Wickham Super Smooth Southsea Spray

9 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (9)
Wickham Super Smooth Southsea Spray

A soap from a small English artisan maker that has a big reputation. Sold as Huntlee in the US.

Used with: Super-Max Blue Diamond (3rd shave)

I scooped a blob about the size of a pea out of the tub with my little finger and put into a bowl, then lathered directly from it using my badger brush (I didn’t soak it first). Not sure this was the best technique. It’s quite a soft soap, certainly more of a croap. The scent is very clean and fresh, not sure how to describe it other than that, the name is perfect as it certainly has oceanic hints. I had no problem producing plenty of lather and didn’t use all of the stuff I’d plucked out. I felt slickness after each pass was average, but this was the first time I didn’t pick up a nick using this type of blade, despite doing a lot of touching up. It wasn’t a perfect finish, with plenty of patches. It didn’t quite make it to BBS in the best areas. Post shave feel was very good, very soft and smooth.

Used with: Gillette Silver Blue (2nd shave)

I scooped a bit more out this time, to join the remainder in my shave bowl, and pressed it flat. Then I soaked alongside my brush before lathering with my boar. I loaded for thirty seconds and wasn’t sure I had enough as it didn’t generate the foamy proto-lather that some soaps do. I needn’t have worried, I had plenty for two passes and touch-ups. Slickness after each application was fantastic, maybe even the best of any soap I’ve used. So I picked up zero nicks or irritation. The shave wasn’t perfect, with the odd patch on my neck and jawline. The rest was soft and smooth, close to BBS in most places, and over the line in some. That fresh scent was present again, still hard to describe, I recognise it, maybe some sort of soap powder, but invigorating regardless. Great post-shave feel too. All in all a very, very good shave.

Used with: Bolzano Superinox (1st shave)

I lathered off the thin layer still left in my bowl, using my badger brush. I had plenty for two passes and touch ups, but possibly not enough soap as it did start to break down during my second pass. Slickness was good rather than great this time. Having said that, I only picked up two nicks, one a weeper though, probably due to my touching up. The finish was decidedly patchy despite the extra work. Not a bad shave, but not a great one either.

Used with: Gillette 7 O’Clock Super Stainless (4th shave)

I added a bit more soap and soaked it before loading with my badger brush. Twenty seconds and I had plenty for two passes and a good amount of touching up. Slickness was again good between passes. I opened up one pre-existing nick, but was otherwise I was nick and irritation free (and even that sealed itself during clean-up). The blade had tugged on the previous shave, but it wasn’t noticeable this time. The finish was smooth, with very few patches to disturb it, not as close as some ATG. A few areas made it to BBS though. Great refreshing blast of fragrance this time, very enlivening in the morning. Post shave feel was good too. A very good shave.

Used with: Sputnik (2nd shave)

I didn’t add any more soap, just soaked what was in the bowl before loading with my badger brush. Lather exploded off it and I had plenty for two passes and touch ups. Slickness was good once again, although not as good as with some. I picked up a solitary nick, which was due to some overzealous work at the end, as was the slight irritation on my top lip (I had so much lather I just kept going). The extra work paid off in that I had few patches and was left with a smooth finish. It made it into BBS country in a few places, but was largely just smooth. Loving the fragrance and post shave was again good. Another very good shave.

Verdict

Always slightly concerning when you get something for free and have to review it, you feel guilty if you can’t give it a rave review. Any fears were unfounded here as the soap performed very well. In fact it was so good it ranked amongst the best soaps I’ve used. The fragrance is unique, very fresh and invigorating, fantastic in fact. That would mean nothing if the rest wasn’t up to par, but I got consistently good shaves from tiny amounts of soap. Easy to lather and with enough slickness to prevent nicks even where some others didn’t, it really was pleasing to use. I have no qualms about recommending this to anyone.

Disclosure: I received a free sample of this product courtesy of Wickham.

Filed under: Soap, Software

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

Last updated: February 4, 2015