Phoenix and Beau

Reviews

Featured and recommended in the July 2016 GQ British 'Style Manual'

SOAP SAMPLES - by Pippa Akram (twitter follower @Social_Pip)

"I'll admit I was a bit sceptical about using the shaving soap; 'lathering and loading' a brush was something I'd watched my grandfather do with deft skill when I was very young.  However it wasn't half as difficult nor time consuming as I thought it would be.  The shaving experience itself was smooth, my legs felt moisturised and nourished afterwards and knowing that I hadn't covered my skin with hidden nasties from a can was also particularly uplifting.  Girls give it a go,you won't be disappointed."

SPITFIRE - by Stephen Tyler (Instagram)

Excellent Tuesday shave! I really enjoy soaps whose scent evolves over the course of the the shave and this one did just that. Leather was the first dominant note but that gave way to woodsy sweetness, and underneath it all tobacco was lurking. Great scent that I'm sure I'll pick up more notes with more use... and it's an exceptional performer, slick lather, it falls into that category of soap where you really can't feel the blade on your face while it's doing the work. Added bonus it provides awesome post shave feel, this is fantastic soap!

SOLARIS - by Nick Sorrel of 'sorrellshaves.blogspot'
Pre-release / development phase reviews and feedback provided by UK wet shaving fraternity The Shaving Room (TSR). These are the comments given by traditional wet shaving aficionados whose insight helped me develop my soap.

CITRA ROYALE & SOLARIS - by Steve VTMax (Instagram)

I am using the Solaris & Citra Royale and right there with Mike's. Not well known. Yet. It might be the finest soap I've ever tried. Perfect ingredients So good.

SANSKRIT - by Nick Sorrell of 'Sorrell Shaves blog'

SPITFIRE & CITRA ROYALE - by Newton (The Shave Nook forum)

"Citra Royale and Spitfire showed up on my doorstep yesterday.  I had my first P&B experience with Spitfire this morning  and thought I would post a few initial impressions.

Spitfire:

Lather: If you can't lather P&B product you should be using an electric razor : ) I bloomed the puck, and used a damp Stirling Kong brush and began to load.  My thought was it would take some time to figure out how to dial it in.  This wasn't the case as while I was thinking about proper water content the soap exploded into a thick dense lather as pictured elsewhere in this thread.

Performance: As good if not better than all other top tier soaps or creams in the den.  Slickness, cushion, are top notch and the lather doesn't dissipate with time.  It remained just as thick and dense on the last pass as it was on the first.  Aftershave feel is on par with some of the more notable products on the market.  MW and Shannon's Soap have always been at the top of the "aftershave feel"  mountain for me.  P&B now joins them.  With great soaps I do not see the point in discussing which is better, all 3 are amazing.

Fragrance: I was initially reluctant to order the Spitfire based on comments about the scent.  My expectation was that the scent was going to fall somewhere between motor oil, and exhaust fumes. With the first whiff my concerns evaporated.  I understand why there are such a wide variety of comments attempting to describe the scent profile of Spitfire.  This is one of the most complex fragrances I have ever encountered.  Spitfire is nothing short of fragrance artistry.  Smell it for the first time and sweet tobacco and juniper dominate, return your nose for a second whiff and it changes completely to a deep warm leather fragrance, go back again and I pick up an almost Bay Rum note.  It can be warm and inviting, and tart and sweet all seemingly at the same time.  If you enjoy complex fragrances as I do, shaving with spitfire is an olfactory adventure.

Spitfire is not just a great shave, it is a great shaving experience.

Citra Royale:

Fragrance: I haven' yet shaved with the Citra Royale but wanted to give a quick comment on the fragrance.  I was also reluctant to order the Citra but for different reasons than the Spitfire concern.  My Citra reluctance was that it was described as a light scent and my preference runs to stronger scents.  When I opened the jar I got an immediate citrus/lime rush.  I would not call this a light scent, it hits the sweet spot between to light, and overwhelming.  The only scent I have tried to compare it to is Tim's Old School Lime.  That's a good thing as I consider Old School Lime to be one of the best lime scents to my nose.  I am excited to lather up and shave with Citra tomorrow.

