Category Archives: Creams & Soaps

Reviews of shaving creams and soaps.

Review: The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

The Holy Black - Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap

Oh man…

So a little over a month ago I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in the NYC Shave Meetup.  I met so many awesome people, not only shavers but many producers of products as well.  And one of the best parts about this meetup was the amount of swag we all took home.

I took home a LOT of swag.  Enough to do reviews for a year at least (or 3+ years by how often I have updated lately.. sorry all 😉

So yes, I got a lot of stuff, and I wanted to start out with probably my favorite of everything I took home:  The Holy Black – Sandalwood Smoke Shaving Soap.

I don’t even know where to start.  But let’s just talk theme here.  Being that I am a fake pirate, who pretends to sail the seas in his fake ship, it’s pretty dang obvious that this stuff is themed perfectly for my shave den.  I love the black distressed tin.  I love it.  I love that there were some soaps sold by The Holy Black that had a treasure hunt involved, where one soap went out with an actual doubloon buried deep inside the soap.  I friggin love that.

But coins in the soap aside:  The scent of this stuff… man… Sandalwood Smoke is just about as grit-manly as it gets.  It’s an amazing scent.  Hands down, my current favorite scent.  And it’s not over the top, it’s not too smokey.  It’s definitely a well-rounded sandalwood with just the perfect amount of smoke to make it delicious; not like you sat next to the campfire too long, but like you just came from somewhere you should not have left.

The performance is excellent.  On par with any great soap you have in your collection.  It didn’t matter which brush or technique I have used on it, and I have used several badgers and my boar, and each time, whether face-lathering or bowl-lathering, I have gotten a great thick and slick lather every time.  And the lather lasts through all three passes if you go that far.  If I could offer any advice: you don’t need too much water.  This stuff lathers up incredibly well with very little work need.  The soap is primarily made with coconut oil and steric acid.

One mistake I made at the meetup was that I did not get the matching aftershave.  I am going to be correcting that asap.

Review: Virile Barber’s Shave Formula and Face Balm

Virile Barber's Shaving Cream & Face Balm

Virile Barber’s Shaving Cream & Face Balm

3 years!! 3 years ago I started this site as a way for ME to remember what my feelings were about every product I’ve tried.  And it’s turned into this mess.  I couldn’t be happier.  Actually I could be happier if I updated more, but hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.  Let’s talk Virile.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Virile Barber before.  They’re located in NJ and are a super-classy joint, the perfect barber for a guy who knows a thing or two about shaving without a cartridge.  They’re extremely friendly, exceptionally dressed, professional to the tee, and are quite skilled in their craft.  And their craft has expanded, as they now sell their own shaving products.

So I’m going to do a double review.  Because these products are exceptional, and I want you to know about both of them.

First up, obviously, is the Shave Formula.  This is their shaving cream.  This stuff works with or without a brush.  For those of you gents who like me have a brush, it works REALLY well with a brush.  I found the best combination was bowl lathering with a silvertip.  Be slightly more generous with the cream than, say, Taylor of Old Bond Street.  However, once you get the lather going, you can take it to your face for an impressive slick cushiony roller coaster ride for your blade.  The more you work this lather, the better.  The way better, actually.

Ingredients include macadamia nut and soybean oil, tea tree oil, chamomile and aloe.  It is designed to be scent free so it is exceptionally good for your skin.  And it rinses away super clean.

Next up:  The Face Balm.  In my opinion, the opinion of a fake pirate who’s been reviewing shaving products for more than a couple years, it does not get much better than this.

First off, this stuff works as a total face moisturizer.  It alcohol free, mostly scent free (there is a slight eucalyptus-like scent) and has menthol, aloe vera extract, and white tea extract to first invigorate then calm your skin.

Going on it’s pretty straightforward.  Very light scent with a very slight menthol tingle.  Nothing like a winter blast, but a “hey my skin feels alive” kind of feel.  This goes away after just a few minutes, but let me tell you, this stuff really does seem to lock in the moisture balance on your face.  100% no greasy feeling afterwards.  Your face will feel awesome.  That there is some impressive stuff!

