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Mitchell's Wool Fat Shaving Soap

Item Description

Tallow based shaving soap with lanolin (in a very beautiful ceramic container)
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Well, I'm disappointed...
Pros: Beautiful ceramic container
Very agreeable scent
Cons: Quality of lather
I finally got the chance to test the famous/controversial MWF. And I'm disappointed.
To get some issues of minor importance out of the way:
1) The dish: the ceramic dish is a thing of beauty, but very slippery.
2) The scent: I think the scent is quite agreeable, soft soapy. But then again tell me? What the **** is the importance of the scent of shaving soaps? The moment you rinse your face after your shave it's gone. Why all the fuss about pairing shaving soap with after shave? It's the performance that counts. NOT the scent. For many modern 'artisan' soap makers, the scent seems to be their most important selling point. I don't get it. That's why I appreciate these old soap companies like Tabac (1 scent), Santa Maria Novella (1 scent), Mitchell's (1 scent)...

...and that's why I am disappointed with this soap. To avoid making a similar mistake as with my Oumo brush review that I awarded 5 stars only to find out its shortcomings a little after, I tried this soap out exclusively for two weeks. I didn't change any of my other tools (SOC Badger. Fatip open comb with Willy's blade) or 'acquired technique' (face lathering) to be able to make this review as honest as I could.

The soap lathers up as easily as my Tabac, Proraso, SMN of MDC soaps. The problem is the quality and longevity of the lather. Once lathered, you have to be fast to do your shave as the lather seems to disappear before your eyes. Day and night difference to my best rated SMN soap. The lather also never ever gets the same density as any of these other soaps I mentioned. I am hardly able to lather up from my brush for a second pass... When rinsing your brush, you hear an atypical sizzling as the lather dissolves in the water. This seems to be a very aquafobic soap for sure! Is it the hardness of my water? Is it my lathering technique? I don't know but it just doesn't work for me.
After shave skin feel is also pretty average imho...
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Lather
3.00 star(s)
Quality
3.00 star(s)
Efficacy
3.00 star(s)
Moisturizing
4.00 star(s)
J
JanVanDerVoort
So the other day my geyser 'exploded' due to lack of maintenance of the pressure valves. The ideal moment to switch to a solar geyser and have a water softener installed as I do have pretty hard water (476 ppm).
I gave the MWF another try. But unfortunately, the softer water didn't make even the smallest improvement. The soap lathers dense and easily but once you finished shaving side A of your face the soap on side B has virtually disappeared. And again, when rinsing the brush you hear the soap sizzle away...
No other of my favourite soaps (Santa Maria Novella, Tabac, Martin de Candre, or even 'cheapy' Proraso) have an issue with hard water. And rinsing the brush with these soaps doesn't cause a sizzling concert. What am I doing wrong here as MWF is a people's favourite???
phillylion
phillylion
I’ve used MWF in my rotation for years and never experienced what you have.
phillylion
phillylion
Your post intrigued me. So I used MWF for the next few shaves to test it out. I used a Rooney Super Badger that holds a lot of water, each time. What you described seemed to me to be a water problem, that I never experienced with MWF. The first shave l left most of the water in the brush, which I do with most brushes--and I got the same result you did--no density at all. For my next shave, I gave it one good shake, and got a lot of the water out--pretty much same result as the first shave--no real density. On my 3rd shave, I gave the brush a good squeeze, getting most of the water out, and --voila--perfect, thick lather. Background--I have a couple dozen brushes that I rotate with a dozen different soaps, so using that brush with that soap sure hasn't happened very much, if at all. But hopefully, maybe you'll get better results using very little water. I'd be curious.

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JanVanDerVoort
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