11 January 2014

Cella Crema da Barba All'Olio Di Mandorla: Review

Cella Crema da Barba All'Olio Di Mandorla

Italian shave soaps have been popular among wet shavers for many years.  They tend to straddle the line between shaving soaps and shaving creams because they contain soap ingredients, but most are soft and putty-like in texture similar to thick creams eg Acqua Di Parma. Recently I tried Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla, which is another well-regarded example of these classic Italian products.  

Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla is packaged in a red plastic container with a tight-fitting lid that protects the soap during storage.  Upon first opening the Cella container, I immediately noticed the almond scent of the soap.  I found the scent to be very pleasant and more similar to that of marzipan rather than the sweet and artificial almond scents I have experienced in other shaving products.  The fragrance is strong enough to be noticeable, but not overpowering or offensive at all. 

The putty-like texture of the soap is too firm to use Cella as a cream with a bowl/scuttle lathering technique, but can be easily lathered directly in the red container.  

While some hard soaps tend to be better suited for dense and firm brushes, Cella works very well with pretty much any type of brush I tried.  The method that has worked consistently well for me is to load the brush in the plastic bowl followed by lathering directly on my face to build the lather.  Cella quickly builds in volume to a rich and thick lather that coats the face very well and maintains a very enjoyable fragrance once lathered.

The Cella container is slightly smaller than many other brands of soap bowls (Proraso) and most normal sized shaving brushes have no problems loading with soap from the bowl; however, wet-shavers who prefer larger wide-diameter brushes may find lathering in the container to be a bit awkward. 
Personally, I found the Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla to be an excellent product.  Once the soap is lathered, it is very slick and lubricating with little to no excess bubbles. The lather consistently has provided a great layer of protection for the razor against the skin.  

After the shave, Cella rinses away cleanly leaving my skin soft and well moisturized with a faint almond scent left behind.  The faint scent was not enough to clash with any of my favorite aftershaves, but I mostly followed with Crabtree & Evelyn Sandalwood Aftershave Balm because I have been shaving with Cella during the last few warm days. For men who choose not to use an aftershave product (why would you?), Cella has great skin conditioning properties that can leave your face feeling great on its own.

Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla is an excellent example of a quality, traditional Italian shaving soap.  

At only $12.95 from Men’s Biz, Cella Crema da Barba All’Olio Di Mandorla is also a very economical shaving soap.  The 150-gram soap will easily last several months of regular use and provide excellent shaves that one would expect from a quality Italian product.

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