05-26-2018, 01:40 PM
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Thanks for giving us a shot, @Baylorgator.  I appreciate the feedback very much.  Glad you like the scent.  As for the lather, I think I can offer some tips. Our soap is a bit different.  It's purposely formulated so that it doesn't bubble too much. The upside of this (the reason it's formulated that way) is that it creates a really creamy lather. The downside is that it you need to work it a bit to achieve the creaminess and build some volume.  If you've nailed it, you should have plenty for three passes plus, with a thick, creamy consistency. I usually soak my brush while I brush my teeth and wash my face. I give the brush a medium squeeze, and then load for 30-40 seconds. I then whip the lather in a bowl.  I'm not entirely sure how long I whip for... Maybe a minute or two.  You'll know you're done when the volume builds to where you want it.

An alternative technique can be found in a video Chris Bailey (iLather/IAMCDB) did a while ago.  You can find it if you search YouTube for "Bowl Lathering Demonstration/Tutorial with Shannon's Soaps & Captain's Choice."  There are also some videos where he face lathers our soaps, but they're not really instructional videos like this one.

It's a bit more work I suppose, but if you're keeping the soap around for the scent you might give it a shot.

If you have any thoughts, suggestions, etc. that you'd like to pass along to me, you can find me here or hit us up on the website if you like.  As I said, feedback is always greatly appreciated.

Thanks again.

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 05-26-2018, 02:05 PM
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(03-02-2018, 10:03 AM)pbrmhl Wrote:
(03-02-2018, 09:49 AM)bijou Wrote:
(03-02-2018, 05:41 AM)Baylorgator Wrote: This one really flies under the radar, but for the price and performance, it's a "no brainer" to try.  I hope you like it as much as I did.

I ordered the Rose because I know the scent even if it's a bad rose I don't have to guess if I'm going to like it or not. Rose has been a favorite of my for years (TOB, Dusty Rose etc) a staple which seems to be forgotten these last few years with all the new soaps. So I decided on Rose because I did not want to dislike the soap if it is a good because of the scent.

A couple other rose scents worth looking at are Le Pere Lucien Rose de Pushkar and MdC Rose. The latter is my favorite rose in the den.
MdC rose is unique and very good, but the price makes it challenging for me with some other great options in the market. Nevertheless, kudos to them for expanding their brand after years of making only the one shave soap.

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 05-26-2018, 02:36 PM
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Thanks, Brian. I do like the scent, so I’ll experiment a bit. It appears to require a bit different technique than what I’m used to, so I’ll check out the videos. Thanks for the feedback.

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 05-30-2018, 10:49 AM
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Today's soap honestly surprised me a bit. I was not at all familiar with K-Shave Worx, but another shave enthusiast PIF'd me this one and the Shannons so I could evaluate them. I didn't have high hopes for this vegan soap that was relatively unknown to me. I also looked it up online, and it's $10 shipped. How good can it be, right? WRONG! The scent of Hump Day is strong and citrusy but it has other things going on as well that make it really unique and pleasant. It also lathered up better than most soaps in my Den. First off, I'm keeping the tub. Secondly, I'm going to have to go back and do a head to head shave or two in order to better evaluate it, but at first blush I'm tempted to give it a B+. The soaps make that cut are few and far between, so we'll see how it does head to head against some favorites. I've got Oleo soapworks to go, and then some head to head shaves on some soaps that I want to give a second run to verify if I've got them in the right place.

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 06-03-2018, 04:56 PM
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The last couple of shaves have been with Oleo Soapworks. What a great soap! Scents are strong and great. The combination of rich lather lather and slickness was great, but I was questioning the cushion as I had irritation on that side of my face compared to both B&M and Declaration Grooming. Then I realized it was a not irritation from shaving, but from skin sensitivity to something in the soap. I’ve used the melonade scent (which I love, but it didn’t love me). Hopefully the sensitivity is to a fragrance and not the soap itself, since this soap is an A. The only question is will my skin agree with other scents so they stay in the den.

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 06-04-2018, 11:49 AM
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Today Rock Rose Apothecary - Cedar Lime vs. Oleo Soapworks - Montrose Beach. 

