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The Best Grooming Products of 2023

The Best Grooming Products of 2023

Every year has its discoveries - and its rediscoveries. In this article, we cast a gaze over old and new, and to all the things most beloved. Grooming is a funny thing - its revolutions are slow, yet its principles are eternal. And so we seek variation and refinement; it is the general search towards attaining the perfection of a routine. Part of the pleasure is the search itself, the plenitude of variation, of digging deep and having fun. The products in this selection are the ones that have brought me pleasure - and this is essential.

Best in Class: New Products and Discoveries for 2023

Taylor of Old Bond Street Oud Shaving Cream 

Generally speaking, the form and operations of a shaving cream remain the same, as a dab emulsifies generously into a thick foamy lather. It is a moment of bliss that starts the day or ends it, a point of concentration and tactility that brings meditative pause. 

How then to accentuate this bliss? Allow a new smell to do its work, to indicate a clearly demarcated process within the everyday but beyond the ordinary. The Oud Shaving Cream from Taylor of Old Bond Street bursts with scent upon contact with warm water: it is a rich complex of quince, saffron, rose, oud and amber. A whole lot that rewards the occasion, its effectiveness as a shaving cream is a given, and its bestowal of pleasure almost a guarantee.

Castle Forbes Lime Shaving Cream

For those who delight in freshness, and find it hard to resist the zingy and classical notes of citrus in their shaving preparations, Castle Forbes' Lime Shaving Cream might just be the ultimate product, which is generously dosed with pure lime extract. A favourite on the shaving forums, its lather is as excellent as its scent, and is incredibly concentrated. Handmade at Castle Forbes in Aberdeenshire, Scotland - this is artisanal and small-batch production at its finest.

Dovo Solingen Primo II Safety Razor

Dovo Solingen is rightfully proud of their latest double edge razor, and says it all with its name: Primo, first, a new beginning and a new type of shave. Several lifetimes of knowledge and two years of development have realised this razor - which is meticulously engineered with the utmost precision in Germany.

Precision matters in wet shaving, and the slightest differences in the razor's geometry alters the shaving experience entirely. Dovo has sought to maximise satisfaction, and in their own words: "To the regret of all other safety razors, we were successful."

Shaving nirvana awaits. The Primo II is balanced and feels great in the hand, secure with a knurled grip. The optimised blade gap ensures high soap flow for minimal clogging with every pass. Its 3-piece design ensures a thorough and easy clean.

FZOTIC Toasted Lilac Body Soap

Generous, delicious, cleansing, and replenishing: along with FZOTIC's excellent fragrances, a neat selection of artisanal and hand-made body soaps have won us over. Its cleansing power is assured with good moisturising fats, clay, and/or charcoal. In Toasted Lilac, its a surprising and creative mishmash: the scent of lilacs in bloom float on a breeze of subtle gourmand notes, including toast and sweet cream. Its generous 200g size means many joyous opportunities for use. 

Baxter of California Cedarwood & Oakmoss Essence Deodorant

Addicted, utterly addicted. Oakmoss excites me - it's a rare ingredient nowadays, but still finds itself employed potently in deodorant formulations. Baxter's original Citrus and Herbal-Musk Deodorant is a cult classic for many good reasons: it's effective, non-irritating, free of nasties, and smells wonderful.

You can now vary it up, and this combination of ingredients here produces a wood and moss scent that is spicy, herbal, earthy, yet clean. A swipe under each arm will do, and you're left with confidence ... and a good smell, of course.

A Few Rediscoveries and Time Tested Favourites

Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser

I will forever extol the virtues of this cleanser, with its remarkable efficacy and potency, its deep-cleaning formula, and its exceptional value. Acids might get a bad rap - or some might be scared of the way they sound - but rest assured, acids are the workhorses of a routine, and work the surface of the skin, dissolving oils and improving its appearance. This Deep Dive Facial Cleanser is a balanced formula that is appropriate for everyday use. 

Dovo Solingen Beard & Moustache Scissors: Stainless Steel

Buy it once, look after it, and have it forever. I've recently grown out my moustache and beard, necessitating its use once more. A design marvel, the edge of one blade is micro-corrugated with very fine serrations etched into the blade edge to help hold the hair in position, enabling clean and precise cuts. The other blade is honed to razor sharpness to accomplish very precise and accurate cutting. The best of its kind: it reaffirms its value with every use. 

Marvis Amarelli Licorice Toothpaste

Tempted and tantalised but all the different flavours of Marvis Toothpaste, without fail I always come back to Amarelli Licorice. I love its bittersweet and herbal flavour, the way it lingers, providing me with an adjacent feeling of minty freshness but in a different way. I'm not one to aggrandise toothpaste, but I am positive about its effect in increasing and amplifying my pleasure - making a twice-daily task a joy.