02-10-2016, 02:28 PM
#1
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I just ordered 6 Savon des Volcans Bon Berger shaving soaps.

Received the first 3 today. The ones with least amopunt of ASS milk in them, I believe.
The first release they made in plastic containers.

Awaits the 3 new version will arrive soon, the ones with more ASS milk in the soaps.

But I was a bit surprised when I unpacked the parcel with the 3 shaving soaps in them.
They looked like they were made by a person, that has very little to no interest in the presentation.
And the labels are sloppy made, one label actually already fell off, when I unpacked them, the next one is very close to also coming off.
There is small amount of shaing soap on the outside around the rim of the container, that I had to remove with tissue paper.

And the one container, where the label fell off, has a very weird looking surface, that makes me feel it's simply not fresh.
Can anyone, who owns the Mandarin-Cedar soap tell me, if the shaving soap should look like this:

(the yellow one in the middle)

[Image: uLtEgtK.jpg]

I think I'm closing in on what I want to experience and venture into, when it comes to artisan shaving soaps.
These plastic containers are bordeline what I even would want to have in my personal rather large shaving soap/cream collection.
They are that cheap looking, and having to wipe them clean from soap residue and see the almost dry labels falling off, just makes me really not even care if this shaving soap is so great that it shaves my beard off from just one perfect pass and gives me a BBS.

Have I reached my limit, regarding artisane shaing soap and how juvenile, sloppy and unprofessional a shaving soap presentation can be ?

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 02-10-2016, 02:35 PM
#2
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We are all different, my friend, and we have our particular and specific requirements in all things.
Personally, presentation is the last thing that I worry about regarding shaving soaps. As long they work well, then I am very happy. I am not concerned about packaging as I want to pay for the performance of the soap and not for the container. Shy

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 02-10-2016, 02:41 PM
#3
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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I think your "presentation OCD" is showing up again, Hans. Since I often transfer soaps into my own containers (I prefer large, flat containers to load my large brushes), I primarily care about the soap's performance, not the label or container. I actually also enjoy the look of those hand cut-out labels by someone on a small donkey farm in France, as there is a certain quaintness about it. If I want presentation, I'll reach for AdP or C&S. Let us know how you enjoy the soaps after you've lathered them a few times.

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 02-10-2016, 02:46 PM
#4
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(02-10-2016, 02:35 PM)celestino Wrote: We are all different, my friend, and we have our particular and specific requirements in all things.
Personally, presentation is the last thing that I worry about regarding shaving soaps. As long they work well, then I am very happy. I am not concerned about packaging as I want to pay for the performance of the soap and not for the container. Shy

Celestino,  my friend.

I'm not expecting all my soaps to have Boellis Panama, Czech & Speak or even 'just' Acqua di Parma like presentation.

But I do expect, that the artisan soap maker makes sure to at least put on water proof labels, make sure the soap is poured into the container and not dribbled down the outside of the pot (which was the case with all my 3 containers, so 100% sloppy artisan job in this case) and at least, when you charge $16 for a pot of soap, have it made in a just decent looking container.

This platic container looks like something from Lego world, It's below Ikea standard. Actually Ikea Grundtal containers look classy and professional compared to this white plastic junk.

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 02-10-2016, 03:34 PM
#5
  • Nero
  • Ban Groupthink from Earth
  • le montagne
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Claus, I bought those three soaps last Spring. They each came in a brown paper package of two 55g mini-pucks.
None of them showed the cracking of your Mandarin-Cedre. (I actually used it today.) However the color of mine is the same as yours, while my other two scents are white, as well.

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 02-10-2016, 03:49 PM
#6
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(02-10-2016, 03:34 PM)Nero Wrote: Claus, I bought those three soaps last Spring. They each came in a brown paper package of two 55g mini-pucks.
None of them showed the cracking of your Mandarin-Cedre. (I actually used it today.) However the color of mine is the same as yours, while my other two scents are white, as well.

Thanks Matt, I have written to the vendor about the cracking surface in the Mandarin Cedar soap.

I understand Celestino and others point of view, that surely the important thing is the quality of the soap - but I just can't grasp, that when you finally decide to sell your home made shaving soaps, just make sure some very basic things are done, so you keep your customers satisfied.

