Beautiful presentation and an air of class had me excited to try this soap from Stirlingshire.
Used with: Gillette 7 O’Clock Super Stainless (2nd shave)
It’s a very hard soap, not like the croaps I’ve been used to of late. I opted for my boar brush and loaded the puck dry. I gave it a bit longer than usual, about 40 seconds. I managed to cover my face, but the lather wasn’t as dense as I’d have liked. Slickness after each pass was reasonable. I picked up a couple of nicks during my touch-up phase. The finish wasn’t perfect, but was generally close. There was the odd patch, though mainly on my jawline and neck. A couple of small areas made it to BBS but generally it was smooth, just not remarkable. The scent is very subtle and classic is a good description, it’s powdery and old-fashioned. Not unpleasant but not something I’d crave. Post shave feel was OK, but again, not on a par with some of the recent products I’ve used.
Used with: Sputnik (4th shave)
I used a pre-shave oil and my usual technique for soaps (soak it for the same time as the brush, throw off the water, load brush for thirty seconds). I opted my boar brush. Although I produced plenty of suds, I didn’t get the lather to turn glossy, it stayed as a foam with small bubbles still visible. That meant the coats were translucent rather than a dense white. Unsurprisingly, I picked up plenty of nicks and some irritation, though some were re-opening old cuts. It was a relatively uniform shave, with few bad patches, but it wasn’t particularly close anywhere. Post shave feel was average. Still a passable shave.
Used with: Rapira Swedish Supersteel (3rd shave)
I soaked the puck again and opted for my badger brush, loading for thirty seconds. I thought I had managed to get the foam into proper lather but by the time I had put down my brush and picked up my razor it had gone from opaque to transparent. I rushed through my first pass and I could still barely tell where I had removed lather and where I hadn’t. The second pass was much better and I had plenty for touch-ups, although it too began to disintergrate. Slickness after each pass was reasonable though and I only picked up a solitary nick. To give it its due, the finish was very good, BBS in places. There were a few patches, though these were limited to low down on my neck and the corners of my mouth. Great post shave feel too. A very good shave.
Used with: Personna Lab Blues (3rd shave)
I tried a bunch of stuff in between shaves to get a good lather, none of them worked. So I was doubtful. This time I opted for a dry puck and wrung out my brush. I loaded for 60 seconds. Applying it to my face it was so dry I could barely spread it. Adding water a bit at a time, it suddenly sprung. This was the first time I got a proper lather, although not much of it. Slickness between passes wasn’t bad and I only picked up a couple of nicks low down on my neck. The finish was fairly good, slightly rough ATG and the odd patch, but mainly smooth. I ran out of lather for touch-ups, but got most done. It wasn’t a bad shave to be fair, not quite right, but more than passable. It was hard work though.
Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (1st shave)
Having failed in all previous attempts, I decided to go radical this time. I used the puck like a shaving stick and rubbed it into my stubble. It did a good job clogging my blade, but the lather wasn’t any better. Once again it was a race against time to shave before all trace of the lather vanished. I still found I had good slickness, especially after the first pass, and only picked up a solitary nick, but the blade did tug at the start of the first pass. Finishing my second pass became a challenge because I couldn’t tell where the lather was and wasn’t. I did find I was left with a little dryness. The race to get done resulted in a patchy finish. In some places it was nice and smooth, but this was frequently interrupted. I’ve had worse shaves, but note sure I’d call it good.
Let’s start with the positives. It is beautifully packaged and presented and, generally, allowed for a reasonable shave. Against that is the fact that I just could not get a good lather out of it, no matter what I tried, and can only put the cushion down to a layer of glycerine being applied. The ingredient list is nearly identical to Trumper’s Eucris soap, which also has a reputation for being hard to lather. Without doubt the worst soap I have used to date. Tip if you still want to try it though, it’s cheaper on Amazon (and with free postage) than their own site.