02-26-2012, 05:34 PM
#1
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Recently my soap rotation has been dominated by MdC and Benton Clay. Over the weekend I thought I'd reacquaint myself with an old friend - Cella! The soap lathered a treat (no surprise there) and that pleasant almond scent took me back to when I first started DE shaving. Cella was among my very first soaps and I remember it fondly and the positive results it gave me. BUT... I had a horrible shave! My neck is a sensitive area made worse by stubborn hair that won't generally be displaced with out a few passes with an OC, so I was prepared for some discomfort there, but it felt like I was shaving with a cheese grater! Possibly it was my blade (Personna, 3rd use - I don't get much more than 2 or 3 shaves out of one), but the glide that I'm currently use to (with MdC and Benton) was just not there. Perhaps I used to much water as the Cella seemed to break down a little quicker than the MdC and Benton. However the real killer for me (and possibly my relationship with Cella) was that it left my face drier than the sahara desert.

I followed my shave with the usual application of Floid A/S, but had to follow up with the Floid ASB too. By the end of the day my skin was ruined. Dried out and tight from the Cella and then heavy and oily from too much moisturiser in an attempt to compensate.

Does any one else find Cella (soap) too dehydrating? Any tips for preventing every drop of moisture from my face being consumed by the soap?

I'll have to try the Cella cream again for comparison as I have a couple of the red tubs, perhaps that won't be so drying?

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 02-26-2012, 05:51 PM
#2
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I am sorry to hear that Ben. It is interesting how sometimes when we go back to a previous standby, our results differ from what we remembered. Perhaps the stars just were not aligned today.

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 02-26-2012, 06:36 PM
#3
  • Craig
  • Not a ragin Cajun; a mild mannered one
  • Astoria, NYC
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I usually can't get Cella to lather for anything. Every once in a while, I get amazing lather but it is rare. P160 and Vitos work much more consistently for me.

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 02-26-2012, 07:45 PM
#4
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Hi Ben -

Cella is one of my favorite soaps, and it lathers best for me with a boar brush. I've never had Cella lather break down, nor have I found it drying.

When I switch soaps, I usually find that there is a period of readapting to the lathering characteristics of a soap that I haven't used for awhile, and Cella behaves diferently from Martin de Candre. In my experience, Cella is much more flexible in the sense that you can lather it however you want it (I make my lather with a lot of water, for glide over cushion), while MdC wants to be lathered in a specific manner. You might give Cella a little more time to rediscover its secrets before giving up on it.

Another possibility is that your other soaps work better for you now.

- Murray

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 02-27-2012, 07:46 AM
#5
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Cella has become my favorite soap, and it leaves my face much softer than MWF. It's gotten to the point that I'm dissapointed with my shave if I don't use Cella. I'm getting ready to offload all my other stuff except for my Cella, Palmolive sticks and Arko sticks.

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 02-27-2012, 04:18 PM
#6
  • TSNMod
  • Super Moderator
  • Yosemite
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I've been shaving with Cella for the last week or so; and it has become one of my favorites. I have heard that the tallow in Cella can "go off" if you let it sit around too long. If I don't use up my tub before the summer hits I'll be storing it in my freezer until the autumn.

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 02-27-2012, 08:33 PM
#7
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Bryan, I have never had Cella go bad on me, but I run air conditioning in the summer. I bought a kilo of this soap and I keep a "serving" of it at room temperature for up to a year, while I keep the rest of it in the refrigerator. I wouldn't actually freeze it though, as I intuit that it could cause a change to the molecular structure of the soap.

- Murray

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 02-28-2012, 06:53 AM
#8
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Williams Warrior Wrote:Cella has become my favorite soap, and it leaves my face much softer than MWF. It's gotten to the point that I'm dissapointed with my shave if I don't use Cella. I'm getting ready to offload all my other stuff except for my Cella, Palmolive sticks and Arko sticks.

Well stated.

Cella, Palmolive & Arko represent the top-tier of shaving soaps. I'd add Tabac to the list.

I find MWF to be the most overrated product on the market.

To the OP, I doubt it's the Cella - mildly formulated & non-drying. Sometimes we just get bad shaves; I know when I do, beyond feeling irritated, my skin feels tight and dry. Try washing your face with Cella without shaving to see if its the cause of your troubles.

