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Polish Review: Saphir M'Dor vs JL Paris vs AE

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by brokentelephone, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. brokentelephone

    brokentelephone Senior member

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    So I finally purchased some Saphir Medaille D'Or in Amsterdam, and decided to do a side-by-side comparison between that and a few others I had laying around in my polishing drawer (that sounds bleak).

    I've read a lot about Saphir being light-years ahead of the competition, and have wanted to buy some for almost a year. I should have ordered it ages ago, but I think part of the allure is the its unavailability and mystique -- as pathetic as this sounds I sort of wanted to see it all in the shop before actually buying it.

    I polished two pairs of similarly constructed shoes -- a set of custom grade black Church's, and a pair of custom grade (or whatever its called) C&J's.

    After a cleaning using Lexol cleaner and letting dry overnight, I used renovateur on the C&J and Allen Edmonds cream on the Church's. I really couldn't tell much of a difference, but I did find that the renovateur removed more old polish and I used less of it than the AE, but neither had a drastic effect on the condition of the leather (both pairs are very well maintained).

    Next step, I used some black Meltonian cream on the Church's, and JL Paris cream in black on the C&J -- I definitely prefer the JL Paris cream as it goes on easier, spreads further, and doesn't seem as synthetic. That being said, after letting dry and buffing both pairs looked fantastic.

    Finally, I polished the shoes w/wax. One Church shoe used Allen Edmonds wax, the other JL Paris. One C&J I used JL Paris, and the other Saphir Medaille D'Or wax. The AE wax goes on really dry, and is really one of my least favorite waxes. It smells something awful (granted, I like the smell of Kiwi), and I find it difficult to apply. The Lobb Paris wax is quite viscous and spreads easier over the shoe and smells light years better than the Churchs, though I still find it sort of overwhelming. On the C&Js I used the Medallion D'Or on one, and found the stuff to be very easy to apply, and smelled great. It dries quickly, and comes up to a shine better than the AE polish.

    Overall, I liked the AE the least, and the Saphir the best. I am not sure if the formulation of the Lobb and the Saphir are the same, but they seem very similar. My only observations that might cast doubt on them being identical is that the Saphir D'Or had a faint smell of pine, and seems ever so slightly more viscous. That being said, this could quite easily be attributed to the fact that the Saphir is brand new, and the JL stuff is about a year old -- the pine smell might have just gassed off. The AE brand new was dry (as a characteristic of its formulation, not because I bought a dry batch).

    All of that out of the way, I am not sure any of this really matters at all. Saphir is certainly better than AE, and better than Kiwi to apply (especially the fumes), but at the end of the day all shoes were shiny. My fiancee commented that the Saphir shoes seemed to have less brush strokes and looked more even, but who knows?

    All in all a good purchase, and am glad I read all I have here and am finally able to sleep soundly, no longer haunted by the inadequacies of my polish collection. To those still on the journey, don't bother because its shoe polish -- spend your time fixating on the shoes themselves.
     
  2. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Why did you add so many variables to this equation?
     
  3. LS7

    LS7 Senior member

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    I am not sure if the formulation of the Lobb and the Saphir are the same, but they seem very similar.

    Pretty sure Lobb waxes and creams are just rebranded Saphir, perhaps not the Medaille D'Or line though. At least that was what I was told by a SA in the Jermyn St store.
     
  4. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    Just to add - I did not do a comparison, but I picked up the Saphyr conditioner from Nick at B. Nelson's a few weeks back. Last weekend, I went on a conditioning blitz and treated about 10 pairs of shoes. The stuff is amazing - granted, some of my shoes had been neglected as far as conditioning goes, but I have a pair of C&J Bartons and J&M Handmades that look almost brand new now. The conditioner really seems to have restored the leather color, and virtually wiped out the natural creasing that occurs at the vamp(?). I did clean the shoes beforehand, but didnt even bother with a wax after using the conditioner - there was no need.

    I'm one satisfied customer.
     
  5. Ataturk

    Ataturk Senior member

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    I found it easier to get a mirror shine for my captoes with Saphir. For everything else the difference was marginal at best.
     
  6. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    I subscribe to the concept that expensive is better, and among expensive stuff, French-made is tops.

    So I also use Saphir. Good stuff.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It's all about the smell. Saphir/JLP polish is intoxicating. I'd slather it all over myself if it weren't so expensive.
     
  8. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Saphir blew me away on the first use when i tried on on a pair of shoes I had just worn for a week. Almost all the creases were gone, I was stunned.

    Expensive but worth every penny.
     
  9. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    I approve of this thread. [​IMG]
     
  10. jhcam8

    jhcam8 Senior member

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    ^^^^^ how true - well worth it.
     
  11. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    This thread could really do with some pics.
     
  12. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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  13. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    How about video?

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

    TIP: to embed Youtube clips, put only the encoded part of the Youtube URL, e.g. eBGIQ7ZuuiU between the tags.


    - B


    gayest...song...ever.
     
  14. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    How about video?

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later. I AGREE

    TIP: to embed Youtube clips, put only the encoded part of the Youtube URL, e.g. eBGIQ7ZuuiU between the tags.


    - B


    sar·casm /ˈsɑɚˌkæzəm/ noun
    [noncount] : the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny

    You are one funny Dude Bro. How do you constantly come up with this sort of sh*t?

    Seriously though, we all know that per measurement Saphir is more expensive than let's say Meltonian. But, there are other factors. As mentioned in above comments, Saphir spreads easier
    and, a little bit goes a long way. If you use it the right way you use less Saphir than Meltonian per application. Added, Saphir nourishes the leather much better than any polishes I've ever used.
    So, the vaule to cost should be applied here.
     
  15. bjornb17

    bjornb17 Senior member

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    i have some Saphir High Gloss and I really like it. I had a pair of AE shoes that wouldnt take a shine with anything else, but now they look great. Also it leaves a little bit of a residual, so you can just brush it up every few wearings to a nice shine without having to reapply like you might have to with some other polishes.
     
  16. quar

    quar Senior member

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    It's all about the smell. Saphir/JLP polish is intoxicating. I'd slather it all over myself if it weren't so expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Roy

    Roy Senior member

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    Saphir isn't that expensive. Saphir Pate de Luxe 50ml is € 4,50 100ml = € 8,50
     
  18. luk-cha

    luk-cha Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    this thread needs more pictures
     
  19. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    This thread could really do with some pics.

    this thread needs more pictures

    [​IMG]
     
  20. RockJaw

    RockJaw Senior member

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    JL does source their stuff from Saphir. Avel makes special recipes for them, but it is basically the same/similar to the retail product.

    Burgol is also a good product, especially their sole oil and leather cream.

    What nobody ever talks about it polishing brushes, and I am sick of picking bits of hair off my shoes from crappy polish brushes.

    I recently bought a pair of "Yakhaar" brushes made by Burgol (I think) and I was really impresses with the shine the brush left on a shoe touched up with Saphir wax.

    I wonder whether somebody could post some pics of brushes?
     

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