05-14-2015, 01:39 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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As I recently mentioned as an aside in another thread, I am among those who are determined to cut back on the number of soaps and cream (I have only one cream) in the cabinet above the sink where I shave.  But before I cut down to my (temporarily, no doubt) “final” selection, I wanted to try two shaving soaps that intrigued me, but which I had not before had a chance to try:  my “bucket list,” if you will.

One of those two is Sampson’s Natural, which I first heard about from site sponsor The Superior Shave and its prolix and no doubt voluble-in-person proprietor, Jarrod.  Jarrod found a lot to write about Sampson’s shaving soap (and also about its no-alcohol, no-water, aftershave), and -- to hear him tell it -- it’s all good.  Even though The Superior Shave does not sell the sainted French shaving croap with a lower-case d in its three-letter acronym, Jarrod graciously praises it:

Quote:Lastly, there is the French Martin de Candre; it is terrific, sublime stuff, and if you like it, you're pretty sure to like Sampsons' All-Natural, for their formulations are very similar indeed.  
http://thesuperiorshave.com/tss_lather_fuel_dogma.html

Jarrod also writes:

Quote:There's a well known and quite costly Europe-distribution-only shaving soap that's revered for its simple, effective, premium-ingredients nature; taking nothing away from the Sampsons product, it would be fair to declare that, while nonetheless derived of their own independent analysis, the Sampsons soap and the aforeanonymouslymentioned European soap are as similar as are Proraso and Omega soaps; surely just a little different, but much more the same than themselves and any other products on the market.

Jarrod has not led me wrong so far, so I give him the benefit of the doubt. 


Problem is, a 5.5 oz. puck of Sampson’s shaving soap retails for $22.00, and I find that I have a strong sales resistance when a soap is that expensive.  A gross rule of thumb:  I won’t pay more for a puck of shaving soap than I will pay for a single 750 ml bottle of “daily drinker” wine.  We enjoy (red, of course) wine as our beverage of choice with supper every evening in our household, and mostly I keep the cost per bottle below $10.00, taking into account the standard 20% case discount, occasionally venturing into the $12.00 to $15.00 range for a “weekend” wine which, for purposes of my shave soap price barrier, counts as a daily drinker.  Only for the rare celebration of a special event, usually in a restaurant, do I break the $15.00 barrier; and by extension, that means that I am not a candidate to purchase Martin de Candre or even Castle Forbes shaving cream, probably ever.

Well, Sampson’s is currently having a sale on samples, and one can get a sample each of both the shaving soap -- there is only one variety -- and the unique Himalayan beeswax-based aftershave for $1.00 (including shipping).  Here is a link to the sample page.  How much of a bargain is that?  Well, I ordered the sample pack, and the United States Postal Service postage on the package it arrived in was over $2.50.  Putting the value delivered for $1.00 expended into further perspective, the sample of the aftershave comes in a 1/4 oz. jar, but the full product comes in a 2.0 oz. jar that sells for $22.00; do the arithmetic for yourself.  

Of course, I tried both product samples in the morning shave after they came into my hands . . . but I now have had them in my possession for only two days, so my evaluation needs be very preliminary.  First impression:  no doubt, both products are very good.  Jarrod still has a pristine record in not misleading me.  Admittedly, I still have not been deafened by the angel chorus, but -- perhaps -- the angels started with the Adagio in ppp, and will build to a crescendo forthwith.  I am happy that I risked the dollar.  

Tangentially, Sampson’s has some statements about ingredients -- about coconut oil and fragrance oils in particular -- that march to the beat of a different drummer than the thoughts and opinions of many participants here on Shavenook.  Read the descriptions at this link.  I am unqualified to offer evaluation of who is “right” and who is “wrong” on those matters, and so I limit my observation to the notation of differences of opinion and quit the field for the other players to joust. 

But I am firm in my belief that the dollar spent on Sampson’s shave soap and aftershave samples is a dollar very well spent.  

