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Acca Kappa 1869 Almond Shave Soap

Item Description

I once listed this shave soap as my worst purchase. Since that time, I revisited the soap and have come to a completely different conclusion.

First of all, I bought it some time ago through Menessentials. I bought the refill at $24 and while the accompanying bowl is beautiful, it was also somewhere around $70. (note: Menessentials no longer carries the bowl on their website). The refill is a great value for this huge chunk of soap (150 grams, 5.3 oz) and will last a very, very long time.

At first I wasn't a big fan of the scent, I would say somewhat like Amaretto. I also found that if I didn't allow the soap to dry before putting it away it developed a very strange, raunchy, chemical-like smell. While it's not my favorite scent, it has grown on me and is certainly a welcome smell in the morning.

Now to the business of lathering.

1) A thoroughly loaded Brush (B&B 2006)
View attachment 16710

2) Swirling in the bowl for 20 seconds
View attachment 16711

3) Two more additions of water plus more swirling
View attachment 16712

4) Brush ready to go. Please note, that this brush sucks up most of the produced lather, leaving not that much in the bowl.
View attachment 16716

5) After 4 passes, plenty of lather left, enough for at least another 2.
View attachment 16717


The soap is very protective, very slick, and I would say the moisturization level is medium which is just perfect for me. It provides a very close, comfortable, irritation free shave. In terms of performance this is an excellent veggie based soap and easily beats the pants off of L'Occitane (my other tripple-milled). Unfortunately I can't compare it to any tallow-based soaps but I can't imagine any soap being very much better than this one. While the scent is not my favorite, it is definitely my go-to soap for performance.

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Executive summary — lovely blossom-almondy fragrance, slickness above what is usual for soaps and creams, utterly terrible lather stability, moderate efficacy. 'Brushless in a puck'. Avoid.

Longer story — In my quest for finding an almond-scented soap, I stumbled across this offering from Acca Kappa. The high price for a puck (let alone the package with the wenge wood shaving bowl) always held me back, until I discovered an outlet where refill pucks were offered at a reasonable price (~ €16 for 150 g). Still on the expensive side per 100 g, but not very much so.

The scent of this soap is lovely. It isn't an in-your-face sweet or bitter almond fragrance (P.160, Valobra, Cella, respectively); instead it is much more blossom-y. It reminds me strongly of D.R. Harris' almond soap. If you like that fragrance, you will like Acca Kappa.

The ingredients of this soap are as follows: sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate, sodium laurate, potassium paurate, glycerin, aqua, sodium lactate, parfum, hexyldecanol, hexyldecyl laurate, polyquaternium 10, titanium Dioxide, and linalool. Besides being a vegetable soap, when I read this list I immediately knew this soap wasn't going to be a great performer lather-wise. The reason: it's all sodium compunds, and those do not generate a thick, stable lather. (Potassium is what you want here.) The first tests indicated as much: loading (either a silvertip or a boar) would proceed just fine, but the lather simply wouldn't collapse into a smooth and thick meringue. When I tried to apply the best-looking and -feeling lather to my face, or skip with the bowl and face-lather from the start, it was gone before I had been able to shave half of the stubble. Utterly terrible, especially when you have poor eyesight like me and rely on the sharp distinction between white lather and pinkish skin to show where the blade has been.

That said, Acca Kappa does contain two very unusual substances: hexydecanol and hexyldecyl laurate. What these two do is make the lather very slick, noticably more so than would be possible using a 'traditional' product. Even when the lather has evaporated, there will still be a layer of slickness adhering to the skin, allowing one to continue shaving without too much discomfort. Efficacy then turns out not to be too bad. Unfortunately, I couldn't shave any further after the first pass because there was no way I trusted myself to shave with a near-transparent layer of thin slick stuff acting as 'lather'. I therefore cannot say much about the moisturising properties of this product.

Given the above objections, I cannot be enthusiastic about the quality. It would be the work of moments to elevate the potassium content to increase the lather stability; then the product would be much, much more appreciated. In fact I've begun to think of Acca Kappa as a brushless product, but then in the unusual packaging of a puck of hard soap. As it stands now, I cannot recommend it, and in fact suggest that you avoid it.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
4.00 star(s)
Lather
0.00 star(s)
Quality
2.00 star(s)
Efficacy
3.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
1.00 star(s)
I once listed this shave soap as my worst purchase. Since that time, I revisited the soap and have come to a completely different conclusion.

First of all, I bought it some time ago through Menessentials. I bought the refill at $24 and while the accompanying bowl is beautiful, it was also somewhere around $70. (note: Menessentials no longer carries the bowl on their website). The refill is a great value for this huge chunk of soap (150 grams, 5.3 oz) and will last a very, very long time.

At first I wasn't a big fan of the scent, I would say somewhat like Amaretto. I also found that if I didn't allow the soap to dry before putting it away it developed a very strange, raunchy, chemical-like smell. While it's not my favorite scent, it has grown on me and is certainly a welcome smell in the morning.

Now to the business of lathering.

1) A thoroughly loaded Brush (B&B 2006)
View attachment 16710

2) Swirling in the bowl for 20 seconds
View attachment 16711

3) Two more additions of water plus more swirling
View attachment 16712

4) Brush ready to go. Please note, that this brush sucks up most of the produced lather, leaving not that much in the bowl.
View attachment 16716

5) After 4 passes, plenty of lather left, enough for at least another 2.
View attachment 16717


The soap is very protective, very slick, and I would say the moisturization level is medium which is just perfect for me. It provides a very close, comfortable, irritation free shave. In terms of performance this is an excellent veggie based soap and easily beats the pants off of L'Occitane (my other tripple-milled). Unfortunately I can't compare it to any tallow-based soaps but I can't imagine any soap being very much better than this one. While the scent is not my favorite, it is definitely my go-to soap for performance.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Lather
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
4.00 star(s)

Item information

Added by
Wilfrid Laurier
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Reviews
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