I had a stroke of luck two weeks ago, we took delivery of stock from Italy of Saponificio Varesino and one of the bottles of their 70th Anniversary After Shave Balm had been slightly damaged in transit. Nothing serious just a small chip on the side but not something we could sell. Allesandro, the head honcho at Saponificio Varesino, told me to keep it as long I as promised to use it and write an article on it. He was explicit, “tell the truth Brian, people see through fake reviews, give them your true feelings”. So here they are.
The first thing that strikes you is the weight of the glass bottle it’s a hefty 390g so you run the risk of cracking your sink or a bathroom tile if you drop it. The second thing you notice is how beautiful it looks with its clear glass, aluminium screw top and the gunmetal grey emblem which adorns the front of the bottle.
Unlike a lot of balms this one has an exceptionally pleasing scent described by the Italian makers as a blend of Bergamot, Lemon and Tangerine, with hints of Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Amber and Vetiver.
Personally I get the bergamot, lavender and vetiver but not the other ingredients, this may be down me. In any case the overall scent is truly fantastic. It’s not overbearing, a balm shouldn’t be too strong, if you want a strong scent then you need to invest in a cologne or eau de parfum. It’s strong enough to please the senses in the morning but by the time I get to work the scent has all but disappeared.
I’ve mentioned the strikingly handsome bottle and the lovely scent but the most important things an after shave balm has to achieve are to moisturise, cool and soothe freshly shaved skin. On these matters this balm scores very highly indeed.
The addition of alcohol from (vegetable origin) delivers a slight tingling feeling when applied, I like that tingling it’s not like the 'ouch, burning' tingling I got from Brut when I was a young lad rather it’s just a mild, pleasing sensation.
Saponificio Varesino 70th Anniversary Edition Shaving After Shave Balm goes on easily and spreads well leaving no greasy, shiny residue. This is due to the complexity of the active ingredients which have been carefully blended to provide a non-greasy application that feeds and nourishes the skin, the ingredients and their benefits are worth mentioning:
*Witch hazel: purifying and decongestant
*Lemon: toning, anti-aging, firming
*Rocket: anti oxidant, anti redness
*Malva: decongestant, emollient, moisturising
*Calendula: nourishing, healing, calming, soothing
*Chamomile: soothing, antibacterial, soothing, refreshing
*Eucalyptus: balsamic, refreshing, antibacterial
*Lavender: antibacterial, soothing
*Vitamin E: anti-inflammatory, emollient
Allesandro runs Saponificio Varesino with his brother Paolo, the business was founded by their grandfather you’ve guessed it, 70 years ago in the province of Varese. Now into its third generation Saponificio Varesino makes top-end, quality shaving products that are loved by men worldwide.
Does this balm have any faults? No.
Is it well priced? For such a good product absolutely yes.
I got a freebie but would I buy it? Yes I would.
Do I recommend it to Executive Shaving customers? Yes.
Written by Brian Mulreany
The Executive Shaving Company
23 September ’16.