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The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream – Deal Or Dud?

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the art of shaving sandalwood shaving cream

I’ve been called many things in my life: cheap, thrifty, economical. I carry the title proudly of being tight with my money. One place where I saw myself not struggling to justify my spending was on shaving products. Some are economical and good performers while others are cheap and are terrible.

The Art Of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream

[Ed. Note: Amazon, OneBlade, and The Art Of Shaving links are affiliate.]

Over the years I’ve gradually come to realize that, most times, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to shaving cream. While there are some great performers that are inexpensive, like Marlowe, or DSC there are some that are higher up in the price range like Edwin Jagger, or Geo F. Trumper that are worth the extra moola. I don’t know if I had ever considered The Art of Shaving (“TAOS”) to be in that “higher-priced and worth it category.” but after getting a tub of the The Art Of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream for Christmas, I thought I’d see if it was a deal or a dud for the price.

The company made shaving news when it was bought in 2009 by Proctor and Gamble. The company had shelled out $57 billion….BILLION for Gillette in 2005, so what they paid for TAOS must have been small potatoes. But there was some worrying in the wet-shaving world that the company would be gobbled up and forgotten. Or watered down to the point that it was selling goo and not real shave cream.

After trying The Art Of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream for three months, I can say they are still a player in the shaving world.

The ingredients (Water/Aqua, Palmitic Acid, Myristic Acid, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Coconut Acid, Glycerin, Triethanolamine, Fragrance/Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium Edta, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone.) seem to be the usual mix of things I can recognize and others I can’t. I’m not too worried about what’s in it, but rather how it performs.

The Lather

the art of shaving sandalwood shaving cream loading onto a semogue brush

As is my custom, I loaded my Semogue brush and went to town in my scuttle.

While this didn’t create pillows and pillows of lather, it did a respectable job of making a definite brushful, with more in the bowl.

building lather with the art of shaving sandalwood shaving cream

Having used this product many times in the last three months, I knew a well-loaded brush would be enough.

the art of shaving sandalwood shaving cream loaded onto a shave brush

The Shave

I was able to spread a thick layer of lather on my face. I used a new blade in my Oneblade razor to start. I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and although the Oneblade is fairly aggressive to me, the lather had good cushioning and slickness. I did a four-pass shave and it was BBS. For the record, there was enough lather that I ended up shaving my head as well, but not with the Oneblade. I’m not that brave! But again, the lather was cushiony and very slick. I had enough left in my brush that I had to lightly squeeze the excess out.

The sandalwood scent doesn’t come across as artificial and while it lingers on the skin, it isn’t overpowering. It is a bit stronger than the Geo F. Trumper that I also use, but is milder than Edwin Jagger’s offering. It’s scent is a little spicier than the Taylor of Old Bond Street but nothing that’ll make you not want to use it again. [Ed. note: for more information on the differences in sandalwood scents, click/tap here to read “What Is Sandalwood And Why Is It In My Shaving Stuff?”]

Another plus for The Art Of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream is that my face and scalp don’t feel dry after it. That’s turning into a new test for me when it comes to shaving cream or soaps, how does it leave my scalp feeling? With TAOS, it feels great.

Conclusion On The Art Of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream

Now, going back to price. This sells for $35 on The Art Of Shaving Website, which is the top of my price point. If you’re going to add a solid performer to your lineup, I would definitely consider The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shave Cream. While it’s an upper-tier priced cream, it performs like it. It may not be a “deal” in the classic sense, but it’s definitely not a dud. Even the economical (cheap!) guys like me like to get a solid product for the money.

Jay Harrell

Jay Harrell

15 thoughts on “The Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream – Deal Or Dud?”

  1. I received this cream version of the sandlewood from AOS for Christmas this year and find that my skin is considerably dryer than using off the shelf canned shaving cream(foam not gel). I am unique in this experience or have others reported the same?

  2. I bought a tub of the limited edition Bourbon scent a few years back when they were doing a promotion for the new Kingsman movie (a spy movie tie-in with a classic brand of shaving cream? How could I resist??). While the scent is pleasant and the lather is slick and bountiful, I unfortunately experienced the same irritation that some of the other Gentlemen in this thread allude to.

    I likely attribute this to the fragrance. I have sensitive skin, so I am usually inclined to steer away from heavily/artificially scented products. In this case of this cream, while the scent is very classy, I find it to be quite strong. It also seems to linger on my face for an abnormally long period of time post-shave.

    I currently wear a light beard on my face, so I still use the cream from time to time for a one-pass neck shave so I can justify the purchase. This also gives the added benefit of making me feel like James Bond when I lather up.

    I would not recommend this cream to anyone with sensitive skin. Unless you can find a tub to test out at a bargain price, it’s just not worth it. Even though I still occasionally use mine, at this rate the tub will likely outlive me

  3. I like AOS creams and balms. They are really nice. I made the mistake of buying from the store direct when I got into wet shaving 12 yrs ago but now I go to TJ Max and Marshals to find it. It’s not always there but it’s there a lot. Yes you have to pick through everything to find it but I have found some diamonds in the rough at these places for less than half the price. Do yourself a favor and if you want to try it hit up TJ Max and Marshal stores to see if you can find it there first.

  4. The price kept me away until I spotted a tub of peppermint at my local Marshall’s for $10. I am very impressed! Only a tiny bit on the tips of my brush is all it takes for lots of slick lather. Hopefully they will re-open soon so I can look for more.

