06-20-2016, 07:49 AM
#1
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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I am into wet shaving about 3 years. I was lucky enough to try dozens of soaps and creams. I kept some, sold and gave others to fellow shavers. I like reading reviews of new products and I like reviewing the soaps and creams I buy to write my opinion about them and help my fellow wet shavers to get an idea about how a product performs. So far, I haven't tried any soap or cream that was bad performer. Of course, some of them are better than others in terms of slickness, protection or post- shave feeling, but none of them was actually performing bad. My point is are there really any bad performing soaps or we are so fortunate that we have plenty of options of good soaps? I can't recall myself any soap or cream that was too bad to shave with it. Maybe I'm too lucky.

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 06-20-2016, 07:54 AM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I couldn't make lather with Mama Bear's soap. It was probably my own ineptitude, though.

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 06-20-2016, 08:18 AM
#3
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Artisan soaps do seem vulnerable to issues. I don't think it's a question of bad soaps aside from a british soap that reformulated from tallow to a glorified handsoap. The internet has allowed Phil, Lee and others to go global and offer  seemingly endless releases of new temptations. The bar has been raised and the door opened. If you are in Germany,USA or the UK and used MWF, Williams or Dittmars because it was  local  life was good.
Now you can acquire a buffet table  and run from soap to soap seeking some ill defined 'perfection' while your grandfather grumbles while lathering up his Williams, MWf and Dittmars.

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 06-20-2016, 08:19 AM
#4
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Reformulation of Penhaligon's English Fern and Blenheim Bouquet... They were dreadful, no useable lather whatsoever.


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 06-20-2016, 09:05 AM
#5
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For me the Lea Classic hard puck is not a soap useful for a regular shave.
Other than that I can't think of a soap nor cream, that I could not use for a shave.
GFT newest formulation of hard puck soaps comes close to being uncomfortable to shave with. The lather is almost as terrible as Lea Classic. Almost.

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 06-20-2016, 09:50 AM
#6
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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Let's just say: any soap whose ingredients list begins with Sodium Palmate is pretty much guaranteed to have lathering issues (the only ones I know about that are good lathering soaps are C&E Sweet Almond Oil (discontinued though) and PdP No. 63 scent (I almost think they got the label wrong and should be Potassium Palmate first)

After that, I still would say soaps that have scents that burn the face are bad performers. A good soap shouldn't/doesn't burn the skin obviously. This would be in the YMMV realm certainly, though.

My perspective is that there are 5-10 soaps that are close to perfection from an ALL-ROUND performance standpoint (not lacking anything).
Other than those, I would say the rest are serviceable shaving lather, just not mind-blowing. And should not be replaced.

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 06-20-2016, 11:02 AM
#7
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That's been my overall experience too. 
Another exception is Valobra-made hard soap; the first metal element is Sodium (though the fatty acid is tallow acid, vs palmitic).

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 06-20-2016, 03:42 PM
#8
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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(06-20-2016, 08:19 AM)merkur man Wrote: Reformulation of Penhaligon's English Fern and Blenheim Bouquet... They were dreadful, no useable lather whatsoever.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I completely agree with this...those Pens are the first soaps I thought of when I read the first post. When I first started many years ago and I was experimenting with various types of soaps, I seem to remember those that are translucent (I believe aka glycerin-based soaps) gave me horrible results. Now that I think of it also HTGAM was the same for me.

Otherwise most I try are at least good, and my standouts are those that are superior to the "good" ones in some way Biggrin

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 06-20-2016, 03:54 PM
#9
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Mutiny Shave Soap, hands down the worst soap in the world I wouldn't even use it to wash my hands. It would not create any form of lather whatsoever. 

Other than that I have not come across a soap I couldn't get a half decent shave out of.

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 06-20-2016, 04:08 PM
#10
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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Anyone ever try Lightfoots Pine shave soap?
Terrible.

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 06-21-2016, 01:55 AM
#11
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Unfortunately with the plethora of shave soaps and creams available today there are bound to be some duds. Fortunately the chances of running into one are fairly low. In a pinch even Ivory bath soap will lather up enough, just barely, to allow a shave. I have used soaps that lathered easily and well that some have said would not lather for them. In some cases, not all, I think the problem is operator related. I'd just find a few good soaps that work for you and stick with them. If you try enough different soaps or creams you are bound to fine the odd one that will not work for you.

Bob

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 06-21-2016, 05:01 AM
#12
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To me I can shave with anything that provides slickness certainly some are more enjoyable than others. If I were to pick one without naming names it is a very popular economy line of soaps that at one time was decent early on and now seems to be just uncomfortable to me.

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 06-21-2016, 05:41 AM
#13
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(06-20-2016, 07:49 AM)nikos.a Wrote: So far, I haven't tried any soap or cream that was bad performer. Of course, some of them are better than others in terms of slickness, protection or post- shave feeling, but none of them was actually performing bad. My point is are there really any bad performing soaps or we are so fortunate that we have plenty of options of good soaps? I can't recall myself any soap or cream that was too bad to shave with it. Maybe I'm too lucky.

