Sound like an oxymoron?

When I first started to seriously look at shaving creams beyond the usual stuff found about anywhere, I read over and over again that MdC was the gold standard. I suspect that in my reading of reviews, for the most part ADP, SMN, ABC and the like were ignored as being to expensive and reviewers rarely tried them. Most people loved MdC with the only downside being cost. Some, like WSP, try to emulate it. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

First, I had to find MdC. It took me some time. The only US reseller I know of is Old Town Shaving, an excellent shop with superb customer service. And let’s face it. This stuff is not Proraso cheap nor priced in the range of normal “American” artisan soaps. But it can also be bought for about $54.34, with shipping, directly. I had high expectations for MdC and was not disappointed. I had been disappointed before. Many people praised XPEC as THE shaving cream. While, certainly good, I found it drying, lacking in hydration, and the scent not to my liking. It would cake in my scuttle in the winter while shaving. So I was wary of Internet "experts".

My first impression of MdC was the simple scents, just lavender or Fougere, were excellent. None of this fancy stuff with 9 – 12 different scents competing and I   can’t tell what is going on.  Dodgy  I immediately knew what it was – Lavender. Smile  Scent strength was just about right. It wasn’t an over powering lavender like CF nor a weak scent, like ADP. I prefer the Fougere.

The technical attributes were all excellent, for me placing it in the bottom of the Elite category. Bottom you say? Confused Yes bottom. IMO there are better products, not by much, but still better.  The big complaint is always cost. On a per unit basis its cheaper than any ABC, ADP, PC Nuavia or SMN (by a substantial margin) yet you get a whopping 200g of product. My calculations show, including shipping, this equates to about a quarter per shave.

I have called MdC my every day workhorse. I set it down and come back to it wanting to try the latest offerings of others. Only a tiny handful of products appear that surpass it, namely Nuavia, SMN, and ADP, but at a greater per unit cost (I haven’t calculated the per shave cost yet for these others).  

So I go through cycles. After trying or using other products, I come back to my Elite workhorse and am amazed all over again. Time and time again, lather just explodes.  Happy  None of this “load heavily, swirl for a minutes, whip for two minutes” routine. Rolleyes  Thats too much work. You barely look at MdC and the lather explodes.  The only product I have found easier to lather have been GFT creams. You just look at those creams, don’t even have to touch them, and poof – lather that looks like a stock photo. Smile

The scent, time after time, is simple and just the right strength. Cushion, slickness, and residual slickness is near the very top of the pyramid. The lather “feel” is right up there with the best of them. And of late, I have been focusing on after shave face feel where I believe PC Nuavia has set the new bar that Mystic used to own. To my surprise, of late and paying attention to this attribute which I never used to do, MdC is excellent, not the best, but excellent. So yes, for me it is an oxymoron.

In praise of an every day elite workhorse, you can do no better than Martin de Candre, in the scent of your choice. You know if others try to emulate it, they are doing something right. .

If you used it in the past and forgot its attributes and might have thought it very good,  you might want to give it another try. If you have never used MdC, you might want to try a sample.  Old Towne Shaving sells them. You will find very few soaps that surpass it and those that do, do so by minute, trivial amounts, in essence all being elite products.

Martin de Candre – the every day workhorse elite soap.  

Arun, Elver Gun, SharpSpine and 9 others like this post
(This post was last modified: 08-07-2016, 11:10 PM by bakerbarber.)
I like it. Use it frequently.

The scent of the original is a bit medicinal to me.

I actually love the after shave feel because I find it rinses clean and leaves no residue as opposed to the uber hydrating premium products that are all the rage. Anyone with an oily complexion owes it to themselves to try MdC if they haven't yet.

Kyrlos, Matsilainen, clint64 and 2 others like this post
Shave yourself.
Yes, MdC is a great workhorse soap. I've used an entire pot of the Signature scent & im about halfway through a Fougère. While the scents are both great, I actually found myself getting bored with them. I honestly haven't used MdC in a year or more. Your thread in honor of this great soap may coerce me to bring it out. As one with an oily complexion I do really like the post shave skin feel, however, I can also easily see how those with dry skin could find this soap lacking.

Michael P, grim, clint64 and 1 others like this post
>>> Brian <<<
Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!
Excellent post and thoughts grim.

grim and Michael P like this post
(This post was last modified: 08-08-2016, 01:14 AM by Hobbyist.)
(08-07-2016, 11:02 PM)grim Wrote: Sound like an oxymoron?

My first impression of MdC was the simple scents, just lavender or Fougere, were excellent. None of this fancy stuff with 9 – 12 different scents competing and I   can’t tell what is going on.  Dodgy  I immediately knew what it was – Lavender. Smile  Scent strength was just about right. It wasn’t an over powering lavender like CF nor a weak scent, like ADP. I prefer the Fougere.

MdC is a great performing soap but lacks considerably in post shave for my dry skin. By the way, the Fougere scent has a blend of 12 different essential oils.

From MdC's website:

Le Savon à raser en Edition Limitée Fougère
Shaving Soap, Fern *: Added Cologne made from 12 essential oils, all carefully orchestrated and perfectly harmonized

On another note, did yours come in a plastic PETG jar? I read on the MdC website that both scents are now in plastic PETG jars with aluminum lids. They used to be glass from what I recall. I only had the samples from Old Town, which are a great way to test it out.

grim and Michael P like this post

Shaving Like Opa
Arizona, USA
Maybe I missed something in the explanation, but how is "every day work horse" an oxymoron? Every day and work horse aren't contradictory at all.

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I took it as a contradiction between the perception of it being a special occasion product or rare treat relative to the cost.

Since a little goes a long way it's actually relatively affordable in the grand scheme of things.

Like you can use it every day and not break the bank.

I won't put words in grim's mouth though. Might not be what he meant to convey.

grim, Michael P and SharpSpine like this post
Shave yourself.

Philadelphia, PA
MdC is a soap that I've never used that I'd eventually like to try.

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Freddy likes this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.

Woodstock, VT
I don't get it. Used two jars and a brain bowl over the years and realized it's just average soap at best. Took me a while with the nice presentation but the simple ingredient list,(not in a good way) awful post shave, no slickness, and price, I finally felt I was being scammed. And I was.

hrfdez, Michael P and Hobbyist like this post

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
While I admit to being curious about MdC, with amazing soaps from the likes of Barrister & Mann, Tallow + Steel, Stirling, Dapper Dragon, and others, and at a fraction of the cost, I definitely don't feel the need to rush out and try it.  If it falls my way then great but if not then I cannot believe I am missing all that much.  (And if I am, oh well. Wink )

Ryan @ Tallow + Steel, Matsilainen, Michael P and 5 others like this post

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