08-10-2013, 11:15 AM
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Found this wandering around the 'Net


Ceramic and Enamel Mugs
Soap with an interesting ingredients list

It seems they have refills for the Enamel mugs only, and then just recently. Before that it seems they were selling the soap in the mugs.

Anybody know about Napa Soap Company?

Ingredients look a lot like Bramble Berry Soap melt and pour.

3 285
 08-10-2013, 12:01 PM
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 08-10-2013, 12:42 PM
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I live in the SF Bay Area and have been to Napa Soap Co many times. While they make lovely bath soaps their shave soap is mediocre at best. I haven't tried it in the last few years so possibly it has been reformulated but candidly there are far better "no risk" options out there in the artisan shave soap world, e.g. Mikes, Barrister & Mann, QCS, etc.


0 27
 08-11-2013, 07:06 AM
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Thanks all. Based on the consensus, it doesn't seem worth trying.

3 285
 08-11-2013, 10:57 AM
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They sell this soap at the Savannah Bee Company. It's not very good stuff, and unless it has been reformulated VERY recently I can tell you that it is not worth the money.

(On a side note, The Savannah Bee Company is located in my previous place of residence which is, of course, Savannah, GA. It is the greatest honey store in the world! You can sample all sorts of different honey and buy bee's wax, honey, and related cool stuff.)

6 327
 08-11-2013, 12:20 PM
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They have been around for years. Not a great product as I sampled this after a trade show once. No tallow I believe.

5 273
 09-09-2013, 03:14 PM
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(08-11-2013, 07:06 AM)Aimsport Wrote: Thanks all. Based on the consensus, it doesn't seem worth trying.

Dear Aimsport - we'd love to have you try our soap and provide us with your thoughts and honest feedback. The one review being re-used below is about 7 or 8 years old - yes we have reformulated many things since then. Drop us a line at info@napasoap.com and we will do our best to help a new trial. Thanks. GIB

0 1
 09-09-2013, 03:32 PM
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I've been curious about this soap mostly because it's available locally and I like the mugs. They don't seem to list the ingredients on the package so I've been reluctant to shell out for it.

15 762
 09-10-2013, 08:23 AM
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(09-09-2013, 03:14 PM)NapaSoap Wrote:
(08-11-2013, 07:06 AM)Aimsport Wrote: Thanks all. Based on the consensus, it doesn't seem worth trying.

Dear Aimsport - we'd love to have you try our soap and provide us with your thoughts and honest feedback. The one review being re-used below is about 7 or 8 years old - yes we have reformulated many things since then. Drop us a line at info@napasoap.com and we will do our best to help a new trial. Thanks. GIB

Email sent.

3 285
 09-21-2013, 12:18 PM
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Well, Gentlemen, I took Napa Soap up on their generous offer. [Full Disclosure: they sent me free product and asked I give them input in return. They neither asked, nor suggested I publish my findings.] My interactions with Napa Soap can be summed up in two words: Class Act. This posting is to share preliminary findings with you all.

At issue is whether the old postings which had dissuaded me from even trying the product are still valid. Napa Soap was confident that the improvements they have made over the years put the soap in a different league, making it worth a second chance. Now that I have a few shaves under my belt, I am inclined to agree. But wait, read on, it gets better.

Some of you know that I shave near the edge of the DE envelope, using a steep angle with an R41 2011 as my daily shave. There is little margin for error. Lather must be properly made and very slick. I must be concentrating. My skin is soft so my technique must be nearly spot on. Shaving sleepy is strictly forbidden.

Some of you also know that I prefer soaps that leave my face feeling so good I'm not forced to reach for aftershave balms. I want to use aftershave products because I want to, not because I have to. I prefer to judge my shave combo and technique by rinsing with water only and seeing how my face feels the rest of the day into the next. My face must be calm and the shave close or the combo loses points big-time.

First Shave with Napa Soap Ocean Blend Shaving Soap:
Instead of starting with a mild razor, I took one for the team and shaved with my R41 2011 using a steep angle. There is a slickness this combo demands, above which are great shaves, below which is peril. Many who have shaved with an R41 2011 know what I mean.

Taking this further, I used the included Napa Soap synthetic brush. I figured if this is going to fail, I might as well get it over with in one go and send a polite e-mail back. Only effective shaving products are interesting.

The soap is a tallow-less hard white soap in a very nice ceramic mug with a tastefully small Napa Soap logo on it and a lid.

The scent I received is Ocean Blend which reminds me of vacationing with ocean views. Good enough to take me back in my mind's eye. Think high-end seaside gift shop and you would be close.

