June 19, 2019 4 min read 0 Comments
Henri et Victoria was founded in 2014 by Quebecer Claude Pilon who was later joined by his now business partner Jean-Mathieu Leblanc. Pilon sought to solve the problems that he found with many shaving products: the performance of commercial shaving products didn’t live up to expectations, and locally made alternatives lacked the consistency and polish that he desired. As a result, he embarked on a mission to solve his problem.
Claude’s vision was ambitious but straight-forward; he wished to create a line of shaving products that were high quality, consistently scented across the range, and were tastefully branded without excessive packaging. Claude decided to start his line with shaving soap, intending to expand to other products once he nailed that down. He began by creating a top-of-the-line formula that, by virtue of its vegan ingredients, low price and ease of use, would be accessible to anybody. Once he had that nailed down, he sought to master making tallow-based (cow fat) shaving soaps, knowing that many shavers preferred them.
Claude Pilon has always viewed traditional shaving as the ideal method, considering it a ritual of self-respect. Knowing that traditional razors and brushes treat your skin and hair better, he expanded on those benefits by creating software that was composed of hypoallergenic ingredients that were healthier for the skin and hair. He recognized that your skin is the largest organ on your body, and that many commercial products do not treat it well.
Beyond Henri et Victoria’s respect for their clients, embodied in the care they take in choosing ingredients and making their products, they also have a strong social conscience. Pilon gives back to his community by donating a portion of his proceeds to “Children’s Hospitals of Eastern Ontario” and the Movember foundation.
With his background in biochemistry, Claude his created a full range of shaving soaps, aftershaves and balms that he considers to be perfectly formulated. He is rightfully proud of his brand and what it accomplishes. Claude Pilon is truly dedicated to elevating the shaving experience. We had a chance to chat with Claude about his products, here’s what he had to say:
We believe in simple formulations, where every part of the formula has been chosen carefully for its effect and superior manufacturing techniques. We try to get the best products to our clients and help make wet-shaving more mainstream, while using quality ingredients to ensure the best performance. Our beard oil, for example, has jojoba and argan oil as the first two ingredients. While these are more expensive, they provide superior nourishing to the beard than cheaper oils. Another example would be our vegan formula, which contains very few ingredients but is made using a process that is far more complicated than other soap-making techniques, and as a result the soap lathers incredibly well and provides excellent glide and cushioning to the skin during the shave. I also believe that our soaps are easy to lather, making them beginner friendly. The last detail that would set us apart is our scents, which stand out from other brands. On top of that, we try to create a full range of products with the same scent so a person does not have to have 2-4 different scent on their bodies in one day.
We have three main soap types: a vegan base, a revised vegan base, and our triple mill tallow soap. The vegan base is our original formulation. It is super easy to lather, and forms a spectacular lather. The revised vegan base is the result of a test that we ran for both our lime and coconut fragrances. They are more moisturising for the skin, and they each feature special additions: shea butter for the coconut scent, and lime butter for the lime scent. Making a lather requires a tiny bit more effort, but it is more cushioning that the regular vegan formula and has a very good glide. The triple-milled tallow formula is processed to reduce the water content in the product, which makes it more concentrated and longer lasting. The soap is extremely smooth on the skin, and the lather is amazing. I believe that we are the only ones making a soap like this at the moment.
1- Unscented Aftershave Balm. This balm is thick, long lasting, and can be used for everything. My wife uses it for her legs, I use it for any soap for which I don't have a matching aftershave, I also use it when I want to wear a perfume. It can be used for any body part, and is highly moisturizing as it is loaded with ingredients that are excellent for the skin (oat protein, panthenol, avocado oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, etc.). I use it on sunburns, dry hands, and more. It is a very versatile product.
2- Duc de Santal Triple-milled Tallow Soap: This is my favorite scent. I feel that it is a luxurious high class scent that exudes style and refinement. The soap performance is top notch, and it lasts for a long time. I think it is a great product.
3- Duc de Santal hair pomade. I love the smell and performance of the pomade. I formulated it because I don’t like vanilla scented pomade, and this one matches my favorite shaving soap. I think it’s great for all classic-style haircuts.
We’d like to thank Claude once again for chatting with us. Kent of Inglewood is excited to have Henri et Victoria products on our shelves across Canada. I, personally look forward to experimenting with them in my own shaving routine. If you’d like to see more, you can check out theHenri et Victoria line here.
A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.
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