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I've noticed on this forum there is very little discussion of their products. I own a few and here are my general observations as to why perhaps the products they offer are discussed so little here. This is not a judgement, I own the products of this maker and these are simply my thoughts and I'd be curious as to others thoughts as well, as to why this particular vendor/artesian isn't discussed more often.

1. Price. No one is debating PAA aftershaves have staying power. However, at 30.00 and up for some of their newest creations is that cologne or aftershave territory? They will argue, and have argued, it saves the shaver because they only need their product and not an aftershave and a cologne.... The problem with that argument is that there are ample other makers who make a product that achieves the same feat at a much lower price point. Theretofore, scent preference comes into play which, is perhaps the greatest YMMV in the wet shaving game. Ogallala makes a aftershave that last longer than any of the PAA offerings I have at 10.00 a bottle; scent however, becomes a factor. I happen to love Oggala scents, not everyone may.

2. Performance. There have been several videos of top soaps and reviews of soaps and frankly the reason PAA isn't mentioned often is because it really doesn't stack up price point wise or performance wise to what is on the market by other vendors, scent excluded. Any maker can have unique scents that may be a selling point , the consumer will decided if that makes a 16 dollar soap worth it compared to A 10 dollar soap. Further, their crown king brushes to me, seem basically the same as the Maggard or Sterling offering at two times the price. The user can decide.

3. Try to find a negative review of one of their products on their website. Unlike other vendors who openly post critical reviews, magically, there are none of their products even when left by paying customers.

4. Other than one aftershave they make that is proprietary, I've simply found better, and cheaper in the wet shaving market. Maybe others have as well and that's why they are discussed so little?


SharpSpine, SCShaver, WindsorCitrus and 1 others like this post
Agreed with many points. I used to partake of their products, but they have, for a long time, been on the wrong side of the cost/benefit scale to me.

Striling has several AS Splashes that I sincerely enjoy, and a lot of them have great staying power. For the prices of one PAA AS, I can get a 5.8oz jar of Stirling Soap and an AS splash to match. So, is it one slightly unique AS, or a set? I'll take the set.

Performance of their soaps is meh at best. It works, but it's not spectacular. There's no "wow" factor other than fragrance. The price isn't bad, though, but I need something more than a cool fragrance. Plenty of artisans use Kokum butter these days, so it's not unique.

SharpSpine, SCShaver and steeleshaves like this post
I'm not sure how to address point number 3 or 4, but I can speak to their soaps.

In my opinion the latest formulation of their soaps is quite good. It's not one of the best on the market, nor is it especially noteworthy when compared with the high end soaps/creams that I tend to prefer. But overall, it's a solid product, performs flawlessly, and has a large variety of scents to choose from. PAA is one of my favorite artisan products, and I don't like very many. Does the performance blow me away? No. However there isn't anything significant I can complain about, and that's a big plus in my book.

caleb31 and Hobbyist like this post

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
I have limited experience with their software, but here's my opinion--

Yes, the splashes are pricey. This is the biggest reason I don't have more of them, because they work very well for me and the scents that I have tried are all fantastic. If most of them weren't $25 or more I would certainly have more.

I have and really enjoy the Cavendish splash. It's possible there is another brand out there with a similar or better fresh pipe tobacco scent, but I like this one, and the splash itself performs very well for me, leaving me feel moisturized and well nourished. I plan to get the 9, as I really dig the scent, and it, like Cavendish, is one of the less expensive ones they offer.

The soap I have is Good Vibrations, which is billed as a summertime barbershop scent and I really get that. It smells wonderful, and the performance is excellent. Spectacular? I don't know. Define spectacular. I've never used any of the luxury brands, but PAA performs at the top of my experience base.

Price on the soaps is not as much of an issue for me, but I have so many flippin soaps right now, I just can't justify $15 for 4oz. If and when I get to the bottom of a couple tubs, I will probably buy another PAA soap, but for the time being I can satisfy my soap acquisition disorder with Stirling, Maggards or Razorock for less money and equal performance.

I can't speak to the negative reviews. There seems to be a very active fan-base that show the company a lot of support. The only really negative things I ever hear about them is about the nonsense from a couple years ago. Even the people that don't like the company because of that admit that the products perform well enough. It's possible that no one has legitimately left a negative review. There aren't even a lot of negative reviews of the actual roducts in the forums, and the company has no control over that.

Even if they monitor reviews and remove negative ones, it's actually fairly common in marketing in and out of wet shaving...right or wrong...

