01-13-2020, 08:35 PM
#1
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I jumped off the reformulation wagon since I own 100+ great performing soaps, that I still need to use up before buying new soaps.

Shaved with Mikes Natural today. Great soap but annoying how the soap spins inside the container, when you load your brush.

This made me wonder. How many soaps, that you love to use, would you say have not been reformulated and are still like the first edition was ?

I guess MDC is still the same.
What about Mikes Natural ?

It’s in human nature to constantly improve product quality, but it’s also quite astonishing if you make a shaving soap so great, that you feel it’s not possible or desirable to improve it.

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 01-13-2020, 09:24 PM
#2
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A soap maker I know will tweak his soaps and not announce it publicly.  So is Mikes the same as it was some years ago?  I think so but don't know.  I sure like it though.  What I do know for sure is chasing the incremental improvement new soap bases promise isn't for me either.  Many older soaps offer plenty in protection and performance for me.  I sure don't begrudge guys that want to chase bases but it's not for me.

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 01-13-2020, 10:53 PM
#3
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If you press Mike's down, it'll stay put. If it dries out just put a little water below the puck, press & let dry.

Out of my core four (Mike's, CRSW, Wholly Kaw, Saponificio Varesino) only Mike's has stayed the course. This isn't a bad thing as I've welcomed the changes Larry has introduced into CRSW, and as much as I didn't think WK needed anything beyond the donkey milk formula - the new bases are great. I don't know the history of declaration grooming or shannon's to know if they've reformulated or not, but I like both bases quite a bit.

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 01-14-2020, 03:17 AM
#4
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Concur with Mike's. His new containers are better than the old metal ones. 
2. MWF
3. Czech & Speake
4. Tabac
Not included in the list are my vintage soaps, because they, too, have gone through unfortunate reformulations. However, just for kicks, here they are:
1) Art of Shaving
2) Old Spice
3) Williams
4) Figaro Sapone
5) MdC (while not really vintage, they did screw with the recipe)
6) Crabtree & Evelyn (the OLD soap)
7) Seaforth!
8) Acqua di Parma

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 01-14-2020, 08:24 AM
#5
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Great question: Is better the enemy of good?
Depends. Not everyone can be pleased all the time. Tastes change over time. Maybe face lathering now but bowl lathering before. Maybe badgers now, boars before. Maybe soaps now but creams then. Straights then, DE now. It gets complicated and we're just talking shaving. Imagine food preferences over time. And oh yes, as we age sense of smell diminishes.
I've been in the wet shaving game for a very short time, I am unable to opine on soaps prior to 2012.

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 01-14-2020, 02:17 PM
#6
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I know Mystic Water added a chelating agent to her soaps a few years ago, but seeing as it was a minor ingredient to the original formulation in my opinion, I still view this soap as 'original'. 
The same thing with Mike's. 
Two of the best original artisanal soap.  Shy

* Claus, regarding the soap spinning in the container when loading, why don't you just press it down with your thumbs to adhere it to the bottom of the container? This will alleviate the problem. I do it all of the time with Mystic Water, as well as Mike's pucks.

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 01-14-2020, 03:01 PM
#7
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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I am still a novice relating to shaving soaps and my stash of soaps is normally 5 or so.  My current inventory includes 6 soaps and 1 cream.

I really appreciate Soap Science and Fitjar Islands - my 2 favorites are always available.  Guessing same or very close formulas.

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 01-14-2020, 03:34 PM
#8
  • Boonie21
  • Soapy Science Soaps
  • Denver, Colorado
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(01-14-2020, 03:01 PM)SCOV Wrote: I am still a novice relating to shaving soaps and my stash of soaps is normally 5 or so.  My current inventory includes 6 soaps and 1 cream.

I really appreciate Soapy Science and Fitjar Islands - my 2 favorites are always available.  Guessing same or very close formulas.

Hannah has not changed it since she landed on the final version of Soapy Science. The ingredients work for what she was trying to produce - an easily lathered, slick and great cushion shave soap. I dong foresee her changing the formula anytime soon, if ever. She continues to have orders come in from all over the world and for her, that is a vote of confidence for her ingredients to remain as they are.

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 01-14-2020, 05:36 PM
#9
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Agree with Mike’s Natural completely. I’d also like to mention Shannon’s (regular line) Nil. Not sure if the formula has changed but I’ve bought it a number of times over the last few years and it’s always consistently delightful. A solid product, for sure.

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 01-14-2020, 05:54 PM
#10
  • Nero
  • Senior Member
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(01-14-2020, 02:17 PM)celestino Wrote: I know Mystic Water added a chelating agent to her soaps a few years ago, but seeing as it was a minor ingredient to the original formulation in my opinion, I still view this soap as 'original'. 
Actually, she added lanolin at some point. Unnecessary, as you know.

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 01-14-2020, 06:37 PM
#11
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(01-14-2020, 05:54 PM)Nero Wrote: Actually, she added lanolin at some point. Unnecessary

I agree.
Hopefully it will stay out of sensitive and one other flavor (don’t remember its name).

