The best artisan shave soaps made in the USA

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by jabberwock, Apr 26, 2013.

  1. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    After shaving with my puck of Ogallala Bay Rum, Limes and Peppercorns this morning, I realized that I have been using a lot of "artisan" shave soaps lately (I prefer to call them independent soaps, as artisan has the wrong feel for me). I have come to think of indie soaps as being a better deal than many of the corporate offerings. They tend to come in a wide range of scents with as many different formulations as there are soap makers. Many of these independent soap makers are so good at their jobs that it can be easy to forget that they are indeed non corporate entities. Some of the best indie soap folks are based right here in the US, providing even more of a local sort of feel to a hand crafted product and making shipping much cheaper and quicker than if they had to be imported.

    I've made a small list of the US made indie shave soaps that I have come across and have either really enjoyed using or have heard excellent things about. I'd like to hear what other folks have to say about these soaps and on the subject in general. Who are your favorite independent shave soap makers? Who have I left out?

    My List-O-Indiesoaps:

    --Em's Place http://www.shaveplace.com/index.asp
    (These soaps are often held up as an excellent example of well made, but overlooked indie soaps.)

    --Green Mountain Soaps http://www.gmsoap.com/
    (I have heard some high praise for these uniquely shaped soaps, but they have a minimum order of $24, so I have yet to try them out.)

    --Honeybee Spa Soaps http://www.honeybeesoaps.net/
    (I have heard nothing but good things about these soaps, they come in a wide variety of scents and are well priced.)

    --Kell's Original http://kellsoriginal.com/main.sc
    (I absolutely LOVE their Ultra Aloe blend soaps, they lather well and have a lasting scent)

    --Mama Bear Soaps http://mamabearssoaps.com/
    (I'm a big fan of their many scents, once you get the water/soap ratio down these soaps are great.)

    --Mike's Natural Soaps http://www.mikesnaturalsoaps.com/
    (Strong scents, a huge amount of soap for the money, and a tallow base all combine to make these one of the more popular indie soaps.)

    --Mystic Water Soaps http://www.mystic4men.com/
    (Held in a similarly high regard as Mike's, these can be difficult to get the right water/soap ratio.)

    --Ogallala http://www.ogallalabayrum.mybigcommerce.com/
    (Amazing lather, strong scents, low costs...what's not to like? They can cause some burn, but once you get used to it these soaps rock.)

    --Prairie Creations http://prairie-creations.com/shop/index.php?cPath=40
    (I have heard excellent things about their products, but also just as many complaints about the shipping delays, especially with the custom orders. I would still be willing to give them a try based purely on the praise that they receive.)

    --Pyrate Cove Soapworks http://www.pyratecovesoapworks.com/
    (LOW cost, excellent customer service, fast lather, and great scents make these soaps a worthy choice. Here is their mobile site, if the main one does not work well on your device: http://www.pyratecovesoapworks.com/index3.htm )

    --QED http://www.qedusa.com/
    (An often praised line of products with a helpful and courteous proprietor.)

    --Queen Charlotte Soap http://www.queencharlottesoaps.com/
    (One of the more expensive indie soaps, these get a lot of praise not only for their quality, but also for their generous sample sizes.)

    --Saint Charles Soaps http://www.saintcharlesshave.com/
    (Well priced interesting indie soaps with a lot of variety and quality packaging.)
    Raven312 and ohpaos like this.
  2. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    TSD!!! You've never tried JoAnna's soaps?!?
    macaronus likes this.
  3. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    I have tried TSD soap, I just forgot to include them in the list. When I realized that I had left them off, I decided not to amend the list just to see how long it would take someone to bring it up. :D

    I am not really a fan of TSD soaps, my first try with TSD was the Copal soap and I did not like it at all. I realize that most folks really like TSD soap, so I will probably give them another shot sometime in the future. They certainly have a lot of scents and a lot of fans.
  4. JimPo42

    JimPo42 Purported Hand-Shaver

    It took me a few goes with TSD soaps before I got it down. They ate pretty terrific and the only reason I haven't bought more is because I can't decide on a scent(s)!
  5. Keithmax

