Yesterday’s Christmas shave was a return to my first high-end shave cream, Trufitt & Hill’s West Indian Limes. This cream may well be credited with my serious re-entry into gourmet shaving some 4 years ago. I had dallied with DE shaving in the ’80’s, but, as hard to believe as this may be for younger shavers, there was very little access to high-end shaving gear in those days. Not that it didn’t exist, but distribution was the pits. A few specialty stores offered a limited and very expensive selection of brushes and razors. To put it in perspective, I bought a marginal Mason Pearson Super Badger brush in New York for $175 in 1986! That was a lot of money back then (hey, it’s a lot of money now!).

Then came a perfect storm of events that are often credited with the traditional shaving renewal. Many credit Corey Greenberg and his 2005 segment on NBC’s Today Show as the catalyst that sent men scrambling to find DE razors and traditional shaving concoctions. The second event was not really an event as much as a revolution, and I’m referring here of course to the internet and its ability to instantaneously spread the word, as well as provide access to just about anything you could dream of. Suddenly, small, marginal, traditional shaving gear makers were flooded with orders for their goods, and the rest is history.

The T&H West Indian Limes was such an explosion of scent it went straight to my brain-stem. It must have caused some serious re-wiring of the neurons, because before I knew it I was spending the GDP of a small developing nation on shave shit. Before long the T&H had been displaced by dozens (conservatively speaking) of other creams and soaps, gradually finding its was to the back of one of my many cabinets.

Christmas is always a time of renewal and fresh starts for me (along with new Year’s Day and Easter Sunday), so a shave with the T&H West Indian Limes seemed like a good idea (back to the beginning as it were). And it didn’t disappoint. The first sniff always causes an involuntary flow of saliva as the overpowering citrus smell hits the olfactory receptors. And the cream is a superb shaver, thick gobs of lather aplenty for 3-4 rich passes with the E.J. Chatswtorth and a fresh Shark blade.