This is the tube I reach for the most after a shave.  Honestly.  And let me talk about these tubes that these products come in.  They’re really nice, standing there on their own.  And with a little twist, you can squeeze out exactly how much you want.  The only slight drawback is that when you close the tube again (twist cap) it ejects a droplet more of product.  But once you know this, you can adjust your original amount accordingly.

Great guys, great barbershop, great products.  Really can’t say much more.  If you’re in Jersey, go say hi either at their main location in Waldwick or their other spot in Jersey City.  Check out their website for more information.

Products used in this shave:
Weber DLC Razor with a Gillette 7’Oclock blade (yellow)
Da Vinci Uomo 293 Silvertip Badger Brush
– Virile Barber & Shop’s Shave Formula
Thayer’s Unscented Witch Hazel with Aloe
– Virile Barber & Shop’s Face Balm

 

Review: 42 Shaving Soap by Barrister And Mann

42 Shaving Soap by Barrister & Mann

42 Shaving Soap by Barrister & Mann

42.  It is “the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything”, according to one of my favorite books ever, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  I loved the books so much I even have a gold-embossed collector’s edition hardcopy of the entire trilogy.  Yes, all 5 books!!

So grab your towels my friends, because that is exactly the one thing you need when you’re a galactic hitchhiker.  That and, if you’re lucky, a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: an alcoholic beverage which, when drunk, feels “like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped ’round a large gold brick”.  This drink happens happens to be one of the ingredients of this incredible smelling soap.  Ok, Don’t Panic, I’ll start making sense now.

First things first, this is a very limited edition soap that was created to celebrate Towel Day, which is a celebration of the life and writings of Douglas Adams, the author of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  When I got an email from Barrister & Mann announcing that only 140 jars would be made, I had to get one immediately.  And this is now my go-to soap.

I have reviewed B&M’s Seville before, giving it the rare 5/5 stars.  The performance is just about the same for this tallow soap, and while I will not edit my previous review, I will bring it back just slightly from the edge of perfection, because I didn’t -always- get a perfect lather.  That said, what I like about this soap is that if lathered up right, in the right conditions, it is just that, perfect.  It’s super cushioning, it’s super slick, and it rinses clean and easy.  For me perfection was found in face lathering with a boar brush (my Semogue Owner’s Club boar brush), which with a good amount of water, and a decent amount of swirling, produced a super rich lather that was enough for a minimum of 4 exceptional passes.  It’s hard for B&M’s soap to let you down, thought a few times I didn’t get the lather I hoped for when using my Da Vinci badger.

When I first saw this soap, I -really- hoped that I would like the scent.  I love the books, the story, the characters, and I’m sure the style of the writing influences even the style of these reviews.  And seriously, it was not a letdown.  The scent is awesome.  Like Arthur Dent, the main character, it’s distinctly British.  It is very much a gentlemanly scent that could fit right in with some of the old-time British soaps like Truefitt & Hill and Taylor of Old Bond Street.  It’s citrusy-floraly with a hint of muskiness and … well, downright Britishness.  But Britishness with a bit of an aloof character to it.  To be direct, it’s a mixture of items plucked from the storyline: Petunia, Ambergris, Tea, and Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, which for the sake of simplicity, is lemon.  It’s a light, fresh, and delicious scent that’s perfect for summer, and it is my absolute go-to soap, probably until it’s all gone.

I’d say get some, but you can’t, because like I said, it’s limited edition.  You may notice that I like to start my reviews by saying I’m a lucky guy.  I figured in tribute to the silly nature of Douglas Adams, I would end with it: To be one of the few people in the world to have this soap in my rotation, yeah, I’m a lucky guy.

