03-08-2014, 02:11 PM
#1
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Hello, everyone and I hope you are all doing well.

Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to endorse this soap, in any way, and I am only doing this to try to offer some help to those who have tried it and have had issues with it and for those that have tried it and may want to revisit this soap again if they really enjoyed the scents. I hope no one sees this as anything other than this as my main motivation is to offer help and assistance with integrity and honesty with everything connected to this joyous ritual.

To begin, I, jokingly, offered a member here, Giorgio, who I saw had mentioned that he had some issues with disappearing lather when he used Mystic Water soap, to send me some of his water from Phoenix, Arizona for me to test the soap with.
Surprisingly, he graciously offered to send two 500ml bottles of his water so I could conduct the experiment.

I should state that this is the second experiment I have conducted with 'hard-water' that had been causing issues with Mystic Water and you can peruse the first one, here:
http://shavenook.com/thread-mystic-water...y-uk-water

I received the package yesterday from Phoneix, Arizona that is supposed to have hard-water. I used my Frank Shaving Pur-Tech 26 X 52mm synthetic and my WSP Stubby 2-band + ER Blue Brown Mallee badger brushes along with Mystic Water Sandalwood Rose.

I started with the FS synthetic, firstly, and then the WSP Stubby 2-band, secondly. I loaded the soap from the puck to mimic most user's principal method of loading soap for 30 seconds for the synthetic and 60 seconds for the WSP Stubby to make sure I had enough soap on the brushes. I made sure I had the testing water in a bowl to use and I used 1/4 of the water form one of the bottles.

The lather I produced while palm-lathering was quite easy with the synthetic and only a bit more work with the badger knot. I spent around 2-3 minutes getting the results you see in the photos. Pardon me for the bad pics as it isn't as easy to take them with one hand! Blush
The lather was very consistent to what I usually get with my very soft water, here, in Vancouver; thick and creamy with good slickness. The lather you see on my hand had been there for over 5 minutes to make sure I had given it enough time to see if it would dissipate. It remained quite stable throughout that time. I had no issues with the water and the soap.
I actually found the water from the first experiment which came from Surrey, UK to be more challenging than this water from Phoenix.

Today, I used the water to have a full shave and, once again, I had no issues, whatsoever; enough lather for a full-three pass shave with touch-ups and enough left over to apply to my face while I cleaned up, as usual. The only issue was that the water was not as warm as I would have liked because I did not want to alter it in any way by heating it up.
I apologize, but I was not able to get photos of this morning's shave. I actually forgot.Blush

I have spoken to Giorgio and he and I have surmised that the majority, if not all, of the folks who are having issues with this soap might not be loading enough soap onto their brushes and might be using too much water while trying to build their lather. There is no debating that this soap has its intricate issues and takes some experimenting to get ideal lather, at times and in different situations. One of the main points that may be causing this issue with the lather is that it does not contain coconut oil, or coconut butter which, from my understanding, is a very useful ingredient in generating lather. I understand that this soap might actually not be able to produce lather in certain waters and that there are folks who have really tried, but could not generate the desired lather. I am not trying to imply that they do not know how to lather soap. This is not my intention or implications, at all. Again, this is intended for those who might be having some issue with the soap and may just need some minor help or suggestions.

Again, as long as you are enjoying your shaves, it doesn't matter what you are using as this is the most important issue, here.

I would really like to offer to conduct more of these experiments if it were feasible to see how this soap performs in the different waters that we all have. If anyone has any desire to see if this soap can actually work in the water in your area and doesn't mind sending some to me, I would be more than happy to try it out and post the results to you, privately, or on this thread or a new one.

I hope this thread has been of some service and I wish you all fantastic shaves and much laughter and joy! Smile


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 03-08-2014, 02:13 PM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Thanks for sharing this 'experiment', Celestino ... very interesting, indeed.

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 03-08-2014, 02:13 PM
#3
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Great experience. Enjoy it!

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 03-08-2014, 04:53 PM
#4
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
  • The snow's back.
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That really is some great looking lather.

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 03-08-2014, 06:44 PM
#5
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(03-08-2014, 04:53 PM)Elendil Wrote: That really is some great looking lather.

Thanks, Bob! Not too difficult with this soap, for me.

