02-04-2017, 11:00 PM
#1
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I wonder why some soap makers can offer the same rather small assortment of scents, while other feel the need to constant renew the scents they offer.

Example
Martin de Candre, Tabula Rasa, Klar Seifen, DR Harris, Czech & Speak, Nuavia, Savonniere du Moulin, Tabac, Haslinger and Castle Forbes

You know they have these assortment of scents in their catalogue and you don't have to worry or get annoyed if a scent you like has been discontinued.

Also they might release a new scent once in a while, but you don't see them releasing a constant flow of new scents.

They might improve the formula, but they don't alter it so often, that you get confused over it.

Ok, MDC released two limited scents, but they generally stay true to the scents in their catalogue. Same with Tabula Rasa. Klar just released two new scents in 2016, but this was after 2-3 years with only 3 scents in their catalogue.

Then you have these other soap makers, that constantly release new scents and discontinue their old classics. Much to the disgust and disappointment of their loyal customers.

Do you feel this is annoying too ?

Would you prefer to support a brand with a big solid steady reliable assortment of scents ?

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 02-04-2017, 11:29 PM
#2
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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Well, playing devil's advocate...
Big soap manufacturers either develop their scents in-house or have a steady supply from a stable vendor.
It's entirely likely that small artisan soapers get their scents in small batches from various scent-houses.  If the scent is a hit, then they may purchase the required fragrances in bulk to ensure enough stock for a year or more but that puts quite a financial burden on the artisan for an otherwise niche market.
If they don't buy the fragrances in bulk (to ensure continued supply), they run the risk of the scent-house altering or dropping that scent.  In my opinion, that's pretty likely.
Other times, our artisan soapers would make a LE batch and there was something during the process (maybe the fragrances didn't have the desired effect) that the soaper would not use that fragrance again, even if it were a success in the market.
I'd be interested to hear from our artisans though on their take.

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 02-04-2017, 11:33 PM
#3
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I prefer to support small crafts like LPL among others that attaches a real importance to these shaving soaps rather than buying those of "big brands" or "artisans" who surf on a wave and regularly renew their scents in order to continue to sell So-called "fairly average" soaps.

We must distinguish artisans who are limited by the quantity of certain HEs of others who do not care about the scents they leave and are content to surf on a wave.
The brands that discontinue regularly their scents to emerge new ones, do not attach to my eyes, a real importance to the products that they market and is content to enrich themselves by taking advantage of a fashion.



I prefer to make work these small craftsmen (LPL, Vire-capot ...) which they attach a real importance to their customers and a proximity to the daily.

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 02-05-2017, 01:21 AM
#4
  • Devilanche
  • Active Member
  • Singapore (CONUS post address)
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I can see the lure in buying something you like and being sure that it is never discontinued and i can also see the lure in trying out new scent.

Given that the former doesn't have to carry a wide range of ever changing scent, we probably see lesser reviews of them. The latter are those that are always in the forums with maybe 3-4 or even more new scent in a year. They can't keep expanding their line so the less popular/best selling has to be sacrificed.

I'm not partial to either so long as the soap make good lather and I am moving away from buying backups.

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 02-05-2017, 01:58 AM
#5
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Mike's Natural Soaps seems to have a rather steady selection of scents - and most are out of stock Tongue The downside of being popular, I compensate by buying more when he has my favourites in stock.

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 02-05-2017, 04:51 AM
#6
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
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(02-04-2017, 11:00 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: Do you feel this is annoying too ?

Would you prefer to support a brand with a big solid steady reliable assortment of scents ?

I'm completely ok with soap makers rotating and discontinuing scents. I'm sure its partially based on sales and popularity. They also have the latitude to make seasonal offerings and limited editions which adds to the fun.  

My soap purchases are made primarily on shave performance. While scent adds a large element of enjoyment I realize it may not always be available in the future. So I choose to support makers that supply a solid performing and ever improving base formula and just enjoy whatever scent comes along without any hard feelings.

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 02-05-2017, 07:06 AM
#7
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I cannot imagine how daunting a task for an artisan to please shavers with quality soap let alone scent. These artisans are not well-funded multi national corporations with R&D, marketing, advertising, etc...
Personally I like a good soap and if it has a "new scent" so be it. A few of the "guys" (and some women) at work are trying new scents now and then. Hey, this is not like buying a Ferrari or a yacht, we can afford to "experiment".

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 02-05-2017, 08:10 AM
#8
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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There are probably many reasons artisans change things often while larger manufacturers do not. If you are a large enterprise say like Valobra, changing scents means consistently sourcing a much larger supply of fragrances compared to an artisan. Many of the large soap making houses have been around for decades if not a century, and have their soap base to their liking so no need to change it. And there is some anecdotal evidence for this, not many artisans can equal the performance of Valobra, ABC, AdP etc.