Based on my first few turns of the brush, I was expecting the lather to come up quickly with big bubbles and disappear rapidly... Herban Cowboy style. Boy, was I mistaken. The soft tipped synthetic loaded the soap slowly. I transitioned to a bowl where the lather came up gradually with tiny bubbles that got smaller and smaller. Working the lather rewarded me. While the bubbles at their smallest were still too big for me, being visible to the naked eye, this lather showed much promise. Napa Soap lather is right up there in appearance with other tallow-less soaps I have liked. But its ability to hold stiff peaks with well hydrated lather was extraordinary.

I rubbed the lather between my fingers to get a sense of quality and then, mindful of Back to School night that evening, I lathered up and put blade to my face. Lathering with the Napa Soap synthetic brush was quite comfy. The tips are very very soft, but the synthetic hair shafts are thicker giving a sufficient backbone. I have no idea what "generation" synthetic this is. Whatever generation it is, I liked it. The wood handle is under-sanded and under oiled, but the knot, though tiny, is effective. It works so well I can overlook the handle. The lather seemed to get better and better on the face, another good sign, and after a series of circular strokes, straight strokes painted a thick covering easily.

First pass was smooth and effective. As I re-wetted my face before my second pass it felt as close as a Mike's Natural or KMF Key Lime first pass. Now I'm paying attention. This is no small feat. I was surprised because while Napa Soap lather is quite slick, KMF Key Lime is much more so. I still don't have an explanation. (I have kept on shaving with Napa Soap to get to know it better and the first pass was no fluke.)

I felt a subtle tingling sensation as I lathered but since my skin looked calm without redness I went to my second pass. I noticed that even though the lather is well hydrated it holds stiff peaks easily. It has staying power. Second pass is my final pass before a minor touch up, so it includes some ATG. My second pass is make or break for any soap for me. Like airplane landings, uneventful second passes are my best. The Napa Soap lather delivered a close second pass without incident. Wow. Rewetting my face looking for places to touch up revealed a familiar line right under my chin, and that was all.

I re-lathered after my final pass before I rinsed. Strange I know, but the best soaps make my skin feel good. So I re-lathered, felt that same tingling sensation, and rinsed off.

The result was a clean close shave with skin that was absolutely calm. The post shave feel was very nice and my skin felt moisturized and protected right up to my next day's shave. This also is no small feat.

I have since made Napa Soap lather with a Semogue 1800, a Simpson PJ3, and the Napa Soap synthetic again. I hope to post a complete review later.

I will know more after some further experimentation. I've been thinking this soap might be an extremely good soap to introduce people into wetshaving. Here's why:
1. The lather seems very forgiving regarding hydration level.
2. The included brush is effective and synthetic. Your vegan friends (both of them, lol) will not be put off by animal hair. There is no need to soak the brush. There is no need to break the brush in.
3. The post shave feel is solid.
4. The lather works. I pushed the envelope technique-wise a bit in subsequent shaves and it held up.
5. The lather from a few feet away looks like the lather from the old movies. Thick and rich. It does not collapse quickly.

The subtle tingle, which I can't really explain, has become a pleasant part of the experience. Check out the ingredients below. They include wine, yes wine. I have no idea which ones are giving me the tingling feeling but my face feels so relaxed and moisturized afterwards I don't care.

It's $12.95 for a 4.5 ounce puck. Based on the hardness of the soap and how much lather it creates it's probably somewhere between 3 and 10 cents a lather. Napa Soap says the puck lasts about a year. Depending on how one loads their brush and what type of brush, it could last even longer or not. YMMV.

In Summary: Preliminary findings are that the old reviews no longer apply. Napa Soap shaving soap makes an effective forgiving lather. Its post shave feel is calm and moderately moisturizing. Being tallow-less you won't be able to make heavy cake and yogurt lather, but that doesn't seem to matter in the least with this soap. The tiny bubbled lather delivers shaves that are extremely close. It's in my rotation.

I hope to report more later when I can.

