Reviews of 85+ Soaps

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by BaylorGator, Sep 2, 2017.

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  1. GatorJoe

    GatorJoe Well-Known Member

    Nice reviews post. Thanks to you @BaylorGator , from one gator to another, I've got two of Lisa’s shave soaps on the way! Sale price right now so the time is right. Thanks again.
     
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  2. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    No worries, Joe. Go Gators!
     
    GatorJoe likes this.
  3. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Moderator
    It's OK if you lost your marbles. Can't shave with them. Otherwise - Carry On! I don't think there's such a thing as too much information.
    mission creep.jpg
     
  4. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    #70 - Obsessive Soap Perfectionist. I found this soap name appropriate for anyone crazy enough to shave with and review 70+ soaps on the internet. Accordingly, I pitted the Neroli sample against the Rose Bourbon version of Eufros, another soap from “across the pond”. Despite my previous experience with it, the Eufros didn’t deliver the expected slickness, and a couple of weepers resulted. No such problem with the OSP. I’m still going to stick with my previous assessment of A for Eufros and give OSP a solid B or B+. However, the end result for me is that it’s probably not worth the trouble to order European soaps when I already have some really fantastic favorites made right here in the USA.
     
  5. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    I got a package in the mail today that I wasn’t expecting. Upon opening it up I found four tubs of a new soap that’s starting to get some buzz on the forums. It’s the end result of an 8th Grade Science Project conducted by a girl named Hannah and it’s called Soapy Science. I considered buying one online, but my Den is full of soaps and I don’t have a tub I want to scrap or PIF, so I held off. Who gifted me these? Then it hits me. I got a message a few weeks ago from a gentleman whose daughter had just come up with some soap she wanted to sell online, and wanted to get my opinion on it. Awesome! It’s Christmas in May.

    Full disclosure: As the father to two grade school girls, so I really want to like these soaps and support Hannah. She also is giving 10% of the profits to charities that are important to her, so again, I really want to like these soaps and support Hannah. However, as a father of two grade school girls, I also know the best thing I can do for her is give an honest review, regardless of whether the results are good, bad, or indifferent.

    Since she sent me four tubs, I am going to give them a few shaves against some of my favorites and give updates as I go. Unfair advantage to Hannah in the soap review thread? Nope! Any other artisan who wanted to send me four tubs would deserve the same due diligence as long as they, like Hannah, are willing to hear an honest review - good, bad or indifferent.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  6. Shadow Shaver

    Shadow Shaver Well-Known Member

    I bought one of her tubs to be supportive and try something new. Unfortunately, I had a water pipe burst and wasn't able to get a plumber out until tonight. (No shaving) I look forward to your review.
     
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  7. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Well shave #1 with Soapy Science is in the books. I shaved side by side against one of my favorites - Stirling. Lots of people don't put Stirling as one of their top soaps. I do. To me, Stirling differentiates itself from every other soap in my den on two characteristics: 1. Strong scent - this is very much a YMMV thing, but because of my "allergy challenged sinuses" I like soaps that are strongly scented. Like, punch you in the face and make your nose bleed strong. 2. Slickness and residual slickness. Different people report different soaps as being slickest. To me, Stirling has no competitors in this arena (YMMV). I've actually shaved a full second pass ATG without reapplying lather and experienced no irritation using Stirling. (I wouldn't recommend this method. It was more of a stupid shave stunt borne out of boredom and curiosity.)

    So how did Soapy Science do in those to areas? Quite well, actually. Was Hannah's lolipop citrus scent as strong as Striling's Lime? No, but it had plenty of scent to it, and was not a "weak smelling" soap at all (which is a disqualifier in my book). Out of the tub, this scent was probably my favorite of the three scented soaps. It actually does smell a bit like a lime "dum dum" lime lollipop (as described on her website), or a cousin to lemonhead candy. I've tried other soaps that smell like candy that really don't come off well. This one is well done though. More citrus with a subtle candy vibe to it. Anyway, if Stirling is a 10 out of 10 on scent strength, soapy science is about an 8. How about residual slickness? As good as Stirling? Not quite, but much closer than I expected, and better than most of the soaps I've reviewed so far. This soap provided plenty of slickness to allow me to go back and buff and touch up after my third pass with plenty of glide and no irritation.

