Your Complete The Art of Shaving Review: Is It Really That Bad?

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This The Art of Shaving review aims to look at the premium shaving brand and discover the products of this meteoric New York success, while also questioning the love/hate relationship many shavers have with this brand.

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The Art of Shaving began in New York in 1996 by a husband and wife team that passionately crafted quality products, using essential oils & botanical ingredients, to solve everyday shaving problems.

By 2009 it had grown so renowned it was bought by Proctor and Gamble. That’s a pretty phenomenal turnaround in just 13 years. That said, this high-end boutique maintains its exceptional qualities as a premium brand despite forming an arm of such a huge corporation.

Their array of products is significant – with razors spanning from straight razors, to safety razors and modern five blade heated razors.

The Complaint

The chief complaint among wet shaving fans is that The Art of Shaving appears as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It promotes itself as a high quality shaving brand akin to Taylor of Old Bond Street or Truefitt & Hill.

A small family-owned type of affair with a global reputation. When in reality it offers an avenue for Proctor and Gamble to sell products from its other shaving brand – Gillette – once the very origin of the safety razor but now the villain of traditional shaving thanks to its multi-blade cartridge razors.

Notice how Art of Shaving’s indulgent advertising seems to hop between images of traditional safety razors and the latest heated five blade razor.

Meanwhile their products like Art of Shaving cream and Art of Shaving cologne are expensive for what they are.

The Reality?

Are Art of Shaving products inherently bad? Certainly not. In fact, The Art of Shaving’s sandalwood shaving cream is an absolute joy to use.

It has grown slightly thinner than it used to be but essentially resembles a shaving cream-soap, or “croap”, that can be scooped up onto a brush and lathers beautifully.

For this Art of Shaving review, the question is always going to be how it compares to the market leader – Taylor of Old Bond Street’s sandalwood shaving soap.

One key difference is that consistency as Taylor’s is more like a shaving soap while AoS is more of a cream. But the key battleground is always going to be scent.

The Art of Shaving’s sandalwood is deeper and muskier. For many this wins over Taylors’ slightly more floral scent.

So Art of Shaving offers a great shaving cream but be prepared to pay a premium for it. It is more expensive than Taylor’s and with a softer consistency probably won’t last as long. However, it is a luxury you are unlikely to regret. And that goes for their other richer scents of shaving cream like Art of Shaving Bergamot and Neroli.

In fact it definitely makes sense to try these more exotic scents of their shaving cream, seeing as sandalwood is quite common. Oud shaving cream on the other hand is much more niche, as is their Bourbon scent.

The Art of Shaving Review – Other Products

That said while The Art of Shaving’s sandalwood shaving cream is a victory, the same can’t be said for a lot of other Art of Shaving products.

The hard shaving soap for instance is beautifully presented in a wooden bowl – at a premium of about $50 at most retailers – and doesn’t quite match the standard of the shaving creams. The refills are equally high-priced.

The Art of Shaving brush too is distinctly lacking. For its high price you could get a superior Silvertip badger shaving brush like Maison Lambert or Simpsons. Instead their brush is “pure” badger which is actually a low grade. Pure badger shaving brushes can be had for a third of The Art of Shaving’s price.

See our list of the best shaving brushes here.

It’s also difficult to take The Art of Shaving safety razor seriously when their priority seems to be Gillette Fusion and Lexington flex-ball razors that seem the exact excess that wet shavers take to safety razors to escape.

If you are interested in finding the right safety razor for you then see our list of the best safety razors here.

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