04-23-2013, 04:16 AM
#1
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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I am currently doing a 4-way comparison of four excellent soaps:
Cella, Panna Crema, Klar Kabinett and Inst Karite. Previously I had done a comparison of the Italian almond softies - Cella, Vitos Extra, Razorock R-160 and 3P. My feelings so far is that when comparing such excellent products one finds little to no difference in overall performance. Some may be slicker, some give a closer shave, some provide less irritation, and so on. But in general (giving my scoring system) I find little overall difference between soaps. If I were a real sport, I would splurge for a puck of Caswell-Massey to use as a negative baseline control; but I refuse to give them one shekel.

Do you see significant differences among the more revered soaps?

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 04-23-2013, 07:17 AM
#2
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I find the biggest difference in the after-shave feel of my skin. For performance, most of them are pretty close.

And when you start comparing ingredient lists, you can see that there are just a few basic combinations that everyone's riffing on, so it makes sense.

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 04-23-2013, 07:23 AM
#3
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Certainly the differences can be small between high quality products but we all have personal likes that still set one apart from the other. I like variety and ironically, just began using IK and KK. Both wonderful products and nice compliments to my go-to Harris, Valobra, C&S, etc.

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 04-23-2013, 09:59 AM
#4
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Dittos the differences in after the shave skin feel.

What the OP writes of is what drove me so nuts when I was testing the Klar Seifen Sport to P.160, Mdc, etc.. The differences in the really good soaps are miniscule.

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 04-23-2013, 10:29 AM
#5
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Among my keepers, no. Not really. But that could be because of self selection.

Among the ones that I've thrown out/given away, yes. Huge differences in performance.

Among my current collection, the biggest difference is loading technique and/or time. MdC for example is amazingly quick. MWF is not so quick. Mike's & GFT is in between.

In terms of slickness, GFT is the least slick.

In terms of cushion/thickness, MWF is the least, followed by GFT, but everything else more or less is the same. I should also temper this sentence with the fact that SR shaving doesn't feel cushion in the shave so much as the lather is thick and creamy and fun. Or at least this SR shaver doesn't.

Longevity and drying out is exactly in line with thickness.




Moving on to the bad soaps. The GFT's I gave away couldn't whip up as thick a lather. Nor was it terribly easy. Basically just felt like a mediocre soap. Nothing special about it.

Glycerin soap whipped up easily and thickly, but had no soul. It wasn't very slick. It was pretty cushiony I suppose, but it just felt clean and medicated.

Other soap that should have been good breaks down too quickly and doesn't provide that thickness or slickness. So, no redeeming qualities.

Truly bad soap... I forget what that feels like. Smile

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 04-23-2013, 10:41 AM
#6
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I have found similar conclusions with respect to the better products. It becomes more of a personal preference thing in the end at that point. This is why I disregard comments/opinions where someone says that a product "blows all others out of the water" or product X is "miles better" than product Y, when they are both high quality products. It is just hyperbole at that point.

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 04-23-2013, 11:54 AM
#7
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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(04-23-2013, 07:23 AM)TexBilly Wrote: Certainly the differences can be small between high quality products but we all have personal likes that still set one apart from the other. I like variety and ironically, just began using IK and KK. Both wonderful products and nice compliments to my go-to Harris, Valobra, C&S, etc.

They are great...and both are tallow-free if that matters to you.

(04-23-2013, 10:41 AM)TallyShave Wrote: I have found similar conclusions with respect to the better products. It becomes more of a personal preference thing in the end at that point. This is why I disregard comments/opinions where someone says that a product "blows all others out of the water" or product X is "miles better" than product Y, when they are both high quality products. It is just hyperbole at that point.

The current example of what you speak of is Panna Crema, the mystique of which is aided by the difficulty of getting your hands on it. It is excellent, don't get me wrong, but it is right in there with Cella, Inst Karite, Klar Kabinett, and the like. Although this morning it did provide a bit extra oomph in the sub-chinular region.

(04-23-2013, 09:59 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Dittos the differences in after the shave skin feel.

What the OP writes of is what drove me so nuts when I was testing the Klar Seifen Sport to P.160, Mdc, etc.. The differences in the really good soaps are miniscule.

It definitely can drive one up the walls. In a different 4-way comparison I did the difference between first and fourth were 0.16 points based on my highly objective (Undecided)scale.

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 04-23-2013, 03:45 PM
#8
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For "me" I find many soaps/creams are fantastic but not all fantsatic soaps/creams work really well on my trouble area (neck). Only the best of the best allow me to get a comfortable near BBS to BBS on my neck. Maybe the differnece between soaps is more easily noticed in trouble areas.

I'll also echo the after shave feeling provided by some soaps are far superior to others.

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 04-23-2013, 06:14 PM
#9
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Perhaps I am cursed/blessed with an iron face. I have used TOBS, D.R. Harris, Mike's, Klar Sport and Kabinett, C&S, C&E, and GFT. While at the very end of the shave I sometimes say that face feel is best with this one, I put on some aftershave and they all end up feeling the same. Think my main interest is in a rich, slick,cushiony lather that is easy to generate. Everything seems to even out after that.

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 04-23-2013, 09:44 PM
#10
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I find the differences magnified by the type of razor that you're using. Find that when I use s straight edge the soap differences are magnified. Soaps that would be good with a DE just don't ass muster.ioi

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 04-25-2013, 12:09 AM
#11
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I've either sold or given away many a good soap or cream due solely to skin irritation. Musgo Real comes to mind. I love the scent, the lubrication, and the cushion, but there is something in there that really irritates and burns my skin. Most of the English soaps do the same thing.

I have a few odds and ends but basically I am down to 4 soaps and 1 cream.

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 04-25-2013, 05:15 AM
#12
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There are so many variables when it comes to soaps and creams it's hard to quantify in any controlled manner.

I'm able to get acceptable shaves from plain glycerine body soap. I've enjoyed good shaves from brushless creams. I've even lathered up Williams Brothers for crying out loud. However, as someone earlier in the thread pointed out, the post shave face feel may be the one point that separates many products.

I'd add one more point where products can separate themselves from the pack to an end-user, and it's one that is down-right hard to measure ... perceived shave-time enjoyment. Some products are just fun to use for some reason. It might be scent, ease of lathering, enjoyment of using an expensive luxury product, packaging, brand loyalty, etc. GFT cream falls into that category for me with it's scent ... I simply adore it even though the actual measurable performance of the product is fairly mundane. However, I feel like I am pampering myself when I use it, and I use it that way ... as a treat to myself.

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