12-11-2015, 02:59 PM
#1
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I've been a member here and on other forums for quite sometime now and I've recently become interested in why we're so focused on the scent of a soap.  From my perspective, scent should be secondary to performance for a number of reasons.  Primarily because it is rare for the scent of a soap to remain for an extended amount of time and rarely will it last throughout the day.  Secondly, with no offense intended to the artisans on this forum, I have yet to find a soap that exceeds the scent of my favorite fragrances in either quality or longevity.  This could be due to the fact that a soap/cream's primary purpose is to provide one with a great shave and not to provide one with a scent for the day and of course, a fragrance's sole purpose is to provide a great scent

While I will often try to pair a soap to a fragrance but I am not overly concerned about that because I know that the scent of the soap will typically fade quickly leaving me with my (hopefully) good choice in fragrance.

I should note that I am also a HUGE hypocrite as  I own quite a few soaps from the same manufacturer where the only variation is scent.  I like the variety but really don't need it.

Thoughts?

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 12-11-2015, 03:57 PM
#2
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Allergies skin reactions.
If you can use dumbo brand unscented soap vut the scented ones five a rash you know you have allergies

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 12-11-2015, 04:05 PM
#3
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I think it's a moot argument because artisanal soap quality has become so good across the board that there are (literally) a dozen or so equally ultra-high quality artisan soaps with nigh-imperceptible differences in quality.

Therefore, what can one refer to when trying to decide? Price, packaging, and scent.

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 12-11-2015, 04:15 PM
#4
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The reason I am focused on the scent of soaps is that I don't enjoy smelling that 'soapy' scent and since there is such a plethora of lovely ones to try, why not. Further, with the association of scents and how they can enhance any experience, we might be correlating the lovely scents with a better shave. Biggrin

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 12-11-2015, 04:50 PM
#5
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Shaving is an activity that I enjoy and the scent is part of the experience. All the soaps/creams I have are of a quality that is above my minimum bar, so there is no compromise on the quality of the shave. If a product does not perform to my standard it gets tossed. 

This is why I didn't re-buy Hasslinger schaffmilch, even though it is a top performing soap, I didn't enjoy the experience as much as I prefer because I could barely detect the scent so the whole thing was "reduced" to a mechanical activity concerning stubble removal. 

By the same token, I buy a new brush from time to time, even though the ones I have can create fantastic lather, each one has a different face-feel that I match to my preference of the day. 

I also have some soft music playing in the background on the weekends when I have more time.  

This is 100% hedonistic "me" time. And none of this is correlated with price.

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 12-11-2015, 05:09 PM
#6
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I agree with all answering posts but mostly with topcapman's. I too have allergies and I tell you: we miss a lot a fun.
Oh and I don't care for EDT.

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 12-11-2015, 05:20 PM
#7
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I focus on scent because, of the soaps I consider, they all have proven good performance.  Hence, scent becomes the most meaningful differentiation.  And I like the various scents to provide, well, variety to the morning shave.

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 12-11-2015, 06:06 PM
#8
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If you a scent guy....like Dave & I...then I completely understand where Dave is coming from.  The scent quality of a soap...no matter how good...is not gonna match the scent quality of an EdT.  And it is not meant to...as they have different purposes.  I agree with Dave...I prefer a soap that performs well & has a scent I like, but my EdT will be my scent of choice for the day.

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 12-11-2015, 06:20 PM
#9
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I'm also with daverasi. I'm really into fragrances and very few shaving soaps/creams have been able to come anywhere close. For this reason and for other practical reasons, performance is the most important metric, but a nice scent can make me smile. A great example of this is PannaCrema Nuavia Blu, which is very nice for lovers of spicy scents.

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 12-11-2015, 07:32 PM
#10
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First and foremost - as long as my skin and olfactory senses find the fragrance tolerable - I look for performance.
And, if the scent happens to be to my adoration, that's serendipity.

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 12-11-2015, 07:41 PM
#11
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(12-11-2015, 04:05 PM)crazindndude Wrote: I think it's a moot argument because artisanal soap quality has become so good across the board that there are (literally) a dozen or so equally ultra-high quality artisan soaps with nigh-imperceptible differences in quality.

Therefore, what can one refer to when trying to decide? Price, packaging, and scent.

