05-27-2012, 09:40 AM
#1
User Info
Disclaimer: this is all IMHO, and YMMV.

I wanted to wait until I used all four of the croaps and balms, after expressing some initial thoughts in one of the
other threads.

I've used a lot of croap - recently going through most of a container of Cella, but I also own the RR Caprician Lemon and XXX, as well as some other croaps like QCS and Savon du Midi.

Lathering: The best way to approach these croaps seems to be "Marco's Method" using a dripping wet boar, and I do mean dripping, with about 45 seconds or so on the puck.

Scent: Honestly none of the scents really grab me. I'll do my best to describe them:
Zi' Peppino: aka TFS Tabacco Verde. This reminds me a lot of Tabac in that it is floral but you can't really pick out which flower. My only experience with a "floral tabacco" scent was a decant of Alt Innsbruck, and this is closer to Tabac.
Don Marco: aka TFS Bergamotto Neroli. To me this is straight orange, and so isn't a very complex scent.
Cumba Cheech: aka Orange Blossom/Jasmine. This is also floral with a bit of bite due to the orange blossom. It's fine, nothing particularly special.
Nonno Michelino: aka TFS Sandolo Boise. This is supposed to be sandalwood but it is very lightly scented, and really comes across more as soapy. The balm has more scent but really isn't sandalwood either. Those of you looking for a cheaper alternative to AOS Sandalwood will be disappointed. If you want something with a pretty neutral scent, this is the best pick of the lot.

My current ranking:
1. Zi' Peppino
2. Cumba Cheech
3. Nonno Michelino
4. Don Marco

Performance: I'm not particularly happy with the performance of these croaps. I don't think they do a good job protecting the skin. I feel razor burn for some hours afterwards, even after using witch hazel and TFS balm. Yesterday I spritzed a little 4711 on my face a few hours after shaving and it stung. I also think they are a bit drying; this is one of the few products I've used where I felt I needed to use a balm.

Cost/Value: If I had purchased these at TFS prices I would have felt ripped off, as they were priced as top-tier soaps but don't perform as well as true top-tier products such as MdC. At Joe's prices, they certainly are a better deal, but I don't think I would pay current prices. You aren't really getting a $30 soap for $4.

Shaving soap lasts for so long that we shouldn't be confused by false value; it's better to buy a $10-15 soap that has better performance/scent instead of a $7 soap because by the time you amortize that over the many months that puck will last if you use it daily, the cost difference is in pennies per day. It's worth it to me to have a scent I genuinely enjoy and not having to deal with razor burn.

Summary: TFS croaps are overrated. The performance isn't as good as other croaps like RR Artisan, QCS, or Cella. The scents aren't particularly exciting, and there is better out there IMHO.

12 1,243
Reply
 05-27-2012, 10:08 AM
#2
User Info
Thanks for sharing your experience with these soaps. I'm thankful that my small risk of ordering multiples of these paid of in spades as it's one of the better soaps for me.

In one point I'll say is that these don't have to be lathered with a very wet brush. I tend to use a damp but not drenched brush approach to create a very dense & creamy lather.

I'm currently doing a test on the moisturizing & protective abilities or lack thereof of many of my soaps due in part to the discussions that La Famiglia / TFS is neither so I can't comment on that fully yet. All I can say is I'm thankful that I haven't had your experience with this range.

As strange as it may seem I've read of people throwing away DR Harris & other top tier products just because it wasn't as good as they expected it to be or it just didn't work for their techniques & body chemistry.

Again, it's good to hear honest reports & it's unfortunate that these didn't work for you.

31 7,912
Reply
 05-27-2012, 10:50 AM
#3
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
User Info
I have one TFS croap and like it more than my tub of Cella. I also have RazoRock XXX and may just rank it the best of the three.

As you say in your disclaimer, YMMV, and so it does. For me, price has never been a true indicator of quality when it comes to shaving supplies just because of YMMV. Thanks for giving your point of view because it is every bit as relevant as someone who believes TFS is an outstanding product.

2 11,211
Reply
 05-27-2012, 11:10 AM
#4
User Info
By the way, I do want to thank Joe @ IB for all his hard work in making these products more affordable and easily available. That was a lot of work on his part, and he should be thanked for it.

12 1,243
Reply
 05-27-2012, 11:17 AM
#5
User Info
(05-27-2012, 11:10 AM)insomniac Wrote: By the way, I do want to thank Joe @ IB for all his hard work in making these products more affordable and easily available. That was a lot of work on his part, and he should be thanked for it.

yes, he did a very good job of securing this line and bringing it to marked for the prices he did. Wink

8 2,718
Reply
 05-27-2012, 11:58 AM
#6
  • syngent
  • Senior Member
  • Oshawa, Canada
User Info
I did some more playing with this soap looking to see if i could get something out of it yesterday was just palm lathering, and i noticed after i was done ad rinsed off the hand i as lathering in, it had dried out this soap has an astringent affect to me, wonder if it just doesnt get along with certain skin types like the XXX and some people dont get along have noticed i need to use a balm, and stay away from witch hazell or alcohol based a/s with this stuff, but i have products that are not so picky with my set ups nd feel much better to my skin, including my two other older RR lines, I do love the scent which is a major let down if i cant crack this stuff cause i really do want to love it

3 748
Reply
 05-27-2012, 04:03 PM
#7
  • Sully
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Cedar Park, Texas
User Info
I have found that this soap doesn't gain much, if anything from a dripping wet brush. I haven't found it to need that much water. To get lather the consistency I like with a dripping wet brush I have to load for more then a minute.

