Sometimes I thirst for luxury. I want a Corot in a gilt frame hanging next to my daybed where I can lift my eyes from a novel and stare at it. I want a mid-century arm chair upholstered in grass-green silk velvet at my desk. I want all my underwear replaced with the kind that doesn’t come three to a pack. Like most people, my budget isn’t up to major purchases these days, so when the itch for luxury needs scratched, I turn to peaches and speckled farm eggs. And George F. Trumper shaving cream.
I first heard of George F. Trumper — on labels as Geo F Trumper — in an article about Pauline de Rothschild, who favored Trumper’s Extract of Limes cologne.1 Trumper, a British company, also sells shaving supplies and even offers one-on-one shaving lessons. When I saw tubes of Trumper shaving cream lined up at a local perfume boutique, I bought the lime. Over the years I’ve also tried rose, violet, and sandalwood.
Men are already hip to the benefits of a good shaving cream, but many women still shave their legs with soap and water. There’s nothing wrong with that, and most of the time that’s the method I use, too. A soft shaving cream, though, transforms the chore of shaving into a sybaritic ritual. Instead of dragging your razor over the tricky curves of a knee, the razor glides, nick-free.
Trumper shaving cream comes in a metal tube. (Cakes meant to be used with shaving brushes are available, too. Please comment if you’ve tried them.) Just the tiniest dab — the size of a small pearl — froths an entire calf with velvety cream. It’s almost magical, really, how such a small amount of shaving cream grows when smoothed over a bathwater-drenched leg. The cream rinses away without leaving your skin greasy or dry.
Trumper shaving cream is marketed to men, and the rose and violet fragrances are muted and not particularly dandified. No powder scent here. The fragrance lingers very close to the skin and fades within half an hour. The violet-scented shaving cream is my favorite. It doesn’t smell like cosmetics or candy, but is fresh and darkened by wood. It’s a nice fragrance to fall asleep to. I also love the sandalwood. I want to try Spanish leather next, but I’ll have to order that one online.
Since a small amount goes such a long way, a tube generally lasts me about six months, making Trumper shaving cream is an affordable luxury at $18 a 75-gram tube. Add another ten dollars museum entry, and I’ll have my Corot, too, at least for an hour.
Geo F Trumper shaving cream comes scented with violet, sandalwood, extract of limes, rose, coconut, almond, Spanish leather, Eucris or GFT (a cologne blend). It’s available online and at some fine drugstores.
1. Have you ever seen photos of the library Pauline decorated at Chateau Mouton Rothschild? Well, you know when articles on guided visualization tell you to go to a “special place” in your mind? That’s where I go. It’s all books and peacock blue couches.