  • Scent – 5 (well done)
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 5

 

Review: Stirling Soap Company – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Stirling Soap Company - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

Stirling Soap Company – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I’ve been doing this for a while now, just about two and a half years.  And I really consider it a failure on my part that I have not reviewed this soap yet.  The thing is, I get to try out so many soaps that I hardly have the space anymore to order more!  Well thanks to my lady’s organizational skills, I now have room to load up on more, and one of the first ones I bought was a sampler of 5 scents from this giant in the artisan shaving soap community:  Stirling Soap Company’s Bay Rum Shaving Soap.

Now you knew I had to review their bay rum right?  I mean, c’mon.  It’s almost like my job at this point.  I do have other scents, including grapefruit and Bergamot Lavender, which I’m very excited to try.  But since they do have my namesake, review it I must.  Lest I be tossed off this fake pirate ship along with all my not-really-pirate-like belongings.

Bay Rum.  You get to define yourself when you define a bay rum.  Are you sweet or spicy?  Are you citrusy or woody?  And just what do you think of clove anyway?  All these questions must be answered before you can slap a “bay rum” label on yourself.  And it would help if you were a soap, otherwise you’d be quite a strange person.  So, how does Stirling define bay rum?

Bay West Indies (Pimenta Racemosa) essential oil is blended with Orange, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and a hint of Clove to provide a very complex and masculine aroma.

This is a fantastic straight-forward bay rum.  It’s classic and doesn’t complicate it very much.  The heart of the scent is the orange.  And the nutmeg and cinnamon warm it up so nicely that you’ll just sit there sniffing the puck over and over.  And for those of you who see “clove” and get worried, worry you not.  The clove is only strong enough to draw the bay scent out for a longer period of time.  Bay is a very short-lived scent, and clove is similar enough that if used in the right amount, will not smell clovey at all.  Honestly, when I finally read the scent list above, I was surprised to see clove in there, because it really is just a hint.  An almost imperceptible hint.  All in all it’s a great bay rum that is super pleasant, all the way though your shave until you clean out your brush.

Performance?  Damn.  This stuff performs exceptionally well.  This is a tallow soap, so vegans need not apply.  But if you’re cool with that, then sir, you are in for a treat.  Along with a castor oil base, lanolin, shea butter, and several other skin-loving ingredients, this soap lathers up super thick and rich.

Now I say this with a touch of hesitation, as this soap can sometimes lather up not so great.  But there are plenty of videos out there that discuss the best ways to lather it up.  Myself, I like to go in with a wetter-than-normal-but-not-soaked brush (I’ve been loving my new Da Vinci Uomo 293 silvertip badger brush) and run it over the soap for a while longer than normal, with very light pressure.  You’ll pick up tons of soap molecules.  And I also prefer these days to face lather.  So doing that I get an incredible amount of lather.

This lather is, like I said, really really good.  It’s super slick and it’s thickness really protects the skin.  Your razor will glide right over, taking all the whiskers and leaving your skin in great shape.  And the lather lasts too!  I easily get three passes, each thicker than the last, and have plenty left over in the brush for at least another two passes.  The lather usually shows no signs of thinning out, either.

I really should also mention the price.  For $7.50, you get a 125 gram puck.  You have to put it in your own container because all you get is the puck, but if you’re like me, you have a soap-dedicated cheese grater and containers at the ready, so this is hardly a problem, and the soap, like I said, is fantastic.  So this is some serious value for a little bit of work.

They sell samples of all their scents as well, and man they have a lot of them.  So go check out Stirling Soap Company and check out their selection.  You’ll love it.

