Barrister and Mann Hallows – Fear the Dark

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Barrister and Mann Hallows – Fear the Dark

Barrister and Mann Hallows

Pre-shave Thoughts:

This morning’s shave is one of the more highly anticipated shaves in some time.  I was fortunate enough to acquire the seasonal release, limited edition Barrister and Mann Hallows shaving soap and aftershave set back when they went up for sale at the stroke of midnight, 23 October.  The product arrived smartly packaged just a couple of days ago with plenty of time for a proper shave before this year’s Halloween.  My face is feeling healthy, nourished, and a bit excited this morning, ripe for a shave with three day’s worth of whisker growth. My expectation is that this morning’s shave will match previous Barrister and Mann experiences, all of which have been top tier performances.  Without any further ceremony, let us unfold the Barrister and Mann Hallows shave experience.


The Shave:

Preparation:  Hot shower

Razor:  Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Double Open Comb (Phoenix DOC) Safety Razor 

Blade:  Polsilver Super Iridium Double Edge Razor Blade    

Soap:  Barrister and Mann Hallows Shaving Soap  

Brush:  Muhle Rytmo Synthetic Black Fibre Shaving Brush  

Finish:  Barrister & Mann Hallows Tonique Aftershave        


Post-shave Thoughts:

That was an exemplary shave and one of the most unique experiences in recent memory.  Loading the damp Muhle Rytmo brush from the dry Barrister and Mann Hallows puck went without incident.  While the puck is of a harder variety, the Black Fibre brush efficiently loaded a dense soap paste between the fiber after approximately ten seconds of vigorous swirling.  I applied a couple of index finger’s worth of puck foam to my freshly showered and moist face, then gave the Muhle Rytmo a few swipes paintbrush-style to coat.  The Rytmo is an elegant shaving brush both in design and performance.  I appreciated the weighty heft of the handle and velvety soft tips of the Black Fibre knot as the shaving brush readily whipped-up a first-rate lather.  Similar to their other offerings, Barrister and Mann Hallows hungers for water as soon as it is applied to the face.  With several dips of the tips of the Muhle Rytmo brush into the hot water reserve and approximately 60 seconds of swirling, Barrister and Mann Hallows greedily soaked up the moisture and developed into an exquisite lather.  In typical Barrister and Mann fashion, Hallows lather exhibited a dense texture that was both voluminous and exceptionally slick.  The unrivaled, butyraceous character of Barrister and Mann Hallows (and other Barrister and Mann soaps) firmly establishes the company in the seat of preeminence atop a mob of aspirants.  With a vitric sheen, the Barrister and Mann lather was ready to shave.

I completed my standard two pass shave, one pass straight down my face, then one pass straight up from neck to cheek.  I rounded out the shave with a freestyle touch-up pass to pick-up any stragglers. The Phoenix Double Open Comb razor paired with a keen Polsilver Super Iridium blade glided effortlessly atop the slick and protective Barrister and Mann Hallows lather.  I quite enjoyed the dexterous nature of the Phoenix DOC as I’m routinely able to slice whiskers smartly even in harder to reach locations such as under the nose, near the ear, and along the jawline.  While the Phoenix DOC may appear as threatening as the Reaper’s scythe, the razor shaves with gentle comfort while efficiently cutting stubble with ease.  In between passes, the Barrister and Mann Hallows lather left an abundance of slickness, and my face could sense the nourishing properties of the soap throughout the shave.  The Barrister and Mann Hallows lather washed away cleanly after the final rinse, and my face felt nurtured and supple in the post-shave.  The first-rate post-shave provided by Barrister and Mann soaps is yet another reason their products achieve high marks among even the most discerning of wetshavers.

The scent of Barrister and Mann Hallows off the puck is distinctively somber with potent, resinous cedar notes intermingled with a dark, roasted cocoa aroma.  Upon lathering and throughout the shave, the Barrister and Mann Hallows scent matured to include a rich, earthy, bark-like oakmoss and a deep, powerful, amber leatheriness with hints of hearty, but short-lived black pepper spice.  While some have haphazardly described the Barrister and Mann Hallows scent as “chocolate covered/dipped” it is anything but. Perhaps these same individuals would describe a fine claret as having the scent of grapes.  The cocoa aroma that pervades throughout Barrister and Mann Hallows is rich and full, slightly spiced, with a murky roasted fragrance sharing scant similarities with its dullingly sweet, candied cousin.  The Barrister and Mann Hallows scent experience is as robust as it is complex.  The scent strength of Hallows is considerable and resonates throughout the shave particularly the aromatic wood and earthy leather notes.  After the final rinse, Barrister and Mann Hallows left a damp, creamy trail in the air as I reached to the human skull adorned apothecary bottle containing Hallows aftershave.

I finished this uncommon shave experience off with a healthy dose of Barrister and Mann Hallows aftershave.  Upon initial application, I felt the subtle sting of alcohol upon my face as the sharp aroma of methylated spirits filled my nostrils.  As the alcohol sensation faded into a soothing, witch hazel derived tightening of my face, a fragrance similar to Hallows shaving soap emerged, but with a good measure of difference.  Barrister and Mann Hallows aftershave had a brighter fragrance with hints of earthy tobacco and ambery cedar along with pale undertones of cocoa.  After approximately thirty minutes, the stout Hallows aroma dried down to a subtle, earthy cleanness recognizable to only those with access to death’s intimate distance.  With that, I was ready to dwell amongst other restless souls on this All Hallows Eve.


Shave Rating System

Closeness – 4

Irritation – 5

Wounds – 5

Overall – 4.66  A delightful shave worthy of welcoming in the darker half of the year.


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2017-02-14T18:36:04+00:00By |

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