I am a lucky man. There are so many people in this world using the foam in a can to shave with, people who are literally cheating themselves out of experiencing pure bliss in the morning in the form of traditional shaving. And one of the most pleasurable aspects of the traditional shave is the old badger brush and shaving soap combo. And today I am lucky because I have found an amazing soap: Santa Monica Bay Rum Shaving Soap, made by The Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company. The only thing that John from the LA Shaving Soap Company could have done to better this bay rum experience is deliver it in a pirate ship. Let me explain.
First off, we’re going to talk scent. Because this soap’s scent profile is totally unique, and includes a “generous dollop of dark rum”. [The pirate in me just yo-ho-ho’d.] I would think that many soap makers might shy away from adding rum to their product, in the worry that it might adversely affect the latherability of the soap. In this case it did not, but we’ll talk lather later.
The scent blend contains West Indies Bay, Vanilla extract (hell yes), Orange extract, Balsam Tolu, Clary Sage, Sweet Myrrh, Lemon extract, Anise extract, and Ho Wood esxential oil. So in essence we have plenty of eye-opening citrus, which is balanced with a hint of sweetness from the vanilla, and slight wafts of floral and woody notes.
Overall the scent comes across similarly to other bay rum soaps (like Mike’s Natural Soaps, and Taconic), but leans in the direction of a spicy and slightly sweet profile. All in all, it smells awesome in the container, awesome when being whipped into a lather, and awesome on your face. Not too strong, and not too light. It’s hard to imagine it getting much better than this.
This soap, which actually is soft and more of a soap/cream combo (often called a croap), is made by a vegan, and as such contains no tallow. But considering the lather I got from both shaves I have had thus far with this product, you wouldn’t know it. This is one of the best non-tallow soaps I have shaved with. The lather was ultra slick and very thick and cushioning. It lathers up really easily too. You shouldn’t have any problems at all getting an amazing lather. Now I have gotten thicker lathers from tallow soap. But for a non-tallow soap, as I said, this is one of the thickest I have come across.
I did a 3-pass shave. The lather got better and better and better with each pass too. Thats one of my favorite aspects of a great soap/cream.
- Scent – 5
- Lather Performance – 4.5
- Lather Life – 5
- Overall – 5
Lather Performance gets a 4.5 only because personally I prefer tallow soaps, and the thickness you get from tallow. But, as I said, this is one of the best-performing non-tallow’s I have tried.
If you want to up your shaving experience, check out the Los Angeles Shaving Company. Their bay rum is great, and I’m really looking forward to trying out their other scents too.