04-14-2015, 07:50 AM
#1
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Hey Guys,

I've indulged this obsession with having every item out there and after a few years of collecting i've realized that I only use a handful of items on a day to day basis. I like having a selection of "stuff" but I find myself ultimately using the same few items over and over again. 

I've (for the most part) selected what razors I like the best and will slowly start divesting myself of the rest. Likewise for my brushes; the ones that I picked up on whims I seem to like the most.

So we come to soaps. I'm ashamed to admit that I have upwards of 50 soaps; the majority of which are in full tubs. I've separated the few (approx. 4) which I will keep permanently and would ideally like to keep another 6 as part of a small rotation just to break the monotony of shaving with the same soap every day.

My question to you who have started culling the soaps in your dens and arrived at your shave den nirvana - how do/did you decide what soaps make the cut and what soaps didn't? Do you only have one soap per brand or do you keep a few scents from the same brand? What were your keep/sell/discard criteria?

Thanks!

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 04-14-2015, 07:58 AM
#2
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I narrowed mine down in the end by selling everything that I didn't love. It shocked me when I sorted 50+ soaps that consistently the ones I really loved were from 2 brands (CRSW and Reef Point) along with a few strays. 

I sold the rest of the soaps and now buy soaps with money made from selling shaving stuff I don't like or by buying from the brands I know I will love. This tends to keep the amount of soaps I have at an average of 15, but this doesn't stop me trying new stuff if I want to. 

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 04-14-2015, 08:17 AM
#3
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I have too many soaps, not 50 but too many. My main criteria is scent for the soaps that made the pile to keep of but there are a few that I was not crazy about the scent but they perform so well I was unwilling to part with them. My criteria is not brand specific, its more of a popularity contest, I decided 15 was the target and selected them as follows:

5 of my favorite scents
5 more of the best performers
and finally 5 soaps which for whatever reason hold my interest, unusual, discontinued or hard to re-acquire soaps

Truth of the matter is soaps that don't make the cut sometimes creep their way back in after not using them for a month. Mickey Lee the Kraken is one. I did not like the scent, smelled like laundry detergent to me, after sitting in the sell pile for a while I gave it an occasional sniff and next thing you know it was back into the rotation. My nose is fickle.

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 04-14-2015, 08:20 AM
#4
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I've always hated the feeling of clutter so I never let my den get that out of control. The most I've ever let myself have at once was 30, and that felt like way too many. This year I have been paring down by sales, trades and PIFS, and I'm now down to about 20. I have never been one to buy backups or multiples from a given vendor (except a few rare exceptions), so that helps keeps it under control. Actually haven't bought a new soap since last December, and I have no appetite to buy anything new. I'm really satisfied with what I have and I'm trying to get to know these products better.

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 04-14-2015, 08:42 AM
#5
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Hugh, I started this using only artisanal soaps as I just preferred their ingredients and post-shave to the more commercial brands and from there, I have narrowed it down to, principally, one soap although I still enjoy a few others, from time to time. I guess I might be fortunate for this and, no, I don't get bored as the offerings of scents from the soap I use are prolific and I have to force myself to limit the number of scents to under 10-12 which is quite challenging in itself. Biggrin

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 04-14-2015, 10:40 AM
#6
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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First....I narrowed down based on performance. 

Second...I had my wife help with the scent decisions. 

After that I am down to about 5 soaps and creams (each) without having to chase the next greatest thing. 

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 04-14-2015, 12:19 PM
#7
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I applaud you guys who have whittled down your dens. I'm in the process now of doing this. The problem I have is that soap never seems to finish and that shipping costs are so prohibitive to Canada (relatively speaking of course) that it only makes sense to maximize an order to get as much product as you can in an order without increasing the weight class. That, is my problem. I have multiple soaps from the same vendor because I liked the performance and the scents sounded good. 

I've generally been lucky in that i've had very few dud scents; but it does happen and those are always the hardest to resell - because they were so costly to obtain that reselling them would be at a huge loss. That's the game I guess; gotta pay to play.

I've even tried to pare down my den by selling half and quarter tubs of soaps so I can keep some and get rid of the tub, but surprisingly, many people aren't interested in splits in my experience.

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 04-14-2015, 12:24 PM
#8
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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(04-14-2015, 08:17 AM)sgemmett Wrote: I have too many soaps, not 50 but too many. My main criteria is scent for the soaps that made the pile to keep of but there are a few that I was not crazy about the scent but they perform so well I was unwilling to part with them. My criteria is not brand specific, its more of a popularity contest, I decided 15 was the target and selected them as follows:

5 of my favorite scents
5 more of the best performers
and finally 5 soaps which for whatever reason hold my interest, unusual, discontinued or hard to re-acquire soaps
I rather like this approach.  I had well over 75, but doing a couple "Box Sales" made a large dent in the accumulation.  And, truth be told, i really haven't missed what I sold.

Scent is, and will likely always be, the chef determinant.  If it doesn't smell "mmm" under my nose. ot darn well better have some seriously strong other attributes!