7 1,018
Reply
 05-28-2012, 01:47 AM
#8
User Info
Thank you for your sincere insight on this, insomniac.

2 5,531
Reply
 05-29-2012, 12:35 PM
#9
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I'll add I'm my first impressions now that mine have finally arrived.

First of all, the scents. I bought one of each and was slightly disappointed at how mildly scented they were (except for one of the orange ones, very strong out of the tub). I used Zi' Peppino today and the scent does indeed become more complex as it lathers.

It took me a minute to get the water ratio right, but once I did it certainly exploded in lather. It is indeed very slick which allowed for a nick-free shave, one of very few during my time in SE May, so I was pleased by that. I only did two passes, but there was plenty of lather for three or four passes with my FS 2-band after loading for 20 seconds or so with a damp brush.

I forgot to wait to apply aftershave since I was in a hurry, so I can't comment on how moisturizing or not it was, I'll leave that for tomorrow.

As for a comparison with the black tub and Artisan lines I would put the black tubs third, La Famiglia second, and Artisan top based on my first shave with it. I could see LF potentially displacing first though. We shall see!

Overall though I'm definitely pleased so far, especially for the price! Just like all of the other Razorock products they go right to my recommendation list.

35 1,732
Reply
 05-29-2012, 12:55 PM
#10
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
Just with my limited use of them I still think the artisan series is the best, then the black tubs, then these. I haven't seen many soaps that can outperform King Louis, Caprician Lemon and XXX honestly

116 3,804
Reply
 05-29-2012, 12:58 PM
#11
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
I didn't enjoy XXX at all, but Napoleon's Violet is the greatest thing even created. I think La Famiglia has good potential though.

35 1,732
Reply
 05-29-2012, 01:00 PM
#12
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
XXX was my first RR soap and I immediately loved it. I have 4 tubs of it right now just because I was afraid it would be gone soon and I stockpiled it. I never tried napoleons violet but someday will.

116 3,804
Reply
 05-29-2012, 01:06 PM
#13
User Info
(05-29-2012, 12:55 PM)Dave Wrote: Just with my limited use of them I still think the artisan series is the best, then the black tubs, then these. I haven't seen many soaps that can outperform King Louis, Caprician Lemon and XXX honestly

Dave, do you prefer the big tub artisans or the KL/888 version better?

31 7,912
Reply
 05-29-2012, 01:29 PM
#14
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
King Louis is my favorite followed by Caprician Lemon and XXX. Tonality sent me some razorock Third Eye and I love it as well.

116 3,804
Reply
 05-29-2012, 01:49 PM
#15
  • Tonality
  • Attempted Soap Sabbatical
  • Boston
User Info
(05-29-2012, 01:29 PM)Dave Wrote: King Louis is my favorite followed by Caprician Lemon and XXX. Tonality sent me some razorock Third Eye and I love it as well.

How would you compare the Third Eye with Nonno Michelino? From my memory, I would say they were pretty similar in terms of the type of sandalwood scent, though Nonno is a bit lighter.

35 1,732
Reply
 05-29-2012, 01:51 PM
#16
User Info
(05-29-2012, 01:49 PM)Tonality Wrote:
(05-29-2012, 01:29 PM)Dave Wrote: King Louis is my favorite followed by Caprician Lemon and XXX. Tonality sent me some razorock Third Eye and I love it as well.

How would you compare the Third Eye with Nonno Michelino? From my memory, I would say they were pretty similar in terms of the type of sandalwood scent, though Nonno is a bit lighter.

Speaking as someone who has tried NM but not Third Eye... how could the sandalwood scent be any lighter?

12 1,243
Reply
 05-29-2012, 02:02 PM
#17
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
Third Eye is a more heavy sandalwood scent to me than Nonno. It's not quite as heavy as TOBS, but it's closer.

116 3,804
Reply
 05-29-2012, 02:26 PM
#18
User Info
(05-29-2012, 01:29 PM)Dave Wrote: King Louis is my favorite followed by Caprician Lemon and XXX. Tonality sent me some razorock Third Eye and I love it as well.

Great, just when I think I'm done getting soaps I'm now being convinced that I must give the King Louis a go. You guys stinketh! Tongue

31 7,912
Reply
 05-29-2012, 02:39 PM
#19
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
User Info
I'm almost ashamed of my RR collection. I love Italian Soaps. It's only been recently that I've branched out of just Italian soaps into a few English, Dutch, and German soaps and creams. I have 2 each of the new Artisan soaps, RR Cacao, RR Fresco, RR Classic, 4 tubs of XXX, Caprician Lemon, Chianti Lavender, Third Eye, and King Louis.

I have had Mughetto De Bologna, Muguet de France, Mentolipto, and 888. I sold all of them because I just didn't care for the scent at all (sorry Joe!!)

The only two Joe Soaps I haven't tried (and I really want to try) are Napoleons Violet and Boston Tea Party. I always forget to put them in an order or miss them on the BST by just a few moments.

116 3,804
Reply
 05-29-2012, 02:59 PM
#20
User Info
Dave, you should give Savon du Midi a try. It's a French 'croap' but it feels a bit more gelatinous to the touch. I was PIF'ed the Mistral, and not only does it perform well, my face feels fantastic afterwards.

12 1,243
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)