Readers of this blog know that I really like The GR line. Although paraben-free and with natural ingredients, this is no under-performing health-food store line but rather an upscale system of very effective, traditional/modern shaving and skin-care formulations. I use the After Shave Balm and the Moisturizer about 80% of the time – I would say they are my benchmark products, although in fairness, since I don’t suffer from particularly sensitive skin, curiosity often draws me to other concoctions as well (Trumper’s Coral Skin Food being another favorite, especially in the Summer). But…when the going gets tough and a new blade, razor, or soap has left my face in tatters, The GR is the line I reach for for instant soothing.
Just as I was preparing for another Method shave in my two-month Odyssey, the mailman brought full-size samples of the new GR Unscented Shave Cream and Balm, as well as a container of the Moisturizer (which is already pretty much unscented). I must admit, I was ready for a break from Method shaving…..it has left me somewhat stressed out from trying to manage the various possible permutations – the thought of a simpler approach was very attractive.
A fresh Treet Blues Special in the ebony-handled E.J. Chatsworth. The Unscented cream worked up in the scrubby Plisson European White badger brush. I decided to use the full line, including The GR Pre-shave oil (both before the shave, and for the final touch-up pass), as well as the Unscented Shave Cream, the Unscented Balm, the Moisturizer, and the Eye Gel.
I fully expected the shave cream to behave pretty much like The Standard, just unscented. But I remembered from my skin-care industry days that fragrances are often used to mask the odor of some ingredients, even natural ones. So, remove all fragrances and you basically have to reformulate the product.
The shave crean is the best-smelling unscented product I have ever used…bar none! That sounds strange doesn’t it? But not so, really. Because if you remove all fragrances and scents you are left with the natural (but very faint) smell of the basic ingredients themselves. In the case of The GR shave cream, those ingredients smell absolutely divine – the various essential oils in the cream come together in a very faint, but absolutely lovely background scent.
And the shave! The GR shave cream appears thicker and creamier than The Standard, and goes on smoothly with a thick, slick, wet lather that produced a definitely superior shave…dare I say it a solid 9.8. Three traditional passes and a touch-up with the oil produced a totally irritation free shave as confirmed by the alum block. The Unscented Balm also appears a little thicker than the normal variety…it no longer shoots out of the dispenser, spraying the mirror in the background! A touch of the Moisturizer and a shot of R&G cologne made for one of the greatest shaves I have ever had. I LOVE THIS STUFF!