Price: Some may initially balk at the price of this soap; $48.00 CONUS (34,00 Euro) as it appears to be a bit more than some of us would initially spend, until you realize the bar is 250gr, putting it in the same range of higher end soaps where this soap clearly belongs. With the typical refill of higher end soaps being 100gr, this thing is big and will last a significant amount of time in the typical rotation or even as a primary soap. Without question I would pay full price for this product. I was fortunate to see this for sale on the Contributors Forum at a very good price: Thank you again Austin, and Cheech, I gave you a chance! (One more reason for those reading this to become a contributor!)
Quality: The quality starts before opening the box; it starts with the box. The box is a firm cardboard, in an elegant and traditional dark blue with silver lettering and the Boellis crest with almost a linen feel to it. The bar is wrapped in heavy cellophane and secured with a wax string and a presentation sheet. I could not find a clear ingredient list, but all literature clearly stated the use of “all natural ingredients” and “pure almond oil” The Boellis literature states: “The line is hand-made in Naples in the original barber spa shop using traditional methods and recipes dating from the beginning of the century.” The first time I opened the box, it felt as if there was something special inside: there was.
Scent: It is generally described as a “Subtle almond” as it contains pure almond oil. Personally, the smell after lathering is a clean, natural type of smell with no chemical overtones. I typically go for more scented creams and soaps; roses, lavenders, bay rum, ect, I found this lack of a strong smell to be a part of a more refined, simplified shave.
Lather: The Boellis Panama did not disappoint. Each day I stood the bar on its end in approximately ¼ inch of water to soften it. A couple times I used a bowl to create lather, the last two or three times I applied it directly to my face like a stick. Both worked very well. I have not yet milled any into a bowl; I would assume the results would be positive. Lather was easily produced using either my “hard soap” brush or my “floppy cream” brush. The lather was consistently very thick, giving a cushioning effect that is what I expect out of Tallow soap. I used various DE’s and two different straights. I threw as many combinations at it as I could and it took it all with aplomb. I was in no way disappointed through the week; the first day after applying some to my hand, I was able to dip it in the sink of warm water numerous times and still have some lather and a shiny layer on my skin. This is good stuff you can rely on.
Moisturizing: I found this Tallow based soap to be very moisturizing. It was clearly in the league and ahead of most of my typical rotation of TOBS, T&H, and C&E soaps and creams due to its moisturizing ability. I typically use an AS Balm for additional moisturizing. After my first use of Boellis Panama, my face was very moist, and retained this quality through most of the day. I have not used a balm this entire week, or additional moisturizers and my face is supple, moist, and smooth. (That’s according to LOTH!)
Efficacy: Does Boellis 1924 Panama meet its goal as intended? For me, I would say clearly, yes. My use of this soap for one week was very rewarding. At no time did I open up the den and think about grabbing some other soap or cream. By the third day I was comfortable reaching for the box, knowing it would deliver a thick, buffering lather, with a light understated fragrance that would leave my skin soft, moist, and ready for the aftershave of the day. I could see this soap easily lead to a selling off of numerous items from my den and becoming my “signature soap”