I always find it interesting when brands, who have previously specialised in one area of male grooming, move into a new product range. I’ve reviewed a variety of collections that have followed this trend with mixed results as it can often be a tricky path to tread. I was delighted to hear, however, that Scaramouche & Fandango had launched their own hair styling range; a pomade, a matt clay and a cream. I managed to get my hands on all 3 and set about putting them to the test in my everyday routine.
Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been trialing their performance in the winter elements, putting them up against hoods, hats and rain as well as seeing how they endure. Below is my review of the range following the usual criteria of quality, fragrance, packaging, pricing and my overall opinion…
Quality – 3/5
The S&F haircare collection gets off to something of a rocky start when it comes to the quality of the product and its performance. Application is smooth and easily done, once warmed in the hand each product is easily styled into shape and doesn’t feel weak or overly greasy. Each product has it’s own characteristic and works well with the styles they are intended for, clay works with shorter textured hair, cream for longer, natural looks and pomade for high-shine styles).
However, the hold comes at something of a cost. It feels hard/stiff to the touch and is difficult to reshape once it sets, this actively detracts from the natural looks and makes the high-shine hairstyles appear more plastic. My other issue is that the products are not water soluble and so are difficult to wash out completely, especially when (like me) you try not to use shampoos on a regular basis. The products offer good performance but there are some flaws which aren’t found in competitor ranges.
Fragrance – 5/5
This has never been an issue for S&F, their skincare range has an iconic scent that is easily recognisable whilst being contemporary and mature. My review of their bathroom collection highlighted this in a big way and is certainly one of the biggest strengths the brand has going for it. There is also a smart balance struck between something that is too over-powering and a product scent that is too faint. It’s subtle and refined, simple yet elegant in a way that few other products manage to achieve and is true across all three products.
Packaging – 4/5
Again, another strong suit for the S&F brand with their matt black and single block colur being an iconic look for their entire range. It’s not flashy or shouty, whilst the use of simple white fonts means it is perfectly suited to any man’s bathroom or washbag. From a very personal point of view, I was sad to see they didn’t continue their “element” theme used in their core product range where product packaging mimics the look of the periodic table elements. However, overall it’s a fantastic design that doesn’t pander to the ego or use brash design ideas. A great modern look for the modern man.
Pricing – 3.5/5
Each product is £12, meaning that (outside of the EDT) these are the most expensive products that Scaramouche & Fandango offer. Personally, I don’t think the price is wholly justified as their core collection has considerably better performance at a lower price. Having said that, this is still cheaper than the majority of premium brands on the market who can’t boast the strengths that the S&F range does.
For me, this comes down to whether I believe you are getting value for your money and, with some of the small performance issues, I’m not sure that is the case. However, if those issues were to be resolved I would say this is a pretty fair price for a product that smells and looks this good. If I were to recommend an individual product to purchase as a trial, it would be the cream. It’s a great middle ground and will give you an idea of how the range performs, if you want more shine then you move to the pomade and if you want more control then you can opt for the clay.
I said at the beginning of this review that transitions into new markets and areas of grooming are always tricky, it’s never going to be easy and will likely require some fine-tuning and this is a prime example. This collection is a fantastic starting point for Scaramouche & Fandango with the brand utilizing successful characteristics from its brand to build a new set of products. It smells fantastic, it’s easily applied and, in or out of the pot, it looks fantastic. However, to bring it up to the level that the rest of the brand’s products have already set it requires some minor fixes. Above all else, however, this is a great starting effort.
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