05-09-2018, 07:43 PM
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Short version, bottom line up front: Good soap, get some if you can find it.

The long version... well;
A little while back I was contacted by Pereira Shaving - a Portuguese soap maker - who asked me if I would like to try some of their products. Always up for a new experience, I jumped on the opportunity for a "sample" of Pereira Shaving Cream with Activated Charcoal.
Shipping from Portugal took a little over a week, but that is only to be expected when crossing multiple borders - double so considering the fact that Norway is outside the EU and every package have to go by the customs warehouse even if there is no custom to be paid.
I did spend some time looking up information on Pereira Shaving before the soap came to me, but sadly did not find much in English apart from the business being Portuguese, working from vintage recipes, had some lovely presentation of their products, and a rather interesting looking soap and shave cup combo with a brush rest. Also they have some strops on offer, but someone using a straight might be better suited to offer comments on those. Their beard combs looks interesting though... however, we're here for the soap.
First a few pictures I want to share though... keep in mind that I expected to receive a sample; which I usually take to mean a small quantity enough for maybe a week of shaves. This is what I received:
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It seems that Pereira Shavery have a somewhat different idea than I had of what consists a "sample". They were kind enough to send me not only a full size puck, in a lovely ceramic container with the matching shave bowl with brush rest - which by itself is above and beyond what I could reasonable expect - but also a very nice looking shavette.

Presentation is - as can be seen from the photos - absolutely top notch. The soap bowl and lathering cup are both ceramic, and the soap will nest in the lathering cup when not in use. Size wise they both fit well in my hand and while the cup is slightly smaller than what I consider ideal for making the lather, I do recognize that if it' been any larger it would been awkward to hold. Like most things in life it's all about compromises, and I can easily live with a slightly smaller bowl since I tend to face lather.
I'll write up a separate review on the lather cup and the shavette soon; the cup simply deserves it's own piece and the shavette I'll have to get comfortable about using first as I've never used one before.
If you're not expecting it a black soap can be slightly unsettling.... but that is just the charcoal. Activated charcoal has been used for ages to clean and detox; my favourite facial scrub have activated charcoal, my air purifier have an activated charcoal filter, as do my military issue respirator. For those who worry that it'll turn your face black, rest assured that it lathers almost white as any other soap.
Apart from the charcoal there is nothing in the soap one would not expect to find in shaving soap. The scent of the soap is very pleasant; a fairly complex but light flower scent that passed muster with my Better Half with flying colours. I found some suggestions online that the scent could be improved, but I'm inclined to disagree - to my nose it's fine as it is.
So how does it shave? That is the question that really matters when it comes to a shave soap, is it not?
The first shave was - and this is a good thing - blissfully normal. The lather has a ever so slightly grey tint from the charcoal, and the scent loosened up a bit and embraced me as I was removing my stubble. Facial feel wasn't too dissimilar to the Cold River Soap Works' Glide, which is a recent favourite of mine. Since I had bloomed the soap and have fairly soft water, about half a minute of loading was plenty enough for two passes and lather left over.
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The post shave feel of the first shave was also a good one, with no noticeable drying out of my skin.
Further shaves reinforced the positive first impression, even more so after tweaking the ratio of water to soap. The Pereira Shavery shaving cream has ever so slightly less cushion than the CRSW Glide, but is also slicker. It's a fairly thirsty cream in my opinion, much in the same way I find that Mike's Natural to be a thirsty soap. Post shave feel continued to be good, and while I'm not sure if the activated charcoal did any good it certainly didn't do any harm.
A quick summary of my findings and opinions:
  • Presentation: From the wooden box through the decoration on the container to the look of the soap was all top notch.
  • Scent: Complex without being overpowering, floral and embracing. Opens up significantly when lathered.
  • Latherability: A little tricky getting the ratio of water just right, but once dialed in it is thick, fluffy and smooth.
  • Slickness: Among the slickest soaps I've shaved with, nothing more to add there.
  • Cushion: Not quite as cushioning as some of my soaps, but on par with Mike's and better than many other commercial and artisan offerings.
  • Post shave feel: Didn't dry my skin out, and didn't leave a greasy feel either - just a clean feeling after my shave.
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Do I consider the Pereira Shavery Shaving Cream with Activated Charcoal a good shaving soap? Indeed I do, one of the best I've tried so far.
Would I buy this soap with my own money? Most assuredly, if I can find a place to order it.
Can I recommend this soap to others? Most assuredly if they can find it, it's simply a very good soap that I feel most people can enjoy.
Through a user here on the Shave Nook I've learned that this soap comes in four different form of packaging; The version with the ceramic container and shave bowl that I received, a version of just the ceramic bowl, an aluminium container, and a recent addition is a plastic container mimicking the ceramic one (but probably much lighter in weight) - all of this later confirmed by Pereira.
Personally I feel that a refill puck could be a nice addition to the range, for placing in a ceramic bowl when empty - the bowl is simply too nice to throw away.
So far I've not been able to locate an online seller of this soap and related products, as best I can tell based on Pereira Shavery's website they are sold at a few physical stores in Lisbon and Porto. Hopefully this will change sooner rather than later - at least before I run out of this soap - since travelling to Portugal for a refill would be inconvenient at best.
I do hope that more specialised online shave shops will start carrying too, since I prefer spending my money with the smaller niche stores for my shaving needs. In the meantime Pereira Shavery informed me that interested shavers can contact them directly via email.

Note: This review is slightly abbreviated compared to the one I posted on my blog - more text (including ingredient list), more photos and a surprise can be found there.

3 8,070
 05-10-2018, 02:38 AM
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That's a thorough review Hans.

60 12,227
 05-10-2018, 02:56 AM
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Thanks for that excellent write up. It makes me want yet another soap, which I don’t need.

26 80
 05-10-2018, 03:24 AM
  • eengler
  • Emeritus
  • South Dakota, USA
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hans. The presentation of product is very nice!

68 5,620
 05-10-2018, 07:20 AM
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Put in on my list!  Thanks, Hans, very well done.

73 4,356
 06-04-2018, 05:54 AM
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I tried this soap for the first time this morning.  My soap is in a metal tin, and not the lovely ceramic version Hans reviewed above.  However, it's the same soap.  I'll post some thoughts after I've used it several times, but the first impression is positive.

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60 12,227
 06-06-2018, 06:13 AM
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I acquired this soap directly from Pereira before BullGoose had it in stock.  I've had three shaves with it and I like it.  It lathers quickly and easily in Miami's hard water.  The quality of the lather is excellent, and it solidly meets all the criteria we use to evaluate shaving soaps.  The scent has fresh, aquatic and soft floral notes.  The floral aspect is subtle.  I don't normally favor floral scents, but this one is subtle enough that it's very nice.  Overall, I find this soap comparable in quality to the many top tier soaps in my rotation.

This picture is after a 3 pass shave.

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60 12,227
 06-11-2018, 01:41 PM
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I now have seven shaves with this soap and it's a keeper.  I'm generally not into the concept of seasonal soaps, and rotate all of my soaps throughout the year.  However, the light, fresh scent of this soap is great in the summer.  

I originally obtained the soap in the metal tin from Pereira.  When BullGoose started carrying this line, I added the same soap in the ceramic container.  I'm normally too practical to pay extra for a container, but this particular ceramic dish is quite nice and has a place in my shave den.  

By the way, the metal tins sold out at both Pereira Shavery and Gifts and Care.  I'm adding another metal tin as a backup while it's still available.

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60 12,227
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