The rose fragrance is one of the staples in traditional British wet shaving. Well-known brands, such as the famous "3 Ts" (Trumper’s, Truefitt & Hill, and Taylor of Old Bond Street), have included rose in their lineup of soaps and creams for many years. Interestingly rose was not part of the D.R. Harris & Co. catalog until only a year or so ago. I was curious to see how the D.R. Harris Rose Shaving Cream stacked up to the competition.
D.R. Harris & Co. of London has a history of producing some of the finest luxury personal care items for over two centuries. Their shaving products have proven to be some of the best products I have used over the years and some of my favorites in my shaving rotation. One of the unique things about D.R. Harris is they produce a few creams, such as Arlington and Marlborough, that are not standard scents, but rather modeled after their famous colognes and aftershaves. The introduction of rose is an expansion of their excellent line of traditional scents of lavender and almond.
Many of the rose shaving creams that I have used in the past are typically dyed very heavily with artificial coloring agents and also very heavily fragranced. While I do like to enjoy the fragrance of my shaving creams, I have found that some can be overdone and become heavy and obnoxious. Creams that are over fragranced can also be an issue for those with sensitive skin and lead to unwanted irritation or drying of the skin after shaving. Several of the rose creams I have used in the past have fallen right in to this category and I found myself disposing of them after only a few shaves. Upon first opening my tub of D.R. Harris Rose, I was disappointed to discover that the cream was heavily dyed, though not quite as dark pink as others. The aroma of the cream, however, I found to actually be much more pleasant and balanced than I expected. The rose is rich and certainly noticeable, but it does not have an overbearing and artificially sweet character to it.
When lathered, the aroma of the cream remains noticeable and fills the air very quickly, but it does not become obnoxious or unpleasant at all. The coloring of the cream quickly fades to a pure white when lathering with a brush and has not appeared to leave any unwanted staining in the tips of the bristles after my brushes are rinsed clean after my shaves. I have used this cream with several high-grade silvertips and none have experienced any negative side effects from the dye in the cream.
During the shave, the Rose Shaving Cream definitely performs to the standard that I have come to expect from D.R. Harris products. The cream is soft enough to easily lather with any brush I have paired it with and creates a rich and smooth creamy texture with little to no air bubbles. It coats the skin smoothly and provides a great layer of protection that allows the blade to glide very easily over the skin and cut the hair with no unwanted roughness or irritation. The quality of the lather is suitable for multiple passes of the razor without having to be re-lathered to maintain its consistency from start to finish of the shave. After completing my shave, the lather rinsed away clean leaving behind only a very subtle rose fragrance that is pleasant and enjoyable. The aroma is light enough that you can easily follow with the aftershave or cologne of your choice without fragrances conflicting. When I used this cream, I have enjoyed finishing my shave with D.R. Harris Pink Aftershave, which has a light rose fragrance that compliments the cream perfectly and has a low alcohol content that is good for the warm summer weather.
D.R. Harris Rose Shaving Cream is recommended for any new or experienced shaver who enjoys the rose fragrance because it produces a consistent and protective lather every time. It is available at Lee’s Safety Razors, which offers a 75 gram (2.65 ounce) travel tube for $18.00 or 150 gram (5.3 ounce) screw top jar for $30.00. Although the floral fragrance of rose is not what some men would consider to be a masculine choice, it is a long regarded standard among traditional wet shaving products, particular those of British origin. I was initially surprised that D.R. Harris would introduce a rose scented cream to a market that already has several popular rose offerings, but the addition is a welcomed one and very worth trying if you enjoy this fragrance or are seeking a quality cream that excels in providing a smooth and comfortable shave while protecting and nourishing your skin.