10-28-2013, 10:15 AM
#1
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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This is an article that I have written for Sharpologist.com , our beloved friend's Mantic59 blog/web page.

I have tried a couple Mystic Water shaving soaps in the past with mixed feelings.During the last week I had the chance to test a new scent , Indian Summer , and once again , mixed feelings about this soap : great scent and skin care , but I'm not capable to make thick lather out of it.However , lets go by sections.

[Image: DSC_0418.JPG?m=1382980652]

This soap is a tallow based shaving soap , and also contains ingredients like lanolin , Avocado , Castor and Palm Oil as well as Aloe Vera.In many people's book , this is a perfect formulation with ingredients that will take care of your skin like no other.

-Presentation : 2

This soap comes on a plastic jar container , screw lid and a label on the top.To be honest , its better than some of the artisan soap presentations out there , but I will prefer it with a metallic/glass jar instead.The plastic jar could be cranked very easily , so this is why I don't like it.But others can discuss the same about aluminum jars or glass ones.

-Scent : 7

While the first time I used the soap I wasn't very impressed about its scent , I must say that after 3 days testing it , the scent changed slightly and now I truly like it.It was kind of sweet at the beginning , but now is more spicy , with less sweet notes , and woody notes on the background.Its not like the "typical" sandalwood scent.This one is more complex , more evoking of India.The Saffron extract on the ingredient list makes it very different as I pointed to many sandalwood/patchouli scented creams.

-Performance : 7

This is where I get my mixed feelings.While the skin care properties of this soap are top notch , like the best shaving soaps and creams out there , to make a thick lather out of it its an impossible mission for me.I mean , I can make that kind of lather , but takes me time to do so , a lot of time , regardless of how much I load the brush with the soap.

Here a pic with a Duke 3 best badger brush after loading it with this soap for over a minute :

[Image: DSC_0423.JPG?m=1382980653]

And here the result after a minute and a half trying to make thick lather on the palm of my hand :

[Image: DSC_0427.JPG?m=1382980653]

If you are looking to get thick lather out of this soap , be patient (I am not) , of if you are looking for a soap/cream which provides that type of thick lather most of us enjoy , maybe the Mystic Water soap is not for you.However , members of this forum like Celestino have no problem making lather with this soap.

Saying that , its skin care properties during the shave are brilliant.I have very dry , sensitive skin , and this soap takes care of it like the best ones I have.The lather is very , very slick (the soap contains Bentonite Clay to improve its slickness) so the razor glide with no effort at all.My skin felt perfect after the shave with no dryness at all , something I experience with other soaps or creams If I don't use a pre shave oil , either red parts or irritations.

Would I recommend this soap ? If you are looking for a complex , woody and spicy scent , and have dry or sensitive skin like I do and don't mind the type of lather you make , yes , I do.If you are looking for a soap which provides a thick , rich lather , no , this maybe wont be the one more suitable for your likes.

Thanks to Mystic Water for giving me the chance to try this new soap , as well as Sharpologist.com

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 10-28-2013, 10:26 AM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Teiste, thank you for sharing this honest and objective review.

Mystic Water is a wonderful soap in many respects, but it can be rather polarizing when it comes to ease of lather generation. For those who are lucky and/or patient ... once the appropriate lather is present, the soap performs wonderfully, with a variety of pleasing scents, and as you pointed out ... great skin care/conditioning properties.

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 10-28-2013, 10:52 AM
#3
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Earlier this afternoon I posed a question on another forum regarding this scent, so question is now answered.
Those lather pics are no strangers for me either, Teiste, however, I do have the determination to make them work for me.

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 10-28-2013, 11:10 AM
#4
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I would give the scents and the skin care properties both 10's, the skin care particularly, just wonderful. Unfortunately, the lather wasn't there for me on a consistent basis. Every blue moon I'd hit it just right and think wow, I cracked the code this stuff is amazing, then the next day flop city. I have shave soaps that work for me 100% of the time (MWF, Harris, Mike's, Stirling) as Donald Rumsfeld might say, I don't need any 'known unknowns' in my den.

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 10-28-2013, 12:09 PM
#5
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Teiste, that is very unfortunate.

I am very thankful that I can get this soap to work for me as I really enjoy the scents and lather.

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 10-28-2013, 12:20 PM
#6
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Like Celestino, I also have no issues making MW lather with my Canadian Water and if my lather looked like above, I wouldn't be able to shave with it or be happy with it either.

I'm not a "sandalwood" guy but that may be because I have only really smelled TOBS, which was like incense to my nose. Indian Summer sounds more to my liking.

I've had many tubs of MW soaps and the conatiners are as tough as QCS and other similar plastic tubs. To be honest, as nice as some of the tin containers are, like Mikes, after a week in rotation they look like dented and mucked up junk.

Michelle also gives the option of refill pucks, so they can easily be pressed into ceramic soap dishes or empty MdC glass jars etc.

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 10-28-2013, 01:52 PM
#7
  • Macko
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I wanted Michelle's Adirondack Jack to work in the worst way, it's the best smelling shave soap I've tried bar none, but I had to turn it into a shower soap. Just could not get decent lather out of it.

