06-30-2018, 03:15 AM
#21
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(04-21-2018, 11:30 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(04-21-2018, 05:59 PM)KRpdx Wrote: After doing some reading about MW ("finicky" for some) and watching a couple of lathering technique videos, I used a 24mm Shave Revolution synthetic, starting just damp, loading for about 35 seconds, and very gradually adding our Pacific NW soft water as I face lathered.

I shave with the very same city water from the Bull Run watershed from the west slopes of Mt. Hood.  (We live halfway up the hill between Portland State and Council Crest.)  Mystic Water is at the top rank of my small collection of shaving soaps; I use it a lot.  

With all due respect, I think that you are over-thinking your technique.  I have bought Michelle's shaving soaps in the “refill” configuration and pressed the puck into a Duralex “Lys” 3.5 inch stackable glass bowl (available — cheap — at the Ace Hardware at NW 16th & Glisan).  I pour a couple tablespoons of very hot (120˚ F.) water atop the Mystic Water puck before I get into the shower, and, when I come out of the shower, I decant the "bloom water" into a pre-warmed scuttle, and attack the liquid in the scuttle with an until-then dry Semogue 2-band badger brush.  Works a treat every time.
Well said. I am a tried and true "Bloomer" (on the receiving end of negative comments from many nay-sayers). I am even the President of S.B.O.A on another forum.  Wink

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 03-30-2019, 12:42 PM
#22
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Reviving this thread to comment on my newly purchased Mystic Water soaps. I’ve recently switched to soaps from creams and find them to be much slicker, although I am still learning to lather and get the thickness I desire. This is not a problem with my Mystic Water soaps. They lather easily, are thick, and very slick. I love the aromas I’ve tried so far and they sent me 4 samples. I’m hooked.

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 03-30-2019, 01:54 PM
#23
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I just tried one for the first time as well, and really liked it. I think I am going to buy a shave stick or two for travel.

Great protection and post shave feel!

Vr

Matt

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 04-05-2019, 11:32 PM
#24
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(03-30-2019, 01:54 PM)Ols67 Wrote: I just tried one for the first time as well, and really liked it.  I think I am going to buy a shave stick or two for travel.

Great protection and post shave feel!

Vr

Matt

Matt, it's just my $0.02 but since MW can be sensitive to water, it might not be the best travel choice. Blooming the puck as mentioned above helps but that isn't as easy with a stick either.

In fact, thanks to this thread popping up I'll be sure to dig out the MW when I move, b/c if the water in my new locale works... well I can't think of a slicker soap than MW when it works. Fingers crossed!

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 04-05-2019, 11:39 PM
#25
  • Gabe
  • Senior Member
  • Arizona
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(04-05-2019, 11:32 PM)Gig103 Wrote:
(03-30-2019, 01:54 PM)Ols67 Wrote: I just tried one for the first time as well, and really liked it.  I think I am going to buy a shave stick or two for travel.

Great protection and post shave feel!

Vr

Matt

Matt, it's just my $0.02 but since MW can be sensitive to water, it might not be the best travel choice. Blooming the puck as mentioned above helps but that isn't as easy with a stick either.

In fact, thanks to this thread popping up I'll be sure to dig out the MW when I move, b/c if the water in my new locale works... well I can't think of a slicker soap than MW when it works. Fingers crossed!

We are not going to be neighbors anymore!!! Wink

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 04-09-2019, 02:42 AM
#26
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I consider the MW soaps to be the most frustrating in my shave den.  I LOVE the scents but I cannot get the lather to hold together worth a damn.  And my tap water is soft.  And I use distilled water.  And I bloom the soap.  And I don't have this problem with any other soap.  

So, my two MW soaps sit quietly in the corner of my cupboard.  I pull one out every now and again, hopeful that the shaving gods will smile upon me, but, alas, it is not to be.  MW is the one soap that fails me time after time.

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 04-09-2019, 04:33 AM
#27
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(04-05-2019, 11:32 PM)Gig103 Wrote:
(03-30-2019, 01:54 PM)Ols67 Wrote: I just tried one for the first time as well, and really liked it.  I think I am going to buy a shave stick or two for travel.

Matt, it's just my $0.02 but since MW can be sensitive to water, it might not be the best travel choice. Blooming the puck as mentioned above helps but that isn't as easy with a stick either.

In fact, thanks to this thread popping up I'll be sure to dig out the MW when I move, b/c if the water in my new locale works... well I can't think of a slicker soap than MW when it works. Fingers crossed!