    I don't know how Hannah fared in the Science Fair, but her project is holding up pretty well so far in my den.
     
  8. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Shave #2 and #3 are in the books with Soapy Science. Overall, this is a soap worthy of anyone's den. Is Hannah's freshman offering the #1 soap in my den? No, but it is unquestionably better than most of soaps I've tried. In fact, there are a lot of artisan soaps that have major followings that aren't, in my opinion, as good as this soap. Is there room for improvement if Hannah wants to develop her chops in fragrance development, new product introductions, product portfolio management, incremental product improvements based on customer feedback, and all the things the experienced guys several times her age have learned? Yes, and if she chooses to do so I'm betting she'll be a force to be reckoned with. Or... she may be content with keeping it simple, selling what she's got, having her soap stand among some really well respected names, and using the profits to fund some great charities and build up a nice college fund. She could also leverage this experience to help distinguish herself from the crowd when she applies to college and to future jobs. (What a great story on the resume!) Either way, the bottom line is that I'd rank Soapy Science as a solid B+ (Great) soap alongside of some really highly respected soaps and above several others who many in the community count as their favorites. Cudos Hannah.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  9. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I certainly agree on that TMI...another one of those fads that came and appears to be going away.
     
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  10. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Coming soon - reviews of Oleo Soapworks, Shannon's, and KShave Works. All inbound as we speak.
     
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  11. Tiredricefarmer

    Tiredricefarmer Well-Known Member

    Glad you're doing one on Shannon's. Been looking at trying that one for some time!
     
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  12. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    I would even go so far as to say there are artisan soaps with major followings that don’t even come close to the performance of this soap.

    Great write-up.
     
  13. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I just got an e-mail from Maggard's. They are putting in the entire Oleo Soapworks lineup.
     
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  14. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Back at it with Shannon's Soaps. I got this one as a PIF for my reviews in the scent of Grapefruit, Bay and Patchouli. I'm a fan of grapefruit, but not of bay and patchouli (at all), so I didn't expect much from the scent, but off the puck it smelled OK. (I remember Shannon's was one of the pass around brands that I didn't try because none of the scents jumped out at me off the puck.) Anyway, I lathered it up and the scent was really exceptionally good. Anybody who can mix bay and patchouli into a scent I like has immediate credibility and respect in scent making as far as I'm concerned. Having said that, I was not overly impressed with the lather of this soap. I shaved with it yesterday and it dissipated very quickly, and didn't last all three passes. Figuring I may have added too much water too early, I tried it again today with better results, but it never reached a rich, thick sustainable lather for me. I felt the blade a bit more than normal too. Could this be my fault? Maybe, but I typically don't have trouble creating nice lather with my best soaps, so that's definitely a downgrade in my book. Having said that, the scent is so nice and unique I may keep it in the den even though I'm rating the soap at a B or B- for now.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  15. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Today's soap honestly surprised me a bit. I was not at all familiar with K-Shave Worx, but another shave enthusiast PIF'd me this one and the Shannons so I could evaluate them. I didn't have high hopes for this vegan soap that was relatively unknown to me. I also looked it up online, and it's $10 shipped. How good can it be, right? WRONG! The scent of Hump Day is strong and citrusy but it has other things going on as well that make it really unique and pleasant. It also lathered up better than most soaps in my Den. First off, I'm keeping the tub. Secondly, I'm going to have to go back and do a head to head shave or two in order to better evaluate it, but I'm tempted to give it a B+. The soaps make that cut are few and far between, so we'll see how it does head to head against some favorites.
     
