Pros: High Quality; Great Lather; Effective; Long-Lasting (great value)
Cons: fragrance is not very exciting
Great stuff for the price.
It makes a fantastic base for superlathering with something like KMF. Slick, moisturizing, big volumes of lather.
A stick of this will last a long time. Wish it had a container or dispenser, though...
Its scent...reminds me of something I might have found in my grandma's bathroom. It is an old-fashioned soap smell---classic? ancient? Hard to describe.
But I like its fragrance---I find it pleasant, and it gives me the feeling that I'm using a product that has been around a long, long time (which it has!). And the smell of it reminds me that I'm about to have a great shave!
Cons: Mild scent, could be a bit cheaper, melt fast
My firsts impressions of the stick is a very mild, clean scent. A bit powdery but nice. It's milder than Wilkinson Sword to my nose. Many members reported that this is a very fast melting stick (something like 30 shaves and it's over. In my case, I guesstimate the stick to be able to deliver 60 shaves (3 passes).
The lather is quite nice like many Italian soaps. I don't think it's better or on par with Wilkinson Sword Blue Stick. It's still very good and works really well but I would pick Wilkinson Sword over Valobra for this. I would pick Valobra over other sticks too.
The Superlather test was very good. I used Kiss My Face Lime, as always. KMF adds a thickness to the lather that most soaps don't have. It was a great shave!
The Uberlather tests was good as it did not make a huge difference. I would say that the slickness level in this shave soap is already up there so no need to add more.
Overall, this is a nice stick with a very mild scent. It was discussed a few times that this stick is a fast melter and it seems to depends if you received an older batch or not. I guess the scent goes with the stick also (newer batch, stronger scent, older batch, milder scent). In the end, I would recommend this item. The neutral, soapy and powdery scent might be an advantage over a Tabac Stick but Tabac would be a better pick for the price (more shaves). If you like Italian soaps, this is a must!
Valobra shave stick I picked this up at Smallflower.com recently and I was quite surprised at how terrific this soap is. I got a very close comfortable shave with it.The sticks are 2 Oz's,and while no ingredients are posted on the website or printed on the package, I believe this is a tallow based soap. My face had huge pillows of thick dense lather. The stick has a clean soapy scent. The lather was as good as some of the high end English soaps and overall I would place it performance wise below some of the real good tallow based soaps- C&S, original Floris,Penhaligons and a touch above the speick and erasmic sticks I have used. For just a few bucks well worth the try! I would recommend. This from the Smallflower website-About Valobra: These hand-crafted, Italian soaps are made using methods unchanged since the 18th century. The soapmakers season pure soap base for four to six months; hard mill the soap six times with vegetable oils, pure essential oils, and vitamins; then gently hand wrap each beautiful bar with original vintage packaging. The soaps contain no harsh detergents or chemical agents, just skin-softening ingredients that make everything from washing your hands to bathing a better experience. Discussion thread
Price: it's usually around $11 I think. That's not a great price considering the size, but it's fine.
Quality: This is a great tallow soap. Gives as good a shave as anything I've tried.
Scent: YAWN. Totally boring soapy scent. Totally unoffensive, so it's not a turn off like I hear say Arko is, but no romance in using this thing at all. This is all function.
Lather: Absolutely fabulous. It's just a great tallow soap, and rubbing it on direct followed by the brush leaves great lather.
This is as good as anything I've tried on performance, but the scent makes it a bench player for me because I'd rather enjoy the great scent of a DRH soap or the Valobra Almond or any other great soap for generally the same results. But on pure results, this is a knockout.
A very good soap for the price. I always seem to get a good shave with this stuff. If the scent were more enjoyable I would probably use this soap more. Its not a good or bad scent its just kinda soap smelling. I would recommend this product.
Exceptionally good soap and my personal favorite. The lather is very slick and cushioning, this soap is wonderful with a straight razor. The tallow is very moisturizing and leaves the skin feeling great.
Personally I love the scent, it smells like soap its true, but actually the smell is interestingly quite complex with some almonds and pepper tones.
I actually received mine free from West Coast Shaving after an order mix up, (no biggy on my end, eventually squared away). In looking it up runs about $9. Wow good price, excellent product.
Truely deserving of straight up 10s in all categories except moisturing which for me was not as spectacular as everything else but not to worry, some good balm and you end up with a BBS shave thats far above average in every department save one.