Their hardware is where they shine, in my opinion. The Ibis shavette for $11 is pretty hard to beat as is the Crown King scuttle for $22. Both are excellent pieces of hardware that perform very well and are very inexpensive compared to market competitors.

I have the Duro brush. It is different than the Maggards synthetic brush. The tips are just as soft, but there is more scrub to it, and WAY more backbone. Is it spectacular? Again...define spectacular. I really like it, but I have never used a high end...anything. I paid the same for my Razorock boar as I did for the Duro, and both are very pleasing to me. I won't likely buy another one, but not because of the price. I don't have a lot of room for redundancy in my den, so if it doesn't provide a different but equally enjoyable experience, it goes bye-bye.

As a supporter of PAA, I can tell you exactly why I don't do reviews of them. Its because it always devolves into an argument about stuff that has nothing to do with the actual products. It tends to put a damper on the excitement of doing a review.

Just my humble opinion...

Hobbyist, Matsilainen, primotenore and 3 others like this post
-Chris~Head Shaver~
Because any time they get mentioned there is SURE to be some moron that will write up a four page diatribe about how they suck, etc. You would think that Smythe himself slept with their sister.

I have always been into their AS/Colognes. I don't agree that there are other ones that have the staying power that those do (At least in a scent that I like). The most I have paid for one is $25. I will continue to buy them as I run out of them. Ñ (Enye), Gondolier, and Al Fin are fing GREAT scents, and I always get compliments when I wear them. Fine is another favorite line of mine. I have Stirling Executive Man shaving soap, bath soap, and AS, but the AS just doesn't have the staying power I like. I'm not looking to blow people out of the room either (As a matter of fact I hate dudes like that lol).

The Crown King line is great, but I only have one.

Hobbyist, Matsilainen and BadDad like this post
BadDad is right. The moment you mention PAA as a reviewer, legions of trolls suddenly surface from the underworld, intent on dragging you down into the muck of rumor and hearsay.

BadDad, Matsilainen, Hobbyist and 1 others like this post
(04-08-2016, 07:31 AM)NeoXerxes Wrote: BadDad is right. The moment you mention PAA as a reviewer, legions of trolls suddenly surface from the underworld, intent on dragging you down into the muck of rumor and hearsay.

Anybody that doesn't believe this? Go make a thread on reddit and see what happens. If anybody does make sure and give me a link to it. Hours of straight comedy. Big Grin

Matsilainen, NeoXerxes and BadDad like this post
(04-08-2016, 06:20 AM)BadDad Wrote: I plan to get the 9, as I really dig the scent, and it, like Cavendish, is one of the less expensive ones they offer.

I have a small puck of 9 never lathered. I bought it out of curiosity.

BadDad likes this post
(This post was last modified: 04-08-2016, 01:15 PM by SCShaver.)
My take on PAA soaps/AS

Even though the Splashes last a good while, I never found them to be great. The face feel of them was ok, and I didn't care for any of the scents. The former is important, the latter is subjective. I've mentioned this elsewhere, but CaD is their signature scent, and I did not like it. It was not a scent for me, and after using it a few times, it became sickening and I couldn't take it. Now as far as the aftershave performance, as a comparison, Stirling splashes have the same face feel, same longevity, and many more scents that I like better, only they cost HALF the price. I just did not feel like those PAA aftershaves were $25 aftershaves.

For the soaps? They were meh. No scents struck my fancy, and the performance was middle of the road at best. I didn't care for the post shave feel, they were somewhat slick, and sort of cushiony, but that was it. I did not feel again, that the soaps were worth $15 when the cost per ounce of Mystic Waters, Stirling, Reef Point, and Soap Commander are lower, and they DRASTICALLY outperform PAA. Now that I've tried the B&M Latha line, it is ANOTHER soap around 11$ that outperforms PAA. Again, the soap doesn't meet the value. If PAA soap cost as much as say, Razorock, you'd be onto something.

Now, the one good thing I will say is the labeling/marketing is pretty cool. I like the new containers and the new labels, they are typically creative and cool looking.

Matsilainen, NeoXerxes and SharpSpine like this post
I maintain that, for me, it's largely a pricing issue. At $0.25 per milliliter for the their splashes, it's absurdly high. I have decent colognes that pair with splashes and still stay under that combined total of $0.25 a mil.

PickledNorthern, SharpSpine and Blade4vor like this post

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