Valobra Menthol Soft Shaving Soap

9 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (9)
Valobra Menthol Soft Shaving Soap

This is another of those bulk Italian soaps I wanted to try.

Used with: Sputnik (1st shave)

I pressed this into a bowl and loaded with my badger brush. Thirty seconds gave me oodles of lather. Slickness wasn’t bad but it didn’t prevent me picking up quite a few nicks, though most were sealed by cold water. My neck was generally well finished, but I did have a few rough spots. Most of my usual trouble-spots were a step up from the norm but my neck was a little raw. WTG my face was good. ATG was very good and a few spots even made it to BBS. Post shave feel was nice and soft if a little dry. The fragrance is supposed to be almond, but I certainly didn’t pick up the familiar marzipan scent. I didn’t get any of the menthol in use either (no cooling sensation, no scent). Didn’t quite make great, but a very good shave.

Used with: Treet Platinum (3rd shave)

I covered the blob of soap in some water as I wet my face, then used the run off as a pre-shave, before loading for thirty seconds using my badger brush. Slickness was very good but didn’t prevent me picking up some nicks (not unusual for this blade). Most were sealed by cold water. My neck was very good and even my usual trouble spots were smooth, although I still had some slight roughness. WTG my face was slick. ATG was impressive too with only some slight resistance and a couple of less-than-satisfactory spots around my mouth. Post shave feel was good. I didn’t get any almond again. I think what I can smell is the menthol. The cooling effect is very mild. A very good shave.

Used with: Personna Med Prep (2nd shave)

I added a bit of water to it briefly, using the small amount as a pre-shave, before loading for thirty seconds using my boar brush. No problems building a thick glossy lather. Slickness felt great but didn’t prevent me picking up a few nicks. Most didn’t make it to the end of the shave and those that did were dealt with by cold water. They largely came during touch-ups. My neck was good but I still had some roughness in the usual trouble spots, largely my jawline. Not bad though. Nice and smooth WTG on my face. Not bad ATG either with only a patch of rough at the corner of my mouth and some resistance on my cheeks to spoil it. Nowhere made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was good. Again, no real scent to speak of. Even sticking my nose close to it all I got was the menthol. I did feel a very slight cooling effect on first application, but that was it. A very good shave.

Used with: Lord Super Stainless (4th shave)

I covered the sample with water as I wet my face, then used the run-off as a pre-shave. Loading for thirty seconds with my badger brush, I was able to get a good lather and plenty of it. Slickness was okay at best, but I didn’t pick up any nicks. I had to spend a lot of time on touch-ups, most likely due to the blade. My neck was pretty good except for the usual trouble spots, although even they were slightly better than normal. No problems WTG on my face. ATG wasn’t bad either, but I had resistance in a few places, though no out and out roughness. Nowhere made it close to BBS though. Post shave feel was nice; very soft. I don’t remember a scent of any kind. There may have been a slight cooling effect in use, but it’s barely noticeable. A very good shave.

Used with: Gillette Rubie Platinum Plus (4th shave)

I loaded dry using my badger brush. The lather was a little thick and I had to add some water to coax it to life for the second pass. Sickness didn’t impress but I only picked up a couple of nicks. My neck was good with the only roughness in my usual trouble spots. No problems WTG on my face. ATG wasn’t especially close but wasn’t bad. The only area of roughness was in the corner of my mouth. Nowhere made it to BBS. Post shave feel was soft. I don’t remember picking up a fragrance at all. A pretty good shave.

Verdict

Another stalwart of the soft Italian soap family, though not one I could detect the usual almond scent in. The added menthol seemed to dominate, although it didn’t offer much in the way of cooling.

I found a film left behind after a couple of the shaves, similar to another soap I used. Not sure if that was a reaction to something or what. It’s a very soft soap, more like a room-temperature butter.

Slickness was a bit hit and miss but it seemed to offer enough protection to prevent the majority of nicks. Post shave feel was good too.

I generally got very good shaves with it and I was impressed overall. Although available in 1 Kg blocks, you can also pick it up in a more reasonable 150g size and it could easily be sliced up and pressed into your container of choice.

I never had a problem getting lather from it but it seemed to prefer being bloomed, even for only a short time.

Not one for those who crave a potent scent, but it didn’t disappoint when it came to performance and although dearer than the likes of Vitos and Cella, it still offers very good value too.

Filed under: Soap, Software

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: September 24, 2016