  • Scent – 4
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 4.5

Review: Bearded Lady Shaving Soap by Beer Soap Brewing Company

Beer Soap Brewing Company's Bearded Lady Shaving Soap

Beer Soap Brewing Company’s Bearded Lady Shaving Soap

There are several reputable shaving sites out there that have trading forums, where fake pirates like you and I can go and trade shaving products that we no longer use for one that might look appealing.  And nothing looks more appealing to a pirate than a bearded lady.  And that, my fake sea-lovin friends, is what I am going to write about today:  Beer Soap Brewing Company’s Bearded Lady Shaving Soap.  I can’t remember which soap or cream I traded for it, but I am very glad I did as I picked up a phenomenal performer.  I’ve tried it on and off for some time now, and I have finally come to know exactly how to use this soap

This one is fun.  The Beer Soap Brewing Company has several scents (one of which is a favorite around here in terms of scent, you get one guess).  What these guys do that makes them special is they add a specific beer to each scent of soap.  For this soap, they use Bearded Lady American Wheat Ale by Good People Brewing Company.  I happen to really really like wheat ales, so this is a perrrrfect matchup for me.

Let’s talk scent.  You probably are thinking the same thing I was:  what might a bearded lady smell like.  If you said “rugged”, well you win.  The makers say: “Notes of fir, bay, and cedarwood are anchored with a base of tobacco.”  Personally I am not the biggest fan of fir.  It brings a certain ambiance to a scent, an ambiance of fir.  And that ambiance is not for me.  I like “woody”, but not so much “woodsy”.  There’s a difference.  And at the end I’d say the combination is right in the middle of woody and woodsy.  It’s a rugged scent balanced out with bay and tobacco.  So while it’s interesting, it’s not something scent-wise that I would reach for.

Now, on to the really appealing part of this soap, the performance.  This is a tallow soap, and absolutely performs like one.   The way I found this soap performs best was to put some hot water on it (a trick I learned from HTGAM), for about 30 seconds.  Next I hit it with my DaVinci badger brush, and loaded it up good with a decent amount of water still in the brush.  Then I went and face lathered.  It lathered up to an amazing super-thick and creamy lather.  It stayed really thick on the face and while I was shaving provided an abundance of slick for my razor to glide over.

The best part was that this lather was -exactly- as slick, thick, creamy, and protective on the third pass as it was on the first.  Actually this was one of those awesome soaps that got better with each pass.  There are few soaps that do that, and I’m lucky enough to have them in my rotation.  Sometimes a lather just needs to age a little to really shine. It has to do with the ingredients, and this one has some awesome ingredients:  tallow, stearic acid, palm oil, castor oil, coconut oil, kaolin clay, and shea and cocoa butter.  As someone who spends a lot of time reading ingredients of soaps, I can vouch for this lineup.   Oh, yeah.. there’s also beer.  Bring that shit on.

So all in all, while this is not my favorite scent, this is one of the better performers I’ve tried in a while, and it’s safe to say that I’m not trading it.

  • Scent – 3
  • Lather Performance – 5
  • Lather Life – 5
  • Overall – 4

Review: Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap by Dr Jon

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a lucky guy.  I’m pretty sure I start most of my reviews that way.  Well, the thing is, it gets proven to me all the time.  Want more proof?  Anne Bonny.  Oh yeah.  She was a fiery redheaded Irish lass who at a very young age stole a pirate ship and became a Pirate of the Caribbean.  She also happens to be an amazing shaving soap.  And both are on my shaving shelf.  No, wait, check that.  Only one is.  The other, well no one quite knows what happened to her (according to Wikipedia at least).  So since I can’t give you that much info on the pirate, I’ll tell you what I know about Dr Jon’s Anne Bonny Bay Rum Shaving Soap.

Oh man oh man.  So much good stuff to talk about here.  So lets start with how it started with me.  The packaging is very similar to HTGAM/Phoenix, a low, wide metal tin.  The labeling is very lovely, as you can see in the image above, with really well drawn graphics on waterproof vinyl stickers.

The scent is exactly what the packaging says it is.  A very different take on bay rum.  It’s a mix of West Indies Bay, dark rum, lime, and black tea.  Black tea?  That is a first for me in bay rums.  As a whole, the scent is totally unique.  Its a spicy citrucy scent and the black tea pulls it in a new direction.  It may not be for everyone, but I am a fan of tea-scented shaving products (like eShave’s white tea shaving cream).  If anything, the tea is a little on the strong side and pulls this soap just to the edge of “bay rum”.  But it is still a bay rum, and I like it.

