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Crabtree & Evelyn: Overlooked British Champ

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I was going through my collection (loosely stacked and leaning pile of containers, pucks and tubes) and spotted a favorite of mine that I hadn’t used in a while. Crabtree and Evelyn’s Nomad. I’m betting that some of you are asking yourself “What the heck is that?” The answer is: an overlooked British champ when it comes to producing quality shaving supplies.

And if you’re not pronouncing the first part of “Evelyn” like “Eve” in the bible, you’re doing it wrong. I found this out a few years back when I pronounced it the “wrong” way in front of my wife and her mother. Being from New England, they quickly corrected me. Stunned that they had heard of one of my favorites, if lesser-known brands of shaving supplies, I asked how they knew that. They responded that it was founded in New England. Hmmm. I accepted this as fact but I decided to do a little research for this article and yes, it did start in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1968. It quickly expanded and they opened their first shop in Great Britain in 1980. Go on their website and you can see that they’ve modeled themselves as an English company that sells high-end soaps, creams and shaving supplies. Actually, the last part makes up the smallest part of their lineup. But in my opinion, they make great products. Let me highlight my favorites.

I found C&E by buying three of their wet shaving creams a couple of years ago from an online source. I had never heard of the brand, but by then my wet shaving OCD had kicked into high gear, so I shelled out the dough.
C&E 3 tubes
I received three large, metal tubes. These reminded me of toothpaste tubes before plastic took over everything. I researched some more and figured I’d need some metal keys to roll it up from the end. I thought that was a pretty cool idea. It definitely gave the brand a unique feel.


Old Sienna
Now to the creams! The first I tried was Sienna. I was really impressed with the slick lather it produced, how well it cushioned my skin. The scent was what really made me take notice. It was a strong smell of leather, some sandalwood and light citrus notes. I decided that I really liked this one. Of course the first one I tried was the one that C&E had already discontinued! Even the Sharptologist wrote about it! That’s right. If you come across this scent, I’d highly suggest snagging it immediately. I shave with it very rarely, because you can only buy it when someone puts it up for sale on Ebay. While you can sometimes get the tube of cream for under $20, the AS and EDT will cost you a bundle. How much? $12 for 3 ml of their AS!

(ingredients: water, stearic acid, myristic acid, glyserin, potassium hydroxide, coconut acid, glycol disterate, fragrance, sodium C14-16, olefin sulfonate, tocopherly acetate, thriethylene glycol, propylene glycol, linalool, limonene, amyl cinnamal, courmarin, propylparaben, methylparaben, benzyl alcohol, magnesium nitrate, magnesium chloride.)

New Sienna
As I was writing this article, I cruised by eBay and actually found a brand new in-box tube, with key, for under $20 shipped. It was the only one for sale, but it just goes to show that you can still find some of the Sienna line out there.


The next one I tried was their Sandalwood. I have to say that this didn’t impress me as much as the Sienna, probably because there’s not a lot you can do, IMHO, with a sandalwood smell. Theirs has a very nice, spicy, scent and is like the others I’ve tried, producing good, slick lather. No complaints, I’m just not much of a sandalwood guy.

(Ingredients: Potassium Palmate, Sodium Palmate, Potassium Stearate, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Glycerin, Fragrance Palm Kernel Acid, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Wood Extract, Bisabolol, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid )

Nomad (Moroccan Myrrh)

Small Nomad
While I really enjoy the Sienna, I’ve had to use it sparingly because when it’s gone, it’s gone! That’s why my favorite of their lineup in Moroccan Myrrh,* or Nomad as it was known for years. After I received my large tube of cream, I went to their website and at that time they offered a travel pack, with a small tube of shaving cream, AS balm and AS. The first time I did all three I got some looks at work. They were good looks, not the “what did he roll in” look. The smell is like nothing I’ve ever come across in wet shaving. Very manly, like you’re ready to go hit a bar or cut down a tree. The C&E website, after they changed the name from Nomad to Moroccan Myrrh, stated that they blend the finest myrrh with bergamot, cardamom, an ancient spice, black pepper, and other scents. All I know is that the lather it produces if very thick, like the others and smells great. It’s a scent that I could tell blindfolded what it is. I’ve ordered a couple more of the travel packs and at some point C&E changed the named and the formula, but I really couldn’t tell the difference.

