So begins the next chapter of my Soap Opera, Taylor of old Bond Street.
I love the packaging: a cardboard box, one-color printing, waxed but still recyclable, and, inside, the soap wrapped tightly in waxed paper. No plastic at all.
The soap's shape is an issue for my standard, flat-bottomed bowl. One side of the cake is profoundly rounded. We'll see how it goes.
The lavender scent is not strong, but very authentic.
The purple color has me worried. I hope it doesn't stain my brush.
While sold as 100g, it tilted my scale at 110.9g.
Their soap is nice I used it for awhile when I ran out of Tabac. Lathers nicely, slick, and as Gollnick pointed out, the lavender is a great smell. Does not stain your brushes BTW
I love Mitchell's Wool Fat as well. It costs a bit more, but the puck is pretty good sized and is super hard. I have hardly made a dent in mine! I'd be very very interested to see a true count of shaves from a puck of MWF. I'd do it myself, but with a every third day shaving regimen and a three soap rotation, I'd be counting forever!!
ETA: if you really want sustainable shaving, switch to straight razors. One razor lasts ~150-200 years with decent upkeep.
Last edited by medicevans; 02-01-2012 at 02:42 PM.
Friday was day 25 with Taylor of Old Bond Street.
Based on weight measurements, I expect to get 100-125 shaves from this block of soap. That is excellent.
This soap loads incredibly quickly. 10 clockwise swirls and 10 counter-clockwise swirls is all it takes. Lathering takes a bit longer than DR Harris, but is still fast. The lather is very rich with a very thick consistency. It functions extremely well.
I have noted no staining from the purple color.
The aroma is really nice and rinses away.
Speaking of rinsing, this soap rinses clean from my face easily, though DR Harris is better. Taylor rinses off the brush easily, but DR Harris also wins here by a nose.
I think that Taylor is really a superior soap and well-worth its price.
I'm really enjoying Taylor of Old Bond Street and looking forward to several more months with this excellent soap.
Glad to hear you like it and are enjoying the use.
I rate their creams very highly indeed, excellent lather and protection, they go a long way too making them no so expensive (OK I'm in Europe so they're cheaper) Not sure about the soaps, but the creams come in many 'flavours' The Lavender is first rate, so too Almond, St James', Sandalwood.
Well, based on your experiences, I have some DR Harris on order to try with my Feather blades. We'll see how it does. I also ordered some RazoRock to see how it works. The folks over at B&B seem to think it's a really slick soap, so it might work for me as well.
Today was my 62nd shave with Taylor of Old Bond Street, two months.
Weight-measurment and visual-observation suggest that I can expect 60-70 more shaves from this cake, over 120 shaves total. So, it should end up being very economical.
The lather is great. It takes a bit more effort to lather than DR Harris did, but not much and the lather is a bit better, I think. The lavender scent is very pleasant.
There's no signs that TGQ will ever return. I suspect that it's gone forever. But, I have now discovered several great lather products and I have a few more to try.
In the mean time, Taylor of Old Bond Street is proving to be an excellent lather product which I highly-recommend.
It's been a while since I updated this story. I'm still using the Taylor of Old Bond Street soap. Today was the 110th shave with it. My weight data predicts that there are 30-35 more shaves left in the bowl!
I want to emphasize that I am not trying to be frugal with my soap. To the contrary. I am a face-latherer and also a speed-latherer. By speed-latherer, I mean that I want to go from first touch of brush to soap to lathered up and ready to shave in maybe 30 seconds. I don't like to spend a lot of time artfully building my lather. Face-latherers, those who build their lather directly on their face as opposed to in a bowl, tend to use more soap, I think. And speed-latherers definitely sacrifice economy of soap for speed. I also do not have soft water. So, I am not miserly with my soap.
But, what I have found is this Taylor product loads onto the brush fast and whips up into a wonderful lather really fast too... and it just doesn't take very much.
I am very happy with this soap.
This morning, I decided not to take the 150th shave on my Taylor of Old Bond Street soap. Yesterday, I had a poor lather because the soap broke into several small bits and it was hard to load the brush. This happens at the end of just about any cake of soap. If you're going to use the same soap again -- even if you're not but aren't engaged in a comparative soap exploration project (also known as a "Soap Opera") -- you can just meld the bits into your new cake and end up using 100% of a cake. In my case, though, I want to continue on to George F. Trumper's Limes Shaving Soap. And I want to give Mr. Trumper and independent test.
This is where my weight data becomes valuable. Based on weight, I know that I threw away about six shaves worth of Taylor. That one cake of Taylor of Old Bond Street soap turned out to contain at least 155 shaves worth of lather. And it was good, rich lather with the perfect balance of lubrication and cushioning, quick to build and clean to rinse. While I balked at paying $14.50 for a cake of soap, I now see that it is try true that these English products are very concentrated. This one cost 9.4 cents per-shave. Canned lather typically costs about $4 for a can with 20 shaves in it, about twenty cents per shave, over twice as much.
I was initially worried about the blue/violet color of the Taylor product, that it might stain my brush. 149 consecutive shaves later, I can report that this fear was unfounded. No staining has occurred at all.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the Taylor of Old Bond Street hard soap product.
This morning, started using the George F. Trumper's Lime Shaving Soap. At $18, this is an expensive soap. It's also sold as only 80 grams. Most every other cake I've tried has been 100g. However, the Trumper's product did tilt my scale at almost 90g. I'm eager to see how many shaves it gives.