Final thought.  Flimsy plastic jar?  There are certainly containers that are more robust but I wouldn't call the P&B container flimsy by any stretch of the imagination.  It is more than adequate for the task at hand and wide enough to get a good brush load.  P&B are new Artisans providing an incredible shave soap, I think they are deserving of us cutting them a little slack on the wall thickness of the jar : )

Phoenix & Beau is without a doubt a top tier product."

SOLARIS AND SPITFIRE - by Windsor Citrus (Damned Fine Shave forum)

Phoenix & Beau has broken into the wet shaving world with a storm, and I am a little ashamed to say it's taken me this long to try it. Although I will also add I thought it may be a little over hyped, however the good reviews were followed by great reviews and great reviews followed by reviews claiming this could be the best soap ever...I gave in!

So for the past few days I have been testing this soap, I have two scents, Solaris and Spitfire. Here's my thoughts so far.

Presentation 9/10

This soap is presented well, in a wide plastic tub with 4oz of soap inside. There is plenty of room for whipping up a lather. The labels are finished nicely and are waterproof. I have heard the word flimsy used to describe the tubs used, I disagree with this. The tubs are solid just not as solid as some double walled tubs we see.  I believe it is Kerry's wife Sarah who has overall design control and she is doing a tremendous job. A great start from a company I know has more coming.

[Image: W1r0LyA.jpg]

Lather 9.5/10

This is quite simply one of the easiest soaps to lather no issues there, thick and protective lather is an easy target to reach. I was utterly shocked at the water intake, this soap can really take on huge amounts of water. It is very slick, up there with the best of them. [Image: yqVNLJ8.jpg]

[Image: p2JN8B4.jpg]

Post Shave 9.5/10

This left me with a big big grin on my face after using it, my face felt so good. For the whole day my face felt soft and moisturised. I would place this close to Mystic Waters in terms of post shave.

Scent 8.5/10

Solaris: On initially opening the tub I was greated with a strong peppermint note that was very refreshing. This quickly subsided to the back ground making way to a 50/50 split between the lemon and rosewood. The woody notes are subtle enough that they do not make this an earthy scent. Rose and lemon is always a particularly nice match.

Spitfire: This is a great scent, it does remind me of that smell you get when you visit a museum and sit in an old spitfire plane. Leather seats with a slight lingering green tobacco scent. All supported by a fresh injection of juniper. I can make out all three components. This could easily pass for a barbershop style scent.

[Image: iFUhkze.jpg]

Overall this is a great soap, which is up there with the best and I am very proud that us Brits have a soap that not only stands it's ground our side of the pond but appears to be kicking some butt on the other side.

SPITFIRE - by Mark1966 (Past and Cut (Australian & New Zealand forum)

Packaging
I read an article which mentioned this soap and I confess that the packaging won me. Sure, the ingredients were good but the label and styling was what caught my eye and convinced me to buy 'on spec'. Does that make me shallow and superficial? Maybe, but that is being honest. With so many artisans making soaps there needs to be a differentiator and the labelling and style made this one stand out - many US producers could take lessons - this is a tub you can have out in the open.

The actual tub is, as was mentioned, nothing too unusual, clear bottom plastic tubs with a very wide mouth and only about half filled. Tub's not too deep, plenty of space to create some fantastic lather in it and easily held in one hand. While not unique it certainly is well thought out and ticks the boxes. It just reinforces to me that the WHOLE experience with this product screams quality.

Scent

As has been said, the scent is really amazing, I love it. It's not heavily scent but it does linger a while after the shave. I would agree that the scent is is predominantly leather and juniper with a faint green hint of tobacco. I'm not great at describing scents either so will stick with @silver's wording - green, tobacco, bright woody

Latherability
I didn't particularly find that it needed a lot of water. I do agree though that the lather created was nothing short of amazing. I would actually suggest that at present I would rate this as the easiest soap to lather I've ever used. I know that this is a big call but I've spent a lot of time with Mike's lately, sampled some Mystic Water, dropped in an out of my B&M and even dabbled with MdC, LPL and Jabonman. This soap, IMHO, lathers easier than all of them.