The soap itself is very soft, almost like Al’s Shaving Soaps.  Even when loading with a soft badger brush, you can move the soap around a little.  One of the softest soaps I have encountered, and you could probably get away with calling this a croap (halfway between a cream and a soap).

The performance took me a few tries to get down.  I tried several combinations between my boar and badger brush, and between bowl and face lathering.  In the end, face lathering with my badger brush (Simpsons Duke 2) was hands down the champion.  And wow does this stuff lather well.  The trick was to leave a lot of water in the brush, load it up nice and good on the supersoft puck, and then lather right on your face.  Using a decent back-and-forth scrubbing motion, I got one of the best lathers I’ve gotten in months, literally.  Super cushioning and very slick.  And it lasted three passes with plenty to spare, and all without losing any strength.

BBS shave with no irritation and no nicks either.  And its bay rum, but with tea.  Really well done!

  • Scent – 3.5
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 4.5
  • Overall – 4

 

Review: L.A. Shaving Soap Company – Spring Street Shaving Soap

LA Shaving Soap Company - Spring Street Shaving Soap

LA Shaving Soap Company – Spring Street Shaving Soap

As I look out the porthole of this fake pirate ship, I see the sun a-shining.  I can only imagine the fine ladies in their brightly colored dresses looking as fine as can be, finally coming out of this horrible winter’s hibernation.  I imagine green lawns dotted by daisies and tulips, and smudged lipstick on mint juleps.

If only I had a shaving soap that has that scent.  That amazingly fresh air of spring.  And you’ve heard me say it and I’ll stand right up and say it again.  I am a lucky guy.  And today I’m lucky because I got to shave with L.A. Shaving Soap Company’s Spring Street Shaving Soap.

I have reviewed their bay rum soap before, and I really enjoyed it.  Spring Street presumably has the same soap formula, as this soap is also a “croap”, meaning a soft soap that is somewhere between a cream and a soap.  So I was easily able to scoop the soap out of it’s sampler container and schmeer it into the bottom of my pyrex sample jar with my finger.

It is a vegan soap as well, so there is no tallow.  However, I have really come to not care so much about whether a soap has tallow in it or not.  I have had such great performances out of non-tallow soap, and have had just as many so-so performances out of tallow soaps, so .. whatever.  This soap is great.  It’s very slick and cushiony.  Not as thick as some soaps I have tried, but it does a fantastic job of protecting my skin.  And the soap lasts and lasts.  I had a nice three-pass shave today and I have -plenty- of delicious smelling lather left in my mug and my brush.  And it stays thick and doesn’t start thinning at all, so you can really take your time with this one.

The scent is a light, bouncy, floral scent.  And I just had to look up the scent formula because there is something going on beneath that floral bouquet.  And I was right.  Up front, there is no doubt this is a floral soap with lavender and geranium in your face.  But buried underneath all this loveliness are notes of patchouli, labdanum, orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove.  Almost all of these are inperceptable until you really sniff a few times and hunt for the note.  Then you *might* find it.  They’re not there to beat the scent down, they are there to bolster the floral fougère.  It’s a very lovely scent that is perfect for spring.  Fans of rose will love this…

  • Scent – 4
  • Lather Performance – 4
  • Lather Life – 4.5
  • Overall – 4

Review: BebeLush Bay Rum Shaving Soap (plus a discount!)

BebeLush - Bay Rum Shaving Soap

BebeLush – Bay Rum Shaving Soap

I’ll say it again:  I am a lucky guy.  I used to shave in the shower with a vibrating cartridge razor and no shaving cream.  Yup.  Just used the natural oils on my face and rinsed.  I also used to get a lot of pimples and irritation, and also hated shaving.  Yeah.  I used to be that guy.  Then luckily I stumbled upon traditional shaving and now I can’t wait to shave.  And oh man did I have a good shave today (and yesterday actually).  For the past couple days I have had the distinct pleasure of shaving with BebeLush’s Bay Rum Shaving soap.

