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Thread: Castle Forbes Lavender Cream

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Southern California

    Default Castle Forbes Lavender Cream

    I can't explain it, but I seem to acquire lavender scented items rather quickly. For review today, the Castle Forbes Lavender Cream.

    First...the photos...

    This cream glistens and is on the thick side.

    A dollop in the bowl.

    A few swirls.

    Maybe 30 total swirls. And there's plenty left in the bowl.

    One quick swipe on the hand.

    A few additional swipes and you can see how thick and rich the lather is.

    Price: Ouch. CF creams are expensive. If you're looking purely at performance for the price, stay clear.

    Quality: A very high quality cream. Right up there with the best of them.

    Scent: Wonderful. My favorite lavender anything. It is VERY strong and you're hit with it as soon as you open the container. If you don't like lavender, you won't like this cream. The scent fills the entire bathroom when in use. Even though it's a "floral" smell, it's very masculine. You buy Castle Forbes for the scent.

    Latherability: Piece of cake. This cream lathers as good as anything I've tried. It just explodes in my bowl and makes a wonderful think, heavy, slick, luxurious lather. It's also rather forgiving of the water ratio. (FYI - I have very hard water.)

    Efficacy: This cream does what cream is supposed to do. It moistens the beard, is slick, and provides a load of cushion.

    Moisturizing Properties: Let me preface this by saying I have oily skin. For ME, this cream sits at just the right amount of moisturizing, which is why it gets a 10, not because it's the most moisturizing a cream could be. Someone with dry skin would probably rate this around 8.

    Packaging: If this were $15/tub, it would be fine. But the plain plastic tub is rather boring. I don't usually care much about packaging, but at $35, the presentation is not fitting the price. And while the black box is nice, it doesn't make up the difference.

    Overall: Great cream with a fantastic scent, but potentially not worth the price. These are luxury items and sometimes we get hit with luxury prices. And in the grand scheme of things, $35 isn't THAT much more than a $25 tub. Yeah, I'm already justifying my next purchase...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    New York


    Super scent, good shave. But $30? I don't think so. There are better options out there. Also, I find this stuff so ridiculously thick (at least the jars I have sampled), that it is a pain to get started. I sort of have to shmear it around my lathering bowl or it stays in one big clump.

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  3. #3


    Much has been said about the packaging, and it's true, the plastic jar looks rather cheap for the price. Ah, the price, well, I don't find it that hard, as you get 200ml instead of the normal 100 or 150 it's quite alright. Also, the cream is thicker than most others so you need less of the good stuff. Pricey, yeah, but then, it's not a cream I use every day so the tub lasts quite long.

    But now for the good part: This is my most beloved cream. The scent, real lavender EO is the purest and best lavender-scent out there, far better than those sweet interpretations from the fragance-oil-based soaps and creams. If real lavender is what you want, then this is what you'll get.
    The cream lathers up in next to no time, the lather is very slick, lubricating and allows for a very close but at the same time gentle shave.
    After rinsing your face will feel great and if you're in a hurry you wouldn't even need an ASB.
    For me, this is a cream I'm always looking forward to using on those special occasions.
    Give it a try!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    I thought I should add my own comments to this review. It is my favourite shave cream by a wide margin. Notice I said shave cream. I am a hard soap user 95% of the time. When I do use a cream, it is usually Castle Forbes lavender. I have only a few creams now including this one. Most of them are only there because they fulfill a scent function that is unavailable in a quality hard shave soap. Say, something like AOS Lemon. Castle Forbes lavender is there for one main reason; It works better on my skin than any other cream I have tried. It is better than good. In my opinion there are very few creams out there that even come to the level of skin friendliness that this one does. Let alone surpass it. I don't doubt they are out there and that for some, the CF will not surpass their favourites. This is not my experience. It is simply magic on my skin.

