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Joel's Le Royale Moroccan Spearmint Soap

Item Description

Gentlemen --

Since finding B&B in late '07, I've [STRIKE]obsessively collected[/STRIKE] obtained & used a lot of soaps. Many of them, especially the vintage tallow ones, border on greatness. They do so for many reasons: cushion, slickness, scent, post-shave feel -- you guys know the drill. Ideally, we're all searching for that one, matchless puck where all of those elements combine faultlessly, thus delivering perfect shaves every time.

For the last several months, I've had the distinct pleasure of being able to use a soap made by Joel, one of B&B's founders. He calls it "Le Royale." And while it might not be "faultless" in every single way -- YMMV & all that -- it's quite possibly among the most perfect soaps I've ever had the good fortune to own & use.

Let me explain.

Joel kindly included a puck of this soap along with a Shavemac I bought from him. I had read about it here, along with various accolades from others who had used it, so I was pretty psyched to try it out for myself. He included a note saying he had altered the process slightly that he uses to make it, so it "might not work." But you know what?

It works. :biggrin:

As you can see from the pics in Joel's thread (above), the lather is everything it should be. Thick. Creamy. Unctuous. It softens your beard just the way it should. It feels great on your face. It provides a close, cushiony lather. It smells good (more on this later). But the most singular thing about this soap -- the one thing that sets it apart from all the others -- is this: its healing, skin-conditioning properties. Yes, that's right: skin-conditioning.

Shortly after receiving it, Joel emailed me. "Use the soap for at least a week straight for best results," he said. "It will actually re-condition your skin. Sounds weird, but try it and lemme know."

Re-condition my skin? Huh? He was right -- it sounded weird. I didn't know what to expect. But it sounded good, so I followed his advice.

After 3 days, I started to see what he was talking about. My skin just felt ... I dunno ... different. Better. Smoother. Healthier. Fresher. As if the top layers had re-grown themselves with plumper, moister skin cells. Not that I have bad skin to begin with -- I don't. In fact, I would say my skin's in pretty good condition. But this was a whole other level of "good," and I don't think I was imagining it.

I suppose one could argue that mentally, I had set myself up for a placebo effect due to Joel's email along with my excitement about finally getting to use his soap. But again, I don't think so. This was a noticeable, discernible difference that I didn't so much see as much as feel. I wrote back to him with my observations and basically asked him, what's IN this stuff!? Here's his reply:

There are a metric s**t ton of butters/oils in it... I mean we're talking dozens. The key is a combo of super fats as well as cutting agents, coupled with vitamins and extracts to really make the magic happen. [Emphasis mine.]

Essentially, this is a superfatted, healing soap. It's easy to lather, and the lather is absolutely gorgeous. It provides a close, comfortable, cushioned shave. It leaves my skin feeling wonderful post-shave, in the same way a vintage tallow soap does. However, very much UNLIKE a tallow soap, if used for several days in a row it actually "re-conditions" my skin, which is what's truly remarkable about this product.

So am I a fan? Most definitely. Do I have any criticisms at all? Well, a couple.

After I received the Shavemac I bought from him, I asked Joel if he recommended using it with his soap. His reply was interesting:

"You could use it immediately, but it is going to soften the brush quite a bit, so if I were you, I'd try it out for a week with a cheaper brush first, then decide if you like the shavemac as is, or change it how it affected your other brush."

In other words, since the soap is so superfatted it'll ultimately soften the bristles of whatever brush you use with it. Therefore, I've made my Simpsons PJ1 my "Le Royale" brush of choice. I'd like to use others with it, and I'm betting that if I just use them once or twice it won't affect things all that much. But still, I'm a bit skittish. Then again, it certainly hasn't made my PJ1 go all floppy on me. So I think we're talking subtleties here.

My only other criticism has to do with the scent. Joel scented this soap with real, Moroccan spearmint. It smells great but obviously, scent is a very personal thing. Spearmint wouldn't be my first choice. Sandalwood, however ... :drool:

I've also noticed that the scent has fallen off quite a bit since I first received the soap back in January. While it was never out-and-out in your face strong (like QED's soaps, for example), it was much more than just noticeable. Now, however, it's very muted. This may have a lot to do with the fact that I've chosen to keep the soap uncovered.

Aside from these two nits, I think the Le Royale soap is very nearly as perfect as it's possible for a shaving soap to be. It does everything it's supposed to do, it does it well, it smells good, and it's healing & conditioning to boot. What more could you ask for?

