excelsior”-based Barrister And Mann shave soaps but that was not the case here.  It seems reasonably tolerant of various quantities (and mineral concentrations) of water: I was able to get a good lather in no time at all.

Performance-wise I think the soap’s lubrication aspect is excellent but I do wonder…just a bit…about its cushioning or “comfort.”  I prefer mild razors and while I got a comfortable shave I couldn’t help but wonder what the “feel” of the razor would be like if it had more of a blade gap.  If you have used Barrister And Mann Terror with an “aggressive” razor leave a comment below with your experience!

The effect of the synthetic cooling agents is interesting.  As I mentioned earlier it is less “dramatic” and more persistent than that of menthol.  “Menthol heads” who think Proraso “green” is for pansies and who look for that eye-watering, skin-burning feeling of, say, Chiseled Face Cryogen (via West Coast Shaving), Stirling Margaritas In The Arctic (via West Coast Shaving), or PAA Frost Byte may be disappointed.  It doesn’t hit me like a slap-in-the-face: rather, a moderate cooling sensation builds up during the middle/end part of the shave and stays with me quite steadily for some time after the shave.

If I had to classify the feeling I would say it’s refreshing!

Post-shave moisturization is excellent as well.

Adding the matching aftershave splash to the shave intensifies and extends the refreshing cooling feeling for me.  However the splash does have an alcohol content which may effect the skin’s moisturization (though to Barrister And Mann’s credit it’s also filled with lots of skin-friendly things, too).  Barrister And Mann Terror aftershave splash ingredients (paraphrased): alcohol denat, witch hazel, fragrance, DAT kernel protein, calendula flower extract, propenediol, aqua, seaweed extract, milk thistle fruit extract, tulsi basil leaf extract, allantoin.


Terror shave soap continues Barrister And Mann’s excellent lineup.  Like some of their other recent releases there is a story behind it that I think “humanizes” its use.  Performance is excellent and the synthetic menthol can provide a refreshing feeling that lasts longer than typical menthol products.



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