Van der Hagen Scented Luxury Shave Soap

5 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5)
Van der Hagen Luxury Scented Shaving Soap

Although it sounds Dutch, this is actually made in the US of A.

Used with: Personna Med Prep (1st shave)

I left the puck dry and loaded my badger brush for thirty seconds. It didn’t look like I had enough product but it was plenty for my usual routine. Slickness felt good but it didn’t prevent me picking up some nicks, sealed by cold water, and some irritation. Aside from my jawline and a small patch low down, my neck was close, though not especially smooth. No such problems WTG on my face. There were a few areas of resistance ATG, with more stubble than I’d have liked. Post shave feel wasn’t bad but dry. I got a whiff of the fragrance throughout. It’s subtle, a nice fresh floral scent, very pleasant. A pretty good shave.

Used with: Feather Hi-Stainless (2nd shave)

I left the puck dry and loaded with my boar brush this time. It quickly became evident I didn’t have enough so I went a little longer. After applying to my face I went back to the puck to add some more. I also re-loaded before my second pass, finally picking up enough to get the job done. Slickness was average at best, but I didn’t pick up any nicks. The finish on my neck wasn’t bad, not especially close but there were no significant rough patches. It was a little raw though. Even WTG on my face I could feel some roughness, which is very unusual. ATG had some significant resistance if not full on stubble, some places were okay though. Not as bad as I’d feared. Post shave feel wasn’t great, it was dry and the lack of a good finish hid any smoothness. I got a whiff of the fragrance on and off. It’s nice. An average shave.

Used with: Lord Super Stainless (3rd shave)

I sloshed a bit of water on the surface briefly before loading. The coating for the first pass wasn’t great, with poor slickness, so I went back to the puck and loaded all over again for the second, which was much more successful. I got better slickness and quality, with plenty for touch-ups. No┬ánicks either. My neck was pretty good. Nowhere felt especially close but the only real rough patches were limited to my jawline and a patch low down. Nice and smooth WTG on my face. ATG wasn’t bad, but there was more resistance in more places than I’d have liked. There were few full-on rough patches though. Nowhere got close to BBS. Post shave feel was soft but a little dry. I vaguely remember picking up the fragrance at one point but it was largely absent, it certainly didn’t command attention. A pretty good shave.

Used with: Bolzano Superinox (2nd shave)

I added a bit of water as I wet my face, then used it as a pre-shave. I loaded for longer, about fifty seconds, before trying to work the lather. The first pass was okay but I went back to the puck to load again before the second. Slickness was average. I only picked up one nick, but it was a weeper. The only rough patches on my neck were in the usual spots, but the rest didn’t feel particularly close either. And it was a little raw. No problems WTG on my face. ATG was good too, with only the odd bit of resistance to blight it. Nowhere made it to BBS though. Post shave feel was very dry. I don’t remember the fragrance at all. A good shave.

Used with: Rapira Super Stainless (4th shave)

I doused the surface with some water briefly before loading for thirty seconds using my badger brush. No problems with lather and I had plenty for my usual routine. Slickness was pretty good, but it didn’t prevent me picking up quite a few nicks, though cold water sorted them out. I was also left with some rawness on my top lip. My neck was good, with no real rough patches, but it didn’t feel that close either. WTG on my face was good. ATG wasn’t bad either. There was some resistance but no rough patches as such. Nowhere got close to BBS though. Post shave feel was unimpressive and I can’t remember the fragrance at all. Still a good shave.


It’s fair to say that this falls at the budget end of the cost spectrum, despite the ‘luxury’ name, so maybe it should be judged on that basis.

The fragrance is described as a “subtle, floral scent” as I’d say that was fair. I found it fresh and pleasant, when I could detect it, which wasn’t often.

I struggled to produce lather loading for my usual amount of time, — several times I had to go back to the puck to re-load or simply loaded for longer at the start.

Slickness was decidedly average and I picked up nicks on most of my shaves. Post shave feel wasn’t great either, with my face left dry.

That said, it did the job and while it appears to have struggled my standards are pretty high. It’s usable, it produced a lather (which some products I have tested haven’t managed) and I was able to get a reasonable shave, but rarely more than that.

That’s about all I can say in its defence though. There are better soaps out there, even at this price point.

Filed under: Soap, Software

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

Last updated: December 3, 2016