Of the great British apothecaries, D. R. Harris & Co. Ltd. seems to get much less attention than the 3 Ts, and of the D. R. Harris lines, the Marlborough line seem to get less attention than the Arlington or Windsor lines. I have always been a fan of the underdog, and that is specifically why I chose the Marlborough Shaving Soap for my next review. I've owned this soap for a while, but my puck of the Windsor soap is significantly smaller (even though I bought them at the same time). Recently I broke out the Marlborough and was pleasantly surprised.
What I was most surprised by was the fact that I liked the Marlborough more than then Windsor...and i like the Windsor a lot! Before this week, I had three "go to" shave soaps in my cabinet, and the Windsor was one of them. Now I have to add the Marlborough. The lather was fantastic. I loaded my Semogue 1305 boar brush for about 30 seconds and had more than enough lather for three passes. Additionally, I used my Edwin Jagger DE89 with a Nacet Platinum blade, which is a quality set up that is neither too aggressive nor too mild, to allow the characteristics of the soap to show through. I can honestly say they shave was extremely comfortable, and hours later the smoothness of my face was still noticeable.
What I really enjoyed about the Marlborough was the fragrance. If you've read my reviews of the Cella or Barrister & Mann "Roam" soaps, you will know that I'm a sucker for a good smelling soap. I really think this is part of the DE safety razor shaving experience that guys using aerosol cans filled with goop miss out on. Those pre-filled canisters smell so chemically. That can't be an enjoyable way to shave. The Marlborough has a beautiful woodsy, smoky, grassy smell that made me think of Fall leaf changes and campfires in the mountains. It sort of reminded me of the Guerlain Vetiver cologne, but toned down. I only wish the scent was a little stronger. I really enjoyed it, but wanted more.
Overall, the D. R. Harris Marlborough shaving soap gave me a fantastic shave in both quality and experience. I am looking forward to keeping this in my rotation on a more frequent basis.
The lather, cushion and glide of this tallow-based soap was excellent.
The scent is perfect for Fall and Winter, but will work well in hotter months too.
Incredibly long lasting triple-milled soap
The availability is a little tighter than some other products.
I wish the smell was stronger, but that is a personal preference issue.
The price is on the higher end of most shaving soaps, but you are paying for quality.
I you've only tried Truefitt & Hill, Geo. F. Trumper or Taylor of Old Bond Street, do yourself a favor and take a look at D. R. Harris & Co. Ltd. If you've used D. R. Harris products before, but stuck to the more known Arlington and Windsor lines, try some Marlborough this Fall. You won't be disappointed. I give this soap an 8.5 out of 10. The D. R. Harris Marlborough shaving soap embodies the quality of British shaving products, but still manages to fly under the radar. Buy some today and wake up to better mornings!