After losing quite a lot of money on my last shaving product, I was urged to be a little more cautious with my shaving soap purchases. So I decided to follow that advice buy purchasing a handful of samples, which happened to include three of Barrister and Mann’s soaps from the Latha lineup. I’m a huge fanatic of Barrister and Mann’s wet shaving products and have to admit that their soaps are some of the best products on the market.
Unlike Barrister and Mann’s regular lineup, Latha comes in a 4 oz. tub for $11. That’s $2.75 per ounce for some good stuff. While $2.75 per ounce is in the middle of the spectrum, it’s much cheaper than the rest of Barrister and Mann’s products, which are usually at $4.00 per ounce for regular products and skyrocket out of my range for limited edition soaps. With a sizable price difference between the rest of their lineup, it’s easy to see why Barrister and Mann advertises the Latha lineup as their “more affordable” products.
According to their website, Latha is meant for the younger wet shaving crowd that’s operating on a limited budget. I don’t fully understand why Barrister and Mann decided to openly state that the cheaper Latha is for “younger” and “new” wet shavers, but I decided to pick up some samples because I had heard great things about the soap.
Barrister and Mann claims that the original Latha is supposed to have a “classic barbershop fragrance with notes of lavender, vanilla, oakmoss, carnation, geranium, heliotrope, and musk for a smooth, clean scent.” To me, it doesn’t smell like a barbershop scent, but like clean licorice. I’m not a huge fan of licorice, but this scent is fresh and the heavily licorice scent disperses and makes way for a herbaly one. It’s not my favorite, but it’s definitely a “fresh” scent.
Since the soap is marketed as a cheaper alternative to the regular lineup, I didn’t think the soap would live up to the other Barrister and Mann products I’ve used. But I was wrong. I emptied out the entire sample jar into a 3.5 oz. tin and went to work on loading it with both my RazoRock Plissoft synthetic brush and Semouge 1305 boar brush. Loading with both brushes was extremely easy and I had more than enough product with a 40 second load.
While loading, the scent strength is above average. When working the product into a lather on my face, I noticed that the scent strength stayed at above average. The product didn’t take long to turn into a fluffy, rich lather, but like with all Barrister and Mann products it’s a little thirsty. Using a lot of water reveals an extremely slick lather that also has an excellent amount of cushion.
Barrister and Mann’s shaving soaps are the slickest soaps I’ve ever tried and Latha is close behind the original stuff. It’s not as slick as its more expensive siblings, but it’s slicker than the majority of other soaps on the market while having great cushion and post-shave feel. The only thing that’s lacking with this soap is its strength after the shave, which dissipates soon after the shave.
Scent Pleasantness: 6/10
Scent Strength: 8/10
Lather Quality: 8.5/10
I’ve used this soap numerous times and despite its scent, I thoroughly enjoyed the shave. It’s a super slick formula that creates an incredible lather at an amazing price. Despite the soap’s initial strength, the scent doesn’t linger once the shave is finished. In all honesty, if you told me this wasn’t the “poor man’s” Barrister and Mann option I wouldn’t have thought it was. This soap is too good to be considered a cheaper alternative to the lineup and I can’t wait to try the rest of the scents.