(Ingredients:  Potassium Palmate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palmate, Potassium Stearate, , Potassium Palm Kernelate, Water, Sodium Stearate , Glycerin, Fragrance, Palm Kernel Acid, Commiphora Myrra Resin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexlglycerin, Citric Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Citral, Citronellol, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Magnesium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide CI 77891)

West Indian Lime

Another line C&E produces is their West Indian Lime. This is another good performer and it has a bit of sandalwood to the mix. I think it gives it a decent scent. I had the small tube and used it, but since I have other lime shaving creams I like better, Geo.F. Trumper is my favorite, I didn’t reorder.

C&E also sells body washes and soaps and shaving soaps of all these scents. I have to say that if you have some spare bucks, you should give any of the C&E shave products a try. None smell like anything else on the market. And if you find any Sienna, grab it quick. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

*affiliate link
Do you use Crabtree & Evelyn shave products?  What do you think of them?  Leave a comment!

Jay Harrell

Jay Harrell

10 thoughts on “Crabtree & Evelyn: Overlooked British Champ”

  1. The best SC they made was the Sweet Almond Oil shaving cream (Mantic probably remembers it). First cream I used when I started wet shaving; I bought 2 tubes and the best badger brush. When I went to buy more I found that they quit making it. 🙁 There was much weeping among the wet shaving community! Then I started with the Sienna and they quit making it, too! I haven’t used their stuff in years but I remember it being first rate, even in our Dallas water.

  2. Sienna was my first ever shaving soap, and is one of the greatest scents in wet shaving! I was devastated when they discontinued it – why I don’t know… I have 2 soaps (old formula), 2 balms, and 2 creams which like you, I use sparingly and hopefully should keep me going for a while!

  3. It’s nice to see someone from a major wetshaving related website complimenting C&E products, which are summarily overlooked by the community.
    But i do have to say that, in my opinion, you should really stress that although they do sell shaving soaps and whatnots from theses lineups, not only Sienna was discontinued altogether, the west Indian limes soap was terrible, and the Nomad soap when renamed Morrocam Myrhh, turned out terrible too.
    It appears that they fixed their soaps lately, thanks heavens, But people should be careful when looking for it and ask the seller if it is the new formula soap or not, because the west Indian limes soap I had, was no better than a regular shower soap.

  4. Crabtree & Evelyn is actually the only thing I use. I asked a while ago on some other article about why I have never seen anything about it and I completely forgot I did.
    I have the C&E brush and I use the West Indian Lime shaving cream and aftershave. I find it to give a very good lather and I really like the scent.
    They used to carry a regular Sandalwood, which I preferred to the one they have now. I also have one of their Sandalwood shaving soaps and use it every once in a while.

  5. Just ordered the Myrrh hair and body soap and shaving soap. They didn’t seem to have the cream anymore either on their website or on Amazon. Looking forward to trying it out. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Never used their creams but I have used their soaps. I found their soaps very drying with little cushioning plus the lather disappeared on my face before I got one side finished. All in all I was not impressed and ended up using it as a shower soap to use it up.

    1. I have a Sienna shave soap from years ago that I’m shepherding because it’s so good and I know once it’s gone I probably won’t get something as good from C&E. It’s glycerin-based but triple-milled and excellent. Unfortunately C&E has tweaked the ingredients several times since, and as you said it’s more drying now (and not available in Sienna…*sob*).

      1. My go-to daily cream is J.M. Frasers. The local barber supply shop in Toronto carries it. It is cheap, cheerful, slick with enough just cushion. I will alternate between that and Cade soap.

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