Exactly! I have found several brands of soap from artisans and commercial that all provide exceptional lathers. The only reason to buy different brands imo is to get different scents, or at least in my case. I have contemplated a rotation of one artisan in several scents but I know I would miss the other soap brands I enjoy so much. As for why we like scents, for me it makes my shave more enjoyable. When painting the lather on I love to smell the scent. However, I do not care about the duration of the scent because I wear a balm, and if it's the weekend usually a fragrance and an unscented balm.

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 12-11-2015, 08:05 PM
#12
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Thanks for the responses.  There seem to, generally, be three main opinions:

1.  Allergy issues require the use of unscented products;

2.  Given the amazing performance of so many soaps/creams, using scent as one of a number of factors when choosing favorites is one point of you, or;
3.  Scent is secondary to performance because a fragrance of the day will outshine the scent of a soap.

Over simplifying, of course! 

Admittedly, I often chose my soap based on the scent in an effort to match my fragrance or use an unscented soap/cream (I use Xpec unscented a lot...) but I'm also trying (and failing) at reducing my supply of soaps with the understanding that performance is great across the board so I don't need all these flavors...but I won't be posting any of my SV or CRSW anytime soon...

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 12-11-2015, 08:16 PM
#13
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I agree with the others.  I have some that perform very well but don't smell the best so I tend to ignore them more often then not.  There is nothing like a good smelling cream in the morning to wake up the senses.

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 12-11-2015, 08:21 PM
#14
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Scent is second to performance. There is no question about this and I would honestly think that there is little YMMV factor here. As mentioned above, however, there comes a point where you have found the soap(s) that perform best for you. You may still experiment with some new artisans or refirmulations here and there, but we all know what our favored soap base is. Once that has been determined, what else is there when it comes to a shave soap? The only thing left to differentiate it is scent. 

Scent plays such a large role in our lives. Each of our lives are different with different experiences that have shaped is into who we are. Scents were all part of that and are highly tied into memory and emotions. This is what can transcend a mere shaving ritual into a walk down memory lane, a daydream of a desired future, or simply to revisit a specific emotion tied to that scent. 

Scent, like music, can be very powerful. To me it is an important aspect in my shave experience each day that I'm happy to enjoy while so many others are still spraying aerosol chemicals on their face and scraping it all off with monstrous contraptions.

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 12-12-2015, 01:04 AM
#15
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(12-11-2015, 08:21 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Scent is second to performance. There is no question about this and I would honestly think that there is little YMMV factor here. As mentioned above, however, there comes a point where you have found the soap(s) that perform best for you. You may still experiment with some new artisans or refirmulations here and there, but we all know what our favored soap base is. Once that has been determined, what else is there when it comes to a shave soap? The only thing left to differentiate it is scent. 

I agree with the above, scent is secondary to performance. Yet, also as mentioned above in bold I am at that point where I know which soap brands are exceptional performers for my preferences and the artisan or commercial maker is consistent so I don't have to worry about the soap changing. Barrister & Mann is one such product, I just pick a scent from the White Label and enjoy. The same with Stirling, Soap Commander, CRSW, MdC, and many others. I highly doubt I will ever use an unscented shaving soap. No matter how good the performance, if there is not a fragrance that I enjoy I will not buy it. ABC is a perfect example; I bought the sample and love the performance but for some crazy reason it only comes in almond or unscented so I will never buy a full size.

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 12-12-2015, 01:22 AM
#16
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I'd rather a pleasant yet subtle scent; I don't want the scent of the soap to linger noticeably after rinsing. I have a collection of colognes and parfums for that. I have also found correlation between heavily-scented soaps (industrial and artisanal) and a burning/tingling sensation. This doesn't mean that I only want unscented or laundry detergent-scented soap, of course, but the slew of seasonal/oddball/imitation scents 'isn't my bag'.

In short, I mostly agree with the OP.

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 12-12-2015, 01:45 AM
#17
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To me a soap without scent, unless I purposely purchase unscented, is like a Mojito without Rum, enough said  Biggrin

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 12-12-2015, 02:28 AM
#18
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Scent is simply the icing on the cake to me. I am far more concerned about performance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 12-12-2015, 02:32 AM
#19
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I agree, performance is the number one priority, but I just like the scent of a well made soap Rolleyes

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 12-12-2015, 10:49 AM
#20
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I wash and shave so i dobt smell like a hippy at woodstoxk. I dont see hiw the massive perfume rush is so popular.

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