I have a Mystic Water shave stick (Vetiver & Oakmoss) in my Dopp Kit.  It sits there alongside an original L'Occitaine de Provence Plisson shaving brush.

We have very soft water in Portland (Oregon), but I have not used the Mystic Water shave stick in my home, as I save it for travel.  (I have used Mystic Water pucks, lathering in a scuttle, at home, and they performed admirably.)

I have used the Mystic Water/Plisson combination with from-the-tap water in (inter alia) Greenwich, Connecticut; Venezia, Veneto; Bergamo, Lombardia; Freising, Bavaria; Hamamatsucho, Tokyo; Atsumi Onsen, Yamagata; Kamakura, Kanagawa; Oakland, California; Gold Beach, Oregon; Ashland, Oregon; Nikko, Tochigi; Yokohama, Kanagawa; Shimoda, Shizuoka; Nagoya, Gifu; and Shima, Mie.  The Lithia Water in Ashland, Oregon, in particular, is so hard that one expects it to rattle when swished around in a glass.  

The Mystic Water shave stick has effortlessly produced functionally excellent lather in all of those towns and cities, including Ashland.  I do not use a mug or scuttle when I apply the shave stick directly to my beard, so I cannot say whether it would have produced sculpture-capable lather if I had used in that manner.  But I got excellent shaves using it in all of those locations.

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 04-10-2019, 05:11 PM
#28
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(04-09-2019, 02:42 AM)rodmonster Wrote: I consider the MW soaps to be the most frustrating in my shave den.  I LOVE the scents but I cannot get the lather to hold together worth a damn.  And my tap water is soft.  And I use distilled water.  And I bloom the soap.  And I don't have this problem with any other soap.  

So, my two MW soaps sit quietly in the corner of my cupboard.  I pull one out every now and again, hopeful that the shaving gods will smile upon me, but, alas, it is not to be.  MW is the one soap that fails me time after time.

This pretty much always mystifies me.  

I have gone through several pucks of MW and it almost always produces a fantastic stable lather for me.  I do remember the first time I got the dreaded "disappearing lather."  It puzzled me to no end.  Since then it has happened maybe one or two more times, tops.  

For me there are two "secrets," and they are likely related: 

1) Never start out with too much water.  Start with a brush that has been shaken and squeezed, a brush that seems almost too dry to be able to make a lather.  When you are loading, if it really is too dry to even pick up soap, add maybe two drops and keep loading.  At some point during the loading you should end up with a protolather that has tendrils; when you pull the brush slowly away from the puck, long, sticky looking tendrils develop, and look like they are trying to prevent you from pulling the brush away from the soap.  If you get these tendrils, you will almost certainly end up with a great lather, provided you follow secret number 2.  (By the way, if you have never seen these tendrils, or don't know what I am talking about, you have never lathered the soap properly.

2) Add cool water one or two drops at a time, and incorporate the water completely before adding more water.  Don't go crazy with your brush, trying to whip air into the lather.  Just lather it calmly and slowly.  Once the water is fully incorporated, add a couple more drops.  Continue doing this until the lather is perfect.  Note:  it will never, ever be voluminous.  It is dense, moist, slick, and shiny when it is done properly.  If you lather it this way, the lather is stable, not just for the shave but you could probably leave it in your bowl, come back in a half hour, and still have good lather.  

P.S.  Blooming isn't necessary, but if you do bloom it, use only a small amount of water, then pour it off into the lathering bowl.  When you start loading the soap, at the very beginning, rather than adding two or three drops of tap water, as above, put the bloom water into your brush.  Then continue following the instructions as outlined.  

If you have never done it this way, give it a try before you give up on the soap.  It's fantastic.  The face feel after the shave is the best of all the soaps I've ever tried.  Some soaps that try to have a good face feel go overboard; it almost feels like you can't rinse the stuff off.  MW soap just makes your face feel soft and smooth.  The best.

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 04-14-2019, 02:24 AM
#29
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(04-10-2019, 05:11 PM)kingfisher Wrote:
(04-09-2019, 02:42 AM)rodmonster Wrote: I consider the MW soaps to be the most frustrating in my shave den.  I LOVE the scents but I cannot get the lather to hold together worth a damn.  And my tap water is soft.  And I use distilled water.  And I bloom the soap.  And I don't have this problem with any other soap.  

So, my two MW soaps sit quietly in the corner of my cupboard.  I pull one out every now and again, hopeful that the shaving gods will smile upon me, but, alas, it is not to be.  MW is the one soap that fails me time after time.

This pretty much always mystifies me.  

