10-01-2014, 12:08 AM
#1
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How do you decide on a soap when there are so many scent options? I've spent endless amounts of time looking up reviews trying to get a hint as to what I might like. I wanted to describe soaps I own as best I can and would like to encourage others to add their experiences. The goal is to help readers feel confident in their decision.

Cold River Soap Works: I prefer the Classic and Select lines. This is in order of the soaps I purchased.

Savon Fragrance No.1
The main note I get from this is a smooth creamy cedar. I've had a lot of time with this scent as I've used it as a bath bar too. It's blended well as I hate lavender as a singular note but it somehow adds depth to the fragrance and I enjoy it.  

Savon Fragrance No.2
I need help with this scent. I'm still not sure what I'm smelling in this. The first thing that hits me is a sharp note which must be the herbs used. It's almost the opposite woody scent as No.1 if you prefer more of a punch. I'd shave with this before going hiking rather than No.1 where I'd use it before relaxing and reading a book.

Bergamot and Bay
I almost didn't buy this because I'm not a Bay Rum fan. First sniff I realized this isn't a Bay Rum. This is a slightly sweet bergamot with spices to give it character. I find a lot of bergamot soaps to be just sweet citrus so the spice balances it perfectly. It's one of those that I enjoy more every time I use it.

American Barber Shop
Another one that I was thinking meh, another barbershop. This was the biggest surprise of maybe them all. It is MODERN, a barber shop "sport". I'd like to request a deodorant in this scent.

Sandalwood
I've never had a great sandalwood experience prior but wanted to try the Select formula. In short, this is my favorite scent of all time. It is my staple bath bar and if it gets discontinued I will be broken. First sniff I got patchouli and thought, ugh. Once I used it the scent bloomed and I got the smoothest sandalwood and maybe cedar with the most addictive patchouli finish. I now don't hate patchouli. I even look for it as a base note.

*CRSW has opened me up to scents that I thought were duds.

Vetiver
I was really excited for this as vetiver is one of my favorite scents. I'm used to Guerlain and Tom Ford's. Opening the tin for the first time I was surprised again to get a sweet, slightly floral scent. I was disappointed for a second until I used it and enjoyed the complexity. It's the opposite of Tierra Humeda if that's what you're expecting. It's a vetiver that will appeal to more people than only the hardcore vetiver fans but also a great addition for vetiver fans being so different.

Spiced Amber
First thought was, this is nice. It's like the bergamot where Amber can be singularly sweet so the spice makes it complete. Just a pleasant scent that is probably the safest bet to give as a recommendation. It also makes for a great fall scent.

Bay Rum
Again I was debating on getting this one but figured why not with CRSW's track record so far. I find clove to be overused in Bay Rums so that it becomes cloying. Clove is almost hidden for me here. It's a clean bay rum where I get wafts of sweetness in the post-shave. First bay rum I've enjoyed since Mystic Water. You get the sense of how well the fragrances are blended.

Nouvelle Fougere
If you told me anise, lavender, jasmine, and vanilla were notes in the soap, you don't want to know what I'd say. This was the best surprise from this and the two above. I am sick of fougeres because they are all starting to smell the same, green to the point that some make me feel nauseated. This one is dark and daring, true innovation. I can smell some anise but it's the perfect amount. Before this I'd say the perfect amount of anise is zero. Now I'd say the perfect amount is whatever is in this.

Fall
I can't describe the scent as it evokes feelings. It is the epitome of Fall. I don't get season changes living in Hawaii so my only memory of a real fall was an autumn vacation in Tahoe. This soap will always have a special place for me as only one other soap has had that same effect (WSO Zaro reminding me of my aunt). It was sold out as a seasonal limited edition but I strongly recommend that you look for it next year.

Winter
It's a tough scent to describe because it's blended so well. I get a tart berry with mint and something else that is reminiscent of Xmas. It feels like the other notes act as a bright white canvas to accentuate the subtle notes that usually get lost in the mix. It actually gave me a sensation of cold weather just from the scent.

