A kind fellow B&B'er (Evbo, to be precise) sent me a little sample of Penhaligon's Castile shaving cream a few weeks ago when I was lamenting its demise, and in the package he included a small sample of a custom made scent of Al Raz's The Bomb cream. The scent is a combination of sage, vetiver, thyme, black pepper, etc., etc., etc. and I didn't really care for it much. It seems that most of the notes were faded considerably except for the black pepper, which was quite strong.
the sample was apparently quite old and the cream had basically hardened into the container.
This morning I decided to give it a try anyway. I took a little bit of it out using a broken ice-cream-tasting spoon, and then crushed it onto the bottom of my lather bowl with my finger. Then I lathered it like a soap using an Omega boar.
I just have to say that I got a wonderful lather, every bit the equal (if not superior to) GFT, T&H, CF, and others. The shave was smooth and comfortable and it didn't dry out my skin at all.
The shave was so good that, even though I didn't like the scent at first, by the end of the shave I was almost wondering if there was an accompanying cologne.
Anyway, I wanted everybody to know that Al Raz's cream ROCKED, even when it was crusty and had to be resuscitated!