  5. Another vote for keeping an eye out at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for AoS creams coming through the men’s grooming area. I picked up three of their tubs of bergamot and neroli cream back around Christmas for 7.99 a tub. Bargin! I have been impressed with the cream – great performer and the scent is pleasing. Also, it doesn’t take that much to whip up a great lather…The first tub lasted me through mid-April and that’s with 6 day a week use! Thumbs up for AoS creams if you can get them at a good price.

    1. A caveat regarding purchases from unauthorized department stores: I was shopping for a quality shampoo and conditioner on Amazon but what I saw was a high percentage of 1 and 2 star ratings, claiming they’re counterfeit. I asked a friend who’s a hair stylist about it and she said that almost all the skin and hair care products sold through unauthorized online sellers and department stores are counterfeit.

      I asked her how that can be. Aren’t there laws against that? She said there’s simply no enforcement of the laws. Paul Mitchell used to go into department stores like Target and Fred Meyer and pull fake products but the company finally gave up because the practice was too ubiquitous. I don’t know if the same scammy business practices apply to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s too.

      1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

        Larry, in my experience is of the major outlets, ebay is pretty bad when it comes to selling counterfeit goods. I’m very careful when I see something priced way lower than the various competitive outlets. The reason for the caution is I’ve had fake goods delivered when I purchased there. I think I finally got reimbursed, but the process can be a bit difficult, if you get the wrong seller.

        Amazon has gotten a bit worse, I’ve noticed. But I haven’t experienced counterfeit goods yet, just products that don’t quite match the specs listed (for computers and electronics). Kind of a bait and switch thing going on. Amazon is very easy to return for refund/replacement, but really who needs that hassle for a tub of shave cream?

        In general, I believe Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are buying their shaving goods from business and warehouses that are going out of business, experienced a fire, or some other circumstance that made the goods available dirt cheap. I’m not completely positive about that, though.

        In the case of Paul Mitchell, while there were probably counterfeit products, I think Mitchell wanted even their legit products out of the retail stores. My recollection is they positioned their products as “professional only” and weren’t supposed to be available in any retail environment.

        In any event, if I see an AOS product on a local retail shelf for a low price, I’ll probably give it a shot. But I have no problem paying the full retail price for it, if I need it NOW and want a specific product/scent (actually unscented is my preference). A tub lasts a very long time, so how much are you really saving over the course of the year? If the Covid lockdown continues, a tub will last me forever as I am not shaving until things open up.

  6. Sure, AOS is a fine shaving cream with many varied fragrances but I’ll just address the question of price. You can pay $25 for the 5 ounce jar if you want to. I’ve heard that same malarkey about cartridges. Yes, you can find places that charge $4-$5 per cartridge and that is what the DE fanatics will point to. But I don’t even pay half that and I don’t pay $25 for AOS cream. One major online retailer will sell you any scent you want for $23.72 with free shipping. If you’re not choosy about scents you can get it for $15, or a few pennies less, new, with shipping included, on that place that comes after d-bay. So I would respectfully suggest that we treat product prices as if we were using our own real money.

        1. Last year I was in TJ Maxx with SWMBO. While she was looking at clothes, I cruised into the Mens Dept. Lo and behold in the fragrance area I spied 3 bottles of Proraso Green A/S splash for $10 each. Needless to say I bought ‘em. Now every week I slide in to see what may be available.

  7. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

    AOS cream was my gateway into the world of traditional wet shaving back in the late 1990s. While I understood it was a great performer, it slowly slipped out of my rotation over the years. Not because it didn’t perform well, it was simply I had so many great lather products I couldn’t convince myself to plunk down another $25 for a cream I didn’t “need”. Besides, there weren’t any AOS shops very close to me, in contrast to when I first started.

    Funny thing happened. I moved. Now I moved maybe 5 miles away. But the move was from St Augustine Beach to the city of St Augustine. Same water source, but apparently different treatment facility. All the water around here is quite hard, yet I’ve never had any problem making a lather out of my favorite creams and soaps (mostly croaps). But from day 1 in the new place, NONE of my very reliable products could make a decent lather. They all turned into an airy foam.

    I asked some of the local “experts” for some insight on why the water was so different (the taste as well). It was explained to me that while they come from the same source, the city uses more chlorine in the processing. I’m not sure if that is true, or even if it explains things. I suppose there could be other differences, as well.

    I suppose I could have gone back to bowl lathering, and really work until I got lather. But I gave that up long ago, for the ease of face lathering easy to lather creams. So I had an appointment in Jacksonville and stopped by AOS and picked up a jar of their unscented cream. Man it was just what the shaving doctor ordered. Pretty much the same as it was back in the 90s.

    A bit expensive, but I only need very little product with this. IMO it’s actually a pretty good value, in addition to being an excellent product.

    1. I’ve shaved in that city and Tampa, the latter having the hardest water of any large city I’ve experienced. (Familt & pre-cruise stays.) Cruise ships, with the exception of those making long transition trips across the ocean are also very hard. (The ships cycling out of Tampa fill up with the hard potable water in Tampa. Without ports they steam distill water from seawater.

      The trick is to use distilled water and the microwave or the electric kettle to heat water in a coffee mug the lather with.

      1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

        That’s exactly what I did when I first started really getting into traditional wet shaving. It definately works. So very good advice, IMO.

        But then I found products that didn’t need that much prep, so I switched to those. I was shocked when they no longer worked, when they were working fine with the hard water 5 miles away.

        So maybe I will go back to the extra steps—but not as long as I can find something that works great AND is easy.

        I’m preternaturally lazy.

      2. Hi Scott, you may want to try the Intergalactic Indestructible Shatterproof Travel Scuttle by Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements for your next vacation.

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