Tag Archives: cedarwood

Review: Mike’s Natural Soaps – Rose & Cedarwood Shaving Soap

Mike's Natural Soaps - Rose & Cedarwood Shaving Soap

Mike’s Natural Soaps – Rose & Cedarwood Shaving Soap

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there who are probably not reading this.  I was going to just shave with whatever I felt was next in my rotation of creams and soaps and then I realized, “Hey, I’m pretty sure I got a rose sample somewhere, maybe I should review it”… And here we are.

Today, in honor of my mother Eleanor, who’s recipe for Pink Potato Salad is listed in the vaults at Food Network, I shaved with a rose-scented soap, a sample that I have had lying around for a while now.  Today I bring you a review of Mike’s Natural Soaps – Rose & Cedarwood Shaving Soap.

You hear a lot of guys going nuts about tallow.  I get it now.  Yes I am not new to tallow soaps and I have had the privilege of trying out a wide swath of soaps and creams.  It really does seem like every time i try a tallow soap I go nuts over the lather.  And conversely, every time I try a non-tallow soap I am left feeling ‘ok’ about it.

Today I went nuts.  Mike’s Rose is just an amazing soap.  The scent is unique thanks to the cedarwood.  Now from what I understand, rose essential oil is extremely expensive, due to needing so many rose petals per drop of oil.  So many soapmakers use fragrance oil for rose.  This is one of them.  I honestly wouldn’t have known if Mike didn’t say it on his website, but regardless.  The rose scent is wonderful.  It is the driving force of this shaving soap.  But then there is the cedarwood, which adds a sharp, fresh note to the fragrance.  It’s truly something you have to just smell to understand.  Overall the scent is wonderful and bright, while retaining it’s floral presentation.  Really nice scent that is present but not overbearing.

The lather is simply perfect.  I like a nice thick lather, with cushion and slickness, that lasts.  The lather that I got from this soap could easily be the bar that I measure all other soaps up to.  As I mentioned before it’s a tallow soap, that also is loaded with other amazing ingredients like avocado oil, kokum and shea butters, and lanolin, the magical wax from sheep that makes Mitchell’s Wool Fat so extraordinarily slick.

The lather was ultra-thick and creamy, with enough to last 5 passes.  Each pass got better and better, too.  And it stayed thick on my face while I was going through each pass – I never needed a touchup.  And it was amazingly slick, allowing the blade to glide right across my skin and through each whisker.  I could still feel that slickness as I rinsed between passes.  If I had any complaints it might be that the lather got a little bit dry by the third pass, maybe too thick.  But then a few drops of water and a re-whip will bring it right back to where it was.  Still a fantastic lather… Mike’s mom should be proud.

My hardware was pretty usual for me, but the software was tailor-made for mother’s day:

And here are my ratings for the shave:

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

Review: Mike’s Natural Soaps – Orange, Cedarwood, & Black Pepper Shave Stick

Mike's Natural Soap - Orange, Cedarwood, & Black Pepper Shave Stick

Mike’s Natural Soap – Orange, Cedarwood, & Black Pepper Shave Stick

Alright, I was really excited today to try my first shave stick!  So glad that Mike’s Natural Soaps is my first shave stick candidate, and with a really delicious scent as well.

So I did my normal routine, which was to warm up my shave brush in warm water while I showered.  Today I was using what has become my go-to setup, which is the Weber DLC with a Personna Medical Prep blade.  Today’s shave was my fourth shave with this blade.  I’m new to the Medical Prep blades.  I typically get 3-4 shaves from a Feather, but with these PMP blades, I’m getting 7 per blade before I feel them losing their effectiveness.  I’m also using a Simpson pure badger brush.  (My Duke 2 best badger is on the way!)

Anyway, yes, I toweled off and rinsed my face with hot water.  I grabbed the white tube with the silver label and dipped the soap part into the water as well to help lube it up.  I started applying it to my face.  It did feel a little dry and sticky.  So I kept dipping the soap in water.  Also I felt my scruff was pulling a good amount of soap from the stick, and that also was a part of why it was sticky.  Like rubbing it over sandpaper.

Anyway, I grabbed my brush, which was still soaking, and left a good amount of water on it.  I feel this was a little bit of a mistake, because the lather exploded as I brushed, but it was a little too wet.  Next time I use this shave stick, I will definitely start with a less-wet brush.  I should have known, I mean you can always add water.  Doh!

The smell of this soap is absolutely fantastic.  It tickled the nose of this bay rum lover.  As advertised, it’s dominated by orange.  But it’s a dark, spicy orange.  You could even say it’s closer to an orange zest.  Like that smell in the air when you peel an orange, that really crisp scent.  The cedarwood and black pepper also come into play, adding to the darker notes of the scent.

When applying lather for the second pass, I felt that the lather was a little dry, and needing some water.  I dipped the tip of my brush in water and face lathered again, but found the lather a little thin.

For the third pass, I felt I had to re-use the stick on my face, which is one definite benefit of using a shave stick.  If you ever fall short on lather, you can always re-apply.  I don’t want to give Mike an unfair shake here.  This is my first time with a stick and I’m sure with more practice I can lather this stuff better, just like I did with the same soap but in the tin.

As for moisturizing, this stuff has tons of stuff in it that does just that.  It is a tallow soap, boosted with vegetable glycerin and a whole host of butters and oils to go on smooth and help that razor glide along.  I did three passes (with the grain, across the grain, against the grain) and didn’t have a single nick.  The perfect shave.