Reviews of 85+ Soaps

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

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  1. SHAVEWIZARD420

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member


    I also had a slight burning from Oleo Treviso. Its a shame since the scent is delicious, chocolaty goodness. Lather on the Canard base is very good. Have a few other Oleo scents that hopefully wont have this issue. Occasionally we run into a fragrance component that doesn't agree with our skin, everyones different.
     
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  2. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I've yet to consider seriously a chocolate shave soap, but now that I think about it, it's pretty attractive to de wimmin, right?
     
  3. Frijolero

    Frijolero Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. Sra. Hutchinson is not a fan of chocalate at all. Where she grew up it's 100 degrees most of the year, and no ac. Chocolate just doesn't work so good there.
     
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  4. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    So, diving a bit deeper on some early soaps now that I’ve shaved with so many others. Today was Catie’s Bubbles. Today’s shave really didn’t change my opinions on the soap, but it did confirm that I didn’t need 4 scents of it in my den. Down to 3, as LPV was thinned from the herd.
     
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  5. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    OK, good news. A member on another site generously offered to pass along some Stone Cottage v2 samples for me to add to the reviews. I also just worked a trade with a TSD member for some Noble Otter and some Henri & Victoria, so the reviews of yet unexplored soaps will continue shortly...

    BTW I understand that Noble Otter re-released their soaps, so I’m wondering if the tub I’ve got inbound may be an old formula, but I have no idea. Anybody have thoughts on the differences or how to know what I’ve got? I’m not familiar with this brand at all.
     
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  6. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Deeper dive #2 will prompt a slight change in the den that some will disagree with. Since reviewing Sudsy Soapery I picked up some Lavendar & Peppermint on the BST. Today I shaved it side against TOBS peppermint. No question SS was a bit slicker and much more moisturizing, but was it two full levels better than TOBS? Not to me. I know many will think I’m over-rating TOBS and under-rating SS, but bring the minority opinion has never really bothered me much. I’m adding SS to then den at an A- and keeping TOBS in the den as a B. YMMV.
     
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  7. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    My other deeper dive this week was with one of GD’s new bases - Lusso. This base premiered with a limited run of Coattails, and Mohammad asked me to evaluate it for him before he launched it as part of his new base launches. He’s basically come up with a base to pay homage to (i.e. compete with) ABC, Boellis, SMN and other high end Italian offerings. After three days shaving with it, I think this may be the most luxurious, enjoyable shaving soap I’ve ever experienced. Thick and dense with lots of cushion and able to handle plenty of water. I know many folks are frustrated with the limited availability of GD, but if Mohammad can make a change in his business model and keep this one in stock, he’s got a huge winner in this base. I’ll have to go head to head with the big three above and see how I feel about all four when I’m done.
     
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  8. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Several reviews are on the horizon... Stone Cottage, Henri & Victoria, Meissner Tremonia, Noble Otter (original), A&E, West of Olympia, La Savonniere Du Moulin, Wm Neumann & Co., to name some names. The reviews may not come in rapid succession, because:
    1. I just got a new straight razor and two new DE’s (the Karve and Rex) that I am taking on test drives. Mixing up new soaps and new razors can and will throw off the results (I use the scientific method and keep the gear consistent for reviews to try and make them as fair as possible.)
    2. I’m out of room for new soaps in the den, so I’m now trying to shave with some soaps that may get “pitched” (more likely traded or PIF’d) in order to make room for new keepers).
    3. Every once in a while I like to kick back and enjoy a shave with a favorite soap without evaluating it.

    Thanks for those of you who have traded with me or PIF’d samples of new soaps to try! More to come...
     
  9. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    New reviews on the way. The first one is of Stone Cottage Creams. I had tried these a couple of years ago and found them to be a decent cream, but nothing stood out to me, and I didn’t care for their scents. Since that time, they’ve apparently gone to a 2.0 formula which whips up a nice rich lather that is much richer and slicker than what I remember from the previous cream. If it weren’t for an overall line of scents (that my wife refers to as “Old Lady” scents), I might be a fan. I really do like the improvement in the creams, as the lather they provide is really great, but the scents are a complete nonstarter for me, as I find them quite offputting. As always YMMV.
     
  10. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    Oh yes..,...I am anxious to hear what you have to say about "Bill" Neumann.
     
  11. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Sometimes reviewing a soap feels a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. Been there, done that, but nothing really stands out over and above the last time I did this. Henri and Victoria felt a bit that way for me today. Another good soap resulting in a good shave with good results. Would I be happy shaving with it regularly everyday? Sure. Is it best in class? Not really. Reminded me a bit of Reef point in the “scent family” with a mild cologne vibe to it. Lather dissipated a bit and post shave was a bit dry. Overall I’d put it in the upper—middle of the pack.
     