Water proof labels, not made from cheap thin dry newspaper like paper
Decent quality containers, just decent quality
Make sure the soap is poured into the container, and not on to the sides of the container

Maybe it's just me and my OCD, but really come on....this is just very basic things, that one really should expect as minimum in a shaving soap.
Of course the performance of the soap is the NUMERO UNO priority, but once you decide, that your soap is good enough to sell to others, you should take care of these basic things regarding the presentation.

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 02-10-2016, 03:59 PM
#7
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I would like to state some examples of artisan soap makers, that make EXTREMELY high performing shaving soaps, and still manage to sell their shaving soaps in high quality containers, some even with ÜBER great presentation, some with just good to great high quality containers:

Caties Bubbles - not a great presentation, but a solid plastic container, labels always (in my 8 cases) aligned and seems to be water proof. In my Top 25 of best shaving soaps out there.
Cold River Soap Works Select - probably among the best presentations among artisans out there. ÛBER GREAT presentation and ÜBER great shaving soap In my Top 10 best shaving soaps in the world.
Tabula Rasa - not the most luxurious presentation, but soap somes in a high quality solid plastic pot, the labels seem professional made. The soap is in my Top 10-Top 5 of best shaving soaps in the world.
Le Pére Lucien - arguable the best quality stainless steel containers I have yet to see. Solid presentation, GREAT shaving soap, in my personal Top 8 best shaving soaps out there.
Esbjerg shaving cream - comes in high quality pots, that reminds me of Tabula Rasa. Nice presentation. GREAT shaving cream.
Baume.Be - in my Top 5 best shaving creams in the world, on par with Esbjerg, or even better. Comes in sturdy glass jar, that really oooooses HIGH QUALITY.

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 02-10-2016, 04:49 PM
#8
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Most of the issues you mentioned wouldn't bother me. But labels falling off? That would irritate me. And the labels really don't look like they belong on a plastic container. A little odd, indeed.

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 02-10-2016, 07:47 PM
#9
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Presentation is certainly important. Definitely important for me but performance takes a priority. Something like this would bother me for a few shaves and the good performance would make me tolerate it... Let's not forget this soap costs $16/tub!!
I personally love the MDC jar. It's very functional. I am sure we pay for it but I don't mind it given the quality.
The imperfections in the packaging make me want to think the artisan is"careless"or doesn't pay attention to detail... That's something I would want to avoid specially if I am dealing with an "artisan"

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 02-11-2016, 08:03 AM
#10
  • Steve56
  • Active Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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Cracking I believe is just because the soap is drying which os maybe not a bad thing. MWF is well known to crack if it dries out and hasn't been used for a while. Other soaps will crack a little too including my SdM 25% that I got in Paris a couple of years ago - it's been in the travel bag.

Try putting a little water on it everyday and the cracks may heal themselves.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-11-2016, 08:13 AM
#11
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Claus, the falling label is unacceptable! The vendor shouldn't have sent it, in my opinion. Send him an email with photos and ask for a replacement. The cracking on the surface is probably a result of dehydration, I wouldn't mind.


Savon de Volcans is a truly artisan company and I really don't care about the imperfections on the soap itself and the bad cutting of the label. The product is great and I' m sure you'll enjoy it.

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 02-11-2016, 09:29 AM
#12
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Artisan soap will undergo changes as it dries, especially if storage conditions are not optimal, in your Dopp kit or bathroom.  A soap's color can change due to the fragrance, it can get harder, or crack, all common occurrences and not harmful to performance.  But a soap should arrive in pristine condition to the customer.  At some point the maker has to take the loss and bin soaps that have gone too long unsold or have serious imperfections like those cracks.  Don't underestimate the value of your feedback directly to the soapmaker, it is in their interest to remedy the problem.  We all make mistakes sometimes, the important thing is to fix them when it's possible.

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 02-11-2016, 09:47 AM
#13
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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I've made better labels at home for my soap transplants.  That's pretty poor presentation to me.

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 02-11-2016, 10:01 AM
#14
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I try to avoid packaging in all forms. I haven't bought  Limoge for my soaps but a few wooden bowls from older efforts work just fine.
SdM's basswood containers are apropos to the agricultural tradition they come out of. I am now in possession of two Tempete  basswood containers. My first warped. I am contemplating sealing the second. Perhaps I will pull out my OPINEL and do some artful engraving first.
The Volcans packaging is disgraceful. Are they trying to make some Camus existentialist statement; A Francois Villon expression of disillusionment?

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 02-11-2016, 10:13 AM
#15
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(02-11-2016, 09:47 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: I've made better labels at home for my soap transplants.  That's pretty poor presentation to me.