Napa Soap Shaving Soap Ingredient List

Coconut Oil: a natural moisturizer, this oil also creates a nice fluffy lather when used in soap.
Palm Oil: a moisturizing oil which adds a nice firmness to soaps.
Safflower Oil: used primarily for moisturizing properties
Grapeseed Oil: an antioxidant and wrinkle fighter packed with Vitamin E
Glycerine (kosher, of vegetable origin): excellent moisturizer, naturally produced in soap-making process.
Purified Water
Sodium Hydroxide (saponifying agent)
Sorbitol (moisturizer derived from berries)
Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier)
Soybean protein (conditioner, softener, moisturizer)
Wheat Protein (conditioner, softener, moisturizer)
Bentonite Clay: used to provide slippage to prevent razor burn
French Green Clay: used to provide slippage to prevent razor burn & pulls impurities from skin
Titanium Dioxide
Aloe Vera: used for healing benefits, soothes skin.
Vitamin E: a powerful antioxidant with healing characteristics
Wine: red wine contains antioxidants to fight free-radicals and the effects of age
Honey powder: used for moisturizing and healing benefits
Botanical Fragrances: added purely for their wonderful scents
Essential oils: natural oils extracted from fruit, plants and flowers which have therapeutic properties

I will be PIFing a new Napa Soap set the same as the one I received for free to the first person that meets the following criteria:

1. You are new to shaving and struggling making lather.
2. You are low on funds
3. You live in the continental United States
4. You are willing to put energy into whipping up a lather, as Napa Soap rewards that effort mightily.
5. You would like to try or need a new tallow-less soap

The first person who posts that meets the above criteria gets the PIF. This is not a lottery, so the first post that meets the criteria also closes the PIF. After you post, PM me your address.

3 285
 09-21-2013, 07:40 PM
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(08-11-2013, 10:57 AM)Jabberwock Wrote: On a side note, The Savannah Bee Company is located in my previous place of residence which is, of course, Savannah, GA. It is the greatest honey store in the world! You can sample all sorts of different honey and buy bee's wax, honey, and related cool stuff.)

I love great honey. Sounds like a must-see.

3 285
 09-21-2013, 10:38 PM
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That's quite a write-up! Thanks for posting.
Oh yeah, not in Wink

10 2,062
 09-26-2013, 05:23 PM
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What an awesome review. I have been wondering about synthetics lately, and you put forward a good case for their synthetic brush. And what a generous PIF to someone new. Not in.

2 396
 09-26-2013, 05:29 PM
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Thanks for the review.

I do like the look of the lidded tin mug!

91 17,612
 09-27-2013, 04:41 AM
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If you told me a few weeks ago that I would be enjoying a synthetic brush and vegan soap shave this much I would have thought you were nuts. With an r41 no less.

I'm going to do a comparison of Napa Soap Ocean Blend vs How To Grow A Moustache HTGAM) Synergy Shaving Soap Bay Rum soon.

There is a paradigm shift going on in the highest quality artisan tallowless line. Don't just take my word for it... Mantic59 did a review of HTGAM says pretty much the same http://sharpologist.com/2013/09/synergy-...-soap.html

I have containers of tallow soaps clinking-close to the Napa Soap mug and getting jealous. Napa Soap's closeness and after shave rinse and feel are so good I have not yet brought myself to resume my usual rotation. It will probably be simple boredom with success that will nudge me to resume my rotation. lol.

If I had a worry about these soaps it's that that the performance of tallow-less soaps seem much more sensitive to scent. I get nearly identical performance within brands of tallow soaps when switching between scents. (Mike's is Mike's... Stirling's is Stirling's, always great.) In contrast, the success of a tallowless soap formulation seems much more sensitive to fragrance. This is true in creams as well. KMF Key Lime outperforms most of the other KMF shaving creams by a longshot. I don't know why that is... it just is. It is for that reason I chose Bay Rum for the HTGAM Synergy comparison because it seemed like one of the more tested and proven scents of HTGAM Synergy.

Oh and the PIF is still unclaimed. If there isn't a taker soon, I will start removing criteria one by one until someone gets PIF'd.

3 285
 09-27-2013, 05:07 AM
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This stuff sounds interesting! Would love to see a comparison of this to LA Shaving's Woody Lavender, the best vegan soap I've found so far (and the only one I've found that challenges my favorite tallow soaps).

47 1,081
 09-27-2013, 05:58 AM
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Been meaning to try LA Shaving's stuff. Interesting suggestion. Though Vegetable Stearic Acid kind of blurs the lines ingredient-wise with tallow because I'm pretty sure that VSA is a pressure cooked synthesized version of the third largest ingredient of tallow, Stearic Acid.

3 285
 11-05-2013, 05:49 AM
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I would like to be in, if this opportunity is still available.

0 7
 11-05-2013, 08:32 PM
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HOUS3Y wins the Napa Soap Ocean Blend Set PIF! PM me your shipping address HOUS3Y.

3 285
 11-05-2013, 09:59 PM
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HOUS3Y the PIF of a Napa Soap Ocean Blend in Ceramic Bowl with Black Fiber Synthetic brush has been ordered and will ship shortly.


3 285
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