Barrister and Mann Lavanille Artisan Shaving Soap, Excelsior Base, 4oz

4.56 out of 5 based on 16 customer ratings
(16 customer reviews)


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Artisan Made in USA

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Product Description

The vanillin in Lavanille may cause it to discolor animal hair shaving brushes. Use of a dedicated brush or a synthetic-fiber shaving brush is recommended.

Some time ago, Barrister and Mann® had the extraordinary fortune to obtain a sample of the discontinued, leathery perfume base Mousse de Saxe. Armed with only this small sample and historical records of what went into the original, we set out to re-create the famous design by smell alone. After four months of research, formulation, reformulation, and constant refinement, we successfully rebuilt Mousse de Saxe into its original glory. It seemed only fitting that such an achievement should be used to create a soap inspired by some of the greatest masculine fragrances of all time.

We blend our version of Mousse de Saxe with lavender, vanilla, cedar, and the elegant musk Exaltolide to create a dark, leathery, elegant soap unlike anything seen for nearly a half century.

Net wt. 4 oz, Made in the USA

Overall, Excelsior represents a significant upgrade over the performance of Glissant and will last considerably longer because it’s a much harder product. It produces lather similar to that of Barrister’s Reserve®, but does not exhibit the gooey, stringy characteristics of its softer cousin. Those who love the lather they get from Barrister’s Reserve® soaps but who find the soap difficult to work with will very likely enjoy the performance of Excelsior a great deal.

Additional Information


Potassium Stearate, Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Sodium Tallowate, Potassium Ricinoleate, Potassium Shea Butterate, Sodium Ricinoleate, Coconut Milk, Sodium Shea Butterate, Carthamus tinctorius hybrid (Hybrid Safflower) Seed Oil, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Allantoin, Lanolin, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Citrate, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Fragrance/Parfum, Juniperus virginiana (Virginia Cedarwood) Oil, Tocopherol Acetate, Hydrolyzed Silk Protein

16 reviews for Barrister and Mann Lavanille Artisan Shaving Soap, Excelsior Base, 4oz

  1. 5 out of 5


    I received this as a Xmas present and boy I’m glad I did!
    Scent is a wonderful combination of leather, chocolate, vanilla, lavender and everything
    in between. The lather is phenomenal with cushion, glide, slickness, and post shave feel
    all first rate. AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE BY B&M! The matching a/s (another masterpiece) was icing on the cake!
    Easy 5 stars for me.

  2. 5 out of 5


    I have White Label (old base) and the Horse Tub (Glissant base) versions of Lavanille in front of me as I write this. I can assure all that Lavanille remains an amazing smelling soap in its Glissant base. The two previous reviewers need to smell the soap for more than 10 seconds and even shave with it before leaving negative reviews. “Smells different” should not be the basis for a two star review.

    As implied, the Glissant Lavanille smells slightly different in the tub for about 10 seconds of sniffing. Then by about second 11 or so, all the usual smells characteristic of the scent return, and once lathered and applied to the face, there will be no doubt that the scent smells as usual. Did you buy a shave soap to sniff in the jar or to shave with?

    Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Lavanille, it is one of the true classic scents of wet shaving, A musky, sweet / spicy mix of lavender and vanilla, the soap smells ancient, mysterious, and elegant. The reproduction work involved in resurrecting the old Mousse De Saxe base is amazing and complex, and anyone who loves complex fragrances will be enthralled.

    Glissant base is probably the best tallow formula we have in shaving right now, and offers quick lather, and the ideal combo of glide and cushion. Post shave feel is also excellent, and if your skin is ordinary (not overly dry), you definitely can get by with no post shave treatment. Glissant also works equally well in both hard and soft water.

    The White Label (old base) formula of Lavanille smelled slightly different in the tub, or at least it did for the first ten seconds of sniffing. I wouldn’t even say it’s a better in-tub smell, just different. After a few more seconds, or once you actually shave with the stuff, all is equal.

    The new packaging is excellent, sturdier and more attractive than the older style tubs, and the labeling is more informative. Plus you have that cool looking horse… I think most buyers will not miss the ten seconds of different scent from the old version when offered a better base, nicer package, and the same scent in the recent release.

    I wish Maggard’s would make negative reviewers go into detail about their complaints — too much “I don’t like the smell, one star” and “smells different, two stars” type reviews on the site. I doubt these reviews are of much use to anyone, almost as bad as the “Grate smell!!!, five stars stuff, but worse in a way, as the creative and technical excellence of a product should not be so readily diminished by nitpickers with two minutes’ time on their hands.

  3. 2 out of 5


    I fully agree with EM
    The smell differs from the previous version, created not on the basis of glissan.
    A similar situation with Leviathan and Dickens.
    Most likely this is the result of the transition to the glissan formula.

  4. 2 out of 5


    This soap differs smell from bought in the summer of 2016.

