Yesterday, 02:04 AM
#1
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I'm curious to how everyone goes about evaluating a new soap/cream. I'm excluding those that you may instantly dislike and discard, but how do you make your mind up about those that pass the first threshold? 

Do you just give it a place in your rotation and eventually form an opinion, or do you go through a phase of using the new soap exclusively (perhaps while changing razors/blades/brushes/technique?) or do you do something else entirely?

What I have done so far... is not much. Until very recently I have basically had four soaps/creams so the rotation cycle has been so short that the point is moot. Now that I've more than doubled my collection the issue is presenting itself. What I'm doing at the moment is simply to put everything in my rotation to give me some time to ponder between uses. Not a very methodologically sound way of doing it perhaps, but it feels right.

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 Yesterday, 03:12 AM
#2
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It's a case of YMMV I think. I try to use a new soap for a week straight to get a good mental image of it's qualities, then I put it aside for a week while shaving with other soaps, then I return to it to see if my initial findings holds up.

Do what feels natural for you Smile

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 Yesterday, 05:33 AM
#3
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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4-5 shaves are sometimes enough to draw a conclusion, even if that's an early one...

edit: Of course, if the scent is not to my liking, I will sell it or give it to my brother/friends. But I always do my research before making an order.

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 Yesterday, 05:46 AM
#4
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(Yesterday, 03:12 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: It's a case of YMMV I think. I try to use a new soap for a week straight to get a good mental image of it's qualities, then I put it aside for a week while shaving with other soaps, then I return to it to see if my initial findings holds up.

Do what feels natural for you Smile

Sure, I intend to. I wasn't really looking for advice, I was just curious how others go about figuring out what they think about new soaps. Smile
Your method sounds highly rational though.

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 Yesterday, 06:11 AM
#5
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Usually, I try to use a new soap by adding just a little drop of water at a time to get the later I am looking for to test it. I might use the soap for a few day in a row, but never for an entire week. Then I'll use one or two soap before getting back to the new one for a another comparison try.

On the other hand, I tend to go with soap base that already have some reputation! That way, I won't have to do a lot of test before adding it to my den/rotation!

Of course, like everything else, YMMV!

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 Yesterday, 06:49 AM
#6
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(Yesterday, 05:46 AM)RazorSteve Wrote:
(Yesterday, 03:12 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Do what feels natural for you Smile

Sure, I intend to. I wasn't really looking for advice...

Free advice is worth what you paid for it Tongue

I was trying to make it clear that even if I do things one way, that don't make it the right way - only my way.

Testing soaps is an interesting subject. I just got a sample in the mail today, and I am slightly annoyed that I've already shaved - part of me wants to dive in and start lathering RIGHT NOW.

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 Yesterday, 06:55 AM
#7
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(Yesterday, 06:49 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Testing soaps is an interesting subject. I just got a sample in the mail today, and I am slightly annoyed that I've already shaved - part of me wants to dive in and start lathering RIGHT NOW.

Yeah, I know what you're saying. I got lots of new soaps and creams the last few days and I want to try all of them. Bothers me that shaving more than once per day is silly Smile

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 Yesterday, 08:24 AM
#8
  • Gabe
  • Senior Member
  • Arizona
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I like o give them a 5-7 shaves in a row. That's one reason why I joined in the SAW thread. I've found that soaps may change with repeated use. This helps me dial in the soap and then make my assessment.

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 Yesterday, 08:52 AM
#9
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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Step 1: Scent.  If I don't like the scent, it doesn't matter how good it performs.  
Step 2: Ease of lathering.  I test to see how easy it is to load the brush and how much effort it takes to build a usable lather.
Step 3: Lather quality.  I'm looking for dense and glossy lather that is slick.  Once the test lather is built, I leave it in the bowl and check on it every 5-10 minutes to see how long it takes to dissipate.
Step 4: Shave quality.  I only shave with the soap if it passes all of the above steps.  Like others have posted, I'll use the soap exclusively for about a week to get a feel for it.
Some soaps pass the first 3 steps but then perform horribly during an actual shave.

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 Yesterday, 11:24 AM
#10
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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(Yesterday, 08:52 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: Step 1: Scent.  If I don't like the scent, it doesn't matter how good it performs.  
Step 2: Ease of lathering.  I test to see how easy it is to load the brush and how much effort it takes to build a usable lather.
Step 3: Lather quality.  I'm looking for dense and glossy lather that is slick.  Once the test lather is built, I leave it in the bowl and check on it every 5-10 minutes to see how long it takes to dissipate.
Step 4: Shave quality.  I only shave with the soap if it passes all of the above steps.  Like others have posted, I'll use the soap exclusively for about a week to get a feel for it.
Some soaps pass the first 3 steps but then perform horribly during an actual shave.

Yes, this method is pretty much my approach as well. I can add step 1.5; if Mrs. chazt says, “no” to the scent, the soap has to score perfect 10s in steps 2-4. Otherwise it’s tossed, PIFfed or sold.

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 Yesterday, 11:39 AM
#11
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(Yesterday, 08:52 AM)Mr_Smartepants Wrote: Step 1: Scent.  If I don't like the scent, it doesn't matter how good it performs.  
Step 2: Ease of lathering.  I test to see how easy it is to load the brush and how much effort it takes to build a usable lather.
Step 3: Lather quality.  I'm looking for dense and glossy lather that is slick.  Once the test lather is built, I leave it in the bowl and check on it every 5-10 minutes to see how long it takes to dissipate.
Step 4: Shave quality.  I only shave with the soap if it passes all of the above steps.  Like others have posted, I'll use the soap exclusively for about a week to get a feel for it.
Some soaps pass the first 3 steps but then perform horribly during an actual shave.

That's a good summary of my process.  However, at step 4, I'll give any soap at least one shave, even if it doesn't pass the first 3 steps.  I won't use it again, but I want to know the quality of the shave it produces as part of my evaluation.

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 Yesterday, 12:03 PM
#12
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I use a Personna Platinum blade and if I get a few nicks and cuts, its an average soap.  If I don't its superior.

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 Yesterday, 01:08 PM
#13
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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(Yesterday, 12:03 PM)bkatbamna Wrote: I use a Personna Platinum blade and if I get a few nicks and cuts, its an average soap.  If I don't its superior.

This makes excellent sense to me. A great soap must be protective.

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 Yesterday, 02:41 PM
#14
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I have a soap that works for me regardless of the razor and blade combination, brush or hard Connecticut water. Wholly Kaw Dark Vetiver. 

I will shave with a new soap then next shave with WKDV then the new soap again

if the soap is as good as my #1 it goes in the rotation

if not, i will experiment with the soap eg wash my face with a pure glycerin body soap and lather into the glycerin suds, add a similar scent cream for a super lather and improved scent etc

recently I discovered that some of the soaps at the back of the cupboard needed a few drops of distilled water in order to whip up a proper lather.

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