Rock Rose Apothecary is getting some buzz on the forums, but is not my favorite. It is a very soft soap which can do that "stringy thing" when loading, if you've ever experienced it. Not a big deal, just different loading than I prefer. It also, to me, really smells of tallow in the base. The performance itself is pretty good, but that tallow smell doesn't excite me. Is it possible that the scent itself could be producing the smell? Maybe. But it really feels reminiscent of the same background smells I get from other soaps like TSE, PAA and even (to a lesser degree) Mikes. Lots of people don't smell the notes in those other soaps I mentioned, but I do, so this one gets rated a C for me. I'm probably in the minority on this opinion, but I'm comfortable with that. If you don't smell the off note, you may love it.
Oleo Soapworks, on the other hand has great lather and great scent, but again I have a sensitivity to something in it. It's not serious, it just is a light burning/tingling feeling that I mistook for shaving irritation in terms of how it feels. I was really hoping this wouldn't be the case, as I really like the soap otherwise. I'll try changing out a blade and going with a third sample next, but I'm afraid it just may not be for me. We'll see...

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 06-05-2018, 01:05 PM
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The more I shave with different soaps, the more perspective I get and the more the bar gets raised. I'm going back to shave with some soaps and creams I'd used early on in order to make sure I've got them classified correctly.


First of all - Speick. Yeah, I know it comes from some remote part of a mountain in Austria where vestal virgins hand harvest the secret plant, travel through the route used by the Von Trapps in Sound of Music, bring it back to the Motherland and distill it into shaving goodness. While it does have the unique smell of the Speick plant, and the lore is worthy of a Grimm's fairy tale, the cream is just average. Side by side against Van Yulay there was just no comparison in slickness, cushion, or frankly anything else. Despite the fact that it's available only in German drugstores, this is still a drugstore product when you strip it all down.

On to the other side of the shave - Van Yulay. As mentioned above, it way outperformed the Speick, but previously didn't live up to the performance of Eufros (admittedly a really great soap). I'm leaning towards a B+ on this one, but will need to shave head to head with something more familiar like Stirling or B&M to make the final call.

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 06-05-2018, 01:25 PM
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Well I've updated the summary thread with all the latest soaps, and I've tweaked the ratings a bit. One of the things I've changed is that I eliminated the B+ category and put the best soaps into A+, A, and A- categories. The B soaps haven't changed, and are very denworthy in my opinion. The C (Average) category actually is now divided into C and C+. The reason for this is that many of the soaps I'd reviewed as "average" are actually better than that, but I was having trouble reconciling the fact that the vast majority of soaps I reviewed would be "better than average, which would be statistically really unlikely. Then it hit me that I'm not really reviewing average soaps for the most part, so that actually makes sense. Most of us left "average" in the rear view mirror about the time we joined a shaving forum. For perspective, maybe I'll add a couple of reviews of soaps/creams I've used and haven't yet discarded yet like Dollar Shave Club or Van Der Hagen or something, most of us don't want to read reviews about average products, and I really have no desire to scour drugstores, grocery stores and mass merchants and to review shaving soaps and creams that just beat out Edge gel. I don't mean that in a snobby way. No judgement here. If you love Williams, or VDH or whatever and are happy as a clam paying $4 for a puck that'll last you several months, I salute you! That's just not really what this thread is about.

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 06-05-2018, 05:48 PM
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(06-05-2018, 01:25 PM)Baylorgator Wrote: Well I've updated the summary thread with all the latest soaps, and I've tweaked the ratings a bit. One of the things I've changed is that I eliminated the B+ category and put the best soaps into A+, A, and A- categories. The B soaps haven't changed, and are very denworthy in my opinion. The C (Average) category actually is now divided into C and C+. The reason for this is that many of the soaps I'd reviewed as "average" are actually better than that, but I was having trouble reconciling the fact that the vast majority of soaps I reviewed would be "better than average, which would be statistically really unlikely. Then it hit me that I'm not really reviewing average soaps for the most part, so that actually makes sense. Most of us left "average" in the rear view mirror about the time we joined a shaving forum. For perspective, maybe I'll add a couple of reviews of soaps/creams I've used and haven't yet discarded yet like Dollar Shave Club or Van Der Hagen or something, most of us don't want to read reviews about average products, and I really have no desire to scour drugstores, grocery stores and mass merchants and to review shaving soaps and creams that just beat out Edge gel. I don't mean that in a snobby way. No judgement here. If you love Williams, or VDH or whatever and are happy as a clam paying $4 for a puck that'll last you several months, I salute you! That's just not really what this thread is about.

Thanks for taking the time to post these reviews. I really enjoy reading them.

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 06-05-2018, 06:06 PM
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No worries, Robert! It started as a way for me to remember my impressions of some soaps I tried and it has now taken on a life of its own. Glad you are enjoying it.