Oh yeah -- I suppose you could ask for it to be available. Joel? Any plans to market this soap? :w00t::thumbup1:

Latest reviews

Gentlemen --

Since finding B&B in late '07, I've [STRIKE]obsessively collected[/STRIKE] obtained & used a lot of soaps. Many of them, especially the vintage tallow ones, border on greatness. They do so for many reasons: cushion, slickness, scent, post-shave feel -- you guys know the drill. Ideally, we're all searching for that one, matchless puck where all of those elements combine faultlessly, thus delivering perfect shaves every time.

For the last several months, I've had the distinct pleasure of being able to use a soap made by Joel, one of B&B's founders. He calls it "Le Royale." And while it might not be "faultless" in every single way -- YMMV & all that -- it's quite possibly among the most perfect soaps I've ever had the good fortune to own & use.

Let me explain.

Joel kindly included a puck of this soap along with a Shavemac I bought from him. I had read about it here, along with various accolades from others who had used it, so I was pretty psyched to try it out for myself. He included a note saying he had altered the process slightly that he uses to make it, so it "might not work." But you know what?

It works. :biggrin:

As you can see from the pics in Joel's thread (above), the lather is everything it should be. Thick. Creamy. Unctuous. It softens your beard just the way it should. It feels great on your face. It provides a close, cushiony lather. It smells good (more on this later). But the most singular thing about this soap -- the one thing that sets it apart from all the others -- is this: its healing, skin-conditioning properties. Yes, that's right: skin-conditioning.

Shortly after receiving it, Joel emailed me. "Use the soap for at least a week straight for best results," he said. "It will actually re-condition your skin. Sounds weird, but try it and lemme know."

Re-condition my skin? Huh? He was right -- it sounded weird. I didn't know what to expect. But it sounded good, so I followed his advice.

After 3 days, I started to see what he was talking about. My skin just felt ... I dunno ... different. Better. Smoother. Healthier. Fresher. As if the top layers had re-grown themselves with plumper, moister skin cells. Not that I have bad skin to begin with -- I don't. In fact, I would say my skin's in pretty good condition. But this was a whole other level of "good," and I don't think I was imagining it.

I suppose one could argue that mentally, I had set myself up for a placebo effect due to Joel's email along with my excitement about finally getting to use his soap. But again, I don't think so. This was a noticeable, discernible difference that I didn't so much see as much as feel. I wrote back to him with my observations and basically asked him, what's IN this stuff!? Here's his reply:

There are a metric s**t ton of butters/oils in it... I mean we're talking dozens. The key is a combo of super fats as well as cutting agents, coupled with vitamins and extracts to really make the magic happen. [Emphasis mine.]

Essentially, this is a superfatted, healing soap. It's easy to lather, and the lather is absolutely gorgeous. It provides a close, comfortable, cushioned shave. It leaves my skin feeling wonderful post-shave, in the same way a vintage tallow soap does. However, very much UNLIKE a tallow soap, if used for several days in a row it actually "re-conditions" my skin, which is what's truly remarkable about this product.

So am I a fan? Most definitely. Do I have any criticisms at all? Well, a couple.

After I received the Shavemac I bought from him, I asked Joel if he recommended using it with his soap. His reply was interesting:

"You could use it immediately, but it is going to soften the brush quite a bit, so if I were you, I'd try it out for a week with a cheaper brush first, then decide if you like the shavemac as is, or change it how it affected your other brush."

In other words, since the soap is so superfatted it'll ultimately soften the bristles of whatever brush you use with it. Therefore, I've made my Simpsons PJ1 my "Le Royale" brush of choice. I'd like to use others with it, and I'm betting that if I just use them once or twice it won't affect things all that much. But still, I'm a bit skittish. Then again, it certainly hasn't made my PJ1 go all floppy on me. So I think we're talking subtleties here.

My only other criticism has to do with the scent. Joel scented this soap with real, Moroccan spearmint. It smells great but obviously, scent is a very personal thing. Spearmint wouldn't be my first choice. Sandalwood, however ... :drool:

I've also noticed that the scent has fallen off quite a bit since I first received the soap back in January. While it was never out-and-out in your face strong (like QED's soaps, for example), it was much more than just noticeable. Now, however, it's very muted. This may have a lot to do with the fact that I've chosen to keep the soap uncovered.

Aside from these two nits, I think the Le Royale soap is very nearly as perfect as it's possible for a shaving soap to be. It does everything it's supposed to do, it does it well, it smells good, and it's healing & conditioning to boot. What more could you ask for?

Oh yeah -- I suppose you could ask for it to be available. Joel? Any plans to market this soap? :w00t::thumbup1:
Price
1.00 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)

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