  16. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    The last couple of shaves have been with Oleo Soapworks. What a great soap! Scents are strong and great. The combination of rich lather lather and slickness was great, but I was questioning the cushion as I had irritation on that side of my face compared to both B&M and Declaration Grooming. Then I realized it was a not irritation from shaving, but from skin sensitivity to something in the soap. I’ve used the melonade scent (which I love, but it didn’t love me). Hopefully the sensitivity is to a fragrance and not the soap itself, since this soap is an A. The only question is will my skin agree with other scents so they stay in the den.
     
  17. MR41

    MR41 Well-Known Member

    This thread needs to be made into a reference.:)
     
  18. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Today Rock Rose Apothecary - Cedar Lime vs. Oleo Soapworks - Montrose Beach.
    Rock Rose Apothecary is getting some buzz on the forums, but is not my favorite. It is a very soft soap which can do that "stringy thing" when loading, if you've ever experienced it. Not a big deal, just different loading than I prefer. It also, to me, really smells of tallow in the base. The performance itself is pretty good, but that tallow smell doesn't excite me. Is it possible that the scent itself could be producing the smell? Maybe. But it really feels reminiscent of the same background smells I get from other soaps like TSE, PAA and even (to a lesser degree) Mikes. Lots of people don't smell the notes in those other soaps I mentioned, but I do, so this one gets rated a C for me. I'm probably in the minority on this opinion, but I'm comfortable with that. If you don't smell the off note, you may love it.
    Oleo Soapworks, on the other hand has great lather and great scent, but again I have a sensitivity to something in it. It's not serious, it just is a light burning/tingling feeling that I mistook for shaving irritation in terms of how it feels. I was really hoping this wouldn't be the case, as I really like the soap otherwise. I'll try changing out a blade and going with a third sample next, but I'm afraid it just may not be for me. We'll see...
     
  19. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    The more I shave with different soaps, the more perspective I get and the more the bar gets raised. I'm going back to shave with some soaps and creams I'd used early on in order to make sure I've got them classified correctly.

    First of all - Speick. Yeah, I know it comes from some remote part of a mountain in Austria where vestal virgins hand harvest the secret plant, travel through the route used by the Von Trapps in Sound of Music, bring it back to the Motherland and distill it into shaving goodness. While it does have the unique smell of the Speick plant, and the lore is worthy of a Grimm's fairy tale, the cream is just average. Side by side against Van Yulay there was just no comparison in slickness, cushion, or frankly anything else. Despite the fact that it's available only in German drugstores, this is still a drugstore product when you strip it all down.

    On to the other side of the shave - Van Yulay. As mentioned above, it way outperformed the Speick, but previously didn't live up to the performance of Eufros (admittedly a really great soap). I'm leaning towards a B+ on this one, but will need to shave head to head with something more familiar like Stirling or B&M to make the final call.
     
  20. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Well I've updated the summary thread with all the latest soaps, and I've tweaked the ratings a bit. One of the things I've changed is that I eliminated the B+ category and put the best soaps into A+, A, and A- categories. The B soaps haven't changed, and are very denworthy in my opinion. The C (Average) category actually is now divided into C and C+. The reason for this is that many of the soaps I'd reviewed as "average" are actually better than that, but I was having trouble reconciling the fact that the vast majority of soaps I reviewed would be "better than average, which would be statistically really unlikely. Then it hit me that I'm not really reviewing average soaps for the most part, so that actually makes sense. Most of us left "average" in the rear view mirror about the time we joined a shaving forum. For perspective, maybe I'll add a couple of reviews of soaps/creams I've used and haven't yet discarded yet like Dollar Shave Club or Van Der Hagen or something, most of us don't want to read reviews about average products, and I really have no desire to scour drugstores, grocery stores and mass merchants and to review shaving soaps and creams that just beat out Edge gel. I don't mean that in a snobby way. No judgement here. If you love Williams, or VDH or whatever and are happy as a clam paying $4 for a puck that'll last you several months, I salute you! That's just not really what this thread is about.
     

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