Short review: L'Occitane Plisson Brush

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by Darkbulb, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Excited to snag one of these near-cult-status brushes for $30 I was really looking forward to trying it out.
    Used it twice now and here is a very short recap of my initial impressions.

    TLDR summary: Fantastic knot. Really dislike the handle.

    The brush looks really good and the synthetic knot is so soft it's feels like there is no resistance when gliding your hand through it.

    The dark handle w/ silver logo is also visually very appealing.
    In short - it's a pretty brush.
    And 'short' may be the key word here. It's a very short handle.

    See comparison in size with the SOC boar:

    Looks rating: 8/10

    The knot does not have a lot of backbone to it but as others have mentioned you do have to apply a bit of pressure to have it splay.

    I used it for face lathering one day and used my scuttle the next day.
    To me it performed much better as a bowl lathering brush as the lack of backbone did make it feel a bit 'sloppy' when working up the lather on my face.

    Using it in my scuttle did however produce a very nice, slick lather. I noticed I had to add a LOT more water than I usually do but I assume that's because of the synthetic brush not really retaining as much water. Once I figured out that the lather built quickly.

    Once there is some lather the feeling of the brush against the face is spectacular. Extremely soft and 'luxurious' in lack of better words.

    Performance rating: Face lathering (5/10), Bowl lathering (7/10) (Feeling against the face: 9.5/10) far everything has been rather positive but unfortunately it will have to end on a bit of a 'negative note' - the handle.

    Sigh. I know everything is super subjective but I can only speak for myself. This is in almost all regards (apart from looks) a truly terrible handle.

    Feel: It is way too slick to hold. It's very plastic/slippery.
    Size: Much too small.
    Shape: Probably the biggest issue for me - it feels just wrong in my hand. Uncomfortable and awkward.

    Some photos to try to illustrate my point:

    (First refer back to the second photo above where it shows the difference in design between the Plisson and the SOC)

    I love the SOC handle. It fits perfectly in my hand and it really seems, to me, that the shape of the handle was designed with a lot of insight into what works.

    As you can see in the photo below my thumb comes up right under the edge and rests comfortable on the smooth handle.

    In comparison, when using the smaller Plisson brush there is a, to me, very odd design choice in having a edge right where my thumb is forced to be when holding it.
    It's awkward, it's uncomfortable and quite possibly may be a reason for me to not use the brush very often which is a real shame as that knot is just heavenly against your face.

    Handle rating: 2/10

    As always - highly YMMV but at least my first impressions on this brush.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  2. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Thanks for the review! Having opted out of the chance to acquire the brush, I'm feeling better about the decision after seeing your photos and reading of your experiences with the short, bulbous handle. A big-mitted shaver such as myself tends to be drawn towards longer, larger handles on my brushes (the obvious exception is the puny Wee Scot, but that little guy is more novelty than an everyday brush). I've sold most of my short-handed brushes.
    Some shavers might enjoy the shape and size of that Plisson so the brush may be perfectly adequate for everyday use.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  3. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Happy to make you feel better about your non-purchase :)
    If my feelings about that handle continues I'm even tempted to see if it would be possible to put that knot into a handle that is a bit more to my liking.
    Then again...since I have zero craftman-skills we're talking additional expenses and the deal on the brush was what sealed the deal for me.
    It is a really nice knot though :)
  4. GDCarrington

    GDCarrington Burma Shave

    Good review.

    Many have opted to have the knot removed and placed in a handle with different design characteristics. As all custom work goes, yes the costs many times outweighs the desire.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
    Slow Joe and Darkbulb like this.
  5. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    Great review!
    Darkbulb likes this.
  6. Good review. I feel pretty much the same way. I got the Plisson for my birthday and I really like the knot, the handle not as much but it is the only good brush I have and it can be costly to have a new handle made for it. I will continue to use it as is and look around for good options for a new handle for it.
    Darkbulb likes this.
  7. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Maybe something like this - the Plisson the SOC handle :)


    Sorry for the quick hack PS work :)
    battle.munky and johnny crapple like this.
  8. That would be perfect.
  9. Slow Joe

    Slow Joe Relishing his obsession

    Thanks for the great review, shame you don't like the handle, but as others have said it is possible to put the knot in another handle.
    Omelmad likes this.
  10. Chuck F

    Chuck F Cheesy! Big Curd style

    Granted, I have stubby fingers, but the short handle doesn't bother me. It's nearly the same shape and size as the handle on my Vintage Blades Finest brush, and that one did take a bit of getting used to. But I think that made the Plisson's handle feel perfectly natural when I got it.

    But here is how I hold it, in case it's helpful:
    • For circular motions while building lather, I plant the base of the brush right on my palm, near the crook between my thumb and first finger. My thumb runs along the length and I grasp the brush with my first two fingers at the very top of the handle:

    The brush kind of becomes an extension of my thumb, so it feels very natural.

    • For back-and-forth strokes to paint on lather, I grab onto the concave part of the handle:

    But again, I have fairly stubby fingers, so it may or may not work for you.
    Omelmad, Tattoobob and Darkbulb like this.
  11. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Thanks @Chuck F I'll be trying that out the next time
  12. Slow Joe

    Slow Joe Relishing his obsession

    Thanks Chuck F, very useful information :)
    Darkbulb likes this.
  13. Tattoobob

    Tattoobob Well-Known Member

    Nice review, good looking brush
    Darkbulb likes this.
  14. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    If there is a need for special instructions to hold a shaving brush, it makes me wonder what the Plisson handle designers were doing when they designed the darn thing…
  15. Omelmad

    Omelmad My printer email address is..........

    I think I hold mine like this without even knowing it =
    Darkbulb likes this.
  16. Omelmad

    Omelmad My printer email address is..........

    It's to bad you didn't like it very much darkbulb. I like mine a lot actually
  17. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb Cookie Hoarder

    Well, I really like the knot...and I really dislike the I guess it's 50% there :)
    Omelmad likes this.
  18. Omelmad

    Omelmad My printer email address is..........

    You could ask Oscar to make a custom handle or GDCarrington =P
    Slow Joe and Tdmsu like this.
  19. Radiotube

    Radiotube RADInOverdrive

    I got mine in the mail box yesterday. I tried it this morning for the first time. It has a lot less backbone than I am used to, but it's soft on my face, which is nice. I think I need to practice with it a bit though because it doesn't make rich lather when used like my badger brush. I need to find out the magic combination of how much soap to load and how much water to add to the bowl when building the lather. I think I need to add more water than I did this morning. I still got a great shave, the lather I did achieve was slick and I had no razor burn. I just need to practice.

    BTW, I had no problem with the shape of the handle. It was fine for my big hands.
    Darkbulb and GDCarrington like this.
  20. woodworker

    woodworker Active Member

    Nice review! I tried to get one of these at the store in the mall but they were all sold out. Oh well.
    GDCarrington likes this.

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