Proraso Red is a well known classic shaving soap. The red version of the soap is often described as one of the best pure sandalwood scents of any shaving soap. I have been using Proraso Red for several months now in my regular rotation and have gotten a good familiarity with it’s characteristics. Over the cold winter months and for my daily shave I have to say that I have enjoyed the experience. So let’s get into some details.
My first attempts at lathering the soap were a bit frustrating. I found it to be a bit frothy with many bubbles. But after about 4 or 5 brush loads and whipping in the bowl, I was able to get it to a good working yogurt like consistency although with some bubbles remaining. But I will say that the frothiness has seemed to dissipate over time as I have gotten deeper into the container. This is not a thirsty soap and does much better if I try to wring out as much water from my boar brush as possible before I start loading.
It is fairly close to the pure sandalwood scent that you might be used to if you are familiar with sandalwood oil or incense. I do use Australian Sandalwood oil on my hair on occasion when it is very dry outside in the winter so I have some familiarity with the scent. But if you are not familiar with Sandalwood, I would describe the Proraso scent as a mild, somewhat medicated and woodsy smell. You might say sweet but I would say more woodsy than sweet.
The cushioning and slickness is average. But I would say the lather tends to be good at cushioning as long as you don’t use too much water (which can be easy to do). The post shave feel is quite good and post shave scent is very mild.
What I mean by economy is how long the soap lasts and how much soap you get for the price. On this parameter, Proraso Red is quite excellent and one of the best buys of any shaving soap. 5.2 ounces for $10 is pretty much unparalleled for a good shaving soap. But even better is that this soap lasts a long time. Even with my typical 4 to 5 brush loads to create the amount of lather in the bowl which I prefer, those loads seem to barely dent the container. If you want to enjoy a wet shave with a good quality soap that will last a long time and not empty your wallet, Proraso Red has to be one of your considerations.
Proraso Red is a good soap. Perhaps the lather is not on the same level as many of the well known artisan brands but it is good enough for daily use and I have yet to find a sandalwood scented shaving soap that is as natural and having the essence of sandalwood that Proraso Red has. And for the price it is difficult to find something better.
- A new blade I have been using recently is Asco Super Stainless teflon coated in the orange wrapper. It works well for me with a good balance of sharpness and comfort. It will be in my rotation although I would still rank Laser Ultra triple coat as my favorite blade.
- I’ve recently modified my technique to do two passes with the grain and then one pass against followed by touch up. Across the grain just doesn’t do much and I tend to cut myself more easily going across.
- Sharpologist has this informative article on Sandalwood. Well worth reading.