    There is really not a lot to add to the other review vis a vis lathering ability, etc. I also would agree with the scent comments. Very nice indeed. I would add some caveats that apply to my usage and they may be of use to others. First up is price. Yeah, $32-38 per jar is expensive. There is no other way to describe it. But is it that much more expensive per use? As one poster mentioned, it comes in a larger 200ml jar so this drops per usage rate quite a bit. I quickly discovered I only need about 1/2 the amount per shave that I would normally use with my other UK brand shave creams. That is not an exaggeration. It is very efficient, ie; the efficacy is great. All of our best shaving lathers are expensive. Period. I think this one is worth it.

    I have also changed the way I lather this cream. It is widely known that this cream is super dense. Thick and stiff is the plain and simple way to describe it. I used to scrape up a bean sized dab and mush it around a warm lather bowl till it loosened up and was latherable. I have stopped this. It was just too much fiddling. I now use a well shaken brush and load it directly from the jar. It does not take much loading at all. In fact, I may be using less this way. It still explodes with lather and excludes a time consuming step. I simply face lather after loading. Overall I have to say that this is easily one of my top five shave lathers. And gents, I don't say that lightly. I haven't use everything out there but I have used a LOT of shave lathers and this one takes a back seat to nothing. If nothing else, grab up a sample and give it a try. I warn you though. If this one is to your liking you had best get the credit card ready.

    Regards, Todd
    Cheers, Todd

    New Golden Age Pomader

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Houston, Texas

    Default Awesome stuff

    This is the first cream I used when I took up wet shaving. It is a wonderful cream that lasts literally forever. I usually buy one tub every 6 months. That is the primary reason I don't have an issue with the price.

    The cream smells great and builds tons of lather. In short it does what a cream should do and does it well. Having tried a few other creams, I always come back to CF.
    "This is Mrs. Bencours, one of my patients. She thinks she's a sheep." - Gene Wilder

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    The little farming town of Naperville, IL


    I was very excited to try C&F Lavender. I had been very impressed with other British imports (Taylor’s and Trumper’s) and I had great expectations for this super-premium product. I wondered, “how could this stuff be better than the stuff I was already using?” Perhaps that expectation was my downfall.

    Very expensive but very concentrated. When you take the concentration factor into the equation I would say that it is competitively priced with other premium brands.

    I would say that this is a high quality product. With that said I have found that the two “Ts” listed above perform better for me.

    Wow, one of the best lavender smells ever! Definitely a cut above Taylor’s lavender scent.


    A very small amount of cream bursts into a tons of lather. With that said, I found the lather to be lighter in consistency and less cushioning. The cream is very dense so you also have to “run it around” the bowl a bunch to get it to dissolve. I suspect that this product has a lot of lathering agent (SLS?) but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a superior shave in itself.

    Pretty good, but overall I have had better shaves with other products. I was very surprised to find some razor burn after shaving. This typically does not happen to me. The burn was mild, but I was expecting none.

    Moisturizing Properties:
    Here again, pretty good. I think products like Taylors Avocado do a better job for me in this department.

    Another Wow! Beautiful box, classy container. I like the fact that the container is plastic (but elegant). Glass and the bathroom don’t always mix.

    Certainly a first rate product. It is fantastic in areas like scent, concentration and packaging. Less so when it comes to quality lather and efficacy. I will certainly use it (heck, it cost a fortune for a cream) but there are other products that I like better.
    Last edited by MAK; 09-27-2008 at 11:52 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    Excellent quality cream. Large amount and very dense mean that the price compares with thinner creams IMO. So thick that it needs to be lather up a bit by working the brush in the tub of cream. Then it works well for face lathering.

    Scent is outstanding pure EO, no coloring added. Lathers to a dense cushiony foam that last well on the brush and on your face. I always aget a good shave with this cream. Moisturising is adequate but not extraordinary. Packaging is good - I like glass but I don't like it in my bathroom. Plastic tubs are fine as long as they are not the brittle, hard plastic that cracks like the TOBS ones seem to.