It was just slightly too large to fit into my bowl, the first soap I've had this problem with. I was able to quickly shave it down with a knife. I put the shavings into the bowl to be used. This is an added step, but only necessary when starting a new cake; it's not unacceptable.
The lather today was rich to a fault... clearly too much soap. It worked fine, but was very rich. I clearly do need to adjust a bit. But that's normal when changing soap, especially for the face-latherer. A bowl-latherer has better control of his process; a face-latherer has to rely on a consistent process.
Obviously, I'll keep you informed as I use the Trumper's product.
Interesting, you want to keeps those scraps of soap, collect a few different brands together, melt them and then you've got a hybrid to use- 'Gollnick's Special'
Today was the 21st shave with George F. Trumpers soap. I think I've gotten pretty much "dialed in" -- as I like to say -- with it. This is by far the fastest loading soap I have ever used. Just 20 spins of the brush, ten in eac direction, yields a loaded brush that springs up into a rich lather. The lather is good. It cushions nicely but lubricates for a smooth shave. It does not dry out. A second or even third lather springs out almost as quickly. I am really happy with the speed of this soap.
The lime fragrance is fine. It's not a sharp, citrus like which I prefer but a lighter, sweeter like that reminds one of a lime cream pie. It's nice, but not my favorite.
Weight data predict about 100 shaves from this block. That will put it more economical than canned foam, but, given its higher price, below DR Harris and Taylor of Old Bond Street for value.
It is a great soap, no doubt, but I think is going to be less economical.
Thanks for continuing to update this. I just pulled the trigger on an order for some soaps (running out since the move) Good to know how things are going working for you, as I have to spend more per puck here in Oz, I like your review procedure, and how you get a very good lifespan estimate. I'll have some col.conk lime and proraso green tea to try out here shortly. Although at this point, I'll probably just buy a new soap every time, and keep just one consistent backup soap (so far MWF which just always works for me)
Today was the 50th shave with George F. Trumpers soap. Weight data now predict 50-60 shaves remain. So, I'm predicting 100-110 shaves from this puck. That's good, but this was an expensive piece of soap and so on a cost-per-shave basis, this soap is not going to lead the pack.
But, this soap is by far the fastest to lather. From first swirl of the brush on the soap to first stroke of the razor on the face, it's less than one minute. No soap I've tried lathers as fast as this stuff. It just springs into a lather.
We're having a heat wave here in the Portland area right now. Saturday set the all-time one-day record. No August 4th on record has bested yesterday's 102F at the airport. Today got to 96 at my house. So, it's a refreshing cold shower in the morning and then shaving with cold water. The George F. Trumpers soap doesn't lather as well in the cold water, but it's still giving a very serviceable lather. So, the one part of me that's not suffering in this heat is my shave. In many respects, I am disappointed that I didn't try some cold-water shaves with the other soaps in this test. We may have to start over again... or, maybe not.
Thursday was the last shave with the George F. Trumpers soap. It was the 111th shave. Weight data indicate that three shaves worth were left in the unusable scraps. (Had I had a new cake of Trumpers, I would simply have put the scraps into the bowl on top of the new cake and ended up using them). So, my total from a cake of George F. Trumpers soap was 114 shaves. (Your actual shave count may vary depending on your technique, of course, but I think that you will find your proportions will be about the same as mine.)
The Trumpers soap is a top-notch soap, no doubt. But it is the most expensive of the lot and proved to be more expensive per-shave than others that delivered shaves at least as good. So, paradoxically, while I think that Trumpers is excellent soap, I don't recommend it.
I'm now on to Col Conk Shaving Soap, Amber, Large 3.75 oz, purchased for $5.50.
To tell you the truth, I started with this soap almost a year ago. I put it in my travel bowl and I've been using it when traveling. As a result, I already don't like it. I am convinced that it is the exact same product as the Van Der Hagen Glycerin soap that I tried early on in this Opera and didn't like. The unique packaging is the same except for the brand name sticker. The soap looks the same. It smells the same. And, worst of all, it lathers the same. It's the same dry, pasty lather that disappointed me with Van Der Hagen. But, I am going to do my duty and stick with the Col Conk soap for at least a couple of weeks to see if I can learn to lather it and to get some weight data.
The end of this Soap Opera is in sight.
This thread is always an interesting read
I'm a little surprised by your comment about VDH. try useing more watter with it. I personally get a great lather with it. I however, do build the lather right on the puk. I remelt it into a bowl. I'll agree that Col Conk is pretty much the same as VDH. CC has a few more flavors but the base soap is the same as VDH.
What an interesting thread. I've been a member of shave forums for 7 years or so and this is one of the most interesting posts I've seen on a cream or soap. So thanks for posting.
I second (or third, or fourth, whatever we're up to now) the Arko. It's very good and if you buy more than one it can be gotten fairly cheaply. It's stick form, but it's pliable enough that you could work it in to a bowl or puck shape. As a hobby shaver, I've tried tons of different soaps and creams and it ranks up there. In fact I used it this morning. Yesterday, too. Another really good, really cheap shave stick is Palmolive.
So Gollnick, if you'd like, let me know and I'll send you a stick of Arko. I'd love to hear your assesment of it.
And I guess since this is my first post, I should say I've been lurking here for maybe two years or so. I've gotten lots of useful information. I came here researching what to get for an EDC. I found what I wanted and then kept finding more. Somehow the one knife I needed became two, then three, four, five . . .
Knives are just as addicting as razors aren't they. I came to the forum for the same reason and ended up making the darn things. I also started DE shaving because of this place
If you are playing life on easy, you are never going to win when it counts
Knife making is hazardous to my bank account
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