Shave Performance
Easy to lather is one thing, but does it actually perform during the shave? YES! Slick and protective with lots of glide. It is a joy to use. I agree that the lather remains stable throughout the whole shave, providing plenty of glide and protection throughout. I've never been particularly aware of this issue before but yes, it washes off the razor easily as well.

Post shave feel

Great post shave feel, good moisturising effect on the skin. Scent doesn't linger as long for me as @silver suggests but still very faint touches occasionally.

Conclusion
There are some soaps I will make sure that I ALWAYS have in the drawer. Proraso and Cella come to mind for sentimental reasons, they are classics. Mike's and B&M will I think always have a place too. I will find a spot for some Mystic Water, some vintage Yardley and maybe a couple of others. I cannot, however, think of a soap I am more committed to ensuring is there than the P&B Spitfire. Yes, it is that good. I'm already lining up to order another tub on 18 July when new stock is available -I want to have a backup.

So there you go - I don't think I could be happier with a soap. For my mind, you should take a bow
@Kerry@Phoenix&Beau as you and Sarah have created a great thing with this soap.

OBSIDIAN - By Justin Wastell (Damn Fine Shave forum, US)
[Image: fbeAt2n.jpg]

Review: Phoenix & Beau Obsidian

This is my first review so please take that with a grain of salt. Also, I'd like to thank a couple of DFS members- Gordy  for selling me this beautiful soap and sending it from the U.K. KerryPB for creating this wonderful scent in collaboration with TSR. Additionally, I am not the best at scents, so I attribute part of this reviews to the reviews already provided by Sorrell Shaves and Cap7597

For context, here are the tools for the shave:

Razor: Gillette Slim- M1
Blade: Voshkod #2
Brush: L&L Grooming- Custom Two-Band Finest


Now, let's get down to the soap.

The presentation is beautiful- the label and leaves no doubt in your mind that this will be a dark and mysterious scent. The tub itself is a bit thin, but I believe this is something P&B are working on and it doesn't not affect or hinder any loading ability.   The soap is on the softer side- I would say comparable with L&L's bison base.

The scent, well that's what we're here for right? It is quite complex- that's the easy way out. I agree with Sorrell Shaves on this- it's a wet vetiver to start off, very dark. As you work through it, you start to get some oak moss and woody scents.  There is also a spicy note ever lingering in the back ground that becomes more prominent as the shave progresses. Though the scent remains dark throughout the shave, but the woody, spicy undertones bring some light into the shave. As I said, I am not the best at describing scents so let me put it this way (and please don't judge). I compare this scent, or experience for use of a better word to that of The Hobbit as Bilbo makes his way through Mirkwood Forest.

Lather & Performance, along side with the scent this is another area where this soap really impressed me. I loaded the brush for about 30 seconds and began face lathering. I was initially concerned that I overloaded the brush, but I kept adding water and the lather became more and more impressive. I felt I was in a good spot so I put the blade to my face- disappointment? I felt considerable drag and zero slickness. I picked the brush back up and began gave lathering again adding a good amount of water.- yes this is a very thirsty soap. After another minute or so I put the blade back to my face. That extra work on the lather paid huge dividends. The cushion and slickness are easily among the best I've experienced. The lather performed flawlessly throughout my 3 pass shave.

Post shave was equally impressive. The soap rinsed clean and left my face wanting nothing. My skin felt extremely soft and moisturized. Zero tightness or irritation even after a couple of hours. I did end up using Chatillon Lux CdL later in the evening as we had a wedding to attend but I was still able to smell notes of the Obsidian coming through.

This is a scent I have been searching for so this scent now definitely holds a very special place in my den. If you're on the fence about Phoenix and Beau- don't be! It's a fantastic soap that can run with the best out there. I have two more coming and can't wait to get my hands on them. All in all this soap provided a great experience and really that's what this hobby is all about. Yes, this was a limited 51 jar run, but it will be back- it's too good not to be.
Justin

The only club in town