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Shaving Soap

Discussion in 'Razors, Scissors, & Personal Grooming' started by River3955, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. River3955

    River3955 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Figured this fell under the "personal grooming", category. If no, then feel free to move.

    I seem to be playing the best shave soap for the money game. For whatever reason I don't balk at spending a big buck on a knofe, but aganozie over spedning $15 on a shave soap. Go figure.

    I stared out with a tube Prorasso and like the lather and I'm ok with the scent but it leaves my face dry and tight after. I have used Palmolive stick and it has below average scent for me and just average lather. I like Arko for the lather but the scent is lacking. Really like Cella all the way around... the scent could be better, but certainly very pleasant.

    What have you experiences been with sub $10 shave soaps related to performance and scent.
  2. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    I have tried every cream, gel, soap sold I think. I get a nice clean smooth shave with a cheap bar of dove sensitive soap. Haven't touched anything else in two years.
  3. Don M

    Don M

    Apr 30, 2000
    I suggest spending a little more on soap. After all, it is what makes the shave enjoyable. Cost per minute/hour of enjoyment is low.

    Best value is subjective. There are soaps that are expensive but last a very long time, so the cost per shave is low (Martin de Candre). Others cost less but you use more of them, so the difference in cost per shave is not as great as you might think. Then there is the question of if it is worth it to you. I am willing to spend some extra to make 10 minutes of every day enjoyable. It costs less than going to the movies once per month, and I enjoy it more (and for longer).

    After the ones you mentioned, perhaps you should check out the old (discontinued) Art of Shaving. It is still available on the big auction site - search for Art of Shaving Tallow. It comes unscented and Sandalwood. I like the Sandalwood. This soap was made by Valobra, and it is some of the best out there. If the Proraso you used was Sandalwood, the AOS is a very different take on Sandalwood, and I like it much better than the Proraso scent. Proraso is more of a true, woody Sandalwood, while AOS is a sweeter Sandalwood.

    I have tried many of the big names - Valobra, Martin de Candre, Pannacrema Nuavia, etc., in addition to the ones you named above, and I get good shaves from a number of soaps that I really enjoy. Valobra is right up there in terms of performance. You might also try Wet Shaving Products Formula T, and perhaps Stirling. Stirling has many scents, though the lather is not quite up to the top tier in my experience. It still works well, and there is bound to be a scent you like.
  4. Iron City

    Iron City

    Jan 15, 2005
    Thanks for the information Don, most of those brands I have not heard of but I may chase down a few to try.
  5. pwest


    Apr 10, 2013
  6. GotSteel

    GotSteel Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    I haven't really gotten into the pucks but I really like:

    Kiss My Face
    best bang for the buck imo it's really cheap like $7 for 11oz and I can find it at my local grocery which is also a plus (I've only tried the moisturizing which is fragrance free but smells nice a little soapy), didn't really think much of Proraso thought it was too thin.

    But my favorite so far is Musgo Real, though it's $20 for 3.4oz it's to me the most moisturizing and provides the most enjoyable shave of the brushless creams I've tried.
  7. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    Taylors of Old Bond Street is my at-home shave, travel is Proraso white tube. Get what works best for you, at the end of the day, its your face, so you decide what its worth. Way back Golnick did a very comprehensive thread on how long he could get soaps to last, and found that often the cheaper soaps were far costlier than the expensive ones, once you did a per-shave comparison. And at the end of the day, you are still beating the guy buying canned goop.
  8. River3955

    River3955 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    I did a little reading and ordered a puck of TOBS Sandalwood soap (not cream). Excited to give it a whirl when it comes in.
  9. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I get my shaving soap from straight razor designs, they have their own branded soap that comes in lots of scents and it very good quality. Maybe when you finish the soap you just ordered you can give it a shot:)
  10. River3955

    River3955 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Received a puck of AOS Sandalwood Tallow yesterday but have not had a chance to use it yet.

    Smell is pretty mild for sandalwood, but pleasant. Looking forward to a shave with it.
  11. stargawker


    Mar 1, 2014
    I prefer shaving creams to soaps as they seem to lather better for me. Nivea is a good, inexpensive one. La Toja is also good.
    AZsmith likes this.
  12. ndmiller

    ndmiller Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 30, 2015
    colonel conk amber is my goto for shave soap. Duke Cannon or Dreadnaught (Blackbeards) for shave cream, although Dreadnaught recently became herd to come by reasonable priced. Both using a DE razor of course.
  13. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Don't buy too many at once, the stuff can go off with regard to its scent. If you can, buy some trial sizes.