People are missing the spirit of your post, I think. Much like what the explosion of the craft beer movement a few years back did for beer enthusiasts, we are in something of a Renaissance for high-quality shaving materials. Not just soaps, but brushes, razors, aftershaves, everything is being improved by the handmade artisanal movement.

The shaver of means today can shave with a hand-machined titanium razor, using a small-batch artisanal soap completely free of questionable materials (parabens et al) and a hand-tied knot in a custom-lathed handle. It's pretty crazy.

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 06-21-2016, 11:11 AM
#14
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(06-20-2016, 09:05 AM)CHSeifert Wrote: For me the Lea Classic hard puck is not a soap useful for a regular shave.
Other than that I can't think of a soap nor cream, that I could not use for a shave.
GFT newest formulation of hard puck soaps comes close to being uncomfortable to shave with. The lather is almost as terrible as Lea Classic. Almost.

I'm with Claus on this one.

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 06-21-2016, 11:45 AM
#15
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(06-21-2016, 05:41 AM)crazindndude Wrote:
(06-20-2016, 07:49 AM)nikos.a Wrote: So far, I haven't tried any soap or cream that was bad performer. Of course, some of them are better than others in terms of slickness, protection or post- shave feeling, but none of them was actually performing bad. My point is are there really any bad performing soaps or we are so fortunate that we have plenty of options of good soaps? I can't recall myself any soap or cream that was too bad to shave with it. Maybe I'm too lucky.

People are missing the spirit of your post, I think. Much like what the explosion of the craft beer movement a few years back did for beer enthusiasts, we are in something of a Renaissance for high-quality shaving materials. Not just soaps, but brushes, razors, aftershaves, everything is being improved by the handmade artisanal movement.

The shaver of means today can shave with a hand-machined titanium razor, using a small-batch artisanal soap completely free of questionable materials (parabens et al) and a hand-tied knot in a custom-lathed handle. It's pretty crazy.
Exactly! You're right on that!

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 06-21-2016, 10:13 PM
#16
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Geo F. Trumpers Eucris hard soap in the black wooden bowl would not lather for me at all.  I loved the scent and will likely buy the cologne in the future but never their soaps.  Now, I haven't tried a zillion different brands but I get excellent results with the usual favorites, Cella (brick) the various Proraso flavors of creams and soaps and believe it or not modern Williams mug soap.  It's certainly slick enough and I've found that cold water gives it a far more stable lather than warm or hot.  Hot water seems to accelerate the evaporative quality that it's infamous for.  I cold water shave, and cold water seems to work very well with Williams.

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 06-22-2016, 06:33 AM
#17
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I have Edwin Jagger,  Aloe Vera and Limes & Pomegranate.  I have 54 soaps and creams and will be receiving 4 more this week.  The Edwin Jagger soaps are the worst performing soaps I have.

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 06-22-2016, 07:15 AM
#18
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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EJ soaps might be better if the loading surface area wasn't so small. If the puck had a larger diameter I think it would load much better, then lather better and would perform better. Just a theory though.
That said, I've had worse products than them in their current state.

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 06-22-2016, 08:26 AM
#19
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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(06-20-2016, 08:18 AM)kav Wrote: Artisan soaps do seem vulnerable to issues. I don't think it's a question of bad soaps aside from a british soap that reformulated from tallow to a glorified handsoap. The internet has allowed Phil, Lee and others to go global and offer  seemingly endless releases of new temptations. The bar has been raised and the door opened. If you are in Germany,USA or the UK and used MWF, Williams or Dittmars because it was  local  life was good.
Now you can acquire a buffet table  and run from soap to soap seeking some ill defined 'perfection' while your grandfather grumbles while lathering up his Williams, MWf and Dittmars.

Haha! Yep.
That's dead on.
I love all the different soaps out there. And many times I think all those "artisans" pushed some of the manufacturers to offer stuff they might not have ten or twenty years ago.
But basic soap like MWF, Williams, heck even Van der Hagen, works just fine for me, and if the artisans and most of the rest go belly up (God forbid), as long as i have a basic shaving soap like on of those, i'll be good to go til I die.

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 06-22-2016, 10:51 AM
#20
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(06-22-2016, 08:26 AM)SRNewb Wrote:
(06-20-2016, 08:18 AM)kav Wrote: Artisan soaps do seem vulnerable to issues. I don't think it's a question of bad soaps aside from a british soap that reformulated from tallow to a glorified handsoap. The internet has allowed Phil, Lee and others to go global and offer  seemingly endless releases of new temptations. The bar has been raised and the door opened. If you are in Germany,USA or the UK and used MWF, Williams or Dittmars because it was  local  life was good.
Now you can acquire a buffet table  and run from soap to soap seeking some ill defined 'perfection' while your grandfather grumbles while lathering up his Williams, MWf and Dittmars.

Haha! Yep.
That's dead on.
I love all the different soaps out there. And many times I think all those "artisans" pushed some of the manufacturers to offer stuff they might not have ten or twenty years ago.
But basic soap like MWF, Williams, heck even Van der Hagen, works just fine for me, and if the artisans and most of the rest go belly up (God forbid), as long as i have a basic shaving soap like on of those, i'll be good to go til I die.


Yup, the more soaps I try the more I realize there is nothing wrong with a basic soap like Arko.

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