Thanks for sharing this. I'm planning on buying Cognac McTavishes, and I would've definitely done the same as you. Do most of y'all agree with no saddle soap? I'm surprised to hear this since AE's website recommends it.
So what is recommended? I still am unclear on the different effects of the following, and which leathers to use them on:
- AE Conditioner/Cleaner: Mainly cleans, but also moisturizes? For regular calf only?
- AE Saddle Soap: Cleans and restores oils. For distressed/waxy leathers only?
- AE Leather Lotion: No clue why one would use this instead of other things.
- AE Shoe Cream: No clue. Alternative to polish?
- Saphir Renovateur: Most recommended on SF. Sounds like it's just a better Conditioner/Cleaner, that also won't darken?
- neatsfeet oil: Dunno. Alternative to the mink oil in Reno?
- Leather Honey: Something I bought for furniture to restore oils before I was into shoes. Known to darken. Wonder what y'all think of it.
Okay, I know that's open-ended and gets a little into general shoe care, but curious about any information y'all have on the effects of these on different AE offerings, especially regular calf or the Rough Collection.
I have the Cognac McTavish and I use only the AE Leather Lotion. No problems and no color change. I believe the AE Cleaner/Conditioner would work also, but the Leather Lotion is bit thicker and seems to soften the leather a bit more in my expierience. I think the Cleaner/Conditioner is more of a prep step before polishing as the Leather Lotion is the "all in one" product.