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Tabac - and no, not the one that you're thinking of

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Tabac soap has been mentioned many, many times on this board. I've read several reviews, and have always wanted to try it out. I've only had a few since I started wet shaving, though- I started out with Proraso cream, tried some Williams mug shaving soap, and finally found an almond flavor of the illustrious Colonel Conk.

I thought the Proraso was too mediciney and goopy (sorry, fans); Williams never produced much lather for me (although I admit my technique was probably the culprit); Colonel Conk's almond was much better than the rest and I enjoyed the scent. I used it all the way to the spare scrubbings left in the plastic bin. In a search for picking out a new soap (I've decided that cream is too wasteful and messy; again, my technique, I'm sure) I wanted to try Tabac.

After a few searches, I found a non-traditional Tabac; that is, one that I knew wasn't the "real" product. It sounded quite wonderful, though- handmade with tender love and care, natural ingredients, and it looked-- well, cool.

From the seller's description:

Blended into this soap is bentonite clay, also referred to as Montmorillonite, one of the most effective and powerful healing clays used to treat both internal and external maladies. Bentonite is a highly absorbent clay that pulls oils and toxins from the skin.

Well, I'm sold. I could always use some help with pulling oil and toxins out of my maladies. Er, face.

The smell is... okay. It was a little medicinal at first, but I'm slowly getting around to it. The creator describes it as

A lovely blend of lavender, citrus, warm florals and tobacco. The smoky spiciness and the subtle tarry-ness of the base notes make us think of expensive cigars, of leather bound chairs in an old library, of the sophistication of the Old World. Top notes of bergamot, lavender, and neroli open to tobacco, leather, and wood. Tonka beans, with their scent reminiscent of freshly mown hay, add softness to the striking blend.

My wife can smell the tobacco and lavender notes. I'm not sure what a Tonka bean smells like, so I'd have to take their word on that one. It isn't cloying, and it is quite nice post-shave. It left my skin feeling very soft and moisturized, but not thick with residual sludge, which is a good thing. It also lathers up like crazy, which was a nice surprise.

It's not terribly expensive at eight bucks, but factor in shipping, and you're over ten. Maybe I'm just a tightwad, but you can get three pucks of Williams' for that price. You get what you pay for I guess, but it's just something to note.

All that considered, I'd recommend it. Beside the point that buying crafts from a small operation is considered a benevolent thing to do these days, you can tell that this is something that's really made with care. I imagine it will last a long time, from the few shaves I've used it for. The packaging is also very aesthetically pleasing and durable, for those who care about the exteriors of the soap's shell.

The seller seems to make them in small batches, so even if they're out of stock, it's most likely just a temporary thing.

Direct link to soap:


Seller's main store (with other fragranced goodies, etc.)


Disclaimer: there is no disclaimer. After re-reading this, I realize it sounds like I'm pitching an ad for this place, but really, I just like the product, and wanted to give them some exposure as well as post a new review with an un-reviewed product here. I also thought it might make a nice first post for me. :smile:



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I read ehamiter's review and bought the soap (and the Tabac aftershave splash) blind, and I am not disappointed. I have been using the soap for about 2 weeks, and I am very happy with it. The scent is fantastic-I agree with ehamiter that there is a medicinal quality to it, but it is really pleasant and masculine. The mix of florals, citrus and tobacco really evokes for me the proverbial barbershop scent. Quality of the lather has been excellent, and my skin feels great after using it. Shipping took a a bit less than 2 weeks, which is not bad considering this is a handmade product, and the customer service was outstanding-

Finally, I have to comment on the packaging, it is exquisite-The amber container is great, as is the old-fashioned label. I also really appreciate the cap as I have been easily able to take it with me when I have been traveling-

Overall highly recommended on its merits, in addition to the good feeling of supporting a local craftsperson-
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Just a quick note: your quick description line says this soap is made by "Etsy crafters." The maker is actually Portland General Store, a one-woman operation in Portland, Maine, run by a lady named Lisa. Etsy is the website that hosts the "store" and provides the e-commerce services. Etsy specializes in handmade items, hosting "stores" for merchants similar to the way eBay does. Thanks for the review, though. I've been curious about this soap - especially its scent.
Welcome to the board, and thanks for introducing us to a new small scale custom soap vendor. :thumbup1:

Feel free to ask lots of questions in the "Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In" area, we love to help. :cool:

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