It seems like everyone is trying to get into the wet shaving game today. From P&G buying The Art of Shaving to the artisans on Etsy, there are so many new products out there. My guess is that it's only a matter of time before these folks move on from just wet shaving and into actual DE safety razor shaving and straight razor shaving. Without commenting on the quality of these other vendors, it's nice to know there are some companies out there with real experience in the world of wet shaving. Cella is one. These guys have been around for over a hundred years. And in all that time the Cella Shave Soap Cream has not really changed. I had been reading great things about this soap, but I had to see for myself. Can something from the 19th century be as good or better as some of the new shaving products out there? Here's what I found out.
There were two things I noticed the first time I opened my tub of Cella. First was the texture. I wasn't sure what to expect from this thing called a soap cream, but what was in that red plastic tub was exactly that. It wasn't quite a cream and it wasn't quite a soap. The Cella Shave Soap Cream is somewhere in the middle, like a hardened cream or a softened soap. So that was new. The second thing that hits you is the smell. It's definitely unique and slightly strange the first time you smell it. After a little research I discovered that the scent is called marzipan or almonds sweetened with honey, and the more you use this soap, the more you crave that smell. It's so light and refreshing in the mornings, and such a welcome change from some of the overpowering scents out there.
I found that like harder soaps, the Cella Shave Soap Cream works best with a stiffer brush. My Semogue 1305 was the perfect match and the lather was so easy! All I had to do was swirl my brush in the plastic tub for about 15 seconds and start face lathering. After about 30 more seconds of building a lather on my face, I had more than enough for three passes and some touch-up spots. The secret to this amazing lather is in the tallow, I'm sure. Some folks say that a tallow based soap isn't necessarily better, and they might be right. However, in my opinion, a quality tallow-based soap will beat a quality non-tallow-based soap any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The Cella was not only incredibly slick, but also extremely cushioning. My Edwin Jagger DE89 glided so smoothly over my face that I almost couldn't feel it. I credit this to the coconut oil, which is another main ingredient of the soap. I finished up with my Alum Block and Trumper’s Coral Skin Food, like always, and had as close to a BBS shave as I had had in a long time.
So I had the answer to my initial question. Yes, something from the 19th century is not only as good as, but actually better than most of the products on the market today. The Cella Shave Soap Cream has truly withstood the test of time.
The combination of slickness and cushion could not be better.
The scent is amazing.
The plastic tub is so convenient for lathering and travel.
Some people may not like the scent.
Definitely requires a brush, so if you forget one, you can't use it.
This one gets a 9 out of 10. I really don't have anything negative to say about it. I love every shave I get with it, and I love the smell too. Even my son asks to smell it when I'm shaving. The Cella Shave Soap Cream is a beautiful product that has endured for over a century and will continue to last. For less than $15, it would be a disservice to your face to not buy one.