A classic Italian soap that comes in big blocks, aimed at professional barbers.
Used with: Lord Super Stainless (3rd shave)
I left the sample dry and loaded for thirty seconds with my badger brush. I was concerned there wasn’t enough suds but some work and a little water turned it into a glorious lather. Slickness was okay and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck was good except for the usual trouble spots: my jawline and a patch low down. The latter wasn’t bad but it was rough along the former. No problem WTG on my face. There wasn’t an area that stood out ATG, but neither was anywhere particularly close. Post shave was okay, but not particularly special. As with most Italian soaps, this is supposed to have an almond scent, but not to my nose. In fact I’d have said it was just a ‘soap’ scent, think MWF. A good shave.
Used with: Gillette Rubie Platinum Plus (1st shave)
I left it dry again but loaded with my boar brush this time. I had to add some water when I worked up my first pass but had plenty of lather. Slickness was pretty good and I didn’t pick up any nicks. I had a few small patches of roughness, but overall my neck was close. WTG my face was fine. ATG wasn’t bad but I did have a few patches where it was rougher than I’d have liked. Nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was okay. I got a good whiff of the fragrance again, but again, no almond. A pretty good shave.
Used with: Gillette Rubie Platinum Plus (3rd shave)
I again left it dry but used my badger brush to load for thirty seconds this time. It was rather pasty so I had to add some water which quickly turned it into a glossy lather. Slickness was okay at best but the only nicks I picked up were during touch-ups. The two were sealed before I finished. My neck was pretty good on the whole, with only a small patch of roughness low down and along my jawline. The latter was less pronounced than usual. WTG my face was smooth. ATG wasn’t as good, with some resistance on my cheeks, but no real roughness. Post shave feel was soft but a bit dry. I didn’t pick up any of the fragrance this time, except when I stuck my nose in the dish. Again, more of a soap scent than anything else. A good shave.
Used with: Bolzano Superinox (2nd shave)
I opted to cover the sample with water as I wet my face this time. I used the run-off as a pre-shave and then loaded for about thirty seconds using my badger brush. No problems with quantity or quality of the lather, though I did add some water for both first and second passes. Slickness was excellent and I didn’t pick up any nicks. My neck wasn’t perfect but was very good. Even my usual trouble spots were lessened. My face was smooth WTG. It was good ATG too, with only a little resistance in places. Nowhere quite made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was very nice. I got a slight whiff of the soapy scent a couple of times but nothing else. A very good shave.
Used with: Voskhod (4th shave)
I showered before shaving this time, which I don’t usually do, and soaked the sample for that time, much longer than I ever do. Using the run-off as a pre-shave, I then loaded for thirty seconds using my badger brush. I had to add some water as I built the lather and the volume exploded. The blade tugged on the first pass. Slickness was pretty good but it didn’t prevent me picking up quite a few nicks, though none that survived cold water. My neck was pretty good, I had a hint of roughness in the usual spots, but that was less than usual. Nice and smooth WTG on my face. Same ATG, with no significant resistance but nowhere made it to BBS either. Post shave feel was nice, soft but a little dry. I picked up the soapy fragrance at the start but don’t remember it after that. A very good shave.
This is probably the most popular of the bulk block Italian soaps, alongside Vitos. The brand is better known too, largely because it has a range of consumer products, rather than being trade only. Or at least that’s how it appears.
As with many of its ilk, it’s a soft soap, easy to mold. The fragrance is supposed to be almond, but I couldn’t pick that up. In fact it had just a general ‘soap’ smell to my nose, closer to MWF. It’s not strong either way, so not a soap to pick if you like pungent products.
It apparently differs from the smaller pots, the label on which translates as ‘almond oil shaving cream’ where this translates as ‘extra extra pure shave soap.’ The ingredients list (from what I could find) looks identical though.
No problem producing lather from it, though it does like a drop of water. No need to bloom it. Slickness was generally good and I picked up few nicks. Post shave feel was top notch.
Overall a very good soap and it lived up to its reputation. Not a massive surprise given its longevity (it’s been around since 1899), it has to be pretty good to survive so long.
It’s close between this and Valobra for my favourite of these old-school soaps, but this is cheaper. Certainly one to recommend.