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 06-07-2018, 07:11 AM
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I agree with the OP for the most part but disagree in a few of his points. Scents are quite subjective, and if you only have had an Eufros (you mention "Dama de Noche") you are really  missing some outstanding scents there. For starters, "Dama de Noche" is extremely popular among wetshavers over here, because the scent resembles (quite closely) the scent of a flower which is very commonly found in the south of Spain during summertime. I myself find this scent very pleasant and is amongst my favourites. Performance wise, I wouldn't ever rate Stirling (and I consider them excellent, I have two tubs) before Eufros. In fact, the only soaps I would clearly position before the Premium tallow Eufros are the Wholly Kaw "donkey milk". I have no data on the Grooming Department because I haven't tried them, but a lot of folks over here question the scents, along with some quality control issues, and as they're not for sale on Maggard's web, the shipping costs equal the cost of the product. No way I'd order them in that case, although I would very gladly give them a go if that changes in the future.

 As for Tallow&Steel, I find the performance spectacular. Off the charts, really. Shame that the scents I have tried so far (Himalaya and Boreal) are... weird. To me, it feels like a bunch of essential oils which have been thrown in there following no particular criteria in order to carry out the blend. Boreal smells nice, but it's like it's missing something, like a fresher citrusy touch. Himalaya, well, I can tolerate it, but it's far from being of my liking. It's really a shame because the scent strength is there, it stays with you the whole shave and even though it's strong, there are no skin reactions, which makes me think that very high quality essential oils have been used in the process. It's the same thing with Manuel's (Eufros) soaps. They are pricey, but for a reason, and the reason is the quality of all what is in the formula. I will soon be ordering samples of T&S Morocco and West Indies, to see if there if there is a scent that really suits me. I know Ryan is happy with his sales and his scents and I respect that, but with this being positive criticism, I seriously hope he increases his scent offerings with more "classic" fragances.

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 06-07-2018, 03:31 PM
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(06-07-2018, 07:11 AM)RamonCaratejon Wrote: I agree with the OP for the most part but disagree in a few of his points. Scents are quite subjective, and if you only have had an Eufros (you mention "Dama de Noche") you are really  missing some outstanding scents there. For starters, "Dama de Noche" is extremely popular among wetshavers over here, because the scent resembles (quite closely) the scent of a flower which is very commonly found in the south of Spain during summertime. I myself find this scent very pleasant and is amongst my favourites. Performance wise, I wouldn't ever rate Stirling (and I consider them excellent, I have two tubs) before Eufros. In fact, the only soaps I would clearly position before the Premium tallow Eufros are the Wholly Kaw "donkey milk". I have no data on the Grooming Department because I haven't tried them, but a lot of folks over here question the scents, along with some quality control issues, and as they're not for sale on Maggard's web, the shipping costs equal the cost of the product. No way I'd order them in that case, although I would very gladly give them a go if that changes in the future.

 As for Tallow&Steel, I find the performance spectacular. Off the charts, really. Shame that the scents I have tried so far (Himalaya and Boreal) are... weird. To me, it feels like a bunch of essential oils which have been thrown in there following no particular criteria in order to carry out the blend. Boreal smells nice, but it's like it's missing something, like a fresher citrusy touch. Himalaya, well, I can tolerate it, but it's far from being of my liking. It's really a shame because the scent strength is there, it stays with you the whole shave and even though it's strong, there are no skin reactions, which makes me think that very high quality essential oils have been used in the process. It's the same thing with Manuel's (Eufros) soaps. They are pricey, but for a reason, and the reason is the quality of all what is in the formula. I will soon be ordering samples of T&S Morocco and West Indies, to see if there if there is a scent that really suits me. I know Ryan is happy with his sales and his scents and I respect that, but with this being positive criticism, I seriously hope he increases his scent offerings with more "classic" fragances.
I really appreciate your thoughts and input. As you’ve said I’ve only experienced one scent of Eufros and was really impressed. I’d love to try their other scents but they’re not readily available to be sampled here. Based on your feedback my interest is piqued.
I’m confused though, why you think I graded Stirling higher than Eufros when they received the exact same grade of A. The only soaps I graded higher were Wholly Kaw, Grooming Department and Panna Crema Nuavia with an A+.

