Tag Archives: croap

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: 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).

Review: Queen Charlotte Soaps – Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

Queen Charlotte Soaps - Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

Queen Charlotte Soaps – Queen Charlotte Shaving Cream

As a musician, let me put it this way: this is the “title track” of the Queen Charlotte line of shaving soaps and creams.  I have already done two reviews of Queen Charlotte shaving soaps, and was excited this time to try out one of their shaving creams.

Their cream could effectively be called what we in the shaving community call a croap.

Yes, I agree, it is a bit brash of me to use the word “we” just there, as if I am some spokesman of the shaving community which has been around for hundreds of years. However, you are here reading this blog are you not?  Ok, yeah that was a bit brash as well.  My apologies.  Let’s move on, shall we?

Croap is a portmanteau, a word that is a combination of two words.  In this case, a croap is somewhere between a cream and a soap.  And Queen Charlotte Soaps’ line of shaving creams are just that.  Croaps.  So they hold their form like a solid soap, but are very soft, and very easily give in to any pressure.  Think of butter at room temperature.  It’s not quite that, but very close.

This review will have some good news and some bad news.  But even the bad news just might be my fault.  As with any review, your mileage may vary (YMMV).  Regardless, let’s start with a big heap of good news.

This stuff smells wonderful.  Now when you first read the maker’s description of this scent, it may be hard to imagine:

A heavenly scent made from only the most rare absolutes and essential oils, Queen Charlotte starts with sweet top notes. As the scent grows, delicate floral notes come through. We have added just the right amount of earthy and woody notes to complete this exquisite scent.

Once you shave with it, you will come to realize that that is exactly what you just experienced.  In the shaving mug, as you lather, you will smell that wonderful citrus scent. It was hard to pinpoint exactly, but quite citrusy.  On your face, your nose will swim with a light floral scent.  As I discovered on my own while reviewing Geo F Trumper’s Rose Shaving Cream, floral shaving cream scents are absolutely nothing to be afraid of.  In fact, they are surprisingly refreshing and will up your stud ranking by at least 5 points.

The entire time you will also be experiencing the woody and earthy bass notes.  This isn’t a cologne, so it may be harder to detect as you wash each pass of cream off your face, but by the end of your shave you will notice it more and more.

Good News #2: I had a 100% nick-free and irritation free shave.  This stuff is fantastic, and being made by a guy who loves his trade, is loaded with moisturizers and other ingredients that your face will absolutely love.  Oils and vitamins and glycerins and on and on and on.  And to top it all off this is a tallow soap too!

The bad news on this soap, at least for this shave, was that the lather was lacking a little.  I have had great lathering experiences with their hard soaps (cayman and key lime), and was excited to try the croap out, but wasn’t as thrilled.  But it was still better than other stuff I have tried.

I’d be thrilled to hear from you if you have had better lathering experiences from Queen Charlotte’s creams.  Leave a comment below and let me know!