  5. 5 out of 5


    Careful! If you are like me you may initially be disappointed by the lather and be tempted to move on. It isn’t easy to build up any lather for me. Despite having no issue with other soaps, I think there’s both the amount of water issue, time, and the fact that you just need a lot more of the product. I recommend adding it in two phases during a bowl later. The first piece will cover the brush, but not really in a lather, just sort of be soapy.

    It gets better when you add a second amount at about 90+ seconds in. It’s still nowhere near as easy as TOBS best soaps, but by working at it and using more product you can get a rich and very thick lather. Now here’s the good news, the smell is incredible. The shave is good, but the smell! It only improves as you shave, and it sticks with you. If you follow-up with an unscented moisturiser like I do, you’ll love how this scent lingers. This is now my 20th soap or so, three have been what I consider to be good, and despite the work it takes, I can say with confidence that this is keeper!

  6. 5 out of 5


    Wonderful soap

  7. 5 out of 5


    I used this for the first time this morning, the lather was dark and creamy with great slickness and a lovely leather scent. I lathered it in a bowl, I kept adding drops of water for 3-4 minutes, but the lather stayed dense and yogurty

  8. 5 out of 5


    Я буду краток. Это лучшее мыло у Barrister & Mann. А может быть и вообще – лучшее мыло. Я уже купил на Maggard Razors две банки. Буду покупать ещё. И именно на Maggard Razors. Спасибо магазину за оперативность и за знакомство с этим мылом!

  9. 5 out of 5


    Will is a wizard. He sold his soul to some dark power in return for a superhuman ability to create magic in the form of shaving soap and aftershaves. There is no product I have seen yet that van match the voodoo that he creates. Lavanille and the Mousse de Saxe base is the pinnacle of his genius. Warn, dark, musky; these are words that best describe my impression. No note stands out to me as anything recognizable, yet the scent as a whole is amazing. The soap performs amazing, as you would expect from a B&M soap. The scent has the perfect attribute of penetrating your skin so it stays with you all day but doesn’t leave a 5 foot ring of stink around you. It just stays lightly but persistently on your skin all day. You catch a wonderful whiff of it each time you turn your head.
    Beaudelaire comes out tomorrow. I was lucky enough to get a pre-order and I used it a couple days ago. It has the same Mousse de Saxe base as Lavanille. They are both amazing. Very similar with Beaudelaire being a tiny but more floral. I only notice this when I smell them one right after the other.
    You cannot buy better soap than Barrister and Mann. May he keep making soap and die a day after me.

  10. 5 out of 5


    Currently number 1 in my rotation. It’s a thristy soap but, it’s lather and slickness is amazing. I’m crazy about the scent. Firstly the scent is well balanced, it’s earthy with a hint of lavander and leather. It’s just subtle enough. I love this soap.

  11. 5 out of 5


    Fantastic, I took a risk ordering this one and hit the jackpot. As far as soap quality it is excellent. The smell …… it takes me back to grandpa’s house, not the i’m waiting to die grandpa either. More like classy grandpa, leather chairs, cigars, and a fireplace. When I first opened it I though I was going to hate it but it is currently sits as my #1 pick.

  12. 5 out of 5


    Intoxicating. Will has created a warm, complex musky floral scent in Lavanille. No single note dominates the profile. The notes of lavender, vanilla, leather and musk among others have been masterfully blended into one of if not the best soap bases in the wet shaving world. No other company in the community is thinking about scent the way B&M is. The intelligent research behind the scent profiles of the B&M soap and AS offerings is second to none and very much appreciated by this consumer. The passion Will has for the science of perfumery is personified in Lavanille.

  13. 5 out of 5


    Well it is B&M so perfomance cannot be questioned. The scent is amazing, and I really do not like lavender is most shaving soap I have encounter so far. This one will not be left out of my stock.

  14. 4 out of 5


    Like any B & M soap this is a great performer! Excellent lather with great slickness, and a post feel that is unlike any other soap. The scent is very strong off the puck! Almost to strong. You have to bloom and lather this soap to get all the notes, but once you do its a really unique scent. For me as it sits on your skin the dark musk and leather notes start to stand out. Not my top scent, but still a great soap.

  15. 5 out of 5


    To be totally honest, I was not a big fan of B&M. The soap was sticky and the scents were underwhelming, so I put them all up. I recently went back to the stack of three that I had and decided to give them another shot before I unloaded them. This time, I bloomed the soap and then double the water I typically used. Now I get it. Pilot error, this soap is great. In particular, I understand either you love this scent or you hate it. Not only do I love it, but it actually stays with me the entire day. It’s not heavily scented, but I get a whiff here and there throughout the day. Even if you don’t care for the scent, the glide, comfort and conditioning can’t be beat.

  16. 5 out of 5


    This has become my favorite scent of any soap I’ve used so far. It’s an earthy lavender with lavender and what smells like warm leather to me. Be assured that you will notice other notes in this deliciously complex scent. Oh, yeah, it also has the amazing performance of all B&M tallow soaps.

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