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 03-08-2014, 07:24 PM
#6
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Thanks for the interesting experiment, Celestino. Now, I hope you won't mind dropping by my place every morning to lather up a bowl for me?Tongue

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 03-08-2014, 08:26 PM
#7
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(03-08-2014, 07:24 PM)evnpar Wrote: Thanks for the interesting experiment, Celestino. Now, I hope you won't mind dropping by my place every morning to lather up a bowl for me?Tongue

* Richard, you can always send me a bottle of your water! Biggrin

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 03-08-2014, 08:27 PM
#8
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Celestino the lathermeister, probably able to get lather from a stone.

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 03-08-2014, 08:34 PM
#9
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(03-08-2014, 08:27 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Celestino the lathermeister, probably able to get lather from a stone.

John, I think you might be exaggerating things, but that gives me a great idea for another experiment! Biggrin

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 03-08-2014, 08:36 PM
#10
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Mystic Water is a favorite soap of mine and I always get a great lather from it.

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 03-08-2014, 08:37 PM
#11
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(03-08-2014, 08:27 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Celestino the lathermeister, probably able to get lather from a stone.

I know that's right.

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 03-08-2014, 09:35 PM
#12
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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First of all, I'd like to truly thank Celestino for kindly offering to help me out so that I may get even more out of my Mystic Waters soaps. Your time and generosity are greatly appreciated my friend Biggrin!

The reason I went through the trouble of taking Celestino up on his offer and sending him my water, is for the simple fact that this soap truly performs "above and beyond" for me. I am fortunate that I have plenty of substitutes readily available in my den, so normally if I am ever unsatisfied with any aspect of a soap, it just parked under my cabinet until it is sold/traded/binned. However, despite having lather that dissipated within a few minutes, I still had incredible shaves with MW. This soap really does stand out in my den for its performance on me.

Through Celestino's results, I can definitively rule out that it is my water hardness. Therefore, my options that are left are: improper water/product ratio, or "working time"/technique.

Now, I'm not new to the wet shaving world and lathering soaps....I've been at it for a number of years. I have well over 60+ soaps in my den and I lather all of them without a second thought. There is no doubt in my mind that my personal lathering routine has to be adjusted for MW. Perhaps I've always had a bad technique and this soap just brought it out. I don't know Undecided . I did notice that I needed a much drier approach (I'm usually more on the wet side) and that the sweet spot window for water/product ratio seems to be narrow. The pre-lather product is thick and slimy, thick and slimy, then BOOM...Lather! This I discovered fairly quickly. The issue I had is that despite getting what appeared to be rich and creamy lather, by the time I got to shaving the other side of my face, about half of it was gone. Again, I still got incredible results even with very thin lather! I could have just re-lathered that side, but for some reason I just kept going Blush.

The other factor which is technique, or working time, is what I believe my culprit to be. Usually, I'll start the lather and see how it is, and make adjustments to load time and/or water ratio...work it for about 10 seconds to see what happens and make more adjustments if needed. With MW, what I noticed (by accident) is that my usual 10 second "wait to see the changes" period is not applicable; it's more like 30 secs or so. So this is where I was failing: I started dry, worked the lather then added a little water, waited 10 seconds...no real change, added more water, and so on...making it very easy for me to add too much water. This explained my initial failings with the lather. What I should have been doing is: Start dry, add a few drops of water, work it for 30-40 seconds, then make my next adjustment, work for another 30-40 secs, etc... . That part is an adjustment from my usual routine. I have been successful in my last few attempts in getting the ultra thick/creamy rich lather. The sustainability of it is also significantly better....It's still not holding quite as well as my others, but I know I'm headed in the right direction and I'm perfectly happy with the results I have thus far.

In the end, lesson learned here is that I needed to go back to shaving 101 for a sec, and be much more patient and observant with what's really going on. I think with this strategy I'm sure I'll get it exactly where I want it.

I'm sure for many, this may seem like way too much effort or trouble to bother with this soap. I myself usually have this response. However, having experienced the potential of what this soap offers, makes this type of effort a no brainer for me. While I'm not fortunate enough to be one of those who never experienced any issues, I still consider myself lucky to have stumbled on such an excellent product and contribution to the wet shaving community. Granted, I love variety way too much to ever commit to a single product, MW will always be a part of my den.