I have gone through several pucks of MW and it almost always produces a fantastic stable lather for me.  I do remember the first time I got the dreaded "disappearing lather."  It puzzled me to no end.  Since then it has happened maybe one or two more times, tops.  

For me there are two "secrets," and they are likely related: 

1) Never start out with too much water.  Start with a brush that has been shaken and squeezed, a brush that seems almost too dry to be able to make a lather.  When you are loading, if it really is too dry to even pick up soap, add maybe two drops and keep loading.  At some point during the loading you should end up with a protolather that has tendrils; when you pull the brush slowly away from the puck, long, sticky looking tendrils develop, and look like they are trying to prevent you from pulling the brush away from the soap.  If you get these tendrils, you will almost certainly end up with a great lather, provided you follow secret number 2.  (By the way, if you have never seen these tendrils, or don't know what I am talking about, you have never lathered the soap properly.

2) Add cool water one or two drops at a time, and incorporate the water completely before adding more water.  Don't go crazy with your brush, trying to whip air into the lather.  Just lather it calmly and slowly.  Once the water is fully incorporated, add a couple more drops.  Continue doing this until the lather is perfect.  Note:  it will never, ever be voluminous.  It is dense, moist, slick, and shiny when it is done properly.  If you lather it this way, the lather is stable, not just for the shave but you could probably leave it in your bowl, come back in a half hour, and still have good lather.  

P.S.  Blooming isn't necessary, but if you do bloom it, use only a small amount of water, then pour it off into the lathering bowl.  When you start loading the soap, at the very beginning, rather than adding two or three drops of tap water, as above, put the bloom water into your brush.  Then continue following the instructions as outlined.  

If you have never done it this way, give it a try before you give up on the soap.  It's fantastic.  The face feel after the shave is the best of all the soaps I've ever tried.  Some soaps that try to have a good face feel go overboard; it almost feels like you can't rinse the stuff off.  MW soap just makes your face feel soft and smooth.  The best.


Your advice, Kingfisher, is more or less how I create a lather with every soap.  I face lather exclusively and apply a thick paste to my face.  I then add a few drops of water at a time.  I prefer a somewhat thicker lather, more like yogurt than whipped cream, so adding too much is not a problem for me.  Every soap has that edge.  Add just a little too much water and everything falls apart.  With MW it seems that I go from too little water to too much water in an instant and that doesn't happen for me with any other soap.  And the most frustrating part for me is that I love the MW scents. I own 4 - two with the old formula and two with the new.  I usually get rid of soaps that I don't use but I keep the MW because I like the scents so much.  All I can do is hope that one day I will figure it out.

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 06-21-2019, 07:47 AM
#30
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I've been having difficulty with my MW lather.  I have been using a boar brush that I soak for about 2 minutes in warm water.  I then shake it twice before loading for about 1 minute 15 seconds.  I then move to the bowl and I always end up with what I feel are too many bubbles and not enough of a sheen.  My shave was ok, but there was irritation which tells me the lather could have been better.  I'm going to try shaking the brush a third or even fourth time so I'm starting with a dryer brush and then slowly add the water like I always do.  Hopefully that will work.  I don't bloom my soaps and someone above said that isn't necessary.  It is possible I am starting with a brush that is too wet.

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 06-21-2019, 08:21 AM
#31
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It sounds like you are starting with your brush, too wet, and not loading enough soap onto the brush. 
If you are still having issues with this soap, then I would suggest blooming as this will allow more soap to be transferred onto your brush(es) when you load it. 
The soap is a firmer croap and I find it requires a bit more time to load if it hasn't been bloomed. 
Personally, I don't have an issue with it, but this seems to be the main issue when folks have a problem with it. 

There is a good video on YouTube that might help. The name is  'Lather Demo. How I lather Mystic Water Shaving Soap."

Good luck.

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 06-21-2019, 08:39 AM
#32
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(06-21-2019, 08:21 AM)celestino Wrote: It sounds like you are starting with your brush, too wet, and not loading enough soap onto the brush. 
If you are still having issues with this soap, then I would suggest blooming as this will allow more soap to be transferred onto your brush(es) when you load it. 
The soap is a firmer croap and I find it requires a bit more time to load if it hasn't been bloomed. 
Personally, I don't have an issue with it, but this seems to be the main issue when folks have a problem with it. 

There is a good video on YouTube that might help. The name is  'Lather Demo. How I lather Mystic Water Shaving Soap."

Good luck.

Thanks.  I'm going to check out the video.  As for the amount of time to load soap onto the brush, I usually load for 45 seconds to a minute with every other soap I have.  So I figured adding another 15 seconds would do the trick.  Clearly not.  Hopefully the video will shed some light on my lathering building and show me the way out of the land of Mordor.

