Omega Professional 48 Shaving Brush
The Omega 83 professional series boar bristle brush is a slightly more compact version of the world famous 48. The shorter loft gives slightly more backbone and better control. It is the most widely used shaving brush in Italy and comes with a very reasonable price tag.
Despite some reviews here, mine didn't have any considerable smell at all. Was a bit hard on a couple of first uses, but then became softer. It now requires just 20-30 seconds in the water to get ready for use.
The Omega 83 is a MASSIVE brush. I was quite surprised when I opened the box. The brush smells funky for the first couple of uses but that goes away. Once it "breaks in" after about 5 uses, it blooms nicely but not floppy. It retains its stiff backbone but is not too firm to be a hindrance face-lathering. It produces a mountain of lather each time using a scuttle. Highly recommended for both soaps and creams, and for both face- and bowl-lathering.