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 10-28-2013, 04:17 PM
#8
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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Mystic Water is the only soap or cream I've used where I was unable to make enough lather to shave and I've used well over 100 different kinds. I really couldn't make any lather at all.

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 10-28-2013, 04:23 PM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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No issues for me making good lather with MW.

I just received a tub of MW Sardinian Honey at the kindness of another member. I love the scent and can't wait to try it out.

Thanks for another informative review Teiste!

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 10-28-2013, 05:13 PM
#10
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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I still can't make a decent lather with MW and a natural brush unless I load for 90+ seconds.
However, this isn't really a issue as I use synthetics 90% of the time now and they make wonderful lather with these soaps and only 30 seconds of loading..but even with synthetics I have to go very very very easy on the water or it goes to pot very quickly.

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 10-29-2013, 05:29 AM
#11
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MW is one of my top soaps. Fantastic, luxurious lather for me. Worked well right out of the gate.

Michelle has created many new scents since I last ordered and it is so tempted to place another order, but with all I have, I just can't justify it.

I actually like the containers. Plain & simple. It just sits in my drawer when not in use so I don't need it to be any more than functional.

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 10-29-2013, 07:00 AM
#12
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Testie, great review thanks for sharing your input.

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 10-29-2013, 08:02 AM
#13
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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I happen to like my sample of the MW Indian Summer. Yes a bite spicy on the face but it works for me. The screw on plastic container is perfect for home or travel.

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 10-29-2013, 10:17 AM
#14
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I've found it works best with my hard tap water. It does break down quicker than any of my other soaps though.

I did buy a new puck to see if the older one I had was different. It was. The newer puck is a lot easier to lather.

Other than that, I have no other observations to add.

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 10-29-2013, 12:50 PM
#15
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I haven't tried this new scent, but I have used Michelle's soaps for several years, generally with good success.

It was only recently that I had a day or two in which I got the dreaded "disappearing lather." For the life of me I don't know what I did. Mind you, I had been lathering her soaps with my tap water for several years without any problems, and I completely didn't understand the frustrations of others who posted about lathering problems.

To confuse the issue even more, this wasn't a new puck of soap to me, it was a puck that I had been using successfully for a couple of weeks when all of a sudden and for no apparent reason I had the lathering problem that has been described.

Since then, it has happened a couple more times, but other days the lather is great again, just like it always was for me.

As far as I can tell, I didn't change any part of my lathering routine.

Maybe it happened a couple of times so that I could be more understanding and empathetic, because in the past I have been dismissive of people who had problems lathering her soaps.

For the record, I love these soaps, despite this recent revelatory experience.

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 10-29-2013, 01:03 PM
#16
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(10-29-2013, 12:50 PM)kingfisher Wrote: I haven't tried this new scent, but I have used Michelle's soaps for several years, generally with good success.

It was only recently that I had a day or two in which I got the dreaded "disappearing lather." For the life of me I don't know what I did. Mind you, I had been lathering her soaps with my tap water for several years without any problems, and I completely didn't understand the frustrations of others who posted about lathering problems.

To confuse the issue even more, this wasn't a new puck of soap to me, it was a puck that I had been using successfully for a couple of weeks when all of a sudden and for no apparent reason I had the lathering problem that has been described.

Since then, it has happened a couple more times, but other days the lather is great again, just like it always was for me.

As far as I can tell, I didn't change any part of my lathering routine.

Maybe it happened a couple of times so that I could be more understanding and empathetic, because in the past I have been dismissive of people who had problems lathering her soaps.

For the record, I love these soaps, despite this recent revelatory experience.

Thanks for sharing this information. Is it possible that there was some alteration in the mineral content of your water supply on those specific days?
It has been discussed elsewhere but there doesn't seem to be a connection to whether water is hard or soft. I have moderately hard water here and consistently get the results that Teiste has shown. That said, I have used Michelle's soaps in another area where the water is much harder, yet had a good experience. There is a theory that the salt content rather than just hardness, could have an effect. It's quite possible there may have been a variation in your water on those days. Only a thought.

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 11-02-2013, 11:16 AM
#17
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First, let me thank you for the compliments regarding the skin care aspect of my soap, but (and I'm sorry to be negative but I have to be honest) I get more lather in 40 seconds of loading my brush than you show in your final photo. The difference between what you show and what I get from the same soap is like night and day, and I sincerely don't understand it. There should be no visible bubbles at all, the lather should be creamy, dense and slightly glossy, not airy and dry. If you'll forgive me for saying so, it looks like the brush is seriously under-loaded and excessively dry in the first picture.

The choice of container for soap is determined by many considerations: cost, practicality, weight, safety, hygiene, etc. Yes, the tubs that I use are basic and simple but they don't add excessively to shipping costs as glass would.

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 11-02-2013, 11:24 AM
#18
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Is this new scent going to be available soon, Michelle?

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 11-02-2013, 09:13 PM
#19
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Everything is on hold until after this coming week, David. I'm filling current orders and then I have to concentrate on a big show I have coming up on the weekend. Orders that come in this week will go out next Monday and I'll update the website then with new items as well.

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 11-03-2013, 12:57 PM
#20
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The scent seems intriguing, Michelle!
By the way, I love your avatar!! Vive the faeries! Biggrin

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