06-07-2013, 01:08 PM
#1
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Hello, everyone. i hope you are all having a great day!
i thought it would be best to start a new thread on my experiment with Mystic Water Soaps (Lily of the Valley) and some "hard water" i received from my very good friend, David (optometrist), who lives in Surrey, UK. He had been having trouble lathering this soap and i suggested he send me some of his water, jokingly, as he was PIFing me his two tubs that he had ordered since he could not get a good and stable lather with them and to my surprise and intrigue, he sent it along! i love challenges and i was extremely eager to conduct this experiment as i have been using Mystic Water for almost two years, now, which is the time i have been traditionally wet-shaving, and i have never used this soap in an area that has "hard water" and have only used it, here, in Vancouver which has very "soft water". i am using quotations to describe the water as i have heard it depends on certain minerals being present in your water that can greatly affect lather and its stability and formation. i am no scientist and will keep this treatise as simple as i am able to, which should not be too difficult for me!Biggrin

Please, note that i only used the Surrey water to soak the brushes, dip them in for more water while palm-lathering and to wet my palm to begin the lathering. i have shown a picture of how much water was left in the 500ml bottle after i finished the three lathers. It is the last pic.
Also, please, forgive me for the bad quality of the pics as it was very difficult to take them with one hand and not being able to focus very well as i had my Nikkon 50mm manual lens.Blush

i started with my Frank Shaving synthetic 24/48mm.
The second pic shows 30 seconds of loading the brush and i believe this may be one issue with the soap disappearing or fading when you try to commence lathering with a boar or badger brush. i think you need to load badger and boar brushes for at least a minimum of 1 minute if you have hard water depending on how thick your brush knot is. The lather was a bit runny and thin while palm-lathering, initially, but i kept at it for roughly 2 minutes while adding water little by little. The resulting lather was thick, rich, and creamy with good slickness.

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The next brush i used was my oscar11 Brown/Amber + WSP Stubby 26mm knot which is very dense. i apologize for only having 3 pics of the finished lather, but the other ones did not turn out very well. i will try to update this at some point.
Again, i soaked the brush in the Surrey water and shook out a bit as i prefer to load my brushes a bit drier and add water little by little. Again, when i started loading the soap, the lather was a bit runny and watery, but i continued to load it for over one minute. i would say 1 minute and 45 seconds just to be sure i had enough soap as this was my first use with this soap and "hard water". i then commenced palm-lathering for over 2 minutes or so while adding water little by little. Again, the resulting lather was very creamy, thick, rich with good slickness. No issues, once again, as you can see in the pics.

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The third bursh i used was my Chubby 2 Super which i had initially thought might be a big challenge to load in this experiment as the water was requiring a bit more effort than our Vancouver water. i soaked the Chubby 2 in the water sufficiently to get it wet and starting loading the soap. Once again, the initial lather while loading the soap was runny and thin, but i continued for well over 2 minutes adding water little by little. i would say i added water 3-4 times in the loading process of the soap. If you look closely at the third picture, here, you will notice 30 seconds of palm-lathering and the there is hardly any lather. i continued to add water little by little also when palm-lathering as i did with the first two brushes which is very important, i believe. Once again, after palm-lathering well over 3 minutes since the Chubby is so dense and takes much more time than the other two brushes, the lather was the same as the initial two lathers; rich, creamy, thick and with very good glide. i should highlight that the lather you see in most of the pics was of it approximately 10 minutes after generating the lather as i was trying to dry my right hand and get the camera ready and trying my best to focus the camera with one hand! i guess i should have changed lenses, in hindsight! Oh, well.
i should add that the time it took to make the lather in each case was approximately 1/3 longer than usual with our soft water. Personally, i do not see it as time consuming when i can get great lather from a very good soap with such amazing properties, especially, post-shave.

