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Barbus

Item Description

Unless you visit the Czech Republic or Slovakia, you're very unlikely to see this cream, which is a shame because it's the best I've ever used, and at about one pound fifty pence for a 150g tub, you can't go wrong. It gives a rich, creamy lather and provides a really smooth shave, like a teflon-coated blade cutting through butter, and you never get that feeling of a dry patches. With this stuff I can quite happily use Feather blades for three weeks.
Latherability is great if you live in a soft water area, but a few weeks ago I tried it East Anglia, notorious for its hard water. It produced very little lather, and I ended up using water that had been through a water filter and was then boiled up in a kettle. So bear this in mind.
It is also a great moisturiser. I never have to use a shaving balm or anything else after shaving with this.
The only real downside is the fragrance. It's not offensive or anything, just a bit soapy. I just wish they would do it with a range of scents like sandalwood (my favourite). The packaging is utililitarian - a blue plastic tub with a screw on lid which can be a little diffcult to unscrew if you have wet soapy hands. It's very useful for keeping little things in, but you'll only get one of these tubs every six months, because that's how long 150g of Barbus lasts, and I whip up an awful lot of lather every morning.

Latest reviews

Pros: Cheap
Cons: Scent, not very easy to find
This one is the first Soap puck to Shave Stick transformation in order to review it in the Shave Stick Review Project. I don't think it's a very popular product. I don't think it's the best product but it will get you there. How to make the shave stick is something that I've been looking at more seriously lately ( http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/350846-Creating-a-shave-stick-container, http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/Creating_A_Shave_Stick, http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/167310-made-a-proraso-shave-stick, http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/351023-Which-Tools-Do-I-Need-to-Make-Shave-Stick-Holders, http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/359104-Let-me-present-the-shave-stick-maker!)

The Barbus soap is more of a croap than anything else. The texture is simliar to Cella but the scent is far, very far from Cella. It has a very heavy laundry detergent scent. If you like that, you should like this soap a lot. The lather is easy to make and rich at first but somehow, drying as you use it. I did notice an interesting fact after a few shaves (where it gets past the 1 week of using this every day). The second and third pass are drier than the first. It seems like this one is not mixing as easily as my other soaps (Wilkinson Sword Shave Stick as an example).

I tried a few different methods to fix this but the most efficient one was to press the brush on the sides of the shave cup when I put it in the water. That way, any air trapped in the middle of the brush would come out and the bristles in the middle would be completely soaked. It's something that I never had to do with any of my soaps before. Since I started doing that, no more drying lather on pass 2 and dry lather on pass 3. The lather is now perfect from pass 1 to 3. The bristles are able to absorb more water while I'm in the shower.

In order to get a good idea, I decided to do the same test with the wilkinson sword stick (my new control group stick) and push the air out when I used it. The result was great and the lather was even easier to make. Not that Wilkinson Sword had any issues to start with but I think that my brush is so dense in the middle that 5 minutes might not be enough to soak all the required water. Since Wilkinson Sword does not require as much water, it works great regardless.

It's interesting as I did not have that issue when using the De Vergulde Hand Shave Stick (which was thirstier)

I also did the usual tests doing Uberlather and Superlather. Both done with the air pushed out of the brush. The Superlather was very impressive, like a yogurt consistency. I used my left over sample of Edwin Jagger Menthol shave cream. The Uberlather added a bit of slickness but not much more than what I already had.

In the end, I think the performances of this soap are fine but more of it comes back to the scent. If you like the laundry soap scent, this one is for you. If you just find it okay, try something different.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Scent
2.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
3.00 star(s)
Packaging
5.00 star(s)
Latherability
3.00 star(s)
Moisturizing Properties
3.00 star(s)
Price

In Europe, this stuff costs a few bucks. I paid a little more than that because I'm in the U.S. and bought it from a member who lives in the Czech Republic. Still, it was less than the cost of a tube or tub of Proraso delivered to my door. Considering how long this tub will probably last, that's more than fair.

Quality

This is a simple drugstore product. It's not a high end luxury product and shouldn't be judged as such. That said, the quality is quite good for a drugstore shaving cream or soap. What I like is that there are no detergents like SLS in it and the ingredients list is very short and simple.

Here are the ingredients:

Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Coconut Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Parfum, Boric Acid, Linalool, Coumarin, Limonene, Citral, Geranil, Citronellol.

Scent

The scent is nothing special. It basically smells like an industrial grade laundry detergent. I will say that the scent is subdued and very inoffensive to my nose. It's not going to win any awards but isn't bad or overpowering.

Latherability

This stuff whips up a very nice lather with very little effort.

Efficacy

This works well and gives a close, comfortable shave, but you have to use it properly. The first time I tried it, I loaded too much soap on my brush and my lather ended up too thick and dry. That caused my blade to drag and I had a very uncomfortable shave. To top it off, I ended up with irritated skin due to having too much concentrated soap on my face.

The key is not to load to much soap on your brush. This is very thick, paste like stuff and takes a little more water than other creams and soaps I've tried. It's also highly concentrated so you just a bit clumped on the ends of your bristles to get a nice lather. When loaded up properly, the lather it gives is probably closer to a soap than a cream but offers a good deal of cushion (as good as many more expensive creams/soaps) and allows the razor to glide nicely. I also found it worked better if I put a teaspoon or two of water on top of the soap to let if soften before loading up the brush. Basically I would recommend experimenting with this product to get the soap to water ratio just right, especially if you don't use soft soaps all the time.

Moisturizing Properties

I didn't find it super drying, but it was not as moisturizing as some creams and soaps I've used. I was somewhat surprised by this as Glycerin is the second ingredient listed, but perhaps it doesn't contain enough to make it super moisturizing. No big deal, since I use moisturizer on my face every day anyway, and often finish my shave with an aftershave balm.

Packaging

It comes in a plastic bowl with a screw top lid. I like that the bowl has a flatter profile than the bowls you get with the Proraso soft soap. Also, the bowl appears to be recyclable, which is nice. The box the plastic bowl of shave cream/soap comes in is a standard paperboard box you'd expect from a drugstore product.


Overall, this is a interesting product that delivers a good shave and is very economical. Of course, there are other products that do a better job, but I still think this is well worth trying.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
4.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Latherability
5.00 star(s)
Moisturizing Properties
3.00 star(s)
I was lucky to get a hand on that, thanks to a fellow member from Czech Republic :thumbup1:
First the packaging is great, it comes in a nice blue bowl, a bit Proraso style of bowl.
The price is quite good.
For the latherability its a 10/10, it create a rich and thick lather. Very protective.
The only downpoint is the scent, a scent that is not repulsive at all but nothing great also.
I would say the scent is better than a Arko stick.
On overall i will keep that product in my soap/cream rotation for sure.
Price
5.00 star(s)
Scent
3.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Efficacy
5.00 star(s)
Packaging
5.00 star(s)
Latherability
5.00 star(s)
Moisturizing Properties
5.00 star(s)

Item information

Added by
shaven
Views
230
Reviews
6
Last update
Rating
0.50 star(s) 6 ratings

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