The only regret I can see is that to the best of my knowledge, pucks are simply not available. The only way to buy this tallow based soap is in a 2 once shave stick but hey, thats ok by me.
As already written in my previous review “Valobra, Crema di Sapone Purissima”, Virgilio Valobra has been producing top quality soaps since 1903. And with the exception of the shaving cream soap, which has the consistency of a very soft soap or a dense cream, Valobra produces exclusively hard soaps. All of these come housed in beautiful, elegant, old-fashioned cardboard boxes in “Liberty” style utilised in the 1920’s, or in metal gift boxes with drawings of the early 1900’s. Valobra hard soaps are manufactured using only the purest natural ingredients, no “paraben” agents or preservatives employed by most modern companies. And the working technique for producing so high quality soaps really deserves to be mentioned. In order to maintain the precious ingredients intact, Valobra has always used the ancient (and expensive) “boiling for strenght” method and has given a particular attention to seasoning, which takes around 6 – 8 months. The soaps so obtained become highly refined and effective for gently cleansing the skin. This century old fine processing and the exclusive use of selected ingredients, worked with treasured formulas, are the proof of the superior quality of Valobra’s soaps.
And in this context we have to consider “Valobra, Sapone per barba”, which is, in my opinion, the very best shaving stick available anywhere. It comes in a nice, Old School, simple cardboard box and is priced, here in Italy, around € 7 - € 8, just like the cream soap. Its scent is somehow hard to describe, but, at least for me, it is pleasant, fresh and light, not overpowering at all. As you can see in the ingredients list written below, it is a tallow based soap that contains glycerin: the best of the two worlds put together. It is also very easy to lather up, using face lathering technique as you would do with any other shaving stick, therefore it is an excellent product even for the most inexperienced wet shaver. And the lather you get is simply outstanding, super thick, super slick, super moisturizing. Each shave is a wonderful, close, comfortable shave. I could go on more and more, but I suppose it’s not necessary. The overall performance of “Valobra, Sapone per barba” is terrific, under every aspect. And this Italian gem is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Been trying a bunch of italian soaps lately and have been in for a treat. Price wise, Valobra is on the more expensive side for about $9 for 50g, but it is a triple milled soap that will last awhile. Plus I rate Price more in terms of what you get for what you pay for so this could easily be a 10. This is a very high quality soap as Valobra is also the makers of AOS. There is only a very mild scent to this soap, but it makes up for it in terms of its overall quality. A small amount rubbed on your face results in lather explosion, more so than even Tabac IME. This results in a very effective shave providing plenty of cushion and razor glide also leaving my face very moisturized.
All in all, this is simply one of the best soaps I've had the pleasure of trying and it will remain near the top of my rotation.
Valobra shave stick is a terrific soap. The packaging leaves something to be desired. When milled into a dish and loaded with a shaving brush, this soap is as good as anything else out there.
Price: 7 - Valobra is pricy for what you get. It's quite a bit more expensive that a similarly-sized stick of Speick. Not a bargain, but fair for how long it lasts and the quality of product
Quality: 10 - Quality is an overall rating for me. Valobra is at the top of the list of soaps I have used.
Scent: 8 - Smells like soap. No fragrance whatsoever. In fact, it smells like soaps you would find in a hotel. I'm not big on perfumes so I like it. If you're looking for cologne in a bar, keep walking.
Lather: 10 - Oh baby! Valobra lathers like an absolute champ. It's tallow-based so the lather is thick and cushiony. With good technique (and probably even poor technique), it's a snap to whip up enough for a luxurious four-pass shave. Of my soaps, only Cella is easier to lather.
Efficacy: 10 - Valobra is so slick. The razor just glides over my face when properly hydrated. I'm a huge fan of Speick, but Valobra is just a tad better.
Moisturizing: N/A - I don't rate soaps in this category. Soaps are for shaving, not for moisturizing.
This is the soap that convinced me to put away shaving creams, and I never looked back. It took several uses before figuring out how to use shaving stick but once I got hang of it, Valobra is an excellent shaving soap. It's expensive in terms of weight per cost, but the quality over-weighs any doubts. Valobra produces rich, creamy, and thick lather that protects your face from razor irritation and nicks. It even moisturizes your face. The scent reminds me of a high end department store. It's pleasant and not over powering. The only wish is that it came bigger, like a puck size, so that I can load the brush in a bowl. Some argue that I can grate it and mold it in a bowl but it's only my wish.