Jardin d'Orange

No exaggeration, this smells like a niche fragrance in the $250+ range.  This splash actually has progression from top, middle, and bottom.  I never look at the notes provided so I'm not biased as to search for notes rather than experiencing them.  I had to look at the notes provided because I couldn't figure out the citrus.  Tangerine, why isn't this used more often?  After the natural citric top, the mid notes come in where there are woods and a burnt sweetness that makes it darker and interesting.  It isn't listed but I get an almost caramel/coffee/boozy vibe.  Then it changes again and I get a clear amber base.  This may end up being my favorite scent released in the shaving world.  I thought it was going to smell like a light summer scent.  This is perfect year round and it just smells expensive.

Vetiver Moderne
The plum in this is the star.  Masculine plum?  Sorry ladies, this one's for us.  The amazing thing about this is that it stays fresh. It's not sugary sweet or syrupy.  This scent deserves a more detailed description.

Puro Fresco
Never got around to trying this for one reason or another even though it seems to be the most popular.  This is what I was expected Jardin d'Orange to smell like because this is very close to Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes.  Citrus opening that is taken over by tea and white florals.  This is a perfect unisex scent.  If the mrs ever gets back into using shaving soap, this will be her favorite. 


I realize that a lot of what I've written is personal opinion but if they match up with others, it may help some people in their soap journey. Looking forward to hear what others say. Even when I already own a soap, I like to read others thoughts because sometimes it flicks a switch in my head allowing me to enjoy it from another perspective.

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 10-01-2014, 12:29 AM
#2
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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Very simple yet complete descriptions, thank you.

I haven't tried all the scents you mention, only Fragrance 1 and 2, Barbershop and Bergamot and Bay, but I'm really curious about the Sandalwood. So far my favorite Sandalwood soap is, by far, Jabonman's Sandalo. Unfortunately the artisan isn't able to make it anymore, and I have only one tub left, so I really have to start considering alternatives... This might be a good one, I'll have to try and get a sample of it soon.

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 10-01-2014, 01:19 AM
#3
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Nicely summarized, Dave. Smile

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 10-01-2014, 03:13 AM
#4
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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Great descriptions and insights, thanks Dave! Very helpful descriptions of CRSW soaps. I'm a little "sandalwood'd out" Tongue but based on your description, I might have to think again and order the Sandalwood Biggrin

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 10-01-2014, 03:56 AM
#5
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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CRSW soaps are excellent, in my opinion.
Labeling and presentation is functional and attractive.
The various scents are simple and straightforward in terms of names, however the soaps themselves are complex, offering a fresh perspective and interpretation of traditional scents.

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 10-01-2014, 07:57 AM
#6
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Concisely described and reflecting my thoughts, almost exactly, Dave. Great to hear you are enjoying the scents. Smile

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 10-01-2014, 08:08 AM
#7
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I know that Fall was a limited edition, but I think Larry should do another run. It is such a great scent and it's a shame that more people cannot pick it up. Absolutely one of my favorite across any brand, it is so well done. Really nails the season and is a perfect scent for the fall!

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 10-01-2014, 12:21 PM
#8
  • mesmo
  • Junior Member
  • Miami,Fl
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The two scents that I wanted, were sold out, fall and select almond.

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 10-01-2014, 01:29 PM
#9
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Great post Dave! You have a fantastic talent for chronicling your take on fragrances. It's not an easy task to detail in such depth. A keen sense of smell and meticulous note taking may be in play here I suspect. Well done sir!

The other thing that jumped out at me is that when dealing with scents, it is open to so much personal interpretation. You have managed to not only come very close or spot on with my own findings on a number of them but mirror those of others who have chimed in on this post.

(10-01-2014, 12:21 PM)mesmo Wrote: The two scents that I wanted, were sold out, fall and select almond.

Yes, the Fall is gone until next year but the Almond will be back in stock over the weekend.