    Overall, an excellent cream. Worth adding to any shaving set IMO.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Marietta, Georgia


    After using this cream for a while I can say that I'm a pretty big fan. The stuff works great. That being said, it is pretty darn pricey. You can definitely find comparable quality creams for a fraction of the price. Castle Forbes creams are definitely a luxury more than a requirement. Also, to echo Scott's comment, I find this cream incredibly thick. Almost too thick. It's almost like a soft soap more than a cream. And maybe it's just me but is their lavendar scent more ...."bitter" than others? Hmm...something to think on.
    [URL=""]Are you a Whisk(e)y Apostle?[/URL]
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Chesapeake, VA


    Smell's great and works great also. A little steep on the price. You just have a hard time beating out TOB for the quality and price.
    The Silver Fox:cool:

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    The Bronx

    Thumbs up

    I just had my Saturady night shave with Castle Forbes Lavendar.
    As others have noted, it really is dense and I can see how difficult it would be to make the 'snurdle' disappear completely. I load the brush straight from the tub, as I do with all creams. By using a well shaken brush and being very generous when I swirl it on (as if it is a soap, and not a cream) I get an extremely heavy and thick lather. I can easily get four passes out of it although I generally only do two.
    Price. It is expensive, but it is going to last a long time even if used every day so I give it an 8 on price.
    Quality. It is unparalleled, all those essential oils and whatnot and it looks as if it is spooned into each tub one tub at a time.
    Scent. See essentail oils. It is not sweet but it smells floral and delicious.
    Latherability. It explodes! Done properly it will produce a thick, glistening merangue, very slick and good cushioning properties.
    Efficacy. What to say here? I always feel as if I have just had the best shave of my life after a CF Shave.
    Moisturizing. My skin feels smooth due to the quality of the shave itself. I do the cold water splash followed by Lavendar witch hazel splash. When I purchased the CF Shave cream I also bought the CF lavendar AFB, so my moisturizing generally comes from that.
    Packaging. The tub is plastic and squat and unbreakable and I think it works great for loading my brush directly from the tub. Like I said, it has a sort of anti-industrial feel about it.
    The only things that should stop you from trying this cream are:
    1. a strong dislike of anything lavendar.
    2. price, in which case you can hint around that this is a great gift from SWMBO.
    I love this stuff.
    I would rather be with the people of this forum than with the finest people in the world.

  11. Default

    I tried this cream not wanting to like it given the price, but I have to confess that it's very good. Very close shave for a cream and it was great to my skin. I don't usually care for lavender, but this scent is outstanding. It has a sharper, almost citrus like component. I've finished my sample and don't know that I would spend $35 to buy it since I use soap more than cream, but if you're looking for an excellent lavender cream, this is hard to beat.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Lanier, GA

    Thumbs up High degree of luxury, (isn't that what we want)

    PRICE: Not bad for what it is, (wished it less myself but it is what it is)☻
    QUALITY: Excellent, I load my brush as if it were a soap.
    SCENT: Truely exceptional
    EFFICACY: Exactly as the definition of the word raeds only in splendid fashion
    MOISTURIZING PROPERTIES: Outstanding-as I've stated in other cream reviews, I have extremely sensitive skin, (burns with daily cream usuage) therefore, I alternate soap and cream days, I can use this cream daily if I could afford it
    PACKAGING: Comes in a lovely box, but, the plastic container doesn't do there cream justice, (although it easily serves well for loading your brush).
    CONCLUSION: The age old saying; "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" is very true with the exception of the plastic jar. You do get a larger amount than most with a denser consistancy which means less used per shave and longer lasting.
    Try it if you get a chance.
    [B][/B] HOPPER
    Keep your blades DRY

  13. #13


    I have been using this cream almost exclusively for a little over a year and love it!

    Price: Well at 35 bones, it is a pricey purchase for a cream... However, you get 200 ml of product, which compared to the industry standard of 100 ml or 150 ml is not that bad considering I've gone through about only 2 tubs in a year. This stuff definitely goes a long way.

