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Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shave Cream Review

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According to some previous research, Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood is perhaps the most popular “old school” lathering shave cream on the market.  Here’s what you need to know about Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shave cream.

Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shave Cream

The first thing that struck me about TOBS “Sandalwood” is how “Sandalwood” is actually a less-emphasized aspect, despite the name.  From the Taylor Of Old Bond St. (TOBS) website:

“A classic fougère fragrance with top notes of geranium lavender rosemary and liquid amber supported by a heart of carnation fern and orange blossom resting on a sumptuous base of patchouli sandalwood vetivert powdery musk and rock rose.”

Complicating things even further is that there are a number of different “Sandalwood” sources so the “Sandalwood” scent is a little subjective.  If you want to know more about “Sandalwood” in all its variations, click/tap to read “What Is Sandalwood And Why Is It In My Shaving Stuff?”

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Coconut Fatty Acid, Glycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Triethanolamine, Sodium Hydroxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, (Parfum Contains: Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Evernia Furfuracea Extract, Evernia Prunastri Extract, Limonene, Coumarin).

By coincidence I used TOBS Sandalwood’s ingredient list as the baseline for an examination of how “good” or “bad” ingredients in shave products may be.  Click/tap here to read “Is Your Shaving Cream Trying To Kill You? An Ingredient Teardown”

My Experience With Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shave Cream

The first thing most people notice in their Taylor Of Old Bond St. Sandalwood shave cream experience is the scent.  Anyone who had read my previous shave cream reviews knows that I have a relatively insensitive nose so I prefer strongly-scented shave products.  TOBS Sandalwood’s scent is moderately strong out of the tub, softening only slightly when lathered on the face.  It’s pretty persistent, too: I can smell it pretty much throughout my shave.

I mentioned earlier that the “Sandalwood” scent can be difficult to pin down, as there are a number of different scent profiles, both natural and artificial, claiming to be “Sandalwood.”  But I think the TOBS version comes admirably close to the “classic Sandalwood” fragrance, often described as woody with additional modifying terms like creamy, milky, warm, soft, and rich.  I like to use the word “mellow” myself.  I’m not usually a big fan of these types of woody fragrances but the TOBS Sandalwood scent has grown on me through the years and I particularly like it in the cold Winter months.

A few years ago I described the lather from TOBS products as “inconsistent.”  Some of the newer versions, like Peppermint and Grapefruit, seemed to lather more quickly and luxuriously than their older, more classic formulations–like Sandalwood.

That issue seems to be largely resolved now, and lathering is much more consistent across the line, at least for me.  My latest tube of TOBS Sandalwood delivers a fast, voluminous lather, even in my “hard” water, looking like a heavy meringue.

Scent and lather descriptions aside, how does TOBS Sandalwood perform?  For me both lubrication/glide and protection/cushion are top-shelf.  In fact I have to be careful I don’t make too thick of a lather or else my shave isn’t as close as it could be.  Post-shave moisturization is solid.


Taylor Of Old Bond Street is regarded as one of “the three T’s” of premium, classic British shaving brands (along with George Trumper and Truefitt And Hill).  TOBS is regarded as the “value” leader of the three, with pricing generally lower than competing products.  That doesn’t seem to detract from the quality and performance, though (actually, formulation-wise, “the three T’s” are fairly close to each other).

Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shave cream has been one of most popular, at least by sales, lathering shave creams on the market for some time and it’s easy to see why: an appealing, masculine scent; performance as good as other premium shave products; and a more attractive price-point for the value-minded.  What’s not to like?

Have you used Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood shave cream?  What do you think of it?  Leave a comment below!


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

12 thoughts on “Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shave Cream Review”

  1. I LOVE Taylor of Old Bond Street, Especially the Sandalwood and Cedarwwod. Manticore is right about different smelling Sandalwood soaps. I bought a Bay Rum and Sandalwood 2 pack Of GBS….I had to throw the Bay Rum away it was so awful, and the Sandalwood is just Tolerable, but all of my Sandalwood scented creams smell a bit different. TOBS gives me a wonderful feel and great lather, it is by far my favorite brand.

  2. I don’t know who did drugs at TOBS, but thinking this is the smell of sandalwood, is so off 🙁

    I have a lot of sandalwood scented stuff, both in creams, soaps, perfumes, and this is the absolute worst, not enjoying using this cream at all, it gives me a headache and just smells weird, but i know a lot of people love it, i just don’t understand why, at all!!!

    1. After finally getting some Sandlewood my wife said it smells like a old people’s home. I use it since I bought it, I asked for the Cedarwood for Christmas and its way better, I open the tub just to smell it in if im passing the bathroom.

  3. I like TOBS Sandalwood very much and I discovered it because of this blog. That said, I like the peppermint and grapefruit a little more, because the fragrances are a little stronger. I find the lathering properties equal among the three, as for me the biggest variable has been just how much I load up my brush with product and how much water I add to the scuttle. I’m not a machine; variability exists.

  4. I like TOBS Sandalwood very much. One of the joys of the wet-shaving renaissance as we all know is finding new surprises. A few weeks ago I discovered Caswell-Massey’s superb shaving products, including one of two sandalwood scents they offer: Woodgrain Sandalwood—cream, soap, cologne, and regular bars of soap. It is a most distinctive and for me, really fine scent, and the lather is first-rate. I think this is made for CM by Holy Black.

  5. TOBS likely sells more because of its cheaper price, which is actually due to its smaller containers (150g vs. the far better Trumpers at 200g and still better Castle Forbes at 200 ml).

  6. I would respectfully disagree with your assessment that TOBS Sandalwood smells like a classic sandalwood scent. For something much truer to actual sandalwood, I would suggest Proraso Red, which I love.

    Like so many others, TOBS Sandalwood was the first cream I tried upon making the switch to DE shaving. I wanted so much to like it, but I’ve always found the scent to be too busy to the point of actually being off-putting.

  7. I’ve gotten the sample shave cream sets for all the ‘three T’ brands and I think they are very close to each other in both lather smell and performance. Having said that, I really enjoy TOBS Sandalwood, so much so that I have to actively remind myself to try other scents/brands from time to time.

    I’ve recently switched to go on a Proraso kick for a few months but I’d always come back to TOBS for a reliable shave experience.

  8. I’ve tried the TOBS Sandalwood in the tub and in the tube. I found the fragrance to be pleasant but not noteworthy. More important to me is performance which I have found to be “meh” in terms of glide, cushioning, blah, blah, blah. I found it to be not the equivalent of its more expensive brethren and not even superior to some of its less expensive kid brethren such as Tabac and La Toja. Would I use it if I were on a desert island with nothing else and wanted to shave in anticipation of being rescued by the Kardashians? Sure.

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