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 10-01-2014, 01:50 PM
#10
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I'm still interested in hearing thoughts on the CRSW scents and what they remind you of. It reminds me of the first time I used the Tabula Rasa TSN soap. I didn't care for it until I read someone say it reminded them of a library. Ever since then, it reminds me of my college library and it's one of my favorites.

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 10-01-2014, 06:35 PM
#11
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Dave, I am not sure if the scents I have of my soaps bring back any memories. I just like the majority of the scents for the delicate aromas. I can't really say Larry's scents remind me of any thing in particular except captivating me to enjoy the scent will sniffing it or using it during my shaves. Biggrin

I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of them!

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 10-01-2014, 06:40 PM
#12
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I am amazed at the thought and effort that you put into this review. Well done. I plan to refer to your impressions often. I initially was underwhelmed by scents and performance, but recently have done a 180 after discovering Spiced Amber and Fall, and am now looking forward to Puro Fresco.

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 10-01-2014, 08:15 PM
#13
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(10-01-2014, 06:40 PM)evnpar Wrote: I am amazed at the thought and effort that you put into this review. Well done. I plan to refer to your impressions often. I initially was underwhelmed by scents and performance, but recently have done a 180 after discovering Spiced Amber and Fall, and am now looking forward to Puro Fresco.

These are two of the loveliest scents I have tried in a very long time! I only wish Fall was a regular in Larry's Select line! Angel

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 10-03-2014, 07:50 AM
#14
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(10-01-2014, 03:56 AM)Agravic Wrote: CRSW soaps are excellent, in my opinion.
Labeling and presentation is functional and attractive.
The various scents are simple and straightforward in terms of names, however the soaps themselves are complex, offering a fresh perspective and interpretation of traditional scents.

Thank you Ravi!

I am very involved in bringing a new approach to the traditional scents. People are taking notice and this fresh direction is what we are becoming known for. I have some very exciting releases scheduled that will challenge the way one looks at some of the classics.

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 10-03-2014, 09:17 AM
#15
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Larry, was wondering when select samples might be back in stock? Thanks!
Edit: also sent an email to your contact point in case you miss this.

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 10-03-2014, 10:42 AM
#16
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(10-03-2014, 09:17 AM)john parker Wrote: Larry, was wondering when select samples might be back in stock? Thanks!
Edit: also sent an email to your contact point in case you miss this.

Hi John, thank you for the inquiry. I sent you an email.

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 10-03-2014, 02:07 PM
#17
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I'm wanting to try some of these based on good reviews I read. I am thinking of trying the bay rum and maybe the barbershop. Which is easy to lather, classic or original? And which is better bay rum or barbershop? Maybe I will get both but not now. So I need help to choose one. Biggrin

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 10-03-2014, 02:09 PM
#18
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Original (nontallow) and Classic (tallow) are both exceptionally easy to lather.
Original needs less water upfront, relatively speaking.

I enjoy all scents.

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 10-03-2014, 03:48 PM
#19
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(10-03-2014, 02:07 PM)stephengilley Wrote: And which is better bay rum or barbershop? Maybe I will get both but not now. So I need help to choose one. Biggrin

Bay Rum has a sweet, 'bubble gum' scent, for me.
I haven't tried the Barbershop, so others that have will have to help you, here.
Good luck, but I am certain whichever you choose will make you happy.

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 10-04-2014, 01:51 PM
#20
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(10-01-2014, 08:15 PM)celestino Wrote:
(10-01-2014, 06:40 PM)evnpar Wrote: I am amazed at the thought and effort that you put into this review. Well done. I plan to refer to your impressions often. I initially was underwhelmed by scents and performance, but recently have done a 180 after discovering Spiced Amber and Fall, and am now looking forward to Puro Fresco.

These are two of the loveliest scents I have tried in a very long time! I only wish Fall was a regular in Larry's Select line! Angel

Thank you Celestino! I have some exciting releases coming very soon.

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