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 06-21-2019, 08:49 AM
#33
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I watched the video and I'm guessing I'm not loading enough soap onto my brush.  I am using a sample so I'm going to up the time for loading to a full 2 minutes.  I'm guessing more product will fix my lather issues.

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 06-21-2019, 08:59 AM
#34
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I believe once you load your brush properly, you'll have better results. 
Best of luck to you.

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 06-27-2019, 08:35 PM
#35
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I tried again today.  And I did watch the video.  I didn't bloom the soap but I did load for a full two minutes before moving to the bowl.  I did end up with a decent volume of lather.  But again I suffered with a bit of the disappearing lather situation once I put it on my face.  It was slick, so that was good.  But judging by how it looked and disappeared quickly I clearly didn't quite get it right.  For my next shave I'm going to bite the bullet and bloom it.  Crossing my fingers that will do the trick and solve my lather issue with this soap.

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 06-30-2019, 11:42 AM
#36
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I tried again today.  This time I shook out the bush 3 times and bloomed the soap.  I'll say that the results were better.  But still not up to par with the kind of lather I can make with other soaps.  I felt some irritation post shave but that could be because I'm on my 4th or 5th shave with the Polsilver SI blade.  I have enough of the sample for one more shave.  I will bring another mug upstairs to hold the bloom water (this time I just poured some into the lather bowl and I may have over hydrated) and will do everything else the same.  Shake the brush 3 times and load until all of the sample is gone, or two minutes whichever comes first, and will dip the brush in the bloom water as I work up the lather.  I'll also load the razor with a new Polsilver SI blade.  I'm only doing this because I sense that the soap is pretty darn good and if I can figure it out, I'll be the one to benefit.  And the scent is starting to grow on me the more I use it.  My only reluctance, and admit it is a minor one, is that I will be adding another implement (a mug) for the bloom water which makes for more stuff to clean afterwards.  But if the shave is that good, it could be worth it.  I'm anxious to see.  I think I have one more sample of Mystic Water soap (don't remember the scent) and if I can figure this out on the next shave, I'll have several more shaves to perfect my effort even more, which could result in my adding another permanent soap to my rotation.  What's keeping me going is that when I rinse my face off after each pass I can feel the residual slickness with my hands on my face.  I'm actually feeling optimistic.

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 06-30-2019, 12:53 PM
#37
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: I tried again today.  This time I shook out the bush 3 times

[/seriousness]Did you gather up the blueberries from the ground immediately, or did you go inside and shave first? [seriousness]

(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: I'm only doing this because I sense that the soap is pretty darn good and if I can figure it out, I'll be the one to benefit.  

I think that you have had a satori experience.

(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: But if the shave is that good, it could be worth it.  I'm anxious to see.  I think I have one more sample of Mystic Water soap  . . . could result in my adding another permanent soap to my rotation.  I'm actually feeling optimistic.

You seem to be on the right track; this flame definitely is worth a candle or two.

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 06-30-2019, 08:18 PM
#38
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(06-30-2019, 12:53 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: I tried again today.  This time I shook out the bush 3 times

[/seriousness]Did you gather up the blueberries from the ground immediately, or did you go inside and shave first? [seriousness]


(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: I'm only doing this because I sense that the soap is pretty darn good and if I can figure it out, I'll be the one to benefit.  

I think that you have had a satori experience.


(06-30-2019, 11:42 AM)MntnMan62 Wrote: But if the shave is that good, it could be worth it.  I'm anxious to see.  I think I have one more sample of Mystic Water soap  . . . could result in my adding another permanent soap to my rotation.  I'm actually feeling optimistic.

You seem to be on the right track; this flame definitely is worth a candle or two.

Did I gather the blueberries first?  I wish I was in the Adirondacks to be able to do that.  But I can say from experience, until you've had pancakes made with freshly picked Adirondack Blueberries slathered with butter and Adirondack Pure Grade A Dark maple syrup, you haven't lived.  And the trick is you have to mix the blueberries into the batter.  To die for.

I'm not sure this equates to an awakening.  I mean, after all it's just shaving soap lather.   Biggrin  We shall see how it goes for the final shave and the next sample.  I have been generally opposed to blooming soaps up to this point because it's just another step added onto an already lengthy process.  And of anyone I know, I'm all about process.  But at some point it can become counterproductive.  Adding another bowl or cup for the bloom water adds another item to wash and put away.  Not sure I want to deal with that.  I'll have to weigh whether it's worth it or not.

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