Topic: Fragrance

Discussion in 'Shave Soaps' started by Mitchell Smitley, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. In a market as wide as shaving soaps and accessories it's hard to find the best quality. What makes a good shaving soap versus a bad one? Does it lather well? Does it leave your skin nourished and clean? How does your blade preference effect your choice in soap?
    In my limited experience I have tried near every brand of shave soap I can come across most are good products, lather well and accept the fact that I don't use the best of razors.
    The main difference in these products isn't just performance, its fragrance. Most soaps are overpowering, lacking refinement. Sometimes making even a good scent abrasive.
    Our scent in our way is always light on its feet and it wants to stick with you all day. Where the trouble in fragrance is, is quite simply put. Preferences. I know how i like my soap to be. I want to know how you prefer your scents. Strong? Mild? What kinds like fruity vs flowery or oaky or mossy. Just probing. Tell me what you like.
  2. Ksblazer

    Ksblazer Well-Known Member

    Strength of scent wise. I like mine just on the lighter side of medium.

    Scent wise. I prefer earthy scents the most. Lavender, vetiver, Lemon Verbena, mint, fougere or a good Mediterranean blue barbershop shop scent.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  3. I'm right there with you. I want it prevalent but not overpowering.
    I like most scents myself even if I don't like a smell I can appreciate its attempt to smell a certain way. The only thing I have trouble with is patchouli.
    oscar11, timabababaluka and Ksblazer like this.
  4. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    I'm more of a leather / woodsy scent in my AS or colognes; in my soaps it's not nearly as important.
  5. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Subjective issue all the way. My den includes many genres of scents, from the single note (Mike's Hungarian Lavender) to the extremely complex (Barrister and Mann Leviathan). I have sold many soaps, that actually smelled great, but for my lack of hoarding instinct, demanded they must go.
    Enrico brought up a good point, while a nice-smelling shave soap is a plus, it's the post-shave scent that makes the more important statement.
  6. BigD

    BigD Well-Known Member

    For me, great lather with great slickness comes first. After that I like my scents strong.
  7. I would say most would agree with you there, I always try to make certain a great AS pairs the soap, giving the same scent in 2 ways makes for a longer lasting aroma so you may not have to bother with additional cologne products, atleast that's the hope.
    timabababaluka and cliffb599 like this.
  8. The lavender scent has been rather tricky, I'll have to try the mikes Hungarian lavender. I mean that in the sense of making your own lavender scent and not ripping one off.
  9. ghostlife

    ghostlife Well-Known Member

    I like my soaps to be mild and versatile scents, if not unscented, rather than matching to all my aftershaves
  10. Interesting, the thought of making an unscented line hadn't really crossed my mind, would also be beneficial for people that go hunting.
    timabababaluka and BigD like this.
  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I prefer mild to medium scent on the soap. I assume it's there for my appreciation while I shave, then I expect it to be obliterated when I apply aftershave.

    The few exceptions apply to Barrister & Mann, and I make it a priority to order matching aftershaves.

    Both Barrister & Mann and Saponifico Verisino reign supreme when it comes to crafting complex, well balanced scents. Doesn't change the fact that I don't care for many of them, I can still appreciate them for what they are.

    Most other soap makers's scents seem clumsy and unrefined or blunt in comparison. Sometimes that's what I'm looking for though.

    Porazo red is an excellent sandalwood for the price, MWF is an excellent basic barbershop (bergamot/vanilla/lavender), and arko is a dead ringer for lemon scented industrial cleaner and a perfect complement to the "I just got done cleaning urinals" shave. :p
  12. Preacher

    Preacher Well-Known Member

    I like a mild to medium scent. As far as preference, I'm all over the place. Performance is the most important thing for me. I have a few soaps that I ordered that me and scent don't get along, but they stay in my rotation because their performance is great. Post shave is not important to me because I wash my face after I shave.
  13. Leo501

    Leo501 Well-Known Member

    I just started using shave soap. For scented, I want something that fills the brush & bowl when lathering and I can tell it's on my face while I'm shaving. Since I'm rinsing it off and following up with toner and at the least unscented AS balm, I don't want or expect the scent to linger. If I really like the scent, I'll follow it up with either the same product line or something in the family of that scent. My first soap is Stirling Barbershop, which I love, and plan to purchase their AS or cologne to go with it.

    Favorite scents so far: Bay Rum, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Barbershop
  14. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    For me, scent is tertiary behind lather quality and post shave skin conditioning.
    Again these replies (including my own) are all subjective.
    The love abounds for Arko, which smells more “industrial” than cosmetic.
    For my personal use; Mitchell’s Wool Fat checks off all the boxes for my preferences.
  15. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    What makes a good soap? I’m sure that’s different for different people as far as fragrance and fragrance intensity, but also what they shave with. When someone reviews a soap, you rarely get this last piece of info and it makes a difference. For example, I’m a SR user, and a soap can fail on lack of slickness by itself, but absolute slickness might not be quite as important to DE shavers. So for me...

    Lathers easily, don’t need a youtube video to get it to lather
    Lather hold together, doesn’t dissipate
    Clean formula, not overfatted and leaving residue on me, my brush and razor, and sink
    PSF not greasy or sticky
    ‘Every day’ scent, one that you could use every day
    Economical to use (not necessarily the price of the soap itself), reasonably well cured, not paying soap prices for water. Luxury category is an exception.

    These are some of the things that I consider when evaluating a soap or cream.
    cliffb599, oscar11, Ksblazer and 5 others like this.
  16. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    Steve makes a very valid point here! Lather quality can make or break a str8 shave. I have found soaps that don’t provide the slickness required for a decent str8 shave, are more than adequate for a safety razor.
    This is why I previously mentioned that scent isn’t the top of priorities for me.
  17. timabababaluka

    timabababaluka No exceptions. Except.....

    Slickness, cushion, and non-drying face feel are king for me.

    But scent is queen for sure. It's what makes wet shaving seem special. I like my scent strength medium/medium-well. Up until 6 months or so, I never bothered with aftershave splashes, and the balms I used were unscented, so I appreciated something that would stick around a bit.

    Now that I have a couple AS, a moderately strong scent isn't quite as important, but I still enjoy it. Subjectivity is a problem when entering the arena of scent strength, though. Soaps that I (and many others, if reviews are any indicator) consider medium strength are sledgehammer-heavy to my wife whose primal ancestors must have been bloodhound.

    I'm starting to think that I'm the last man on earth that likes patchouli. My two favorite scents have it in there (somewhere--neither me nor my super-sniffer wife can pick it out). Heck, for close to a decade I'd wear it plain (though watered down). I eventually gave it up because folks would make assumptions about marijuana use or ask me if I knew when the next Phish concert was. Also, The Missus... not a huge fan of patchouli.
    cliffb599 and Spyder like this.
  18. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    Scent is not as important to me as is performance, a great performing soap like Cella, Arko, Tabac etc. is my judgement for shave soap. Arko has a strong scent Cella and Tabac mild. but after my shave and face wash any soap scent is gone, but the great performing soap that helped give me get a BBS lasts for hours.
    cliffb599 and Paul Turner like this.
  19. Lipripper60

    Lipripper60 Member

    I don't really mind whether a soap scent is mild or strong. What I really care about most, assuming the soap base is good, is that the scent be well thought out and balanced. Someone used the word "refined" and that's a good one. Examples of what I consider refined scents would be everything put out by DR Harris, Will at Barrister and Mann crafts marvelously balanced scents, Black Tie Razor scents are wonderfully executed too.
    Ksblazer and cliffb599 like this.

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