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 01-14-2020, 08:21 PM
#12
  • Nero
  • Senior Member
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(01-14-2020, 06:37 PM)lloydrm Wrote:
(01-14-2020, 05:54 PM)Nero Wrote: Actually, she added lanolin at some point. Unnecessary

I agree.
Hopefully it will stay out of sensitive and one other flavor (don’t remember its name).
I think the other is/was the Blue Gum and Tea Tree (from memory) if that's a soap... too lazy to go look at the moment.

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 01-14-2020, 10:26 PM
#13
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(01-14-2020, 02:17 PM)celestino Wrote: Claus, regarding the soap spinning in the container when loading, why don't you just press it down with your thumbs to adhere it to the bottom of the container? This will alleviate the problem. I do it all of the time with Mystic Water, as well as Mike's pucks.

(01-13-2020, 10:53 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: If you press Mike's down, it'll stay put. If it dries out just put a little water below the puck, press & let dry.


Thanks for the tip.

I must be forgetful because one of my Meißner Tremonia shaving paste creams did also start to spin and I just pressed it down to fill out the container and it now stays put.

Will do the trick on my Mike’s Natural too.

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 01-15-2020, 02:25 AM
#14
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I did the same thing with my Mike's soap, but I focus more on the edge of the puck when pushing down the soap. Making the puck pushing against the side of the jar so it can better hold his place in the container.

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 01-15-2020, 04:48 AM
#15
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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I’m not sure that MdC or Cella changed though their ingredient listing did. There was a change in EU labeling requirements that perhaps made it look like the ingredients changed when maybe they did not. This was confirmed by Nicky Chini according to a thread elsewhere. This only applies to EU products of course.

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 01-15-2020, 09:56 AM
#16
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(01-14-2020, 05:54 PM)Nero Wrote:
(01-14-2020, 02:17 PM)celestino Wrote: I know Mystic Water added a chelating agent to her soaps a few years ago, but seeing as it was a minor ingredient to the original formulation in my opinion, I still view this soap as 'original'. 
Actually, she added lanolin at some point. Unnecessary, as you know.

That is correct and I had forgotten. Her soap does not need lanolin, at all, as her post-shave is superb in the Sensitive Skin as it is.

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 01-15-2020, 02:10 PM
#17
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Horse and buggy was a perfectly acceptable mode of transportation, now we have cars and gasp, airplanes.

Some embrace change, others not so much. I'm all for it if it makes an improvement over previous soap. Why not?

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 01-15-2020, 09:02 PM
#18
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(01-15-2020, 02:10 PM)gRider Wrote: Horse and buggy was a perfectly acceptable mode of transportation, now we have cars and gasp, airplanes.

Some embrace change, others not so much. I'm all for it if it makes an improvement over previous soap. Why not?

I embrace improvement of products, most certainly also when it comes to shaving soaps.

I just thought it would be fun to find shaving soap brands, that for a long time have stayed with the original formula.

If it works, don’t fix it.
If it works great, why fix it at all ?

For instance I have no clue about how many times Barrister & Mann have changed their formula, but I own 12-14 (at least I think so) B&M soaps and after testing them over a period of time, I still think the original white label is as good as his other formulas.

Catie’s Bubbles pretty much the same. I own circa 12 Catie’s Bubbles, and I still think the first softer version performed as well as his newer harder Lux formula.
Not better, but equally good. So why change the formula ? I do appreciate the harder texture of the Lux version though, but that’s pretty much it.

Saponificio Varesino has almost made a style out of calling their soaps beta and Alfa version with a number. I believe I own 8 or 9 Saponificio soaps, and to be honest they all perform pretty much equally great for me. I like all Saponificio Varesino shaving soaps.

As said, I love progress and the search for optimising and perfecting a product, but if the first version is already fantastic and v2 and v3 really do nothing, then I find it odd to make the reformulation.

Just my 2 cents

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 01-15-2020, 09:31 PM
#19
  • pbrmhl
  • Senior Member
  • Seattle
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I'm a huge fan of Declaration Grooming soaps. My first was L&L Grooming Harmony in the bison base (before the name was changed to Declaration), and I was immediately convinced this was the best soap I'd ever used (except for maybe MdC). The name was changed shortly thereafter, to Declaration, but I bought a ton of the bison base in the new name. Then the Icarus base came out, and I was less impressed. Recently, Declaration released Milksteak, which is awesome but not much (if any) better than the original, stringy L&L bison base, in my opinion.

The evolution of shaving soaps is interesting.

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 01-16-2020, 06:44 AM
#20
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This is a great thread and I am 100% agreement with Claus.  I have to start concentrating on what I already own versus chasing a new formulation that has an incremental improvement.  I almost always use a post shave product so a soap's post shave feel is not as important as other performance factors to me.

I haven't been around that long, but Stirling seems to have a consistent soap base that they've stuck with.  I know the packaging has changed, but not sure if the formulation changed as well?

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