    Keithmax Active Member

    I have dealt with Mystic, Mike's and QCS. I addition to excellent products they have 1st class customer service you will never get from one of the corporate producers. So I give them all my biz.
  6. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    Honestly I'll take the TSD lanolin soaps over any of the soap makers you have listed, they're that good. That's not saying that the other makers don't have great products themselves. Some soap makers add so much fragrance to their products it causes a burning sensation for quite a few people.
  7. srpavko

    srpavko Fastrak Super Duty Hustler

    Supporting Vendor
    Gingers Garden Soaps are very nice to me.
    crackstar likes this.
  8. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Here are my favorite artisan soaps from the US of A:

    (in no particular order)

    TSD Iced Subzero
    Mama Bear Awakenings
    Mama Bear Lemon Ice
    Ginger's Garden Ice Mint
    Ogallala Bay Rum
    Tryphon Permafrost (no longer available)
    QCS Vostok

    I better stop right there because I've tried a lot of them.
  9. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    The last time I tried to order from Ginger's Garden I couldn't get anything done, I dunno if it was a compatibility issue with my tablet or what, but I was not happy. I even tried to contact the proprietor via email, but never got a response. I disliked the site so much that I never visited it again...until today. The site is AMAZING, especially compared to the old site. I will be ordering some stuff from Ginger's Garden tonight. Thanks for the push to check them out again!
  10. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    I love Razorock, but they are a Canadian company and the soaps are made in Italy...
  11. Ryan B

    Ryan B Knight of the Soapocracy

    I love Mike's. They're in my top 3 soaps.
    crackstar likes this.
  12. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    Oh, oops, you did say USA. :ashamed001:
  13. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    No worries, I almost added Razorock myself without thinking. They're a great example of indie soaps that are amazing.
  14. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire Staff Member

    Moderator
    Call me vain, but you also left out Sara's Creations.
  15. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Their soaps are made in Italy? I didn't know that. :ashamed001:
  16. richgem

    richgem suffering from chronic clicker hand cramps

    :eek: Someone's got some 'splainin' to do! ;)

    Yep. IIRC, some of them made by the same company that makes Valobra. Others are artisan ops over there.
  17. DLreno

    DLreno Well-Known Member

  18. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    They look spiffy, I may have to order some of their stuff.


    Yes, I did. I have never tried your soap and have only read a couple of reviews about them (all good, but only coming from one source). I also did not know if you had your own web site for your soaps. I could have asked you for some info, but I only included products that I was well acquainted with either through personal experience or through many, many recommendations and reviews. I don't like lavender and I'm not sure what vetiver smells like, so I have never ordered your products myself.

    I'm sure that there are many other great soap makers that I have left out, and hopefully more folks will chime in with recommendations and info to fill in the gaps. I apologize for leaving Sara's Creations off of my little list, but I did not neglect to mention you out of malice or anything. I think that one of the reasons folks are reading this thread at all is because there is not enough PR or exposure for a lot of these indie soap makers, if it were me I would be doing everything I could to get my name out there. Sending samples to professional or well known reviewers, hitting the forums, talking to multiple vendors about distribution, buying cheap ad space, and creating a virus to release into the water supply that made folks crave my products (I think McDonalds may have beaten me to that one), are all great ways of spreading the word.

    Aaaaanyway, the fact that I didn't mention Sara's Creations was not meant as a slight. It was simply a judgement call due to a lack of personal experience and too few reliable independent reviews or recommendations. Maybe some of your loyal customers could get out there and change that though.
  19. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire Staff Member

    Moderator
    I really didn't take it as a slight. But, since we sell it here to support the site, I couldn't resist the chance to give it a mention.
    jabberwock likes this.
  20. jabberwock

    jabberwock Well-Known Member

    Every time I wander by the TSD store I consider buying a Sara's Creation soap, but I always end up passing because I am unsure about the scent. Maybe I should just take a chance and give the vetiver a try. The creator is certainly knowledgeable and friendly, so I imagine the worst thing that could happen is that I end up loving the soap so much that I feel compelled to buy a bunch of pucks and make little soap forts out of it...don't laugh at the ridiculousness of that statement, I may have made little soap forts for my daughter's dinosaurs with VDH Deluxe boxes...
    Sara-s likes this.

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