When it comes to shoe care, there are many products out there. Kiwi, Angelus, Moneysworth and best, etc. . Yet, leather shoe aficionados are not satisfied with ordinary polishes for their footwear. They want the best.
Saphir's pommadier cream is a cut above. This nourishing cream is specially formulated for smooth fine leather of all types. Whether you're using it on a shoe, a boot, a handbag, or a jacket.
In this article we'll discuss what this wonderful cream is and how to use it.
What is it?
Saphir's Pommadier Cream Polish is a shea butter based cream. It's made with 7 natural waxes (more on that later) to ensure you get optimal nourishment for your leather goods.
It is part of Saphir's Medaille d'Or 1925 line. This is Saphir's premium leather care line. It got its name from the Paris International Fair in 1925. Saphir was awarded a Gold Medal of excellence in ingredients and performance.
It's impressive to think that this cream has been around for nearly 100 years. It was considered one of the best then and still is now. And remember that back then, people only had leather shoes! For work, fitness, walking, etc.
Pommadier translates to "ointment" in English. So really, this is Saphir's...cream cream. This is a good name since it is a cream polish. That is to say, it is NOT a wax polish (despite having wax in it, but more on that later). This means it has a soft consistency to it, almost like butter at room temperature.
We wrote an article that goes into depth about the difference between paste wax and cream polish. You can read it here if you want more info.
What makes Pommadier special?
There are a few things that really separate Saphir's Pommadier from the rest. What is has in it, and what it doesn't.
It's made with Shea butter as its base. More specifically, Shea butter oil. This is to keep things fluid as the oil is liquid at room temperature.
This Shea butter oil is highly nourishing for leather. Think about all the skin or hair care products and soaps you've seen advertised with Shea butter. That is because its hydrating, long lasting, and has a wonderful consistency. The same applies here. It is also a natural ingredient, which Saphir prefers.
A very healthy smear on a pair of Crockett & Jones Westbourne oxfords so you can see the texture. This is much more than you'd need to get the job done. The Shea butter gives the Pommadier a wonderful texture. Think that colour is a bit dark? Learn more in our post about choosing the right shade of brown.
So this is the hydrating component. It nourishes your leather goods by adding fats and oils back into them. This helps keep them supple and prevents them from drying out. Drying out leads to cracked leather. (If you want to learn more about conditioning leather, you can read our post here).
All three of these waxes are hard waxes. That is to say they are solid at room temperature. They're added in to the shoe cream in low quantities. Too much would cause the whole thing to harden up like a wax pastes.
These hard waxes help contribute to the shine part of the cream. After you use Pommadier and brush your shoes, they will be left with a very healthy shine. The heat and friction from the brush helps activate and distribute these waxes.
It also contains a high level of pigment. This is the colour (or color for you Americans). Adding colour back into the leather is important since it helps with the overall finish. Pommadier is offered in 13 different colours as well as neutral. This means you can always find something, regardless of what colour you need. If not, neutral has you covered.
This pigment helps fill in scuffs and scratches. It helps bring life back to worn, faded, or tired looking leather. All leather items will fade with use and with exposure to the sun.
Lastly, it has natural turpentine spirit. What is that? Turpentine spirit is a solvent that helps bring it all together. This is a premium natural ingredient. Turpentine spirit is hard to find since many makers have moved to using a synthetic Petroleum substitute to cut down on costs. Not Saphir.
Amazing to think all this is contained in one beautiful little jar.
As we spoke above, it gets better. Saphir is able to provide this without the use of harmful resin. These are often found in inferior shoe care products. Especially the instant shine sponges you've seen at the drug store, these are full of harmful resin.
These resins are terrible for your leather goods. They are not breathable or biodegradable and build on your leather. This clogs the pores over time. This reduces pliability and breathability. It also gets in the way of allowing new product to enter your leather goods. They should be avoided at all costs.
In short, Saphir's Pommadier Cream has the benefit of Shea butter oil, turpentine spirit, and 7 waxes. When you use it for the first time, you'll immediately notice the difference. You can even smell the difference as the turpentine is pleasantly fragrant, like a mixture of Pine and organization.
P.S. Note that Pommaider is NOT simply Renovateur with pigment in it. They are quite different products. We outlined Pommadier here, and you can learn about Renovateur here.
Now that you know what it is, let's talk about how to use it.
How to Use Saphir's Pommadier Cream Polish
Saphir's Pommadier instructions as depicted on the jar.
This only takes 5 fast and easy steps. Note that we are using shoes as an example, but the same steps would apply to any leather product.
Step 1: Insert Shoe Trees
Before starting any shoe cleaning or polishing routine, make sure you insert a shoe tree into each shoe. This helps your shoes keep their shape and makes your work easier.
Step 2: Ensure Your Shoes Are Clean
Wipe shoes with a damp cloth and brush them. If they are very dirty we recommend cleaning them with a cleaning solution. Saphir's Cleanser if they are lightly to moderately soiled and Saphir's Reno'Mat if they are heavily soiled.
Step 3: Apply Pommadier
Using a Spatula brush, a chamois, or simply a soft cotton rag, apply a thin and even coating to your shoes. (We find using an old cotton t-shirt very effective. We cut our t-shirts into smaller more manageable pieces to work with)
Step 4: Work Cream Into Leather
Work the cream into the shoes thoroughly. Working in circles, make sure you even out the cream all over the shoe. Apply a bit more as/if needed. A nice thin coat is best.
After applying, give the cream time to dry. Saphir recommends 5 minutes.
Step 5: Brush, Brush, Brush
Brush your shoes vigorously with a horse hair brush. The heat and friction will activate the waxes and evenly distribute the polish. You should find that almost immediately you shoes will begin to shine. If you are not satisfied after one coat, you can start again at Step 3 and repeat. For regular maintenance and shining, one coat is usually enough.
That's it. This entire process usually only takes 5-10 minutes to complete. It has an impressive visual impact on your shoes. Once you have done this once, your shoes will be easier to buff and shine moving forward. At least until the cream wears off, which is usually after many wears.
One standard size jar will last you for many shining sessions as well. A little goes a long way.
You're now armed with all the info you need to use one of our most popular products. This is a staple in any leather care routine. Follow the above to restore the elbows on leather jackets, the corners and bottoms of hand bags, or tired looking belts.