Cold River Soap Works Schapenmelk Shaving Soap Review Cold River Soap Works Baldwinsville, NY 13027 https://www.coldriversoapworks.com I have seen Cold River Soap works mentioned a lot on the wetshaving forums. The comments regarding this vendor and their soaps are very positive. Accordingly, I decided to try their Schapenmelk Shaving Soap. I placed an order for the soap, and it arrived only three days later. Considering it had to travel all the way across the US, that is mind blowingly fast! Wow! Great customer service, to say the very least. Better yet, it turns out that the Schapenmelk Shaving Soap is very good indeed. The puck is about 2-3/4 inches in diameter by 7/8 inch thick, and weighs approximately 3.5 ounces (99 grams). The soap is on the soft side, although not as soft as the soft Italian soaps like Valobra. If I press my finger into the soap, it easily makes a shallow indentation. I popped it into my shaving mug, where it fit quite nicely without any trimming or smooshing. Ingredients This was taken from the label on the soap: Potassium Stearate, Sodium Stearate, Potassium Tallowate, Sheep Milk, Shea Butter, Lanolin, Lecithin, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, Fragrance Lather This soap is super easy to lather with both my Vie Long horsehair and Omega boar travel brush. A lot of water is needed in the brush when to get a usable lather. It does lather readily when too little water is used, but the lather is not slick at all once applied to the face. It is quite slick when sufficient water is used, however. The brush easily has enough lather for three passes, and for several more if desired. Lather longevity is excellent. I lathered up and waited to see what would happen. After 1 minute, the lather had not disappeared at all and remained essentially unchanged. The lather had disappeared only very slightly at the 2 minute mark. I then shaved and found the lather to be just as effective as when it is first applied. Lather longevity will not be an issue when using this soap. Good job, Cold River Soap Works! - Ease of lathering: (10/10) - Life span of lather: (10/10) Brushes used Left: Vie Long Epsilon Model GC13900/3 horse hair brush Right: Omega 50014 boar travel brush Performance The lather is plenty slick and makes for a great shave. I encountered no tugging or pulling whatsoever when shaving. Excellent and much appreciated. Thank you, Cold River Soap Works! I get very slight irritation when using this soap when doing more than three passes. With the same gear setup, I get no irritation when using Arko or Kiss My Face Moisture Shave when doing the same number of passes. There was no irritation when doing three passes, though. I got no nicks or cuts, even when in a rush and shaving quickly. Part of that was luck, as any safety razor can bite if one shaves too fast. The other part was due to the soap, which is to its credit. Post-shave skincare is outstanding. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth, and not at all sticky nor greasy. Applying aftershave balm made my face a little sticky, and is not needed when using Schapenmelk Shaving Soap. - Lubrication: (8/10) - How protective: (8/10) - General skincare: (10/10) Scent The scent is very nice indeed, definitely being noticeable, but not at all overpowering. CRSW nailed it in my humble opinion, and so gets high marks on this account. I am not sure exactly what the fragrance is, but find it very pleasant. Maybe Russian leather with a hint of spice? It is definitely not the stereotypical "soapy" aroma, at least not to my nose. Oh man, this is good! Please bear in mind that scent preferences are subjective, so your take on this might differ from mine. If you like overpowering scent levels that can kill all the cockroaches and fumigate the entire house, you might find the scent level a little weak. - Scent: (10/10) Value for the money This soap costs $8.95 per 3.5 ounces (99 grams) puck. I use my shaving soap in a mug, so I did not order the optional jar and lid. For those of us who want only the soap, we do not have to pay for extras we do not need. Shipping was only $3.99, which is reasonable for a 2,000+ mile journey and lightning fast delivery. Shipping would be even less per puck if more than one soap is ordered at a time. Since shipping can vary according to the destination, it does not figure into the Price score. I would buy this soap again, as it works well and smells great! - Price: (9/10) - Would you buy again: (8/10) Conclusion This is a really good shaving soap, and well worth trying. Although there might be a few that are better overall, Cold River Soap Works Schapenmelk Shaving Soap is right up there at the top of the heap. If you have not already tried it, I think it is well worth purchasing. - Overall: (9.1/10) My water hardness 51 mg/l as CaCO3 (soft) The water hardness was taken from my utility's latest water quality update. The scale below was used to correlate water mg/l to the soft/hard rating, and is from the US Geological Survey website. Water hardness scale (as CaCO3): 0-60 mg/l: Soft 61-120 mg/l: Moderately hard 121-180 mg/l: Hard Over 180 mg/l: Very hard mg/l is milligrams per liter Some utilities give water hardness in parts per million (ppm) 1 mg/l = 1 ppm (not exactly, but very, very close) Disclaimer: I purchased the soap reviewed here at full retail directly from Cold River Soap Works' website. The review was done entirely of my own volition, and I was not compensated in any way for reviewing this soap. No samples were provided by the manufacturer, and I was not asked to review this product. Except for my placing an order on their online store and the resulting order status emails, Cold River Soap Works were not contacted, and did not contact me - in any way.