Agreed, a 9 year old child can make labels, that look more professional - and NO, I'm not kidding

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 02-11-2016, 12:11 PM
#16
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(02-11-2016, 10:13 AM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(02-11-2016, 09:47 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: I've made better labels at home for my soap transplants.  That's pretty poor presentation to me.

Agreed, a 9 year old child can make labels, that look more profesional - and NO, I'm not kidding

in three seconds my Label are perfect.

[Image: c8d9eb26dfcc6ad85d2a9565c4690a59.jpg]

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 02-11-2016, 12:24 PM
#17
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I must post again. Their packaging verges on gross amateurism. But, the soaps are good and prices fair. I just spent 10 minutes helping my neighbor extricate her purchase from plastic possibly made by the producers of bank plexiglass bullet proof windows. I have an old pair of aviation tin snips that helped make P 38s down Phil's way. 10 minutes and I have a blister on my palm, a cut finger, considerable post consumer waste and
maybe that French packaging isn't so bad after all.

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 02-11-2016, 02:31 PM
#18
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(02-11-2016, 12:11 PM)lu20vt Wrote:
(02-11-2016, 10:13 AM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(02-11-2016, 09:47 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: I've made better labels at home for my soap transplants.  That's pretty poor presentation to me.

Agreed, a 9 year old child can make labels, that look more profesional - and NO, I'm not kidding

in three seconds my Label are perfect.

[Image: c8d9eb26dfcc6ad85d2a9565c4690a59.jpg]

Luis, I agree.

I know the price point for Savon de Volcans are not exactly high, rather it's middle of the road pricing for a soap, in fact on the cheaper side - so what can you expect for that price.

* Labels coming off, due to lack of glue
* Remainings of soap residue in several spots on the rim of the plastic pot
* Flimsy labels in thin old newspaper like quality
* Label design, that looks like it's made by a child
* Small white 2 cent plastic pots used for this luxuirous high end shaving soap
* Soap has cracks on the surface, even before it's used for the first time

It's artisan and I know the whole charm is, that you can indeed find an EXCELLENT soap hidden behind the juvenile low quality presentation. I know. I know.

But, are you honestly seriously suggesting, that I should go and buy some hobby glue, to make sure the labels are not coming off my brand new shaving soap ?

HOLY CRAP, are you serious ?!?  24 24 Wave1 Wave1 Facepalm Facepalm

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 02-11-2016, 02:37 PM
#19
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(02-11-2016, 02:31 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(02-11-2016, 12:11 PM)lu20vt Wrote:
(02-11-2016, 10:13 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: Agreed, a 9 year old child can make labels, that look more profesional - and NO, I'm not kidding

in three seconds my Label are perfect.

[Image: c8d9eb26dfcc6ad85d2a9565c4690a59.jpg]

Luis, I agree.

I know the price point for Savon de Volcans are not exactly high, rather it's middle of the road pricing for a soap, in fact on the cheaper side - so what can you expect for that price.

* Labels coming off, due to lack of glue
* Remainings of soap residue in several spots on the rim of the plastic pot
* Flimsy labels in thin old newspaper like quality
* Label design, that looks like it's made by a child
* Small white 2 cent plastic pots used for this luxuirous high end shaving soap
* Soap has cracks on the surface, even before it's used for the first time

It's artisan and I know the whole charm is, that you can indeed find an EXCELLENT soap hidden behind the juvenile low quality presentation. I know. I know.

But, are you honestly seriously suggesting, that I should go and buy some hobby glue, to make sure the labels are not coming off my brand new shaving soap ?

HOLY CRAP, are you serious ?!?  24 24 Wave1 Wave1 Facepalm Facepalm


Claus Don't have glue at home?    Biggrin

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 02-11-2016, 02:57 PM
#20
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I just gave the Lavender Rosmarin shaivng soap from SVD Bon Berger a try tonight, and this soap is great stuff.

Quite slick, lost of cushion, great protection, very easy to make the lather, nice scent - all in all a top product.

9/10 is my rating, but if you look at presentation, it's rather 8/10

This soap is great stuff !!
I don't regret buying it, the vendor where I puchased all 3 soaps, read my complaint regerding the Mandarin-Cedar, and has offset the price I paid for it, and told me I coukd keep the soap, and see if it perhaps will perform for me anyway - a free gift from him.

I can only say, that this is excellent customers service, and that I surely will buy from that store again, NO DOUBT IN MY MIND !

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