06-13-2013, 03:52 PM
#1
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Arko - the boxed package from Mamara, the yielding, white, not-quite soap, the arched eyebrows of Dan Dare's kid brother made up in rabid foam, the explosion of lather at the touch of the brush, the burgeoning olfactory shoots of citrus and napthalene (??!). The question to self...

Not wishing, or in truth finding myself able, to embark on yet another attempt to capture the essence of this classic shaving soap, I wanted to instead pose a question or two - are those among us who, upon first experiencing the citron bomb, find ourselves arching our eyebrows in sympathy with Dare the younger really missing a whole cultural, olfactory heritage when it comes to the reek of C. limon that so marks this wonderful product out from the ranks of menthol derived scents, or of the deeper shades of musks and woods? Could an attempt to understand the reasons Arko sports its dramatic citrus fume encourage more of us to value it as a true all round star of the shaving shelf?

In a 2009 article in the Turkish English language daily 'Today's Zaman' Sevinc Ozarslan looks at her nations abiding love of lemon kolonya - the lemon scented cologne that has been such a feature of Turkish household life, and of the Turkish culture of receiving and treating guests, at least since the reign of the 99th Caliph of Islam, Abdulhammit II. Those forum members of Turkish origin will be much better able than I to comment on the place of lemon cologne in late nineteenth and early to mid twentieth century Turkish society, but Ms Ozarslan proudly makes it clear early in her article that Turkish culture has long been a 'kolonya' culture, and kolonya in Turkey has, for generations, meant the heady scent of citron.

That the scent of lemon's prominent place in the heart of Turkish people has come under something of a challenge from other, 'newer' fragrances in the last few decades is the focus of much of the 'Today's Zaman' piece, but the writer also quotes the staggering 'official' figure of cologne consumption in Turkey in the year previous to the article's composition as standing at around 7.6 million litres, and the great bulk of that lake of kolonya as having its genuine or synthesised essence drawn from C. limon.

For the traveller in Turkey the proferring of lemon scented cologne at regular intervals during long bus trips might remain a memory as enduring and important as that of local cuisines, of story book domes and minarets, of storks nesting in Roman ruins; cupped hands receiving the 'guests' share of the heady reek of the Anatolian sun. I would like to feel that the scent of Arko is in this same tradition, its fragrance the perfect choice for a soap used on a daily basis by Turkish men, a daily echo of the great products of the kolonya giants Pereja, Selin, Eyup Sabri Tuncer and Bogazici, another lathered portal for we happily afflicted through to a world of contentment and contemplation. Lemon scented contemplation.

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 06-13-2013, 04:22 PM
#2
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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No need to seek the truth or any understanding when it comes to this Lemon Shaving Soap.

Just Sing Along

Lemon Tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

But, I like Lemon ...

Lemon on Fish, Lemon in Water, Lemon in Ice Tea, Lemon Tarts, and Lemonade

Plus, I like Lemon Dish Washing Detergent and Lemon Toilet Cleaner.

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 06-13-2013, 06:43 PM
#3
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Nicely and imaginatively written newmannoggs. Arko is a fine soap and like many American wetshavers I first bought Turkish Lemon cologne along with Arko from online Turkish stores.

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 06-13-2013, 06:47 PM
#4
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Great bit of perspective. No wonder the man on the wrapper looks so happy.

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 06-13-2013, 07:39 PM
#5
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Smile

I didn't know that it needed defending. It's good stuff.

I didn't know there was a cologne. I also didn't know the interest in lemon in Turkey. But lemon is a nice scent.

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 06-13-2013, 09:01 PM
#6
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Nothing magic about Arko other than its magical robust lather. As for as the scent, smells like a strong bar of Ivory soap.

I think I will grate a stick next week and put it in a ramekin.

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 06-14-2013, 08:27 AM
#7
  • oscar11
  • Senior Member
  • North Dakota
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This is one of the only soaps that irritates my face. It really drys it out.

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 06-14-2013, 09:29 AM
#8
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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I love the smell of the Arko stick, but then again I know others hate it.

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 06-17-2013, 09:29 AM
#9
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I agree that it dries my skin but not too much. However lathering,slickness and protectivity is really good. It smells like a cheap detergant but I like it.

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 06-17-2013, 09:36 AM
#10
  • Leo K.
  • Senior Member
  • Mankato MN
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I love LOVE the smell, but have never got a good lather or shave using it, it's me not Arko! Smile

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 06-17-2013, 10:40 AM
#11
  • Leo K.
  • Senior Member
  • Mankato MN
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By the way, instead of starting a new thread, perhaps I'll ask this here.

What's the secret to lathering Arko? I've tried and tried to get a rich lather. Also, my face gets red after using it, and I'm not sure if it's a reaction or the thin Arko lather I get. Maybe I'm mixing it too dry and should try to make it slippery rather than worry about the cushion (like I easily get from CO Bigelow).

Bu the way I lather from a bowl. I've tried layering on the soap and mixing in a different mug. Face lathering is too irritating for my skin.

