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