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 05-14-2015, 03:13 PM
#2
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Thanks Mel.  Well written.

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 05-14-2015, 03:44 PM
#3
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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They must be somewhere in Wisconsin.  I just paid my $1.00 for the samples including shipping and they charged me $.06 Wisconsin Sales Tax.

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 05-14-2015, 04:39 PM
#4
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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...i purchased a sample of the soap and aftershave too......

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 05-15-2015, 04:30 AM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-14-2015, 04:39 PM)leonidas Wrote: ...i purchased a sample of the soap and aftershave too......

The Superior Shave site has some tips as to how to apply the aftershave -- a different technique than I have used with aftershave splashes and balms; you might want to check it out.

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 05-15-2015, 04:55 AM
#6
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Brevity's wit's soul, & being witty's not easy.

Problem is, a 5.5 oz. puck of Sampson’s shaving soap retails for $22.00, and I find that I have a strong sales resistance when a soap is that expensive.

Presuming one knows they like a product, "expensive" is a very relative term for me;  Sampsons and even the ~$60+/tub MdC have cost PER USE  below many other less dense fuels (Jagger, Trumper/Taylor/Truefitt creams 4 easy examples, but there's lots that qualify) with lower buy-ins.

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 05-15-2015, 05:09 AM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-15-2015, 04:55 AM)kwigibocity Wrote: Brevity's wit's soul, & being witty's not easy.

I should have added to the original post that, if using the sample leads me to fall in love with the product, I’ll dance with the guy what brung me, and buy from the recommending retailer rather than direct from the producer.

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 05-15-2015, 05:40 AM
#8
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(05-15-2015, 05:09 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(05-15-2015, 04:55 AM)kwigibocity Wrote: Brevity's wit's soul, & being witty's not easy.

I should have added to the original post that, if using the sample leads me to fall in love with the product, I’ll dance with the guy what brung me, and buy from the recommending retailer rather than direct from the producer.

Signs011

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 05-15-2015, 05:48 AM
#9
  • leonidas
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  • Jerez de la Frontera
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(05-15-2015, 04:30 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(05-14-2015, 04:39 PM)leonidas Wrote: ...i purchased a sample of the soap and aftershave too......

The Superior Shave site has some tips as to how to apply the aftershave -- a different technique than I have used with aftershave splashes and balms; you might want to check it out.

.........thank you, Mel.........

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 05-15-2015, 07:16 AM
#10
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the glass ceiling for water/alcohol free aftershave's its icky feel going on 

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 05-15-2015, 09:31 AM
#11
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It would be like putting on shea butter - a little goes a long way. 

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 05-15-2015, 09:59 AM
#12
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I've been interested in this soap/AS combo for a while.  Of course the $1 samples are gone.

What is the scent like?  Is it at all similar to MdC?

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 05-15-2015, 10:48 AM
#13
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-15-2015, 09:59 AM)BriDroid Wrote: Of course the $1 samples are gone.

What is the scent like?  Is it at all similar to MdC?

The dollar samples appear to be back up on the site now.  Maybe someone just had to go in the back room and slice some samples off a larger bar, and put them in their little bubble-wrap sleeves to make them ready for shipping. 

As I wrote in the original post in this thread, I have no MdC experience to draw on, but I could compare the scent to Michelle's (Mystic Water) Bergamot, Cedarwood, & Juniper (but fainter) -- but that won’t help you if you are unfamiliar with that Mystic Water soap (in which case, you have a happy revelation ahead when you do become familiar with that soap).  

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 05-20-2015, 10:20 AM
#14
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I was right, they are in Milwaukee.  I ordered the $1.00 samples and plan on using them tomorrow.  I will go along with Mel's description as I know no better.  It is light and pleasant.

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 05-20-2015, 08:56 PM
#15
  • N8Julo43
  • Red Whisker Wrangler
  • Mizzou-RAH, USA
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I'm I received the sample this afternoon and went ahead with a palm lather to build an initial impression.

