The Castle Forbes Shaving creams have been on my list to try for some time now. Following the product reviews on various sites, I have been looking forward to testing this cream with some anticipation. As you may have noticed with much of my writing here, I do enjoy the history and style of many of the classic products as I feel they add a certain air of class and nostalgia to the art. I did want to look a bit into the history of this manufacturer which I found to be a little confusing. While I feel this does not affect the quality of the product it did spark my curiosity. As posted in Royalshave.com product description for this shaving cream, it describes this product as being spawned in 1815 by Lord Forbes after complaining of his sensitive skin, and makes mention of the family recipe. According to the Castle Forbes site http://www.opulenceofsouthernpines.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=5_36_183&gclid=CPq3wLSQ4q8CFWcHRQodeEchDA the perfumery was established in 1996, but that castle Forbes was built in 1815 for Lord Forbes of Clan Forbes. My assumption is that the current product manufacture dates from 1996 and possibly the shaving cream recipe is from the founder ~1815, although the 1815 date that continually pops up appears to just represent the actual building of the castle itself.
Enough! Trivia aside and on to the product.
The Castle Forbes cream arrived in a modern, handsome looking box and tub, with hints of classic styling, I was impressed to see that at 200 ml, it was a little more tub than I am used to getting. Upon opening I found to scent to be of much stronger lime than I have previously experienced with lime scented shaving creams, very pleasant but not overpoweringly sweet. The Cream also had a very nice texture, thick but not slimy and dense but not hard packed.
The Manufacturer actually gave directions for use on the package, so I thought I will use it as they say rather than as I would in normal practice. I purposely chose to use the minimal amount of soap that I thought would be fair based on the instruction, of course allowing for a retest under normal circumstances if the test proved poor results. The fact that they were making the claim of less is more caused me to rise to the challeng. I used the minimal amount I could to get a healthy lather for my first past. It was indeed very creamy and offered a superb shave, minimal to no resistance with blade and beard, very smooth but without the slickness or slippery feeling of some creams (I don’t view that as detrimental just something I noted). It did indeed feel very good. As per instruction I needed to add a little water for my second pass. Not exactly what I was expecting I was expecting a little more invigoration of the lather. It was noticeably thinner on application of the second pass, but again the shave proved flawless and comfortable. Third Pass, even thinner with mainly a thin white film coating my face, as I was unable to generate any more creamy lather. This did not seem to affect the quality of the shave. I had another very fine pass . I was quite surprised, I was expecting a nasty case of razor burn on the last past on one of my tough patches alongside the trachea of my neck. This did not happen and it went smoothly again. Lastly I squeezed out the remnants of my brush for touch up, and did get a healthy amount of thick lather from the bristles.
The After Shave: My skin felt very nice, moist, smooth and refreshed. I applied alum to feel for burn. Slightest notice alongside trachea, but no worse than my favorite creams. I must admit when using my favorites I do my touch up pass against the grain on my neck. I felt comfortable enough with this cream on this test to do that. If not, I doubt there would have been any burn.
As strong as the scent is at first notice it did not seem to linger long post shave.
Overall, I was very pleased. I have even made room for this oversize tub in my permanent keeper drawer, I would say this is in my top 4 favorite creams. I will note updates if I note a change in status or observation with subsequent use.
Consistency is easy to apply to brush. Large surface area of tub may lead to unnecessary use of cream for brush dippers.
Excellent product that performs exceptionally well. Use a little more cream than suggested and make the shave into some real luxury time.
I do like the style of the product and how it does distinguish them from the rest of the market. I had thought of downgrading the product to a B due to all the confusing information on many of the sellers websites. I did not because the manufacturer does clearly state they have been manufacturing since 1996.