One of the new breed of British artisans.
Used with: Van der Hagen Stainless Steel (1st use)
I had extracted the sample and pressed into the bottom of a bowl, sprinkled some water on top, then loaded for thirty seconds using my badger brush. I didn’t appear to have much on the bristles but went to my face and began to build, adding a few dips of water. I was able to get a coating, but not a very good one, with the lather being insubstantial. The second pass was harder work still and a thin bubbly layer was the result. I didn’t have much for touch-ups. Slickness was okay and I didn’t pick up any nicks. I did get some irritation on my top lip though (despite fewer passes than usual). My neck wasn’t especially close but real roughness was limited to a couple of places, mainly my jawline. WTG felt okay on my face. There were a few places that were good ATG but I had resistance and rough patches aplenty. Post shave feel was very average. I did get a whiff of the fragrance. It’s not particularly strong, but I was able to detect it during the shave. There was more of the tobacco in the pot, but once out it seems to have a simple, clean soapy scent. A pretty good shave.
Used with: Croma Diamant Stainless (2nd shave)
I left the sample dry and loaded for thirty seconds using my boar brush. It took a little water to work it up for the first pass. For the second I had so little I went back to the sample and loaded for an additional twenty seconds. That gave me enough for the rest of my usual routine. Slickness on the first pass didn’t impress, but I didn’t pick up any nicks. It was better on subsequent passes but I did pick up some nicks. Most sealed themselves by the time I finished but a couple waited for cold water. My neck was generally good but I did have some roughness in the usual trouble-spots. It was nice WTG on my face. ATG was okay, but there was some resistance basically everywhere. No real roughness but nowhere made it to BBS either. Post shave feel was pretty good. Quite soft. I didn’t pick up the fragrance but I had a cold so probably to be expected. A good shave.
Used with: The Bluebeards Revenge blades (3rd shave)
I again left the sample dry, but this time loaded with my synthetic brush. Thirty seconds provided more than enough for my usual routine. Slickness felt pretty good but it didn’t prevent me picking up quite a few nicks. Most stayed until I applied cold water. No irritation though. My neck was generally good, with the only roughness coming in my usual trouble-spots, most notable my jawline. WTG my face was nice and smooth. ATG wasn’t bad, with minimal resistance and no real roughness. A spot on my chin managed BBS but nowhere else. Post shave feel wasn’t bad, but a bit dry. I did get some hint of fragrance when I started, though not much after that. Again, more of a soap scent to me than anything else. A very good shave.
Used with: Gillette Stainless (4th shave)
This time I soaked the sample as I filled the sink, then loaded for thirty seconds with my synthetic brush. I didn’t think I had picked up enough product, but dipping the bristles I was able to build plenty of lather for my usual routine. Slickness felt good and I only picked up a couple of small nicks, both were sealed before I finished. My neck was nice and smooth except for the usual trouble-spots, although these were reduced too. WTG my face was very good. ATG was similar, although I did have some areas of heavy resistance. Nowhere quite made it to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but dry. I picked up more of the fragrance this time, and it was stronger on the tobacco. It’s quite pleasant but not something I’d crave. A good shave.
Used with: Van der Hagen Stainless Steel (1st use)
I soaked the sample again before loading with my synthetic brush. Again, I didn’t think there was enough, but working it with some water provided plenty of lather. Slickness felt pretty good but it didn’t stop me picking up a few nicks and some irritation. My usual trouble-spots were rough, but other than that my neck was fairly close. WTG my face was very good. ATG was largely okay, with minimal resistance, but I did have a rough patch or two. Nowhere got close to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but very dry. I did get the occasional whiff of the fragrance, but don’t recall picking up much. A good shave.
A tallow soap from a British artisan, I was in. In fact I’d been meaning to take a look at these for a while.
I found lathering took some effort, although subsequently I see they note that their soaps are ‘thirsty beasts’ — which would explain why I got better performance when blooming it before use. With a bit of water lather blossomed.
Slickness and protection varied and I rarely got away without a good number of nicks. Few were substantial but were more than I’d expect from a soap providing adequate protection.
The fragrance generally accompanied me. It’s described as tobacco, leather and juniper. I picked it up as a ‘soap’ scent more often than not but paying closer attention I may have confused that with the tobacco (or it’s layered on top, just not very strong). It’s pleasant enough but didn’t do much for me.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about these soaps, so my experience may be down to using a sample rather than the main product.
That said, I found it did a pretty good job with enough water. I’d describe it as competent rather than stellar though.