Let’s talk scent, as this is a bay rum.  I’ve been saying it for a while in reviews of bay rum products that the “bay rum” scent is kind of a conduit to a soap maker’s soul.  What does that soap maker think bay rum smells like?  Should it be citrus-heavy, and if so, what citrus?  Should it be spicy?  Are we going to use clove?  How about sweet/spicy bottom notes like vanilla, or cinnamon?  So many ways to interpret bay rum and so many people like different things that bay rum really lets us know a lot about the maker…

Well the good folks behind BebeLush are orangetastic!  There are three scent profiles in their Bay Rum:  Pimenta Racemosa (bay), Five Fold Sweet Orange (oh yes), and clove.  I know I have readers who don’t like clove, but just hear me out.

This soap smells overly of a sweet/spicy orange scent.  And just under the orange hood lies a perfectly balanced blend of the bay and clove scents.  They are almost imperceptible under that deliciously dark orange scent that you would never know they were there, however you would definitely notice if they went missing.  And you would be sad about it, because this trifecta smells awesome.  From the second you open the tin to the moment you walk out of your shave cave.  While this does lean more towards a spicy orange than your traditional bay rum, it still smells great and if you’re a bay rum and/or a citrus fan you’ll absolutely love it.

The lather is no less stellar.  This stuff whips up super easily into a really great lather.  This lather is not as tacky as some lathers I have tried recently, but it is also no lemon meringue either.  I have bowl-lathered and face-lathered, both with a boar brush (Semogue SOC cherry wood) and a badger brush (Simpsons Duke II), and have gotten excellent results each time.  The lather is slick, thick, and cushiony, all while being light and non-tacky.  And it really lasts too, I had plenty of excellent lather still left after a full three-pass shave.  No irritation, no weepers, and it left me with a damn fine shave.

The ingredients list is also highly deserving of some mention as it is loaded with stuff that loves your face:  another trifecta of shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter.  And its colored naturally with chlorophyll.  Really a unique soap that lathers up far easier and better than you might expect.

And oh yeah, that discount!  As if all of this wasn’t good enough (and it is!), the folks at BebeLush have provided the readers of this review with a huge discount (one third) off the full retail price of their bay rum soap.  Just follow THIS LINK for instructions on how to redeem your discount.  Now you have absolutely no excuse.

  • Scent – 4.5
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 4.5
  • Overall – 4.5

Review: Shaving Yeti – Yeti Snot Shaving Soap

Shaving Yeti - Yeti Snot Shaving Soap

Shaving Yeti – Yeti Snot Shaving Soap

I had to do it.  You can’t have a soap called Yeti Snot and not expect me to jump on the bandwagon and review it.  So here we go.

So I ordered a sampler pack from The Shaving Yeti, and was pleasantly pleased to see a package of a few cubes of soap arrive in the mail.  Kind of cute, as these are easy to put into your own containers.  Get yourself a set of pyrex glass containers, drop a cube of your choice in, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, and you’re ready for your shave.  This is a glycerin-based soap, meaning that its safe to microwave for a few seconds, which is enough to fully liquefy the soap so it perfectly fits your container.

One word of warning tho, if you’re doing this with Yeti Snot, don’t take a sniff while it’s still warm.  HOLY SIBERIA!!!  Yeah you know that sensation when you sniff a scotch and the alcohol blasts out your nasal passages?  Same deal X 1000.  Mentholated Menthol from Mentholand.  And it’s scented simply with peppermint, which enhances the frigid blast that you get when you sniff this stuff.  Scentwise, for me, I really like the scents of soaps.  I get into soaps when I know the crafter has put a lot of effort in the lab to create a really awesome scent.  And I get that this is about the menthol and not the scent, so yeah, it is what it is.  But it would have been nice to see a little more complexity in the scent.  Or maybe not, what do i know?