Artisan shaving soaps are a relatively new thing, and I suspect many artisans reformulate to improve their soap base, something that is hard to imagine Valobra doing except when driven by popular trends or regulations.Artisans are also likely experimenting with fragrances more than the large houses though both artisans and the large manufacturers change the fragrance lineups from time to time.

Cheers, Steve

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 02-05-2017, 08:16 AM
#9
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(02-05-2017, 08:10 AM)Steve56 Wrote: There are probably many reasons artisans change things often while larger manufacturers do not. If you are a large enterprise say like Valobra, changing scents means consistently sourcing a much larger supply of fragrances compared to an artisan. Many of the large soap making houses have been around for decades if not a century, and have their soap base to their liking so no need to change it. And there is some anecdotal evidence for this, not many artisans can equal the performance of Valobra, ABC, AdP etc.

Artisan shaving soaps are a relatively new thing, and I suspect many artisans reformulate to improve their soap base, something that is hard to imagine Valobra doing except when driven by popular trends or regulations.Artisans are also likely experimenting with fragrances more than the large houses though both artisans and the large manufacturers change the fragrance lineups from time to time.

Cheers, Steve


I totally agree with your reasoning. There are also some craftsmen who when launching new products do not necessarily discontinue their old products.

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 02-05-2017, 09:44 AM
#10
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This is not a knock on the artisans, that choose to make new scents all of the time, but rather a question what you as a user prefer.

Regarding artisans, Castle Forbes and Savonniere Du Moulin are not huge wealthy soap makers. They just prefer to offer a limited number of scents, and you can always get them year after year.

I perfectly understand why some artisans feel they constantly have to make new limited releases, but would be nice to see some of them offer 3-4 scents, that always are in production (for instance a citrus/lemon/lime, a Sandalwood, a Fougére/Barbershop and a Lavender)

YMMV

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 02-05-2017, 09:57 AM
#11
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I prefer to support soap makers and use soaps that meet my shaving needs. I am also not adverse to purchasing vintage soaps with what I will call "traditional" scents. I am completely uninterested in the "latest" scents, for example soaps that smell of gun cleaning fluid, or apple pie, or the beach, etc. Give me a good puck of vintage Williams or AOS tallow and I am happy.  Mike's natural soaps are also popular with me because not only are his soaps of the highest quality, his scents are more "basic", lavender, vetiver, etc. IMO, the market is flooded with soap scents that quite frankly, assault my sense of smell. Naturally, scents are subjective and this post definitely needs the disclaimer: YMMV. 

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 02-05-2017, 10:07 AM
#12
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I've thought about this in the past.  I wonder if it is a sales volume issue -- to achieve a volume of sales to support the desired operating expense/overhead and to grow the business the way the maker intends, limited releases or new scents need to be created to drive new sales?  Given that a tub of soap can last 40+ shaves it might be hard to achieve the growth they want--I might only need 5 or 6 tubs in a year (and that's generous) but with limited edition scents I might buy more .  It's a theory, and I don't understand how it relates to makers like MdC, etc who have a more limited number of scents.

That being said, I like stability of certain core favorites while also liking a bit of variety from time to time.  A healthy mix of those two is my preference.

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 02-05-2017, 11:09 AM
#13
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(02-05-2017, 09:57 AM)primotenore Wrote: I prefer to support soap makers and use soaps that meet my shaving needs. I am also not adverse to purchasing vintage soaps with what I will call "traditional" scents. I am completely uninterested in the "latest" scents, for example soaps that smell of gun cleaning fluid, or apple pie, or the beach, etc. Give me a good puck of vintage Williams or AOS tallow and I am happy.  Mike's natural soaps are also popular with me because not only are his soaps of the highest quality, his scents are more "basic", lavender, vetiver, etc. IMO, the market is flooded with soap scents that quite frankly, assault my sense of smell. Naturally, scents are subjective and this post definitely needs the disclaimer: YMMV. 

Great reply !

Loved reading it.

I actually agree, but I must admit, that I have bought in to too many of the lastest & greatest & sooooo limited editions soaps, that I now scracth my head and wonder how I managed to do the same thing over and over again, first with another hobby of mine, Golf gear, then tennis gear, then fragrances and now shaving soaps/creams.