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 06-07-2018, 04:43 PM
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(06-07-2018, 03:31 PM)Baylorgator Wrote: I really appreciate your thoughts and input.  As you’ve said I’ve only experienced one scent of Eufros and was really impressed.  I’d love to try their other scents but they’re not readily available to be sampled here.  Based on your feedback my interest is piqued.
I’m confused though, why you think I graded Stirling higher than Eufros when they received the exact same grade of A.  The only soaps I graded higher were Wholly Kaw, Grooming Department and Panna Crema Nuavia with an A+.

 You're right. What confused me is that you had put Eufros in the "non-keepers", hence my understanding that you actually rated Stirling over Eufros. I have tried a number of Manuel's soaps and liked most of them. His new "Zanzibar" is amazing and I suggest his "Fougère", quite suitable for this season. They do require, though, that you load your brush a bit heavier than others. Not as much as you would do with a Mystic Waters, but more than you would need with a Barrister.

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 06-07-2018, 05:14 PM
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I’m gonna have to find a good place to pick up some Eufros samples and try out some more scents. As far as the keepers and non keepers that’s just an indicator of what I own and what I don’t. I probably should rename it to avoid confusion.

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 06-07-2018, 06:18 PM
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I strongly recommend that everyone give Czech and Speake soaps a try.  You don't have to buy the very, very, very, expensive aluminum container (even though I did).  BullGoose sells a nice wooden bowl that fits well.  I have very hard water here in Florida and the C&S soaps are a top performer.  ABC and SMN are my other favorites.

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 06-08-2018, 01:41 PM
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Thanks, guys! I’d encourage continued input as I learn a bit each time someone shares their thoughts. At the moment, I’m running short on more samples, so unless someone wants to send a spoonful or so of their favorite soap for review to add to the thread, I’m going to pivot a bit and take a deeper dive and re-evaluate and/ or go head to head with some soaps I shaved with earlier. As I’ve shaved with more soaps, I’m curious to see if some of my earliest soap reviews may need to be tweaked a bit as the bar has been raised since then. In the meantime, keep your thoughts and opinions coming!

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 06-09-2018, 10:24 AM
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So, diving a bit deeper on some early soaps now that I’ve shaved with so many others. Today was Catie’s Bubbles. Today’s shave really didn’t change my opinions on the soap, but it did confirm that I didn’t need 4 scents of it in my den. Down to 3, as LPV was thinned from the herd.

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 06-10-2018, 02:08 PM
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Another deeper dive this week was with one of GD’s new bases - Lusso. This base premiered with a limited run of Coattails, and Mohammad asked me to evaluate it for him before he launched it as part of his new base launches. He’s basically come up with a base to pay homage to (i.e. compete with) ABC, Boellis, SMN and other high end Italian offerings. After three days shaving with it, I think this may be the most luxurious, enjoyable shaving soap I’ve ever experienced. Thick and dense with lots of cushion and able to handle plenty of water. I know many folks are frustrated with the limited availability of GD, but if Mohammad can make a change in his business model and keep this one in stock, he’s got a huge winner in this base. I’ll have to go head to head with the big three above and see how I feel about all four when I’m done.

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 06-17-2018, 07:42 AM
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Several reviews are on the horizon... Stone Cottage, Henri & Victoria, Meissner Tremonia, Noble Otter (original), A&E, West of Olympia, La Savonniere Du Moulin, Wm Neumann & Co., to name some names. The reviews may not come in rapid succession, because:
1. I just got a new straight razor and two new DE’s (the Karve and Rex) that I am taking on test drives. Mixing up new soaps and new razors can and will throw off the results (I use the scientific method and keep the gear consistent for reviews to try and make them as fair as possible.)
2. I’m out of room for new soaps in the den, so I’m now trying to shave with some soaps that may get “pitched” (more likely traded or PIF’d) in order to make room for new keepers).
3. Every once in a while I like to kick back and enjoy a shave with a favorite soap without evaluating it.

Thanks for those of you who have traded with me or PIF’d samples of new soaps to try! More to come...

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 07-02-2018, 12:18 PM
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New reviews on the way. The first one is of Stone Cottage Creams. I had tried these a couple of years ago and found them to be a decent cream, but nothing stood out to me, and I didn’t care for their scents. Since that time, they’ve apparently gone to a 2.0 formula which whips up a nice rich lather that is much richer and slicker than what I remember from the previous cream. If it weren’t for an overall line of scents (that my wife refers to as “Old Lady” scents), I might be a fan. I really do like the improvement in the creams, as the lather they provide is really great, but the scents are a complete nonstarter for me, as I find them quite offputting. As always YMMV.

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