Early in the 20th century, a historian of Eton College wrote, “No other school can claim to have sent forth such a cohort of distinguished figures to make their mark on the world.” Princes William and Harry are alumni, and David Cameron is the 19th British Prime Minister who attended Eton. It is the most famous high school in the world and boasts a long and proud history. In the shaving world, Taylor of Old Bond Street is a well-known brand with its own long and proud history. Drawing youthful inspiration from the famous school, Taylor produced the Eton College fragrance and shaving range. This article takes an in-depth look at Taylor of Old Bond Street Eton College Shave Cream to see how it fares against other traditional shaving creams.
As one of the 3 Ts of traditional shaving, Taylor of Old Bond Street (also Taylor or TOBS) is one of the core brands that epitomize British wetshaving. It was established in 1854 when Jeremiah Taylor opened his own Hairdressing and Hair Treatment Salon on Bond Street, an area specializing in luxury men’s clothing and grooming products and services. In 1930 Taylor opened a nearby location on Jermyn Street, where the firm still operates. Taylor of Old Bond Street still offers a large range of quality products for shaving, hair care, skin care, fragrances, and related accessories, but remains desirable among wet shavers because its shaving creams are priced lower than its British counterparts. Because of the price point, Taylor products are often the first choices for many new wetshavers when they begin shopping for brands to try.
Although Taylor of Old Bond Street offers a variety of creams in many of the standard fragrances, such as rose, lime, and almond, they also feature interesting variations. The popular fragrance Eton College is a fresh smelling blend of citrus oils that was inspired by the famous high school and especially formulated to be a youthful scent. It is a masculine fragrance that incorporates fresh citrus notes of lemon, orange, and mandarin with woody and spicy scents and patchouli oils. The fragrance is warm yet invigorating with rich undertones.
The Taylor of Old Bond Street Eton College Shave Cream is available in two options of packaging, the traditional screw-on lid pot or a travel tube. Unlike the metal tubes used by Trumper and others, my Taylor tube was a soft plastic tube that was packed in an attractive outer cardboard box (although some Trumper creams are now being packaged in plastic tubes as well). Years ago, the Taylor tubes were criticized for having brittle threads on the caps that easily broke if the cap was screwed on too tightly, but it appears that Taylor has made changes to ensure that tubes no longer have this problem.
The shaving cream itself is soft and dispensed easily from a gentle squeeze of the tube, so it was easy to measure out the right amount for each shave. The texture of the cream is oilier than Trumper and Truefitt creams, but it easily lathers to a nice whipped consistency with a wet brush. I tried lathering this product with a variety of techniques, such as directly on my face, in a bowl, and my Load/Hydrate Method in the palm of my hand, and it worked well for any method I chose.
During the shave, the shaving cream worked well at providing a good lather that stayed well hydrated throughout the process. The lather provided a nice and slick surface for the razor to blade along the skin with ease, but in some areas it was not quite and nourishing and protective as some of my other favorite shaving creams. The lather did a fine job of keeping the blade from feeling rough on my skin, but I did find myself having to reapply a few times to go over the typical areas that require extra touch up with the blade. The Eton College fragrance remained noticeable and quite enjoyable throughout the shave, and never became overbearing or caused any irritation on the skin. After completing the shave, the lather rinsed away easily leaving behind a faint but noticeable aroma of the Eton College fragrance. The shaving cream was never particularly moisturizing, so my skin always required an application of aftershave.
The bottom line is that this shaving cream met my expectations. Like the other 3 Ts, this Taylor cream is easy to lather and provides a consistent performance. The shaves are adequate and the fragrance is pleasing. Is it the most distinguished shaving cream in the world? No. Is it in my Top 10? No. But it is a good value for a traditional shaving cream because it is less expensive than the other 3 Ts. For only $12.75, you can conveniently purchase the Taylor of Bond Street Eton College Shave Cream in a 2.55 oz (75 ml) tube online at Fendrihan.com. And if you live near London you can pick up this shaving cream in person at the Eton College Gift Shop and possibly rub elbows with a future Prime Minister.