    The ones I've decided I like:


    A new one I've come across from the Netherlands, called FINE. I like the Green Vetiver one, excellent thick protective lather. Green PRORASO. CELLA from Italy. MON SAVON France (v.cheap there and it smells Cola like, great lather) Your Col. Conk soaps from the US I find very good, like the Amber , Bayrum and Lime scents, not expensive but effective.


    Taylor of Old Bond St. FANTASTIC thick lather, scent is very personal but I go for the Lavender, Rose, or Coconut. Can't bear Sandalwood, smells like old lady....but a grand lather. There are other good English creams but they are dear, I find TOBS the equal and better of other more expensive English stuff.
  14. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    I get along fine with most shaving soaps that I have tried.
    Right now I have the choice of Stirling Port Au Prince, B&M Taiga, Arko, and Razorock P160.

    As long as I get the lather right they all give a nice shave.
    The B&M was the priciest at 11 bucks but it is nice soap but I can get just as nice of shave with the 2 dollar Arko stick.
    So it is really down to personal preference on scents and such but you can find a good bit of shave soap for decent prices with a bit of research.
  15. oldtymer

    oldtymer Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I have been using Edwin Jagger aloe vera soap with a badger brush and get no irritation or negative issues. Costs $9.00 a cake & lasts a long time.
    Razors are an old Wade- Butcher and a Dovo special.
  16. Iron City

    Iron City

    Jan 15, 2005
    Purchased a cake of Taylor of Bond Street Sandalwood hard soap. Smell is nice, and it only takes a few swirls to load the brush. The lather builds easily and has a nice face feel. Three shaves in and it has moved to the top challenging Cella for the pole position.

    Long term results are TBD.
  17. EastSideBadDad


    Dec 8, 2016
    I'm a new member here, but I shave my head with a straight razor every night, and I use a variety of traditional-style soaps and brushes, so here is my $.02 for whatever it might be worth to someone...

    My 3 favorite soaps in regards to performance are Stirling, Crowne & Crane, and Barrister & Mann Latha.

    Stirling ranges in price from $12-14 for a 5 oz soft puck in a tub, with a HUGE variety of scents. The soap is a little thirsty, in my experience, but if you work with it, and get used to it, it provides a simply fantastic amount of slickness and cushion, for an excellent shave. Rod has been at it for a long time, and really knows what he is doing. He has even resurrected and homaged classic male cologne fragrances such as Arkadia(a nod to Terre d'Hermes) and Stirling Spice(a nod to the classic Shulton-made Old Spice).

    Crowne & Crane is a new maker on the market, but Karl produces some of the best soaps going right now. They are about $15 for a 5oz soft puck in a tub, and his scent profiles are absolutely intoxicating. Best scents and fragrances I have ever used. Performance in both his tallow and vegan formulations are above par. Top level in every respect. Glide, slickness, protection and just incredible scent profiles.

    Will at Barrister & Mann is highly regarded for his soap composition, with good reason. The Latha line promises simply good soap and it delivers in spades. Scents are simple, yet extremely pleasant. Soap loads into a brush and lathers with no trouble, and the quality of the shave performance is second to none.

    You can't go wrong with any of the 3 above soapers in my opinion.

    Honorable mentions: Maggard Razors, whose soaps are made by Through the Fire Fine Craft and rebranded(both varieties are really nice), Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements, Country Club for Men, RazoRock/Italian Barber(very inexpensive, with on par performance), and Stache Soap Works. All provide very nice lather with good slickness and protection.
  18. River3955

    River3955 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    ^^^Great suggestions, thank you.
  19. stargawker


    Mar 1, 2014
    Try Nivea shave cream. Decent quality and quite inexpensive.
  20. bcannon87


    Mar 16, 2014
    I would suggest spending the $15 for soap. For a bunch of great scents that perform (cushion and slickness) and moisturize well take a look at Soap Commander. I'm in no way affiliated with them but the customer service is out of this world and you can order samples to test scents.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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