    Quality: The quality is there, you'll see this in many peoples top 5 list. It's also the densest cream out there, more so than even the italian creams.

    Scent: Wow, the lavender scent is masculine and potent, it just smacks you in the face when you open the tub for the first time. It engulfed my shave den almost immediately when cracked open. Good s***.

    Latherability: It explodes, especially if you didn't know that a small amount goes a long way and overload your brush. Like others have said, treat it more in the lines of a soap.

    Efficacy: It cushions with the best of them and is almost as slick as Tabac, but still has legendary performance in my book.

    Moisturizing Properties: It does a fantastic job leaving my face smooth. It does turn on the dry side a bit too quickly once lathered on your face.

    Packaging: The only real negative aspect of the product. It arrives in a very nice box, but once opened your greeted by a cheap plastic tub that looks like it cost 50 cents. But then again, imagine if it came in a nice container? It probably would cost $40.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Baltimore, MD


    There is no point in repeating all the positive reviews above. Suffice it to say, I agree completely. This is one of my favorite creams/soaps. I consistently get very close shaves with it, using different blades and brushes. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about "formulas" to explain why.

    I recommend treating it like a soap: use a stiffer brush (I use one of my pure or best badgers) and load directly from the jar.
    "Fear is the only darkness, Grasshopper."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Oviedo, Florida


    First shave with CF Lavender. This is my first lavender cream, but the fragrance is outstanding. This lavender smells like fesh flowers. The cream was so moist and fluffy, whipped up nicely. The cream is thick so I used a little more water than usual, but I was rewarded with top notch lather. My brush stayed warm in my DB brush scuttle.
    So far AOS Sandalwood and this cream are the best I have tried.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Western NC

    Default Another vote for Castle Forbes Lavender cream

    Although I rarely use creams, this wonderful cream deserves daily indulgences. The creamy foam and intoxicating aroma and rich moisturizing qualities make this a cream worth owning, using, and enjoying. There may be other soaps or creams that provide a similar scent and quality -- but this one makes the search unnecessary.

    Price is high -- but you'll get more than a year of daily shaves out of one container. And the container -- well who buys creams or soaps for the container? Especially when the effectiveness is so perfect!

    Highly recommended.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Ocean Grove, NJ


    This is my favorite shaving cream. I am partial to anything lavender because from what I read, anything with the lavender oil is suitable for sensitive skin.
    Its a but pricey but this should last you a while, especially if its not your only shaving cream you use.
    Mine is very pasty so I just load the brush right from the tub. I get great lather and can last a few passes. When I take my off day from shaving this is my first shaving cream in my rotation and get the best BBS shave with this and my 1 or 2 day growth.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    Out of the 3 Castle Forbes shave creams this one is my favorite. Keep in mind that the scent is a dark British lavender and not the bright French lavender that I personally prefer. The lather is major thick, dense, and peaky. Some of the best suds around. This stuff cuts very close but at the expense of protection. Some people like close cutters but I happen to prefer the extra protection + slickness of others. For this reason I choose Art of Shaving and Trumper soaps over DR Harris and Castle Forbes. Another thing I don't like is they load this stuff up with parabens. Even the 3 T's recently reformulated parabens out of their shave creams. Until Castle Forbes follows suit I will not buy this product especially when I have others around like Tabula Rasa and The Bomb.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    London, UK

    Default It's ok

    Well, I have a tub of the Lime but have been using a sample of the Lavender - packaging rating above is based on the Lime, which is the same!

    The reason you buy CF is for the scents, which are lovely. Probably my favourite amongst all the creams I've tried. This isn't surprising as they use real EO.

    However, I'm not sold on the performance. I get denser, more protective lather that does not degrade at all, from Taylors creams.

    I don't think the creams are that expensive in terms of price per shave. It's probably not much more that the three Ts, due to this cream's concentration. However, for this price I expect superlative lather, which, like the Limes version, I don't get. It's just ok.....

    I doubt I will buy again.


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