It's nice to have variety in your gear, but the latest and greates gear hardly made me a better golfer/tennis player nor did I smell much better from buying the expensive niche scent hype frags (I still love the old classic designers better than pretty much all of my niche fragrances and I own entire lines from Amouage, Malle, Creed, Histoire de Parfum, Atelier, Tom Ford, Jovoy and many many others, but still love my powerhouse designers more to be quite honest)

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 02-05-2017, 11:31 AM
#14
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Part of it is customer demand:  http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=45945  It would be easier to have just a few scent choices, but not nearly as much fun for the maker.  Imagine week after week, month after month, year after year, making exactly the same few products. For me, the middle road is to have a solid base of traditional scents, with some seasonal fragrances, and continue to work on developing new scents that please me and that just might become popular.  Part of the availability problem is when a supplier discontinues a component or a fragrance that you depend on.  Another problem can arise when something is so popular that you unexpectedly run out before a new batch is ready.   But sometimes a fragrance is discontinued because it just didn't sell well enough to justify continuing to make it, and to make room for something new.

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 02-05-2017, 12:15 PM
#15
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One of the positive characteristics of the artisans is their ability and willingness to produce new scents.   With so many options available today, a rotation can combine some of the classic, unchanging scents with some of the newer, constantly changing artisan scents.

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 02-05-2017, 03:44 PM
#16
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Commercially made products come in limited scents due to retail supply logistics and shelf space issues. Walmart doesn't want 30 different scents of the same product nor do they want scents without mass appeal. Artisans are direct distributers so they are able to make soaps in "batches" which can be "limited" run seasonal releases as well as unique and standard best sellers. Artisans only risk the money invested in their production run and storage space. That's why the community should applaud limited releases by Artisans. No one is forcing you to buy them and variety is what makes this a fun hobby.

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 02-05-2017, 04:57 PM
#17
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(02-05-2017, 11:09 AM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(02-05-2017, 09:57 AM)primotenore Wrote: I prefer to support soap makers and use soaps that meet my shaving needs. I am also not adverse to purchasing vintage soaps with what I will call "traditional" scents. I am completely uninterested in the "latest" scents, for example soaps that smell of gun cleaning fluid, or apple pie, or the beach, etc. Give me a good puck of vintage Williams or AOS tallow and I am happy.  Mike's natural soaps are also popular with me because not only are his soaps of the highest quality, his scents are more "basic", lavender, vetiver, etc. IMO, the market is flooded with soap scents that quite frankly, assault my sense of smell. Naturally, scents are subjective and this post definitely needs the disclaimer: YMMV. 

Great reply !

Loved reading it.

I actually agree, but I must admit, that I have bought in to too many of the lastest & greatest & sooooo limited editions soaps, that I now scracth my head and wonder how I managed to do the same thing over and over again, first with another hobby of mine, Golf gear, then tennis gear, then fragrances and now shaving soaps/creams.

It's nice to have variety in your gear, but the latest and greates gear hardly made me a better golfer/tennis player nor did I smell much better from buying the expensive niche scent hype frags (I still love the old classic designers better than pretty much all of my niche fragrances and I own entire lines from Amouage, Malle, Creed, Histoire de Parfum, Atelier, Tom Ford, Jovoy and many many others, but still love my powerhouse designers more to be quite honest)

Thank you Claus.

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 02-06-2017, 05:13 PM
#18
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(02-05-2017, 11:31 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: Part of it is customer demand:  http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=45945  It would be easier to have just a few scent choices, but not nearly as much fun for the maker.  Imagine week after week, month after month, year after year, making exactly the same few products. For me, the middle road is to have a solid base of traditional scents, with some seasonal fragrances, and continue to work on developing new scents that please me and that just might become popular.  Part of the availability problem is when a supplier discontinues a component or a fragrance that you depend on.  Another problem can arise when something is so popular that you unexpectedly run out before a new batch is ready.   But sometimes a fragrance is discontinued because it just didn't sell well enough to justify continuing to make it, and to make room for something new.

The voice of reason, as usual.  Thanks, Michelle.  All this makes perfect sense.

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 02-09-2017, 04:12 PM
#19
  • Viking
  • Artisan - Soap & Cosmetics
  • Ames, Iowa
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(02-05-2017, 11:31 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: It would be easier to have just a few scent choices, but not nearly as much fun for the maker.  

My thoughts exactly!

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 02-09-2017, 08:35 PM
#20
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(02-05-2017, 11:31 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: Part of it is customer demand:  http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=45945  It would be easier to have just a few scent choices, but not nearly as much fun for the maker.  Imagine week after week, month after month, year after year, making exactly the same few products. For me, the middle road is to have a solid base of traditional scents, with some seasonal fragrances, and continue to work on developing new scents that please me and that just might become popular.  Part of the availability problem is when a supplier discontinues a component or a fragrance that you depend on.  Another problem can arise when something is so popular that you unexpectedly run out before a new batch is ready.   But sometimes a fragrance is discontinued because it just didn't sell well enough to justify continuing to make it, and to make room for something new.

This.

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