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 02-28-2012, 07:33 AM
#9
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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boYexTRAORDINaRE Wrote:To the OP, I doubt it's the Cella - mildly formulated & non-drying. Sometimes we just get bad shaves; I know when I do, beyond feeling irritated, my skin feels tight and dry. Try washing your face with Cella without shaving to see if its the cause of your troubles.

You are probably right!

I use to use Cella all the time without any issues. I will try your idea of washing with it - I'm sure that will be all I need to coax me back to using it.

Thanks!

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 03-18-2012, 06:02 AM
#10
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Ben, I have the exact same experience as Cella, with the exception that it was never a favorite of mine. I tried it out during my first year of wetshaving and could never get a decent, lasting lather. If I could whip up a good lather, it would dissipate quickly. If I tried to reload to get more lather, it would be too dry. Slowly adding water would help until--bang--it broke down completely. Worst of all, though, was that it really irritated and dried out my skin. I thought this was odd because the main reason I bought it in the first place was it is one of the most "natural" soaps on the market.

Every now and then I break out the Cella to give it another whirl, thinking maybe there's something wrong with the way I'm using it. Yesterday was such a day. I even read some forum posts on lathering Cella. I seemed to be doing things correctly.

So after whipping up the lather and painting my face, the first pass was decent. I had enough lather, I thought, for at least two more passes. I rinsed and painted my face again, but this time the lather started breaking down. The ATG pass was miserable.

I reloaded, thinking maybe this soap just requires tons of loading. My third pass was also miserable. Even painting the lather on felt bad, like my face was burning.

My go-to treatment for bad shaves is first some Thayer's Super Medicated witch hazel followed by Anherb conditioner. Even these two gems could not soothe my skin. After a while I ended up applying some CeraVe lotion, but my skin still felt dry, raw, sore.

There must be some alignment of factors that make this universal favorite my least favorite soap. I'm officially done with it and am giving it away.

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 03-18-2012, 12:18 PM
#11
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Ill quit Cella,my friend...I cant stand its smell and also it dries out my skin.There are better options out there than Cella,like any of the French soaps.

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 03-18-2012, 01:06 PM
#12
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(03-18-2012, 06:02 AM)dontodd Wrote: Ben, I have the exact same experience as Cella, with the exception that it was never a favorite of mine. I tried it out during my first year of wetshaving and could never get a decent, lasting lather. If I could whip up a good lather, it would dissipate quickly. If I tried to reload to get more lather, it would be too dry. Slowly adding water would help until--bang--it broke down completely. Worst of all, though, was that it really irritated and dried out my skin. I thought this was odd because the main reason I bought it in the first place was it is one of the most "natural" soaps on the market.

Every now and then I break out the Cella to give it another whirl, thinking maybe there's something wrong with the way I'm using it. Yesterday was such a day. I even read some forum posts on lathering Cella. I seemed to be doing things correctly.

So after whipping up the lather and painting my face, the first pass was decent. I had enough lather, I thought, for at least two more passes. I rinsed and painted my face again, but this time the lather started breaking down. The ATG pass was miserable.

I reloaded, thinking maybe this soap just requires tons of loading. My third pass was also miserable. Even painting the lather on felt bad, like my face was burning.

My go-to treatment for bad shaves is first some Thayer's Super Medicated witch hazel followed by Anherb conditioner. Even these two gems could not soothe my skin. After a while I ended up applying some CeraVe lotion, but my skin still felt dry, raw, sore.

There must be some alignment of factors that make this universal favorite my least favorite soap. I'm officially done with it and am giving it away.

Give it to me!Biggrin

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 03-18-2012, 02:24 PM
#13
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IMO there are significantly better soft Italian soaps; Vitos and p.160 are the 2 I'm thinking of. I never tried the soft Valobra. There may be others... I haven't tried them either.

FWIW, I've been testing Cella for a few days now after using Vitos and P.160 for quite some time; and in comparison, well, I already stated what I think. It's "foam without substance". Biggrin

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 03-19-2012, 03:13 AM
#14
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(03-18-2012, 01:06 PM)Williams Warrior Wrote:
(03-18-2012, 06:02 AM)dontodd Wrote: There must be some alignment of factors that make this universal favorite my least favorite soap. I'm officially done with it and am giving it away.