  12. PickledNorthern

    PickledNorthern Fabulous, the unicorn

    Such a good way to word it. Eventually it gets hard to differentiate between pretty good, mostly good, and really good. Good is always better than suck. We’re some spoiled dudes these days.

    Think back thirty to forty years ago, and anybody in the working class could choose between Williams and Colgate. Today, Holy Crap.


    Really good thread.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  13. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Well, Groundhog Day was interrupted a bit today with a few fireworks. As stated in my previous review the large number of good soaps out there makes a lot of them run together without standing out. Kind of like the movie Groundhog Day... a few nuances are different here and there, but basically at the end of the day you end up in the same spot with the same net result. I’m kind of a glutton for punishment, too, in that I use the same brush same bowl, same razor, same everything for my evaluation. You know, the scientific method. Keep all the variables constant, so the soap itself is the only variable.
    Well today I was tired of Groundhog Day so swapped out my “test equipment”. I paired up my new Rex Ambassador with my favorite ridged shaving bowl and a favorite Elite Manchurian knot. I loaded my brush heavily for my first shave with Siliski Soaps, and I’ve got to say it outperformed my expectations. Was the equipment the reason? Maybe, but I don’t think so. This soap was very rich and creamy, but also provided a lot of slickness and residual slickness. In my experience, a lot of soaps provide one or the other, but very few soaps deliver both. This one appears to. On a side note, the Midnight in Tunisia scent wasn’t my thing, but the performance of this soap on its first go-around was enough for me to investigate more. Back to the scientific method and some head to head shaves with my better soaps for this one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  14. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    Watch for me to go with the first of your soap samples on Saturday, @SHAVEWIZARD420. The Capt. Choice Venture is already in my mug, so I need to get it outta there! :).
     
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  15. SHAVEWIZARD420

    SHAVEWIZARD420 Well-Known Member



    Siliski Soaps are pretty darn good, although there is not many reviews or information online. There is something intreging about this artisan, not sure if its the simple packaging or the "hidden gem" factor or what. Santa's Pipe is my favorite so far and is a spicy winter type of scent.
     
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  16. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    My second shave with Siliski Soaps confirmed what I suspected in the first; this is a really good soap. I went with my usual equipment and shaved side by side with B&M. Although I far preferred the scent of the B&M (obviously a YMMV thing that varies by scent), the Siliski Soap compared very favorably. Normally I am one and done with a soap at this point. LLike I said, Groundhog Day. White noise. Same/same. Whatever. This one really breaks through and stands out and will receive a couple more comparison shaves. At this point in the game that's saying something.
     
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  17. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Since my last report I received some samples of Silisky Soaps in different scents which were much more up my alley: Citrus, Frigid (peppermint) and Appalachian Forest, and I've been using these soaps as a "control" soap to start taking a bit deeper dive on the A and A- rated soaps in my den. (Obviously I can't do this with the highly rated soaps that are not in my den, but that's not to take away from them at all). Anyway, the reason that I'm using Silisky as a "control" is that sometimes we all can be influenced by the reputation and online banter about a soap, and Siliski is one that I really hadn't heard much about before shaving with it. Accordingly, it's a great "litmus test" with no presupposed bias. Again, I don't like to get too caught up into "ratings" as that's very much a YMMV thing. The most important thing in this thread is the evaluation and description of the soap, not it's rating. The opinion, experience and input of others who have shaved with that soap are equally valuable. In fact, just to be clear, the difference between my A and A- soaps is not really a significant difference in performance since soaps all perform really well and are all top notch soaps. The difference is more of that "comeback sauce" factor that I've mentioned before. In entertainment, they call it the "X factor", and it's really hard to describe. Doesn't mean you'll like it, but it does meant that a lot of people recognize something special about it. For example, I don't like Jason Beiber or Celene Dion music at all. AT ALL. Not my thing. Having said that, they wouldn't have the careers they do if they didn't have the X Factor, regardless of whether or not I personally like them. Similarly, my A rated soaps just stand apart from other similar performing soaps to me for one reason or another. For that matter, a number of the B's are easily good enough to be someone's favorite in my opinion. OK, enough soap philosophy, and on to more reviews.

    * Note, I have not shaved side by side with my A+ soaps. These just seem to stand alone as excelling in every area to me.

