10-30-2012, 09:11 AM
#1
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This is a review of Scottish Fine Soaps Classic Male Grooming Shaving Soap

I purchased this a couple weeks ago from a British site and it arrived yesterday. This is a classic British Lavender scent, slightly spicy but definitely lavender. I personally am not a huge fan of most lavenders, but I really like the classic scent of this soap. The packaging and presentation is top notch as seen below.

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For my initial shave I used a brush I've always gotten excellent results with for hard soaps, a Vulfix Grosvenor badger / boar mix which I paired with a Mühle R89 with an Astra SP.

This is a vegetarian hard soap so expect to put a tad bit more work into generating lather compared to a standard tallow based soap. Lather building was not an issue for me with the brush and soap though. Fifteen to twenty seconds of swirling on the puck gave me the following results on my brush:
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From there I needed copious amounts of water to build a rich lather. I was having a difficult time initially building lather and thought I would need to add more soap, but I went to add a bit more water to the bowl and ended up adding much more water than I anticipated. After about 30 seconds more of lather building I managed to get a thick creamy lather built which lasted for three full passes without needing to grab any more from the scuttle.
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Conclusion.

I should say up front, I am not a big fan of vegetarian soaps. I much prefer tallow based soaps as they do not dry my skin and seems to provide better cushioning during the shave IMO. From that standpoint SFS is no exception. The lather provides more than enough cushion for a smooth shave, but as with all non tallow soaps I didn't feel that extra slickness. I find the performance to be very good for a non-tallow soap. I'll put it in the same category as L' Occitaine Cade or a C&E soap. Very good but not spectacular.

The scent is quite strong in the ceramic dish to my nose, but it is not at all strong once lathered and will pair nicely with any AS scent you wish to use. The EdT carries the same earthy / spicy (Patchoulli? Vetiver?) lavender scent as the soap and is quite manly.

I purchased the soap in the ceramic container, a second 100g puck, a 50ml balm and a 100ml EdT which came to just a bit under $100 for the lot. I think this will hold a place in my rotation for some time as I love the smell and the presentation.

I recommend this soap with the single reservation of the fact it is a vegetarian soap. Not everyone likes these soaps, and if you fall in that category you will not care for it. For those who do like vegetarian soaps or at least find them worthy of holding a place in your den, this soap should be on your check it out list.

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 10-30-2012, 09:20 AM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Doug, thanks for the review. I had been eying this product for a while and it's good to see someone do a review on it. You are correct, the presentation is first class.

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 10-30-2012, 09:27 AM
#3
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Presentation is fantastic, $100 for all of that is not a bad price at all. Thanks for the review!

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 10-30-2012, 09:29 AM
#4
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I have this soap, in this very same presentation, and I have to agree: it is a fine soap, very much alike the C&E ones.

Thank you very much for the review, Doug Smile

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 10-30-2012, 09:31 AM
#5
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Thanks for the good review, Doug. Since I am one of those who prefer tallow, and because I already have too many soaps and creams, I won't be adding this to my buy list. But it does sound like a good soap.

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 10-30-2012, 10:02 AM
#6
  • Mynorx
  • Active Member
  • Southern California
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The product does have a very nice presentation. I've never tried it. But from the looks of the later it seems like there are better products out there. Thanks for the review.

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 10-30-2012, 10:09 AM
#7
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Oh, don't let my mediocre lather building abilities distract from the soap, it's not my strongest suit. If you can get a good lather out of any higher end vegetable based soap, this will provide similar results. This is the lather type I always seem to build from a vegetarian soap.

Also note from early in the review, I only loaded soap on the brush for ~15 seconds. There are many people out there who recommend up to 60 seconds for loading a hard soap. I think a longer load time would produce a huge amount of lather.

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 10-30-2012, 10:11 AM
#8
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Great review Doug.

Beautiful presentation, and pricey indeed!

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 10-30-2012, 10:14 AM
#9
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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An excellent review, Doug; thank you. The presentation is beautiful but if the performance isn't there then the presentation is useless. SFS, though, seems to have it all.

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 10-30-2012, 10:26 AM
#10
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Freddy, I agree with you about presentation / performance. While I do enjoy a good presentation, and I have a number of well presented soaps and creams, if they do not perform what is the point?

I believe once I get the "feel" of the soap down, lathering will not be an issue. It took me some time to get Cade down as well. Tallow just lends itself to building lather easily, and I also do better with creams than soaps. I just started using soaps this year so some days I still just don't hit that sweet spot.

The scent is awesome, the performance is right up there with a C&E or L' Occitaine Cade which I have grown to love. I've smelled so many lavenders over time, and for the most part I just do not like them. There is just something about this one though which seems to set it apart.