Out of the package, the texture of the soap was pretty crumbly with a pleasant scent. Somewhat floral, but subtle and smooth. I used a small chunk in a salsa bowl to load the brush. I used a synthetic brush that I can usually whip up nice lather fairly quickly, so I loaded the damp brush for about 10 to 15 seconds and then moved to my palm. I wouldn't say it was a lather explosion, but the immediate results were very thick and rich lather, instead of needing work to get to that yogurty result most people look for. After about a minute of palm lathering, I had the lather consistency that would be shave worthy by my standards. 

[Image: 72hh8vb.jpg]
[Image: jLIcXKH.jpg]
After a little bit of rubbing between my hands and rinsing, I would give the following ratings as my first impression.

Scent: 8/10. Pleasant scent, not overpowering or sharp. Very clean.

Scent Strength: 5/10. Not too strong, but still there.

Lather Cushion: 8/10. Good cushion, silky and rich consistency with no extensive work needed

Slickness: 7/10. I didn't find this soap to be as slick as some others in my den, but definitely wouldn't be a major negative for this soap

Skin Feel, Post Rinse: 5/10. My hands actually felt somewhat dry after a few minutes following rinsing the lather off. I would say this may be a weakness for this soap.

Overall, I think this is a pretty nice soap! Good scent and lather capabilities, but the post shave may end up being a little bit of an issue after my test lather. I will use it for a few shaves before I make my final decisions on this one. 

I did find some of the opinion expressed on the info sheet included with the soap kind of interesting. They stated that they specifically left out ingredients like Shea butter because they are of no use to the shave. In my experience, some of the soaps that contain butters seem to leave my face pretty soft and smooth, so the jury is out on that fact. It almost seems like Shea butter is exactly what this soap may be missing for me. YMMV, of course. In comparison, I would say it is very similar to MdC. Good lather and performance, slight dryness in the post shave. I just feel that my experience with soaps like Cold River, PannaCrema, and Mystic Water have checked all the boxes for me.

I look forward to hearing everyone else's opinion on this one!

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 05-21-2015, 07:46 AM
#16
  • leonidas
  • Senior Member
  • Jerez de la Frontera
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......N8Julo43, where did you get that great looking red bowl?

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 05-21-2015, 07:53 AM
#17
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Well, I was so impressed the the sample I received, I just placed my order with Jarrod for some soap and after shave.

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 05-21-2015, 08:53 AM
#18
  • N8Julo43
  • Red Whisker Wrangler
  • Mizzou-RAH, USA
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Leonidas, I actually purchased it at a Gordman's retail store. They had an aisle of kitchen utensils and cookware. It is an unbreakable salsa bowl. That is also considered a dollar well spent for me! 

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 05-21-2015, 09:12 AM
#19
  • leonidas
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  • Jerez de la Frontera
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...ha!!! .....a great purchase!

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 05-21-2015, 10:28 AM
#20
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-21-2015, 07:53 AM)Johnny Wrote: Well, I was so impressed the the sample I received, I just placed my order with Jarrod for some soap and after shave.

That is encouraging.  My disk-shaped sample of the soap did not survive the United States Postal Service well, despite being in a bubble-wrap envelope, and arrived in four (or five) pieces (four pieces of various sizes plus a crumb).  The smallest piece the crumb was sufficient for two good shaves, but before I could get to a larger piece, I was called away on other business (o.k., it was my decennial probe:  those of you over age 50 know what I mean), and after that I decided to “use up some sample razor blades that I had received gratis that are not-so-good; so I have been waiting to get a decent blade in the razor to give the Sampsons soap a fair shake.  In the meantime, the Sampsons aftershave sample which the results of shaving with the free blade drove me to try provided proof enough to me to order some of the Marisol salve (which The Superior Shave does not sell) from Sampsons for my wife.  From my very limited exposure thus far with the shaving soap, my guess is that I shall be following your lead with Jarrod on the shaving products if my initial impressions hold up through a longer trial.

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