    OK, here's how the side by side soap comparisons went so far:

    Control Soap:
    Siliski Soap - As I said, this is my "control" soap. It has great performance and good scents. One thing I've noticed with it is that it has a relatively small window with water, and you can over hydrate it if you are not careful. This is not in any way a problem; it's just something to be aware of when dialing it in. I'm putting it as an A- since it's a great all around soap that deserves to be among a lot of other really good ones. It really deserves a lot more recognition than it gets on the boards.

    A Rated Soap Comparisons:

    Barrister and Mann
    - When dialed in correctly, I'd say the Siliski actually provides a bit slicker lather than the B&M. Both are great soaps, but what sets B&M apart for me is the unique and complex scents. Like them or hate them, they are unique and wonderful in their own way.
    Stirling - Slick with strong, likable scents gives this soap serious "comeback" sauce for me. I'm a sucker for new Stirling releases.
    Lisa's Natural Herbal Creations - This soap just has fantastic creamy, slick lather. One of the best performing soaps out there. This one deserves more recognition than it gets.
    Tallow And Steel - I don't know what it is about T&S, but the whole "scent transports you to a place and reflects the smells of the environment there" just has a unique mystique to it. Are the scents better than others? No, but the performance rocks and I just kind of like the "vibe" of the whole thing.
    Sudsy Soapery - As I've used this soap more, I've started to appreciate the soft luxurious feel of the lather and the moisturizing properties.

    Also I've shaved against one A- as well.

    Soapy Science - I'm tempted to put many of my A- soaps as A's. I can't put my finger on what it would take to bump this soap up. Maybe more scents with more variety and more complexity? Maybe just using it more in the lineup? Maybe the phase of the moon or my mood? I don't know. I feel the same way about Siliski, by the way. These are both great soaps, and from what I know about the artisans, they are great folks. (FWIW I think the same is true of the majority of artisans I've gotten to touch base with or learn about online. Most soap artisans seem to be just really good people for whatever reason.)

    OK. That's it for now. In a bit, I'll take a deeper dive into the A- soaps and I'll add a number of new soaps to the list. A number of samples are already lined up in the cue. However, the busyness of the next few weeks probably won't give me enough time to do this and write many reviews. No worries. This thread has really become more of a marathon than a sprint. I started it as my own personal notes for a soap passaround figuring it'd be my own personal reference and last less than 60 days. I'm a bit shocked that its still going strong after 75+ soaps sampled over 11 months now. Crazy.
     
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  18. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Well I’m back from vacation in the mountains of Montana where I used only one soap for about 10 days. Now I’m raring to go on soap reviews again.

    First up, the new tallow version of Sudsy Soapery. Historically SS is a really good veggie soap that has been on the fence for me for a while. Is it an A or A-? Is it in the den or out? Great soap, but not delivering enough comeback sauce to clearly establish itself on the A list. All that changes for me with this new tallow offering. It’s a little slicker, a little stronger scent (which is a fantastic lemony citrus scent). It’s just a little better all the way around. The x-factor (comeback sauce) has arrived. I can’t point to any ones specific reason why; it just is what it is. Sudsy Soapery is firmly an A for me now. Great stuff!
     
  19. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Arianna & Evans (A&E) has made a big splash lately, showing up in a lot of SOTD photos with unique scent profiles (fig, plum, etc.) This morning I had an excellent shave with Asian Plum. The soap provided good overall performance, and good slickness and residual slickness (which are a big deal to me), but just didn't break out and show me anything special. The lather was OK, the scent was weak, and although the soap is "above average" without question, there was nothing beconing me to come back for more. I'd rank it a solid B.
     
  20. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Multiple reviews in one post - catching up.

    Another Sudsy Soapery shave in the books. This new Tallow Uplift is growing on me more and more. It’s already ranked as an A, but it’d absolutely becoming one of my favorites the more I shave with it. Comeback sauce galore!

    Next up - Eleven. Previously called Sapone de Paolo, this was a really good vegan soap I ranked as a solid B. The new tallow formula does improve it, but comparing the lemon to the SS uplift above it’s not quite at that level for me. Is the formula improvement enough to bump it to an A-? Maybe, but I’d probably want to try more scents to get a better overall vibe of their offerings. Long story short, if you liked SDP before (which I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), I think Eleven is better, just not a game changer for me.

    Next up The Holy Black. Some people tout it as Nirvana; others say it’s massively overrated. Having not used it before, I was prepared for the latter, but was pleasantly surprised. I really like the smooth, creamy lather of this one a lot. I also really like the unique scent of gunpowder and spice. I’ll need to shave head to head to sort it all out, but I’m really impressed so far...
     
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