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Well, i am not sure if this experiment will convince those who have difficulty lathering this soap that it can be done as i cannot guarantee that your water is similar to the one i used here. Also, since i have been using Mystic Water and Mike's soaps since i began this wonderful journey, it is possible that i just have more experience with them. i just don't know. What i do know is that this soap, along with Mike's and Jabonman's, is an incredible soap and Michelle, the artisan, is an incredible woman. i know her soaps have been the focus of quite a few threads on this forum and B&B with regards to folks having issues with her soap and i, truly, hope this simple write-up can help some of you who are having problems. i will, gladly, offer to any one who has problems lathering this soap with their water to send me a small bottle of it so that i can try it if you would like. i only wish i could post videos of my process, but it is really no secret as i know Bruce had no issues with his "hard water" lathering these soaps and a few other folks who also have "hard water" don't seem to have an issue. Therefore, it could just be a simple fact of different minerals in different waters that might be the problem, coupled along with "inexperience" loading with this soap. Once again, i offer anyone to send me a small sample of their water if they are having trouble lathering this magnificent soap and if any of you have any questions, please ask.
One more thing, i know that many of you do not know me personally and there might be some skepticism regarding the final results, but i can only assure you that i was completely honest in what i present to you and have nothing to gain from distorting things. i have no connection to Michelle other than speaking with her when ordering my soaps. i truly just want to offer this information as a means to help those who really like the scents of this soap and want to continue to use it, if possible. Thank you and i wish those with "hard water" much luck and many great shaves, my friends! Biggrin

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 06-07-2013, 01:19 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Very nice, celestino!

I have been 'dragging my heels' in terms of acquiring Mystic Waters soaps, based in part on other members' experiences ... but now feel inspired to give this soap a chance! Biggrin

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 06-07-2013, 01:22 PM
#3
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Well done, thanks for running the experiment!

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 06-07-2013, 01:23 PM
#4
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You sure have, Ravi! Biggrin
i wish you luck, my friend!

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 06-07-2013, 01:34 PM
#5
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Thanks, celestino ... I'll keep you posted. Biggrin

BTW ... thanks for the lovely pics ... I hope you didn't get too much lather on/in your Nikon D7000 for the sake of this trial! Tongue

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 06-07-2013, 01:39 PM
#6
  • MickToley
  • Hi, I'm Mike and I'm a shave soap addict
  • Brooklyn, NY
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Thanks, Celestino. Wonderful lather, my friend. Cool

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 06-07-2013, 02:20 PM
#7
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Well I take my hat off to you, Celestino! You wanted the challenge and succeeded. Well done, my friend, you've proved it can be done(and me wrong!Blush).

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 06-07-2013, 02:56 PM
#8
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Well-done to David and Celestino.

I will add that I live in Houston which I read has a water hardness of 145ppm, "hard water"(greater than or equal to 181 is considered "very hard"). I have only had one poor artisan shaving soap that I could not lather. Other "hard to lather" triple-milled hard soaps have all produced plenty of beautiful lather.

I have actually traveled to Vancouver (where Celestino lives) and almost didn't know what to do with how soft the water was, and it was a bit easier to lather my shave soap there.

The take-home point for me from Celestino's post is that it really just takes time and experience. I have almost all my experience with hard water and am used to fine-tuning the soap-water-air balance along the way...it's second nature.

I don't think inability to lather is a deficiency of a wetshaver or his equipment at all. And some will simply choose to move along to other products more agreeable to his desired experience...and so many great products we have to choose from.

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 06-07-2013, 03:22 PM
#9
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(06-07-2013, 02:56 PM)kentclark Wrote: Well-done to David and Celestino.

The take-home point for me from Celestino's post is that it really just takes time and experience. I have almost all my experience with hard water and am used to fine-tuning the soap-water-air balance along the way...it's second nature.

I don't think inability to lather is a deficiency of a wetshaver or his equipment at all. And some will simply choose to move along to other products more agreeable to his desired experience...and so many great products we have to choose from.

* Tom, this is a very important point to emphasize. Each individual should use whatever they feel comfortable with and enjoy their shaves!

