A while back I was visiting with Steve of the Shave Shack Of Texas, who carries some shave products that aren’t widely available in the U.S. I picked up a tub of Mondial Mandarino E Spezie (“Mandarin And Spices”). Here are my impressions.
Mondial Mandarino E Spezie
From the Mondial “About US” page on their website:
“Our story begins in 1908 with a great passion fostered by our founder and forefather for shaving and for personal care. In that nascent period, in his small artisan workshop in the centre of Florence, he started to produce his first masterpieces: his extraordinary shaving brushes, made entirely by hand with great skill and precision, and increasingly refining his technique with an ever greater knowledge of his materials. Following his brushes, he then started to work with precious woods to create some extraordinary razors. His abilities started to become known the world over, so much so that prestigious names abroad would commission him to design some magnificent shaving sets for them….
“In still distant times, other predecessors of ours were to carry on the path that was taken by our founder and decided to join forces with another artisan company that produced exceptional shaving soaps and creams, eventually taking over the whole business, but only after having learned the methods and secrets of the working process. The following years would be years of hard work, characterised by a working process that requires a lot of passion and craftsmanship. Progress would of course involve more and more production processes, that could still combine the most traditional aspects of artisan methods with the use of ever more sophisticated equipment and precision tools….”
As for Mandarino E Spezie specifically, from the Mondial website:
“Volatile and sweet mandarin fragrances harmonize with the spiced ones of cinnamon and pepper. An excellent fragrance pyramid is created. Its intriguing and at the same time vital aroma conveys energy and passion. It is an exotic fragrance that gives you a deep pleasure making the shaving a simply wonderful experience.”
Ingredients: stearic acid, aqua, cocos nucifera, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, parfum, potassium carbonate, cinnamal, limonene, eugenol, beta-caryophyllene, hexyl cinnamal, citral, 4-diene
Mondial labels this a shave cream but it’s really a shave soap, and a fairly firm one at that.
My Experience With Mondial Mandarino E Spezie
I find it a pleasant surprise when a shave product scent description actually comes through with my notoriously insensitive nose. Mandarino E Spezie hits me with strong Mandarin orange citrus and spice notes. The spices referred to in the prior section say cinnamon and pepper but I get mostly pepper with just a hint of cinnamon. Not complaining though, by any stretch. It’s also a pretty persistent scent, something I can get throughout most of my shave (but not after).
As I mentioned earlier this is a shave soap even though the packaging says shave cream. Maybe it’s an Italian/English translation glitch.
Lathering is easy, even in my “hard” water, and I get a voluminous, thick consistency without any trouble.
As for performance, it’s excellent overall. I find the lubrication/glide of aspect Mandarino E Spezie very good; adding a good pre-shave oil to your routine would bring it to a really exceptional level. Post-shave moisturization is also very good. The cushion/protection aspect for me is right up there with the very best–which can be a difficult thing to achieve.
Note: Amazon links are affiliate.
Mondial is an established brand in Italy but I think it’s not as well known as other brands here in North America. Hopefully availability will improve as the international shipping challenges of the past year or so start resolving themselves. Mondial Mandarino E Spezie is available on their website, Amazon, Fendrihan, the Shave Shack Of TX, and other sources.