I have had the pleasure of testing the new QED rose shave soap. First let me quickly state, that I have tried a hard soap from nearly every manufacture out there (save for AOS) from Tabac, to muhle, to Dr Harris. If it is a top quality soap, chances are I have tried it. Although I prefer the shave quality of soaps, I am not too fond of their scent more precisely the lack their of. Few things are as regal of an experience as being flattened by an incredible fragrance, and thus far, shaving creams have been of greater interest to me, as their scents seem to be more intense.
Now with that said, the SECOND I screwed off the top of this QED Rose concoction I was taken aback by the intense, warm scent of the most magnificent rose available. Charles stated that he had gone thru great lengths to find such an incredible English rose scent, and may I be the first to commend him for his efforts. The closest example I can think of as comparison, is a mix of trumper coral skin food, and trumper rose then multiplying the intensity three fold. I say without hesitation that in my honest opinion, this is the finest rose my nose has had the pleasure of experiencing. A few little tidbits on this later, lets get down to the nitty gritty.
Size - At 5oz, this is a very healthy sized cake of soap. The container does not make the soap appear artificially large, as the wooden bowls do. As one can see by the pictures comparing my T&H soap to this QED soap, the QED soap is much larger.
Container- “ Charles was most concerned about the quality of container the soap would be in. Wood bowls can get nasty and are not convenient for travel, and are not cost effective. I personally feel this container is a slam dunk. By far the best container I have used when compared to other firms shaving cream containers, such as trumpers, truefitts, taylor, salter, etc. It closes firmly and is water tight, so no need to worry about a mess when traveling, yet it opens and closes smoothly, which I find pleasant. When you tighten a tub of taylor or trumpers, it opens in an abrupt motion. Maybe I am a bit of a stickler, but this plastic jar feels quite nice and is very secure. When lathering, unlike a wooden bowl, there is very little side runoff and very little mess to clean up. Two thumbs up from me.
Color - Check out the picsâ€¦. gorgeousâ€¦ I just wish monitors had a scratch and sniff feature, you gents would be going hog wild. Looks like coral skinfood in a jar, very pleasing to the eye.
Lather - Twirl the brush around about 20 times and examine the head of the brushâ€¦. Looks plenty loaded, start swirling the brush around your face and hot dog, that sucker opens up like a 426 hemi with the pedal to the metal. The entire bathroom explodes with an intense, yet calming rose scent, it is ALMOST overpowering. Seriously, this is like nothing I have ever experienced, this rose scent lightly clung to my skin for many hours, reminding me every so often of its presence. This soap lathers unlike any other soap I have experienced, it is a bit like the shave sticks, but the lather has an odd consistency and is a bit lumpy if you will.
Shave quality - Hold on to your boot straps gentlemen, what I am about to say is awfully profound. THIS IS THE BEST, I REPEAT BEST SHAVING LUBRICATION PRODUCT I HAVE EVER USED. This simply embarrasses the Truefitt and Hill soap I once thought was king. Get this this soap provides SO much lubrication that after the first pass with my merkur vision, I began applying fresh hot water to my face to go for a second pass, and my hands were slipping all over my face odd I thought, so I stopped adding water and began spreading the first splash of water I had put on my face. My entire face was heavily lubricated, so I got a wild hair and decided I was going to make my second pass WITHOUT re-lathering, just with a bit of additional water. Results? Incredibly close, no irritation. Well I decided to keep playing around, so I wet my face again, lathered up with the brush, and shaved again. I did this 3 more times Six passes with ZERO drag, irritation, etc. In fact, my face felt amazing, there was simply no need to use ANY sort of aftershave product AT ALL. My face felt heavily moisturized soothed and irritation free, not to mention baby butt smooth. The picture above is what was left in the brush AFTER 6 passes.
Overall - This is the finest shaving product I have used, and I am seriously considering selling a good portion of my creams after having used this soap. This is definitely it for me, and I will be using this soap AT LEAST 3 days a week. Hassle free, incredible scent, excellent value, cool container, quick lathering, moisturizing, soothing, etc. What more can you ask for. At a price of $10 a pop, this stuff is a bargain. If you are a fan of hard soaps, or just incredible products as a whole, try a jar of this stuff. If you buy some and you dont like it, contact me and we can try to work out some kind of buy/trade.
A few side notes - This soap lathers like heck and doesn't require much soap to get a whole lot of lather in an awfully big brush like mine. I think it would only take about 10 swirls or so to give you enough lather for a good 4 or 5 passes. At 6 passes I had a ton of lather left. The label is a beta label, and there is a misspelling in essentials. Charles is well aware of this little goof, and informed me about it before it was sent to me. The soap is melted to the bowl, so it does not wiggle or bounce AT ALL when used. The tubs are not designed to be replaced, and at $10 for 5oz including the tub, you can't really complain too much, as it obviously isn't much of a cost.
Gripes - I would like the ability to buy the cakes without the tubs, as I personally like to place my cakes of soap in a covered bowl purchased from classicshaving. If you notice the entire bowl does in fact fit perfectly into my soap bowl, but nonetheless I think some gents would appreciate it sans tub. I will say this though the tub is awfully neat. My only other gripe would be the lack of other scents, however I have not had a chance to speak with Charles about this, and I am sure he will make the rest of his soap scents available in the shaving soap. Maybe a violet soap? Only one other suggestion I could possibly come up with, colored jars? I think different colored jars/labels would add a very nice touch to the already fantastic product. Honestly though, overall when the product is a 10 out of 10, you sure can't complain much.
Ease of use 10
Shave Quality 10