In reply to Burak, I think overall what I managed to purchase for the total price was a good deal. If I recall, the EdT (EdTs are usually more expensive than an AS splash) as well as the soap and bowl set were $32 each, the AS balm and refill puck were $15-$18 if I recall. Total came to $94 before shipping. Price is in the eye of the beholder, you can get a lot of shaves out of what I got for the money. For me it's a middle of the road soap as far as price. I've got far cheaper, and far more expensive.

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 10-30-2012, 10:32 AM
#11
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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Excellent review and the presentation is superb! The soap looks like it belongs in the den of royalty and would command a $100 price tag alone.

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 10-30-2012, 11:09 AM
#12
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(10-30-2012, 10:26 AM)wingdo Wrote: Freddy, I agree with you about presentation / performance. While I do enjoy a good presentation, and I have a number of well presented soaps and creams, if they do not perform what is the point?

I believe once I get the "feel" of the soap down, lathering will not be an issue. It took me some time to get Cade down as well. Tallow just lends itself to building lather easily, and I also do better with creams than soaps. I just started using soaps this year so some days I still just don't hit that sweet spot.

The scent is awesome, the performance is right up there with a C&E or L' Occitaine Cade which I have grown to love. I've smelled so many lavenders over time, and for the most part I just do not like them. There is just something about this one though which seems to set it apart.

In reply to Burak, I think overall what I managed to purchase for the total price was a good deal. If I recall, the EdT (EdTs are usually more expensive than an AS splash) as well as the soap and bowl set were $32 each, the AS balm and refill puck were $15-$18 if I recall. Total came to $94 before shipping. Price is in the eye of the beholder, you can get a lot of shaves out of what I got for the money. For me it's a middle of the road soap as far as price. I've got far cheaper, and far more expensive.

You're right Doug, I skipped while reading the sentence and thought it was the price just for the soap.
Now i see it is not, definitely middle of the road, just like you said.

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 10-30-2012, 01:04 PM
#13
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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Doug, great review of this soap.

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 10-30-2012, 01:26 PM
#14
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Great review, Doug!

The presentation of the soap itself was eloquent, almost requiring a King or Queen to open the product itself! Your scuttle is beautiful as well!

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 10-31-2012, 09:45 AM
#15
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After Mynorx's comment about the look of the lather, I decided I would come right back to this soap today and do a longer load with a pure bristle brush. I am one of those who is not impressed by making huge mounds of lather which ends up just getting washed down the drain at the end, but I also understand that a large pile of thick lather does look impressive in a review photo.

So I made a couple changes for today's pictures. First, I went with a 45 second load time. Second, I used a SOC boar which does a better job IMO of pulling soap from a hard soap. Finally I went with a Dirty Bird bill bowl as opposed to the Georgetown Pottery scuttle. I find Julie's work to do a better job of building lather than GP's work.

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As a side note, today I also used a Mühle R41 (2011-) and the soap provided more than enough cushioning to allow for a 3 pass shave without any nicks. I had enough lather left over to shave a number of people.

Still remains a recommended soap, and a highly recommended soap for those who only use vegetarian soaps.

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 10-31-2012, 09:50 AM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Thanks for the review Doug. This is one of the soaps that I have been eying.

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 10-31-2012, 09:52 AM
#17
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Phil, it is a really good vegetarian soap and will stay in my rotation. By far the best smelling lavender soap / cream I have tried. Now I just need someone to send me a sliver of MdC so I can compare scents. Cool

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 10-31-2012, 09:57 AM
#18
  • Mynorx
  • Active Member
  • Southern California
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Doug. Your lather looks excellent. SOC is a very good brush it creates a quality cream. Very nice picture as well.

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 10-31-2012, 10:03 AM
#19
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(10-31-2012, 09:57 AM)Mynorx Wrote: Doug. Your lather looks excellent. SOC is a very good brush it creates a quality cream. Very nice picture as well.

Thanks for your feedback yesterday. I am still working on making my reviews better. Both positive and negative feedback is helpful and I took your comments to heart. I have to admit, that while I myself do not go out of my way in a daily shave to produce a giant bowl of lather, I also know I like seeing it in a review or on a Youtube video. It was a great reminder of what people do like to see.

I don't think there is a vegetarian soap out there which can compare with a tallow based soap (especially if you add lanolin) as far as slickness is concerned, but for a veggie soap, this is right up there at he top.

The other thing everyone should note is, a simple refill puck is either $13 or $15 for 100g. For those who do not care about presentation and just stick the pucks in small generic tubs, this soap is very reasonably priced.

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 10-31-2012, 11:19 AM
#20
  • river1
  • Active Member
  • Coastal South Carolina
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Doug,thanks for the review and followup. Beautiful presentation box and bowl; I have been using the Castle Forbes and love all but the Lavendar which is just not my favorite in anything even though I now have the cream and balm.

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