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Art of Shaving - Sandalwood Soap

Item Description

I've tried several glycerin and triple milled soaps and this is the best yet. It's extremely easy to get tons of great lather, and protects the face well when shaving. Here's the breakdown:

Price:
$40 for a soap with bowl or $22 for the refill. This is inline with the pricier English soaps such as T&H and GFT. Not exactly cheap but it will last you for many months of daily shaving.

Quality:
Everything from the packaging, the bowl and the soap itself is only of the highest quality.

The soap also uses tallow as a base and not vegetable oils which a lot of people believe gives a superior lather.

Scent:
The sandalwood scent is probably the only sandalwood I like. However, it still smells a little old manish to me. The scent stays around for quite a while after you shave and any women coming into close contact with you will be able to detect it. While I enjoy the scent, I will probably pick up a lavender refill when it runs out.

Lather:
After soaking my brush and putting a bit of water on the puck for a few minutes it will give tons of lather in very little time.

Efficacy:
This is by far the most protective soap I've tried. It cushions almost as well as a cream and will prevent nicks and cuts better than most other soaps.

Moisturizing:
It's very moisturizing even in the cold Canadian winter.

Latest reviews

Pros: rich thick lather, moisturizing, lathers easily
Cons: too light of scent
Price: This is probably the most expensive soap I have purchased thus far, so I felt I should downgrade it. It is not as expensive as others, but for me this is pricey. Quality: Absolutely top-notch. No complaints at all, except that I would prefer a stronger Sandalwood scent. That is my only gripe. Scent: While nice, it could definitely have stood to be stronger. I liked it, but wish it was more pronounced. It is definitely masculine, though, just very light. Lather: Thick and cushioning. It was very easy to produce a thick, rich, moisturizing and cushioning lather. It was super-slick and my razor glided right over it. Efficacy: Very nice. This easily earns a spot in my soap rotation, and will probably be a strong contender for traveling soap, something that my lifestyle actually necessitates. Moisturizing: I would be so bold as to say that this is in league with MWF in terms of moisturizing. My face felt soft and supple hours after my shave, more so than usual.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Lather
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Efficacy
5.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
5.00 star(s)
luv this soap
have same 1 in wood bowl
high usa quality
Art of Shaving soap provides excellent lubrication. It's the most protective soap I've found. The lather is luxurious, rich, and soft. It mixes rather easily with water, forming a clean solution and a rich lather without being greedy of the water, so it's able to tolerably wet the beard, without drying out itself. And my face feels good after using it. For the basic needs of shaving, there's little room for improvement.

While this is a very high quality tallow soap, there's also a softer component to the soap which is either a positive or a negative, depending on what you want. This softer component seems to come from coconut or palm oil. I'd compare this soft side to D R Harris, which is primarily vegetable mixed with tallow. Harris provides a luxurious, but rather soft-feeling lather, which can be too soft or not viscous & protective enough. AoS flips this around, being primarily tallow mixed with vegetable. The result is a thicker, more protective lather than Harris, but one that's not quite as soft feeling. I mentioned that this softer component is well blended with the tallow, so the result feels like a homogeneous product. I'd contrast this with Tabac which feels on the face like there are other ingredients floating and oozing around in the mix. You don't get this feeling from AoS, but you do get the benefits of a softer, more luxurious feeling lather. The one place where the separate ingredients show themselves is when forming a thin lather. While AoS takes water on early and slowly, there's a point at which it just barely forms slight curds and the soap feels slightly drier as you add water. I'd guess this is the point at which one component starts to saturate, while the other is still on its water slurping curve. The only practical down side is that there's a spot at which you can ruin your lather. For me, there's an additional issue. I like to use the full range of lathers, from a drippy mess, to a very thick and dry lather. AoS isn't very useful in that wet, but not quite dripping, barrier range, unlike Czech & Speake which doesn't have this clumping stage. All of this is nitpicking for most people, but I'm deducting a point for it from lather. I'm also deducting a point from efficacy for this softness, knowing full well that some people would add a point for this.

One other slight miss is that it's not the easiest soap to clean off, but it's well above many other tallow soaps in ease of cleaning. It seems as if there's a direct relationship between protection and ease of cleaning, so this probably can't be helped. For this, I'm deducting another point from lather. Perhaps that's the wrong place to deduct, and it certainly seems closer to a 10 than an 8 in lather, but I'm stuck as to where else to remove the point.

The AoS scents are acceptable, even quite good, if not outstanding. I'm not a big fan of scents one way or the other, and couldn't tell you offhand which one is in my den, since I have all four scents. The lemon may be the truest to life, but it also has oils that may be unpleasant on some faces. The lavender is a bit much, smelling a bit artificial, not quite like flowers. The unscented smells frankly, but cleanly & honestly of tallow. The one in the shaving area turns out to be sandlewood. It's not a bad scent at that. It's mildly scented--more mildly scented than the others--so a hint of the frank tallowness comes through. I think lightly scenting it was the right choice. Despite the good marks for scent, I'm deducting a point for quality because AoS don't meet a high standard in scents across the varieties.

The price is on the high side, outside what I'd consider mainstream acceptable, but not quite in the luxury price range. A bowl will double the price, but it's one of the nicer, higher craftsmanship bowls available, with nice wood and finish, and this step will complete the transition to a luxury product.

For the record, NYC water is one of the softest in the world, with a mineral content almost dangerously low.
Price
1.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Lather
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
3.00 star(s)

Item information

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Reviews
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0.14 star(s) 29 ratings

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