Thanks again to Celestino for all the help and taking the time to write up his findings along with pictures! I will be sure to follow back up and post my findings when I finally "unlock" that factor that has been eluding me in an effort to help anyone else that may be having difficulties and really wants it to work.

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 03-08-2014, 09:52 PM
#13
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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(03-08-2014, 09:35 PM)Giorgio Wrote: First of all, I'd like to truly thank Celestino for kindly offering to help me out so that I may get even more out of my Mystic Waters soaps. Your time and generosity are greatly appreciated my friend Biggrin!

The reason I went through the trouble of taking Celestino up on his offer and sending him my water, is for the simple fact that this soap truly performs "above and beyond" for me. I am fortunate that I have plenty of substitutes readily available in my den, so normally if I am ever unsatisfied with any aspect of a soap, it just parked under my cabinet until it is sold/traded/binned. However, despite having lather that dissipated within a few minutes, I still had incredible shaves with MW. This soap really does stand out in my den for its performance on me.

Through Celestino's results, I can definitively rule out that it is my water hardness. Therefore, my options that are left are: improper water/product ratio, or "working time"/technique.

Now, I'm not new to the wet shaving world and lathering soaps....I've been at it for a number of years. I have well over 60+ soaps in my den and I lather all of them without a second thought. There is no doubt in my mind that my personal lathering routine has to be adjusted for MW. Perhaps I've always had a bad technique and this soap just brought it out. I don't know Undecided . I did notice that I needed a much drier approach (I'm usually more on the wet side) and that the sweet spot window for water/product ratio seems to be narrow. The pre-lather product is thick and slimy, thick and slimy, then BOOM...Lather! This I discovered fairly quickly. The issue I had is that despite getting what appeared to be rich and creamy lather, by the time I got to shaving the other side of my face, about half of it was gone. Again, I still got incredible results even with very thin lather! I could have just re-lathered that side, but for some reason I just kept going Blush.

The other factor which is technique, or working time, is what I believe my culprit to be. Usually, I'll start the lather and see how it is, and make adjustments to load time and/or water ratio...work it for about 10 seconds to see what happens and make more adjustments if needed. With MW, what I noticed (by accident) is that my usual 10 second "wait to see the changes" period is not applicable; it's more like 30 secs or so. So this is where I was failing: I started dry, worked the lather then added a little water, waited 10 seconds...no real change, added more water, and so on...making it very easy for me to add too much water. This explained my initial failings with the lather. What I should have been doing is: Start dry, add a few drops of water, work it for 30-40 seconds, then make my next adjustment, work for another 30-40 secs, etc... . That part is an adjustment from my usual routine. I have been successful in my last few attempts in getting the ultra thick/creamy rich lather. The sustainability of it is also significantly better....It's still not holding quite as well as my others, but I know I'm headed in the right direction and I'm perfectly happy with the results I have thus far.

In the end, lesson learned here is that I needed to go back to shaving 101 for a sec, and be much more patient and observant with what's really going on. I think with this strategy I'm sure I'll get it exactly where I want it.

I'm sure for many, this may seem like way too much effort or trouble to bother with this soap. I myself usually have this response. However, having experienced the potential of what this soap offers, makes this type of effort a no brainer for me. While I'm not fortunate enough to be one of those who never experienced any issues, I still consider myself lucky to have stumbled on such an excellent product and contribution to the wet shaving community. Granted, I love variety way too much to ever commit to a single product, MW will always be a part of my den.

Thanks again to Celestino for all the help and taking the time to write up his findings along with pictures! I will be sure to follow back up and post my findings when I finally "unlock" that factor that has been eluding me in an effort to help anyone else that may be having difficulties and really wants it to work.

60+ soaps? And I thought I had it bad. Fortunately, I must have the ideal water for Mystic Water soaps because no matter which way I prepare the lather, using Celestino's method or the "Marco" method of using a very wet, instead of a dry brush, I'm able to produce a ton of rich lather. So I do think that water must have something to do with it, at least for some people. Since so many of Michelle's soaps have such wonderful scents, I do hope that you're able to get them to work for you.

