Blade: Wilkinson Sword
Brush: Rubberset with Cashmere Synthetic
Soap: Henri et Victoria Duc de Santal
Aftershave: Henri et Victoria Duc de Santal splash
Upgrade day. I have been looking forward to trying the Henri et Victoria triple milled line since it was initially launched. Recently I was able to work a trade to add a Duc de Santal set to my collection. Of course I already have a Duc de Santal in the original base, so I figured it would be a good chance to test the upgrade.
First off, the scent…. Duc de Santal has really grown on me. It’s funny to think that I almost traded my initial set after a couple uses because the scent didn’t do much for me. Now it is a staple, a very versatile scent. It is a masculine blend of sandalwood, nutmeg, tree moss, lemon citrus, and patchouli. Strong enough that you will carry it with you for a while, but subtle enough you can wear it anywhere. The aftershave pairs well with a tonne of scents so it is great to carry in the den. I highly recommend picking up a set.
Secondly, the packaging. Since I initially got my original Duc de Santal set, HeV has undergone some packaging upgrades. Labels have a much cleaner design. Nothing overly graphic, just a modern, simple and elegant refresh. The tubs have also been upgraded to this new style similar to what Barrister & Mann is offering. I love the new packaging.
Third, the base. I was a bit surprised by the texture of the soap. My previous experience with triple mill soaps is a very hard soap, extremely dense. This, while very firm, isn’t a hard soap. You can push into the soap and make an indent. Scent wise, I’d say it is a bit stronger than my OG tub, but that could also be the age difference. I’d say it is a touch easier to load and lather. Other than that, for me, I got pretty much the same lather I would expect from my OG HeV. Good protection, good slickness (lather and residual) and adequate post shave. Ingredient wise, it is the same as the OG formulation so I wasn’t surprised by the similar performance.
The aftershave splash: same ingredients, same scent, same performance. Only change here I can tell is the label refresh. Still a great aftershave.
So, is this much of an upgrade? Packaging wise, for sure. Product wise, not a huge jump. The base and the scent perform very well. With the added density you will likely get a bit more life out of your tub. But if you already have a Tallow based HeV soap, no need to upgrade unless you want the pretty packaging.
And one final word on the razor today, the Rockwell 6c on 5. I got a fantastic shave, extremely close and exceptionally smooth. I don’t reach for this razor much these days as I tend to gravitate to my Karve but I still get a fantastic shave with it. For me, the sledge hammer feel of the head is why I don’t grab it as much anymore. The flip-able plates just add a bit too much bulk for my liking. The shorter handle on the Karve is also more comfortable in the hand for me. If you do see a Rockwell 6 at a bargain price though, it is still a very versatile razor. Pick it up, see how it feels and don’t hesitate to purchase if it is comfortable for you.