(06-07-2013, 02:20 PM)Optometrist Wrote: Well I take my hat off to you, Celestino! You wanted the challenge and succeeded. Well done, my friend, you've proved it can be done(and me wrong!Blush).

* David, the main thing from all of this is that you enjoy your shaves with whatever soap you use, my friend! Biggrin

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 06-07-2013, 05:31 PM
#10
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Very interesting Celestino, I tried this soap 2 times, the first foam would disappear, the second time was much better, need much soap to form good lather, this could be the problem Huh

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 06-07-2013, 06:05 PM
#11
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(06-07-2013, 02:56 PM)kentclark Wrote: The take-home point for me from Celestino's post is that it really just takes time and experience. I have almost all my experience with hard water and am used to fine-tuning the soap-water-air balance along the way...it's second nature.

I don't think inability to lather is a deficiency of a wetshaver or his equipment at all. And some will simply choose to move along to other products more agreeable to his desired experience...and so many great products we have to choose from.

Agree with this so much. I CAN lather MW soaps, but choose not to put the time into it with my water. Sandalwood Rose (discontinued) was and still is my favorite scent ever, but I sold it due to the time it took me to get a good lather.

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 06-08-2013, 09:44 AM
#12
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Celestino,

It would be interesting to see you face lather as I believe you prefer (and me too). Also, these are great pics. but to me there appears to be too many air bubbles in the lather for my liking. But like you say, whatever makes your bladder gladder!

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 06-08-2013, 09:51 AM
#13
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(06-08-2013, 09:44 AM)CyanideMetal Wrote: Celestino,

It would be interesting to see you face lather as I believe you prefer (and me too). Also, these are great pics. but to me there appears to be too many air bubbles in the lather for my liking. But like you say, whatever makes your bladder gladder!

Randy, I saw what you are saying but his WSP/Oscar (second series) lather shots look pretty nice, don't you think?

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 06-08-2013, 09:56 AM
#14
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Lather looks good to me....that is shave worthy lather right there.

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 06-08-2013, 10:11 AM
#15
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(06-08-2013, 09:51 AM)kentclark Wrote:
(06-08-2013, 09:44 AM)CyanideMetal Wrote: Celestino,

It would be interesting to see you face lather as I believe you prefer (and me too). Also, these are great pics. but to me there appears to be too many air bubbles in the lather for my liking. But like you say, whatever makes your bladder gladder!

Randy, I saw what you are saying but his WSP/Oscar (second series) lather shots look pretty nice, don't you think?

It does look a bit better, I agree. But in general, a bit too airy and looks like it may run if put on the face. Of course there is always a very slight chance I could be wrongTongueBiggrin

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 06-08-2013, 10:42 AM
#16
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Thanks Celestino for doing this. Our personal preferences play a huge role in what we like under the circumstances that we live in. Congrats on a fine piece of investigative journalism.

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 06-08-2013, 01:52 PM
#17
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* Thank you, gents! It was a pleasure to attempt this and i really wish i could make a video.

* Randy, i am afraid you are mistaken, my friend! The lather was very thick and creamy and would have stayed on your face for a very long time. The pics you see of it were around 10 minutes after making it as i was trying to set up the camera with one hand. i can assure you that the lather had very good glide and cushion. Biggrin
i would love to repeat this in a video with other troublesome water.Biggrin

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 06-08-2013, 04:50 PM
#18
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There you go! Lather that looks that good after 10 minutes is legitimate.

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 06-08-2013, 04:51 PM
#19
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2 legit? 2 legit 2 quit even??? Cool

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 06-08-2013, 05:51 PM
#20
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I am going to try this one soon!!! I have read many of the same comments about MWF yet it has never failed me in any water. ( I see lots of different water every year Biggrin) Sometimes you have to load it longer though. Quite a bit longer if I have neglected my puck for a few weeks as opposed to using it daily. You surely make it look good!

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