Mystic Water Soap is one of the wonderful artisan soapmakers that get mentioned quite a bit on the shaving forums. And a while ago I rang them up on the internets and ordered a few samples. It’s been a while, but I have finally gotten around to this one here, their Orange Vanilla variety.
I love creamsicles. I think you are a rotten person if you don’t like them. Well not really, but cmon, there is something about orange and vanilla coming together that is so awesome, in the same way that it’s awesome when peanut butter and chocolate come together. So when I re-stumbled upon this soap sample a few days ago I got really excited and decided to make it my next review.
First the good. The good hits your nose right out of the bat. The scent. The soap is actually brown from the vanilla in it, so you know you’re dealing with great stuff. The smell is exactly what you think it would smell like. It’s sweet, but not a cloying, heavy kind of sweet. The orange is there with the backup of vanilla, and its not a strong vanilla. Overall the scent is wonderfully balanced. And it stays wonderfully balanced while being whipped up into a lather and while on your face. Awesome smell.
The ingredients in this soap are exactly what you want when you love your face. Tallow, Glycerin, shea butter, avocado/palm/castor oils, Aloe vera, Bentonite Clay, wheat protein, and something that doesn’t come around too often: silk..
The slickness this soap provides is top notch. It’s fantastic. You feel it when lathering it on, and you feel it when rinsing your face after each pass. Can’t say a bad thing about this aspect of the lather.
Well I pointed out the good, you say. So then is there a bad? Unfortunately, yes. I found, not only with this soap, but also with the last MW soap I tried, that the lather is somewhat lacking in it’s thickness and cushion. It just doesn’t thicken the way I personally like my lathers to thicken. It’s a light fluff kind of lather, almost like whipped up egg whites. There’s not much substance to it. And by the time I am halfway through a pass, I find that what is left on my face is just vanishing into nothingness, albeit still leaving an incredible slickness behind.
Maybe I am doing it wrong. Maybe I am spoiled by great latherers I have tried like Art of Shaving, Geo F. Trumper, and Taylor of Old Bond Street. I like everything about this soap, except the one thing I love the most about traditional shave soaps, the thickness and luxuriousness of the lather. It’s missing here for me. Of course, I won’t dismiss the company, as it has many many happy customers. YMMV (Your mileage may vary) is the key word in shaving soap reviews. Try a few samples yourself. You will definitely love the scents, and the slickness. And if you end up lathering it better than I am, then you’ll absolutely love the whole package.
Edit: I completely forgot to mention a couple things…
First, I tried this soap for 2 consecutive days. The first time I mug lathered and got a very weak lather. The second time I face lathered and got a better result, but it still was quite lacking by the third pass.
Second, While I did have problems with the lather quality, I got great bbs shaves both times.