As for the lather, I feel it’s ok.  As a glycerin-based soap, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away.  I have tried the soap with both a badger brush (Simpson’s Duke II) and a boar brush (Semogue Owners Club), and I got the same result, which is a middle-of-the-road lather.  One thing is that it is very slick, which would be impossible not to be as it’s got a heart of glycerin.  But it doesn’t provide as thick a lather as more traditional soaps do.  More of that meringue-type lather with small bubbles, as opposed to that thick, cushiony, yogurt-like lather that I really prefer.

However the lather does last through the shave, allowing me three full passes without thinning out too much, or at all, actually.  And each pass was even colder than the previous.

One last thing to mention is that I do love the sense of humor of this company.  Their products are humorously named and I really appreciate that.  It’s a breath of fresh air.  And the other soaps in their arsenal smell really nice too.

  • Scent – 2
  • Lather Performance – 3
  • Lather Life – 4
  • Overall – 3

If you really like menthol, and wan’t a real icy kick in the face while you’re shaving, give this stuff a try.  It’s also very economical.  The price is really competitive.  At the time of this writing, you’ll shell out only $6 for a decent 4.2 oz of this stuff.  So it’s worth a shot.  As they say in the shaving world over and over, YMMV, or Your Mileage May Vary.  Maybe this inexpensive, slick, icy soap is right up your alley.  Wouldn’t hurt to find out!

Review: Wickham Soap Co. Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Wickham Soap Co - Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Wickham Soap Co – Super Smooth Shaving Soap

Ahh yes!  A bay rum soap from across the pond!  There have been many American artisan soap makers that have graced these pages with their awesome wares, and I am extremely pleased to finally have a new artisan soap from England to bring to you, my fine readers:  Wickham Soap Company’s Super Smooth Shaving Soap.

What I have been shaving with for several days now is called Super Smooth, and aye, that it is.  First of all, it’s super soft!!  One of the softest soaps I have tried, I might add.  Definitely one of the top candidates for being called a “croap”, somewhere between a cream and a soap.  This made it very easy to take it out of the sampler container and move it to one of my pyrex sample bowls, so that I can easily attack it with my badger brush.

While loading, I notice almost every time that the suds I am building up remain a little on the wetter side, more wet than I am used to seeing when loading the brush.  But, I have learned to have no fear at this stage.  Whether you face lather or bowl/mug lather, you will end up building an incredibly rich and slick lather.

This lather is one of the slickest I have come across.  I hope I don’t say that too often, and I probably do, but honestly, this stuff is just about as slick as it gets.  Even after the rinse, I am reminded of the incredible slickness of Mitchell’s Wool Fat, however, without the lanolin.  So it goes without saying that with all the many passes I have had with this soap (about three shaves with three passes per shave), I have not nicked myself once.  I’m pretty skilled, but a 100% perfect no-nick shave is not that common.  It really helps to have a soap this slick..

You also get a great deal of lather with very little brush loading.  I still haven’t learned that I don’t need to load the brush that much to get enough lather for at least six passes.  And the lather is very stable and would last all six if I was silly enough to go that far.

The scent is on the lighter side.  And does seem to have a note of clove in there.  And I know there are those of you out there that love bay rum but hate cloves, but I have to say I believe this scent is closing in on what I feel the traditional bay rum scent is all about.  Personally I think it is great.  And while it’s a little light compared to some of the other soaps I have been using lately (How To Grow A Moustache, Barrister & Mann, Al’s Shaving Products), it’s also made with sensitive skin in mind, so as someone with sensitive skin, I really appreciate it.  And the scent is present throughout the shave while not being overbearing.

All in all I am really impressed with this soap, and all my UK/Euro readers who don’t like to pay those high shipping charges from US->UK should really check into the Wickham Soap Co.  And to my US readers, now you have an artisan soap from England to look into!

  • Scent – 4
  • Lather Performance – 4.5
  • Lather Life – 4.5
  • Overall – 4.5

For the curious, I used my Weber DLC razor with a Gillette 7o’clock sharpedge razor (those two work brilliantly together).