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 06-17-2013, 11:23 AM
#12
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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Leo, it's been ages since I (briefly) used Arko but I remember it being easy to lather with my softened water but in no way slick - much like lathering an Ivory bar. As Johnny mentions, perhaps it's time for me to revisit Arko - so I can put it away again. Rolleyes

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 06-17-2013, 11:59 AM
#13
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I was waiting to meet the Mrs. for lunch the other day, and I popped into an old school pharmacy around the corner from her work. I'd walked by this place 100 times before, but had never thought to stop. To my surprise, they had sticks of Arko for $1.49. I thought, "Well, this is cheaper than a cup of coffee, so maybe it's time to see what all the fuss is about." Haven't tried it yet, but she likes the scent and didn't give me any flak for making a shaving-related purchase after I told her it was only $1.49, so it definitely has 2 things going for it in my book.

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 06-17-2013, 12:31 PM
#14
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(06-17-2013, 10:40 AM)Leo K. Wrote: <snip> What's the secret to lathering Arko? I've tried and tried to get a rich lather. Also, my face gets red after using it, and I'm not sure if it's a reaction or the thin Arko lather I get. Maybe I'm mixing it too dry and should try to make it slippery rather than worry about the cushion (like I easily get from CO Bigelow).<snip>

ARKO is a water hog. Make it too dry and you get exactly what you described. Putting water to it will give you both a better lather and cushion.

ARKO is also capable of making a really nice ultralather, so it is capable of superlative performance in the shave. But it must be watered. It's also a balancing act between ultralather and too much water leading to a plain lather. It's easy to make on the face. I can't tell you about bowl lathering it; probably much more difficult because of the lack of immediate feedback, but I simply don't know.

Hey, YMMV! There's no right or wrong, it's what works (or doesn't) for you.

Good luck with it!

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 07-02-2013, 08:01 AM
#15
  • Leo K.
  • Senior Member
  • Mankato MN
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(06-17-2013, 12:31 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote:
(06-17-2013, 10:40 AM)Leo K. Wrote: <snip> What's the secret to lathering Arko? I've tried and tried to get a rich lather. Also, my face gets red after using it, and I'm not sure if it's a reaction or the thin Arko lather I get. Maybe I'm mixing it too dry and should try to make it slippery rather than worry about the cushion (like I easily get from CO Bigelow).<snip>

ARKO is a water hog. Make it too dry and you get exactly what you described. Putting water to it will give you both a better lather and cushion.

ARKO is also capable of making a really nice ultralather, so it is capable of superlative performance in the shave. But it must be watered. It's also a balancing act between ultralather and too much water leading to a plain lather. It's easy to make on the face. I can't tell you about bowl lathering it; probably much more difficult because of the lack of immediate feedback, but I simply don't know.

Hey, YMMV! There's no right or wrong, it's what works (or doesn't) for you.

Good luck with it!

I sincerely thank you for the ARKO advice! Yesterday and today I've suddenly been getting explosions of lather from the ARKO, just by adding much more water! It's a revelation! Overnight it's becoming my favorite soap!

I want to try other soaps now, like MWF and TABAC.

Smile

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 07-02-2013, 12:58 PM
#16
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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I love some Arko.

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 07-02-2013, 03:20 PM
#17
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Love the scent...love the lather. IMHO, dollar for dollar, the best bargain on the market.Heart

Ed

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 07-04-2013, 07:33 AM
#18
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I use Arko a lot. But I don't get much lemon scent--just a hint. As Johnny said, like Ivory soap. Try a side by side sniff test with Arko and Ivory and you'll notice the similarity.

Nevertheless, interesting post about the Turkish love of the lemon scent.

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 07-05-2013, 09:27 AM
#19
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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Arko takes me back to my days in the Marine Corps while on assignment in Turkey. After about a month "in-country" a couple buddies who had deployed earlier took me out to a nice US friendly barber for a shave, where I had my first taste of Arko.

It was sweet lemon with that hint of "je ne sais qua" that somehow reminded me of summers sitting on my porch with grandma sniffing the citronella candle - when the fella was done shaving me I said "reminds me of home" (My buddies had the same thought), to which the barber showed me the case of Arko for $7 US...I was floored...how could it be SO inexpensive, but work soooo good???! I was paying at least that for the Colgate "crap in a can", so I figured WTH, and bought the case!

Yes...Arko...

I always have a case under my sink...it will always be precious to me...I call it "My Prrrecious", (done in best Gollem voice) which sends my children into a chorus of wild laughter and hysterical running. My wife once said "You actually LIKE that smell?" I said "Yeah, but then again, as a kid, I also liked to sit on the porch with my grandma and sniff the bug candle..." Biggrin

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 07-05-2013, 03:35 PM
#20
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(07-05-2013, 09:27 AM)Crag Wrote: Arko takes me back to my days in the Marine Corps while on assignment in Turkey. After about a month "in-country" a couple buddies who had deployed earlier took me out to a nice US friendly barber for a shave, where I had my first taste of Arko.

It was sweet lemon with that hint of "je ne sais qua" that somehow reminded me of summers sitting on my porch with grandma sniffing the citronella candle - when the fella was done shaving me I said "reminds me of home" (My buddies had the same thought), to which the barber showed me the case of Arko for $7 US...I was floored...how could it be SO inexpensive, but work soooo good???! I was paying at least that for the Colgate "crap in a can", so I figured WTH, and bought the case!

Yes...Arko...

I always have a case under my sink...it will always be precious to me...I call it "My Prrrecious", (done in best Gollem voice) which sends my children into a chorus of wild laughter and hysterical running. My wife once said "You actually LIKE that smell?" I said "Yeah, but then again, as a kid, I also liked to sit on the porch with my grandma and sniff the bug candle..." Biggrin

Crag,

A wonderful post!!

Thanks,
Ed

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