04-29-2017, 03:17 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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IT  IS  DIFFERENT
Very different.

•  Here, I have two tubs of Mike’s shaving soaps:  Orange, Cedarwood, & Black Pepper and Vetiver;  
•  Here, I currently have (only) two varieties of Mystic Water shaving soaps:  a tub of The Brown Windsor and a shaving stick of Vetiver & Oakmoss;
•  Here, I have a puck of Haslinger Schafmilch;
•  Here, I have a puck of Provence Santé Green Tea;
•  Here, I have a tub of Stirling mutton tallow formula Port-au-Prince.  
⦿  And here I have a puck of La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Cedar/Lemongrass (with Donkey Milk) shaving soap, which hails from the same small town (Auvergne) in France whence another Donkey Milk soap (Le Savon des Volcans from Savonniere du Bon Berger) also is sourced.  

One of these things in not like the others; one of these things is not the same.
Of course, all being shaving soaps, with a singular purpose for their existence, there are some similarities among all of them; but La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise is so set apart from Mike’s, from Mystic Water, from Haslinger, from Provence Santé, and from Stirling, it is actually easier to contrast it from, than to compare it with, the other soaps above.  

Take slickness.  Mystic Water, Stirling, Haslinger, Mike’s, and Provence Santé all can be whipped into a pretty slick lather, providing plenty of glide. And you can purchase a car in a Dodge showroom that will go pretty fast down the road.  But, if we are talking slippery, and if the soaps mentioned above are Dodge modern muscle car fast, then La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise is a Bugatti Chiron (gulp).  

Since purchasing my puck of La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk soap (from site sponsor TheSuperiorShave, AFAIK, currently the only retail source), I have performed my due diligence with the soap and tried out various strategies and tactics to get it to strut its best stuff.  

Now, part of my daily shaving routine with a three-piece DE razor is to disassemble it completely into its component parts at the end of the shave, rinse each piece in clear water, blot the pieces dry, and store the razor parts (including the blade) on the shelf awaiting reassembly before the next shave.  Several times — not daily, but frequently — in the past couple of weeks, I have “dropped” (not really dropped, per se, but more “allowed to slip” from between my fingers) one or more pieces of the razor as I moved the piece to the shelf of the medicine cabinet after the shave.  Well, I did not really “allow” it to slip; it kind of did the slipping on its own even as I pinched it fairly tightly to prevent it from slipping:  this, after rinsing thoroughly and blotting dry.   Are you old enough to remember the STP oil treatment TV ads in the 1960s where the guy dipped the working end of a screwdriver into a can of STP and then challenged another guy to pick the screwdriver up off the counter by its shaft?  ― Yeah, that.   Must have been some residual soap on my fingertips; but I had rinsed them, too, and blotted them dry.  I have not experienced this phenomenon after shaving with other soaps.

So how does this slickness translate to the shaving experience on the face?  A week ago today, in another thread, I reported:  

Quote:I had used La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk Soap with my iKon Deluxe Open Comb stainless razor (fitted with a KAI blade) for my morning shave, with the result of accomplishing (perhaps) the closest — not entirely in the good sense — self-administered shave I ever have done in my life:  although I experienced no cuts or nicks, after I had rinsed off my face, my cheeks and jaw were literally mirror-like shiny, reflecting light back at me from the mirror as if a flashlight were inside my skin pointed at me looking at my face in the mirror; and the feel of my face was like the feel of coming in from outside on a very cold day when a high wind had been blowing into my unprotected face, when my face was not really chapped, but felt pre-chapped, if you can grok what I mean.

In shaves with this soap since, using a milder Feather AS-D2 razor, both with the KAI blade referred to last week and a new Feather blade, I have experienced a similar (though somewhat less extreme) effect on my face and post-shave feel.  Again, it is different in feel from shaves with any other shaving soap that I have used.

We are all familiar with the acronym BBS, for BabyButtSmooth; La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk lather leaves my face as smooth as BBS, but — again — different from BBS.  It is not at all like the soft smoothness of a baby’s butt, but rather the even smoother, and ineffably (which I shall try to eff) “hard smoothness” of glass or polished steel; it is a kind of weird, almost non-human, feeling for the surface of one’s own skin.  Different.

As for the other performance aspects of La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk soap, it most definitely is NOT the shaving soap of choice if you are an aspiring sculptor attempting to recreate in shaving lather the monuments of John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (Gutzon Borglum).  It whips up sufficiently for my preferred, decidedly moist, kind of shaving lather, but if you tried to fake the appearance of a Lemon Meringue pie with the lather, you would end up with Lemon Goop pie; no stiff peaks here, no matter how much you work it.  

Although the lather is as slick (did I mention that it is super slippery?) as a greased frog, it does not provide much sense of “cushion” on the face; one feels the blade making contact with the skin.  

Although, as I reported last week, my glass-polished skin came out of the shave feeling as if I had just come in from outside on a cold winter day with a strong wind and no protection on my face, there was no chemical irritation, and there were no nicks or cuts, in any of my shaves; the feeling came from shaving really close, and the chapped feeling fades fairly quickly after the shave.

Scent?  Mild, with the lemongrass stronger than the cedar, but neither very strong.  

Taste?  I try to keep my shaving lather out of my mouth, and most soaps, I do not come away with any impression of taste; but this soap is different.  For some reason, almost every shave, some of it worked its way onto my lips where it then migrated to the tip of my tongue.  It tastes like soap; how about that?  Not an awful experience, but if you are going out to a high-end wine tasting, do not shave immediately beforehand with La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk soap.  

Bottom line:  this soap is different from other shaving soaps.  In some aspects, I expect that some may consider it better than all other soaps; in other aspects some may consider it a terrible shaving soap.  That is what makes horse races.  One guarantee:  you will not find it boring.  

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 04-29-2017, 03:41 PM
#2
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Where can this soap be purchased? Is it available in the US? Sounds fabulous.


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 04-29-2017, 03:58 PM
#3
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(04-29-2017, 03:41 PM)olpski Wrote: Where can this soap be purchased?  Is it available in the US?  Sounds fabulous.

As stated in the opening post in this thread: 

-moi- Wrote:Since purchasing my puck of La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise Donkey Milk soap (from site sponsor TheSuperiorShave, AFAIK, currently the only retail source) . . .

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 04-29-2017, 05:36 PM
#4
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Excellent review.

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 04-29-2017, 07:11 PM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(04-29-2017, 05:36 PM)wreck | fish Wrote: Excellent review.

Thank you, Tom.  

Frankly, assuming that the listing of ingredients follows the laws/rules, I was intrigued by the La Savonnerie Bourbonnaise (Donkey Milk) listing of ingredients; that is why I bought it and tried it out.

The most talked about and written about “Ass Milk” shaving soap, made in a village roughly midway between Paris and Stuttgart in northeast France, lists Donkey Milk as the eleventh ingredient.  This obscure shaving soap, made well to the south, in Auvergne, lists Donkey Milk as the third ingredient, ahead, even, of water/agua, which is the first ingredient listed for many shaving soaps.  Moreover, unusually, the Savonnerie Bourbonnaise soap contains neither tallow nor palm oil (or palm oil derivatives).  The makers clearly are marching to the beat of a different drummer, and, unsurprisingly, ended up wih a different shaving soap.

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