So what's wrong with Williams exactly?

Discussion in 'Shaving Soaps' started by dk_ace, May 12, 2011.

  1. Granted I'm a newb, but I don't get the hate for modern Williams. I've been wetshaving for around two months now. I've used VDH Deluxe the whole time, and I got great lather the first day and everyday since (I read a tutorial here and I guess I just have a knack for it).

    Last night I stopped into CVS and saw the Williams soap. It was super cheap and listed tallow as an ingredient. I wanted to try a different soap, so I grabbed it. When I got home I looked it up here and found that hardly anyone had anything good to say about it.

    This morning I tried it. I had no problem getting a good lather, although I had to whip it around a bit longer than I do VDH. Anyway, it gave a great shave and it was a nice change of pace from the VDH.

    I'm about to order Tabac to see if one of the raved about soaps is really that much better, but I'm just not seeing where all the hate comes from. Williams does the job. The scent was a little strong last night out of the box, but when I left it in the air last night and it was a lot softer this AM.


  2. this is its biggest fault. i struggled with mine for months. even tossed it in the trash at least one time maybe two. i dug it out and decided i wasnt going to let it beat me. long story short i just gave it more time whipping it up and it paid off. i cursed that puck for 6 months to realize it was my own fault. lesson learned: some soaps take longer to make lather. ie Williams.
  3. Nothing wrong with Williams. Some just don't realize it takes more time to get a great lather. Also, the scent is a problem for some. Me, I like it. :thumbup1:
  4. You do have to whip it around for a minute, but keep in mind the stuff costs a buck and can be found at your local drug store.

    The scent doesn't bother me, it was a little stong last night though. It doesn't smell like a premium scent or anything. To me, it smells like a strong, but generic, soap smell. Once I lathered it up I couldn't smell it anymore at all.

  5. Modern Scent needs to be left out on the counter a few days unwrapped.
    TIME Old Pre 2005 Williams according to Michiganlover and Pre 1990 or 1985 with me Williams Lathers easier, quicker and has a much richer and slick lather that you can get from a Post 2005 puck.

    Also the biggest secret I have gathered from Anti Williams post is it is senstive to water hardness. I have soft water and with a 20 minute hot water puck I can beat up a lather that rivials a whipped egg topping.
  6. I find that i get the best lather with Williams when i lather directly on the puck in whatever mug/bowl i have it in.
  7. I'm not sure when the one I have was made. I gather it can't be that hot of an item at CVS, so it may have been sitting there for some time. I'll check that later.

    I have quite soft water, so that may be part of the reason it worked so well for me. I just soaked the top of the puck for a few minutes.

  8. It's a very basic hard soap. Nothing is wrong with it, except when you compare it with modern soaps, it lacks the extra ingredients others have :

    • foaming agents so it lathers faster
    • more efficient moisturizers
    • better fragrances, notably to mask the tallow odour (which dissipates with time)
    • a water emulsion, so you don't have to soak it before first use
    • a chemical composition that is not sensible to water hardness
    • etc
    A tip : I keep my puck in a closed container so it remains moist.
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  9. I love Williams! It just takes more time to whip up perfect lather that is suitable for shaving. People around bash it because they are using the likes of Tabac, Cella, MWF etc......and there is no way modern Williams will stack up to these greats in their minds. If you like Williams and it works for you...Congrats and join the club! :thumbup1:
  10. Well I'm not going crazy then!

    I'm still going to order Tabac just to see how it stacks up. That is likely to be the last soap purchase for me though. I could be perfectly happy with just the Williams and VDH, but I want to try a good modern soap to see what it has going for it. The things I've read about it make me think it will be right up my alley. Those three pucks will likely last me for an extremely long time.

  11. You know, I wanted to like Williams. Sounds odd maybe, but it's true. It's what my Dad uses, and...well...he's my Dad!

    Just can't get over the smell....
  12. Oh how we have all told ourselves this in our naivety :lol:
  13. maxman

    maxman Moderator Emeritus

    To tell the truth, the actual dislike for Williams has been obscured somewhat over the years.
    Now it's more of a running joke than anything else.
    Most people have trouble getting good lather out of it or don't like the smell. You know the putrid citronella like smell?
    You won't see me use it as there are much better soaps out there.
  14. I think the rub is that the formula has changed and people who once liked it no longer do. Others don't like the scent. Personally I had no problem with it, and like the scent, but just prefer other stuff. Shaving soap lasts a long time so you'd have to pay an awful lot to not get your money's worth. You're the only judge and jury on what goes on your face. If you like it, go for it. I kind of like the fact that this is one of the old products that have stuck around, whereas so many others have gone by the wayside. I bought an old Seaforth! shaving mug on e-bay and was wishing I had the chance to try their once famous and now defunct Heather n' Fern soap and aftershave.
  15. But I really mean it. I know, I know...

    Seriously though, I have no intentions of buying lots of extra kit. Once I find what works for me, I have a tendency to stick with it. I'll try a few different things though to see what I like best. I got into this to save some money and get better results than the old M3.

  16. There's nothing really wrong with Williams. You get what you pay for. Don't expect triple milled quality out of a $1 puck.
  17. there's nothing wrong with Williams :001_smile
  18. Actually, there's something very right about Williams. Properly made, the lather has an exceptional and lasting slickness.

    Of course, if it dries your face (and you can't be troubled to apply a balm), or you can't stand the scent (lemon verbena isn't for everyone, although local soap artisans seem partial to it around these parts), or it's just too hard to make lather with (waaah!), then one is perfectly entitled to overlook "the slickness" and move on to another (usually more costly and delivery-delayed) soap. Enjoy yourself, I say! :001_smile
  19. Everybody loves Williams; the lovers because they eh.. love it. The bashers because they have such a great time hating it.

    I think it is maybe the only soap everybody wants to talk about!

    Nobody can do without!! :lol:
  20. There is nothing wrong with modern Williams.

    There's nothing wrong with McDonald's hamburgers.

    Nothing wrong with the Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Phil, and daytime soap operas.

    There's nothing wrong with high gas prices.

    Nothing wrong with pandering, ineffectual political leaders.

    Nothing wrong with the lack of a moral compass in this modern world.

    Nothing wrong about cannabalism.

    Yes, my friends, in summary, there is nothing at all wrong with anything in this brave new world where relativism, "I'm OK, you're OK..." is the standard to which all ascribe, and where it is now not OK to call a spade a spade. No, the idea that by expressing the truth about a soap that creates mounds of sudsy foam, but which lacks density, cushion, and evaporates quicker than a politician's scruples at election time. Nope, nothing wrong with corporate takeover and restructuring, and reformulation of a once fine, and proud, and damn fine shave soap till all that remains is just the name on the box. Nothing wrong with putting corporate profits, and the bottom line above such ideals as customer satisfaction.
    So sleep well, my shave brothers, there is nothing wrong with anything in this world.

Share This Page