Taylor of Old Bond Street, Platinum -
Taylor of Old Bond Street was founded back in 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor. His salon on London’s Bond Street gained quick popularity as he churned out some of the best botanical extracts the area had seen. His focus on the finer things continued onto the next generation with family member, Sidney, opening a second shop on Jermyn Street. Over the decades, Taylor of Old Bond Street have refined their products and ingredients to create some of the world’s most respected shave creams, soaps, fragrances, and now many other grooming items.
Today, we get to go more in depth in the recent addition to the Taylor line of products, Platinum. Much time and effort has gone into this luxury scent profile. Bergamot and white pear are the dominant top notes, with heart notes of sandalwood, amber, and violet leaf, and a base of sweet benzoin, tonka bean, and musk. Like many Taylor of Old Bond Street scents, Platinum is very inviting, but not to be interpreted as “bland” or “boring”. Just incredibly well-balanced to give the user/wearer a subtle hint of the different scents at different times.
Right off the soap puck, I smell the white pear, benzoin, and amber most prevalently. The white pear is not overly sweet, but it is very present. The benzoin/amber combine to make a molasses-like sweetness, but the musk rounds it out to something a bit darker, a bit more subdued. As the lather proceeds, you begin to sense the violet leaf. Violet leaf essential oil is incredibly costly, and is very potent. It is equal parts earthy, green, and floral, and its inherent complexity enhances the rest of Platinum’s notes to yield a somewhat light, yet somewhat dark fragrance.
In the video, I use the shaving soap, and I was very impressed with the performance. With triple-milled shaving soaps such as this, I’ll typically load for around 30 seconds to get an adequate amount of lather for three passes. That was not necessary for this soap. After wringing out excess water from the shaving brush, I began to lather on the dry puck and, after 15 seconds, had more than enough soap loaded up for 3 passes. Their vegan formulation is such that the base is very thirsty, and will be able to take on a very generous amount of water. I like my lathers to have as much water as possible without beginning to break down, which I find gives me the best slickness. With how much water I was able to add to get to this point, I think this soap base would be great for beginners, or for those looking to give hard shaving soaps a try. As stated earlier, the soap and cream bases are identical across the line, so I’d expect the Platinum shaving cream to have the same stellar performance associated with every other TOBS cream.
To me, The Platinum cologne is a bit more complex and mysterious. The scent shares both violet leaf and musk with Tabula Rasa’s Steampunk profile. Steampunk takes a very polarizing interpretation to that fragrance combination, with a metallic, eclectic, “old gothic meets modern minimalism” type of scent. However, with Platinum’s top notes of white pear and bergamot, and the inclusion of tonka bean, amber, and benzoin, I like to think of it as a more refined and gentlemanly alternative to Steampunk. However, like the latter, it does have an air of mystery and authority.
Taylor of Old Bond Street, Platinum, is very unique. They took a scent profile that could be interpreted as a standard, light cologne fragrance, and gave it a complex life. In my view, this could be worn at all times of the year, and for a wide range of occasions. Because of its relatively close, subtle sillage (though this may change with each person), this would work equally well in casual and formal settings. The Taylor name has been associated with high quality and luxury for well over a century, and are a favorite line of ours here at West Coast Shaving. We are excited to bring you this new scent, and to hear your feedback!