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 04-14-2015, 06:05 PM
#9
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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At the beginning of this year, I decided it was time to start finishing off some product and whittle down the den. I didn't feel I was getting anywhere using something different every day. So I put about 7 different soaps and 3 or so creams in my bathroom drawer. The rest went into a box in my closet. Almost 4 months later, I hardly miss the soaps and creams I have stashed away, even though there's some really outstanding stuff in there. As I finish up a product, I pull something "new" out of my stash. That serves as a little motivation to use things up. The most difficult thing for me has been to resist purchasing new product that I'd like to try based on reviews on this forum.


Andrew

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 04-14-2015, 06:12 PM
#10
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In deference to my colleagues here.
Scent is not the primary consideration for me.
Scent is very personal and ephemeral at best.
Having tried a number of commercial brands and artisanal soaps - I have chosen both tallow and vegetal/vegan? based.
Performance is the key driver in my selection. Typically by comparison.
Although the process is far from scientific - since a number of  factors are involved (the usual culprits being prep and water/consistency).
Those that perform consistently: lather, slickness and after shave face feel remain.
Unfortunately, the artisanal soaps have lacked consistency - in particular between batches of production.
So they have been relinquished.
The top five are a mixture of soaps and creams that provide all of the above every time I shave.
Ultimately, if it was necessary - I could rely on just one and that would be fine... 

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 04-14-2015, 08:51 PM
#11
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I tried to do this with my fragrance collection.
I stopped buying new fragrances in December 2014, and so far have yet to purchase anything new, but was given a couple of frags.

Currently at 500 full bottles, 50-200 ml, I decided it was time to only keep my best of the best.

So I started sorting them and gave them all a hard sniff and look.

Turned out I wasn't good at this, because I ended up keeping 501, only found 6 frags that did not quite live up to my expectations.

Tried to do the same with my 200+ soaps no creams the other day.
Only got rid of 3 tubes of Super Max, which will be used to break brushes in, and also got rid of a pot of Simpson Unscented, but kept two scented Simpson creams.

It's just hard to realize how difficult it is to only pick a few, when you love so many  Tongue

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 04-15-2015, 12:36 AM
#12
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I have more then 150 full tubs soaps plus creams.
I lived in Taiwan and the shipping is always a problem.
I am not able to PIF or exchange them due to there are few wet shavers in Taiwan.
I am slowing down my purchase after owning ABC and MdC.
My next target may be Santa Maria Novella.

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 04-15-2015, 04:40 AM
#13
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(04-14-2015, 07:50 AM)Starkicker Wrote: My question to you who have started culling the soaps in your dens and arrived at your shave den nirvana - how do/did you decide what soaps make the cut and what soaps didn't? Do you only have one soap per brand or do you keep a few scents from the same brand? What were your keep/sell/discard criteria?

Thanks!

Like you, I've tried a lot.  Since I use them from Start to Finish, I get a good sense of a line without having to try the various scents, with just one soap...or even a week or two with it.

If it doesn't work after X amount of time (let's say a week), I move on to the next one.  I now have my benchmark which I measure all soaps against.  When I'm done trying the remaining couple of soaps in my den, I hope to be pretty much exclusive to one soap line.  When I'm done a soap, I make a few notes like how much used per shave (total weight / uses), cost, quality of shaves, heat sensitive, ease of lathering, post shave feel...just in case I forget down the road.

For me, the final deciding criteria is:  QUALITY of shave, SLICKNESS, FACE FEEL (not drying), doesn't break the bank and the a HUGE factor is it's not going to change formulas, be discontinued or it's an LE soap.  I've found that soap and it comes in a variety of scents, so I'm a happy boy....and it's even cheap.  Good/Great  soaps don't cut it any more for me, if it doesn't beat my top soap, I don't consider repurchasing.

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 04-15-2015, 05:17 AM
#14
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10 soaps for me would be a large collection I keep 2-4 at most , when I get something new I pass some along to someone who's interested.

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 04-15-2015, 06:06 AM
#15
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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I got into this sport in search of irritation free shaves. From a keeper soap/cream I seek: 
  • Primary: aids irritation free shaves, minimizes nicks, redness & bumps.
  • Secondary: Lathers easily, value for money, pleasant fragrance
  • Disqualifiers: allergens. I can't do synthetic sandalwood or almond (benzaldehyde) scented soaps
The current tier-1 includes MWF, Mikes, Panna Crema, Haslinger, Valobra tallow & AoS cream. If a try a new soap - it must equal or better performance of these - else I sell it.

I apply the same criterion to my other equipment as well. As a result I only have 1 razor (37c), 1 blade brand (7'o'clock black) & 1 ASB (Shea Butter).

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 04-15-2015, 06:23 AM
#16
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Criteria to remain in Primo's Shave Den:
1) Performance
2) Scent
3) Space...what do I mean? If it doesn't fit on this shelf (see below), buh-bye. (Makes for difficult decisions, though  Blush )
[Image: B8hB3Xk.jpg]

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