Why I Wet Shave...

and why you should too!

Dr J Michael Cobb

J. Peterman “1903 Concentrated Shaving Cream” review

Why I Wet Shave is happy to announce that we will be doing reviews on the site. This is intended to supplement the weekly articles and to help inform our readers about some of the fantastic products available. Our reviews are being conducted by the one and only Dr. Mike.

Dr. Mike is a Steampunking international panelist teaching his “Noble Razor” shaving class at several conventions in the Southeast U.S. and aboard two Steampunk Cruises where he discussed the history of shaving, its purpose and benefits, and imparted his wisdom of key techniques in an informative and entertaining look into the world of wet shaving.

 An Atlanta, GA native, Dr. Mike is owner/operator of “Dr. Mike’s Shaving Emporium” – serving the Atlanta region with a hand selected offering of soaps, aftershaves, and general all round awesome traditional shaving tools.

 Dr Mike SP Cruise Shave Panel

Patient: J. Peterman “1903 Concentrated Shaving Cream”

Patient History:

1903 Cover Shot

1903 Concentrated Shaving Cream

“I was browsing in a Paris antique shop one winter afternoon when a fitted leather train case caught my eye.  It contained silver-handled brushes, boot hooks, a straight razor, several silver-stoppered glass bottles. Inside a bottle, there was still the faint aroma of a gentleman’s cologne. Custom-made for a rich traveler a century ago.

Curiosity was eating at me. I bought the case and sent the bottle to a laboratory for analysis. They broke down the residue by gas chromatography. Identified its fingerprint through spectrophotometry.

The report said: an “old woody fougère.” Clean citrus notes, bergamot, “green notes.” The middle notes: clary sage, cardamom. The dry-down: leather notes, smoky labdanum… elemi, tabac, frankincense. The detective work was impressive. So is the thing itself. Women like the way it smells on a man. Like a symphony that begins loudly, then soon slides into subtle, entangling developments that grow on them.  Or so I’ve been told.

1903 Concentrated Shaving Cream (No. 1403). A six-month supply in a little tub. Rich, thick lather (extremely concentrated-try to control yourself). Outstanding when used with brush. 7 oz. Made in USA.”


Color/Appearance: Off white/Buttercream – subtle undertones of pearl

Fragrance: Bright, clean, green, fern/grass-like, subtle leather/floral richness – not overly sweet.

Viscosity: In container — Similar to whipped up cake icing. Rich, full, but not heavy.



Used a 0.05 ounce of cream. Hot water at 118°F degrees

24mm Super Silver tipped badger brush (Knot from The Golden Nib)

Brush loaded for 30 seconds resulted in lather for additional face lathering application.

Shave Notes:

First pass – Newly honed AMCO 5/8 Square tip Straight razor.

Second pass – Merkur 37c Slant with Astra Green blade


1903 is shave soap suitable for safety razor shaving. It is a fragrant, slick soap allowing the safety razor to flow easily.  For a straight razor, the lather does not provide a solid cushion for shaving. If you like the fragrance, this would be a fine soap for safety razor shavers. A good starter soap/gift to get someone into traditional shaving.

The soap is very water friendly – rinsing blade/safety razor was easy. Cleaning the brush was very quick. Lather disappears under running water or dip in sink. After the shave, skin was clean with no noticeable after effects.

I quite like this fragrance. It is masculine, but not in an “Old Spice, “ or “Aqua Velva” level of manly. This is a refined, mature scent – think of a college professor you admired, the one who wore tweed and smoked a pipe. I would certainly be inclined to match this with the 1903 cologne.

Respectfully yours,

Dr. Mike

If this was helpful to you please let us know by leaving a comment, liking, or sharing this article.  Have a great day and a smooth shave!

P.S. Here are a few more reviews of the “1903 Concentrated Shaving Cream” by some other folks if you are still undecided.

Greg’s Shaving Soap Reviews

Traditional Shaving Evangelist YouTube Video

Badger and Blade review section



A wet shave community interview: Steve Faragher of The Big Shave


Why can’t I shave with a straight razor? Common shaving issues explained.


  1. This is great Matt! Looking forward to see more of the reviews from Dr. Mike. Time to get your hands dirty.
    From what I understand this shaving soap smells nothing but manliness! I’ll keep it in mind

    • John,
      This cream smells great. Kind of a “grown-up” scent. Little more depth to it. Something I would consider when going to a “fine dining” establishment. Or the Waffle House hauling my kids with me 🙂

  2. Correction: shaving cream… Brain is a bit slowe(r) today

  3. Dr. Mike

    Thanks for the kind words. I shall endeavor to keep the reviews coming. Let me know if there is anything in particular you folks might want a review on. Always glad to help! Harrumph and Huzzah!

  4. uncle ricky

    That’s a wonderful cream! And a great shaving razor to boot.

  5. Chach

    Excellent review. Enjoying a cup of coffee, soaking my brush for my morning shave and wishing I had this shave cream for my shave. I’m going to look for it.

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