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.