Give it to me!Biggrin

I have recently helped a local youngster convert to wetshaving and he has Cella high on his try list. If he doesn't care for it, I'll offer it up here! Biggrin

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 03-19-2012, 10:07 AM
#15
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(03-18-2012, 02:24 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: IMO there are significantly better soft Italian soaps; Vitos and p.160 are the 2 I'm thinking of. I never tried the soft Valobra. There may be others... I haven't tried them either.

FWIW, I've been testing Cella for a few days now after using Vitos and P.160 for quite some time; and in comparison, well, I already stated what I think. It's "foam without substance". Biggrin

Well, my crticism of it may have been a bit too harsh. I've used many soaps that weren't as good as Cella. But in comparison to Vitos Red and P.160 it just doesn't do it for me. They have more of the stuff that's good for the skin.

Of course that's my opinion.

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 03-19-2012, 11:52 AM
#16
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I was going to write a review of my experience with Cella after I used a few more times but now is good as any. I know most people here have probably tried Cella but it is new to me. Having only tried Proraso(white), Art of Shaving (sandalwood) and Cella I have a very limited view of wet shaving creams and soaps. The 1st time I used Cella it lathered way easier and a lot more volume than the Proraso I had been using. The smell was great and the slickness was unbelievable! I though I had really upgraded. But then a funny thing happened; the next few times I used it the slickness was no there and the smell seemed to have faded. To be fair the first time I used it was the last time I used a Gillette Yellow the other times were with a Dk Blue so that may something to do with it. I have since switched to AOS and I am giving that I try. I have not given up on Cella because honestly if I could get that 1st time feeling mixed with the menthol of Proraso I think I might fall in love with a shaving cream. I will try it again later with other blades to see if that makes a difference. Just my .02 from a newb.

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 03-19-2012, 03:29 PM
#17
  • GMofmiami
  • Senior Member
  • Miami, Fl & Central America
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Don't give up on CELLA Jerral...It really is a great soft soap which can provide lots of slick, cushion filled lather. It just takes a bit of time to get the right soap/water ratio to get all of that Cella goodness. IMO it is one of the finest Italian Soft Soaps available...my favorite is P160 which unfortunately they dont produce anymore but Cella is my close second followed by Vitos and then Valobra. As for blades suggest you try Astra SP's...sharp and very smooth IMO.

Best of luck!

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 03-19-2012, 08:31 PM
#18
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Jerral, the main challenge with Cella, as I see it, is to prevent it from sudsing right at the beginning. Not enough product in the brush, too much water in the brush, and lathering too vigorously are all contributors to sudsing.

A boar brush also helps, because it doesn't aerate the lather as quickly as a badger brush. Both will work, but you need to be a little bit more careful with badger. Additionally, for reasons beyond my understanding, Cella is very difficult to rinse effectively out of pure badger.

I start with a dryer brush and add water as I need it. I load the brush until it is lathering, and then I tranfer to a bowl and lather it gently, especially at first. I would expect much the same principle to apply to face-lathering.

Good luck!

- Murray

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 03-20-2012, 05:06 AM
#19
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Thanks guys.

GMofmiami,I have tried the Astra blades and so far they are my favorite so it might be time to switch back as I experiment with different cream/soaps etc.

CMur12. You may have hit the nail on the head. After reading your post I realized the 1st time I used Cella I forgot to soak my brush while I was in the shower. The other times I soaked it and only loaded my brush for about 10 sec because it started sudsing right away. I transfered my suds to my Bill Bowl and worked up a very substandard lather. When I finish trying the AOS stuff I will try out the Cella again.

PS I would not even be trying the Cella if not for MikePerry's graciousness in sharing his big block that he won from the other site. Big thanks to Mike.

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 03-20-2012, 06:41 PM
#20
  • Sargon
  • Member
  • St. Louis, Missouri
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Cella reacts poorly to foaming too early? That may explain why I consider it so surprisingly good. I have rock hard water, so nothing will "suds" early. :>

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