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 03-08-2014, 10:42 PM
#14
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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(03-08-2014, 09:52 PM)evnpar Wrote: 60+ soaps? And I thought I had it bad. Fortunately, I must have the ideal water for Mystic Water soaps because no matter which way I prepare the lather, using Celestino's method or the "Marco" method of using a very wet, instead of a dry brush, I'm able to produce a ton of rich lather. So I do think that water must have something to do with it, at least for some people. Since so many of Michelle's soaps have such wonderful scents, I do hope that you're able to get them to work for you.

I know, I know...I'll be the first to admit I can get carried away with soaps Tongue! I really love a variety though and the unique features that each individual soap offers.

I'm gaining confidence with MW soaps in that I'll get my technique down to produce exactly what I want. I'm really not that far off right now. What has continuously amazed me is that her soaps work fine the way they are. I can easily make the argument that my little obsession with getting the perfect looking and acting lather is pointless, as MW performs better than so many others in my den in its current state. I think its more a matter of curiosity than anything else Biggrin.

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 03-08-2014, 10:58 PM
#15
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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I'm sorry, and I was just about to type in another thread that I don't understand what people who have a hard time lathering MWF are talking about I have zero problems with it, when I remembered Mystic Water soap. I have no problem with MWF. I have no problem with Pdp. I have no problem with ANY other soap. I have EVERY problem with Mystic. And it ain't my method cuz I've tried every.
I just don't know.

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 03-08-2014, 11:36 PM
#16
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(03-08-2014, 10:58 PM)Mouser Wrote: I'm sorry, and I was just about to type in another thread that I don't understand what people who have a hard time lathering MWF are talking about I have zero problems with it, when I remembered Mystic Water soap. I have no problem with MWF. I have no problem with Pdp. I have no problem with ANY other soap. I have EVERY problem with Mystic. And it ain't my method cuz I've tried every.
I just don't know.

Sounds like a road trip to Vancouver is in order, sir ... 1:1 lessons with personal lather coach, Celestino ... Biggrin

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 03-09-2014, 02:22 AM
#17
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(03-08-2014, 11:36 PM)Agravic Wrote: Sounds like a road trip to Vancouver is in order, sir ... 1:1 lessons with personal lather coach, Celestino ... Biggrin

Ha, very good !! Celestino, I think Ravi may be onto something here my friend, perhaps a Tony Robbins inspired infomercial that runs late at night. It would be geared towards traditional wet shavers who have lost their confidence after being brought to their knees by the mighty Mystic Water... Tongue

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 03-09-2014, 05:19 AM
#18
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
  • The snow's back.
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Everyone has had that one soap or another that just confounded them. The older formulation of Cade was the one for me. Life's too short for bad lathers, but when you keep catching glimpses of what it can be for you, it's hard to just walk away from it.

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 03-09-2014, 05:33 AM
#19
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(03-09-2014, 05:19 AM)Elendil Wrote: Everyone has had that one soap or another that just confounded them. The older formulation of Cade was the one for me. Life's too short for bad lathers, but when you keep catching glimpses of what it can be for you, it's hard to just walk away from it.

Agreed.
In this regard, soaps/lathers can be likened to people/relationships ... Shy

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 03-09-2014, 05:55 AM
#20
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Ischia, Naples, Italy
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(03-08-2014, 09:35 PM)Giorgio Wrote: Through Celestino's results, I can definitively rule out that it is my water hardness. Therefore, my options that are left are: improper water/product ratio, or "working time"/technique.

In the end, lesson learned here is that I needed to go back to shaving 101 for a sec, and be much more patient and observant with what's really going on. I think with this strategy I'm sure I'll get it exactly where I want it.

Thanks again to Celestino for all the help and taking the time to write up his findings along with pictures! I will be sure to follow back up and post my findings when I finally "unlock" that factor that has been eluding me in an effort to help anyone else that may be having difficulties and really wants it to work.
+1

I had some issue with MWS at first, due my very-hard water and especially ignorance of the new soap.
With David and Celestino help & tips now I'm very happy with my MWS Bay Rum. Just I had to load a little more than usual and work a little more than usual. Or use bottled thin water.
Another tip I've found is using my FS Pur-Tech Synth 4gen 26x54mm brush, this is perfect with it.
Thank You, All.
Wink

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