Steampunk is a special edition shaving cream that was created for The Shave Nook shaving forum by Tabula Rasa in Germany. If you’re not familiar with the steampunk genre, think of it as a “retro-futuristic” science fiction or fantasy alternate reality based in the Victorian era (though sometimes it takes place in the American West) where steam-power is still in use. HERE is the Wikipedia entry if you want to delve deeper.
Tabula Rasa, the German shaving cream artisan who makes Steampunk shaving cream describes it as:
“In the beginning was … the word: Steampunk. Erik Kormann was browsing through the internet and was fascinated by this movement, which has evolved from a literary phenomenon to a modern subculture. A kind of retro-futurism expressed through the love of art and of the Victorian era and has its roots in the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells. Thus, a diving bell is also the symbol that the graphic artist Jo Zarth transposed for Erik Kormann: A tribute to Verne’s novel ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’
“Erik Kormann always wanted to create a fragrance with Atlas cedarwood – and one that is reminiscent of an old library with wood paneling that evokes wanderlust. This desire fitted perfectly to the steampunk theme which also abounds with explorers and adventurers. So all said and done: the idea was born and immediately implemented. The fragrance Steampunk honours its name: it is both nostalgic and hypermodern. Cedarwood blends with a velvety violet to create an intense “Amour Fou”, complemented by glowing Hesperides softly bedded on a gentle, skin-close and warm base of elemi and cashmeran. Erik does not reveal all of the fragrant notes so you can play the explorer and discover or test for yourself…!”
I think the “shaving cream” is more like a very soft shaving soap than a classic shaving cream. Wait, maybe that’s not quite right. The consistency is “soft” but “light.” Not as dense as either creams or soaps.
And, like the consistency, the scent is quite unusual too. The “spirit” of the steampunk movement is a combination of new and old elements. I think Steampunk shave cream captures the spirit well. The predominant scent I get is something like leather. But other notes come through too–woods (cedarwood?) and then more subtle undertones of a marine/oceanic scent and a bit of citrus (it is also formulated with Argan Oil and Mango butter). The image I got on the first sniff was a leather-bound book in a modern office. I need to PIF a sample to Sharpologist co-founder and resident fragrance guru Andy Tarnoff for his take on it!
Performance is very good for me, even with my hard water. Perhaps not quite as good as the best European shaving products, but darn close. Definitely something I will continue to use.
As you might expect from a limited-edition artisan product, there is a bit of a price premium and limited availability for Steampunk.