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2016 - 2017 European Soap Tour : Death to Whiskers

Hi, My name is Clausewitz and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to shaving soaps & creams.
It all started the 22[SUP]nd[/SUP] of July, 2016 with my decision to try traditional wet shaving with a DE razor. As I enjoyed the smell of lavender, I purchased a tub of TOBS lavender cream and after reading excellent reviews I purchased two sticks of Arko. The performance was outstanding, my face felt amazing, and the scents brightened my day I didn’t know it at the time but I was hooked.

Since that time I have purchased or received as gifts the following products; Proraso (green tub), two pucks of Arko, TOBS (sandalwood hard soap), DR Harris (Arlington hard soap in wooden bowl), VDH (deluxe two pucks), Mitchell’s Wool Fat, L’Occitane Cade (Soap & Dish), & Col. Conk’s Bay Rum .

In an effort to save my marriage to the lovely SWMBO, I have entered myself into rehab and am currently using the methadone of SSAD, samples.

Thanks to @MrDapper who linked shavedash.com in another thread, I have the opportunity to sample all the classic soaps I have been dying to try for a very reasonable price, and that last part keeps SWMBO happy. A special note on Shavedash.com, the prices on product 10 full grams or ml & shipping are very reasonable and the shipping was fast for economy from England, I highly recommend them.

I prefer hard soaps & croaps to creams, hard soaps usually last longer and I enjoy the effort, attention to detail, and Zen aspect of blooming then loading my soap the traditional way. Creams have their place and a few will always be around , but I’ll never have more creams than soaps.
I like the classics, the older, fancier, and more foreign the better. I’ll work my way to the artisanal soaps in due time, because let’s be honest every soap started as some guy or gal tinkering in a workshop, but for now I enjoy the connection to history & sense of gravitas & class of the old classic foreign brands.

I’m going for original or unique from each brand, or the flagship product. I don’t want every company’s take on lavender or sandalwood. Ideally I’d want each full puck or tub in my den to be unique in some way from most other companies out there.
Also I’ve been looking for a good Apocalypse soap, something that I enjoy enough to use more days than not and hopefully tamp down some of this SSAD. And that leads us to….

THE SOAPS: All soaps are 10g samples excluding Cella which I rolled the dice and ordered 50g.
Round 1
Klar Seifen: Classic
Dusy : Kabinett (Klar Kabinett Copy)
Martin de Candre : Original
Martin de Candre: Fougere
Cella : Crema Sapone Extra Extra Purissima (AKA Cella Brick)
Floris of London : No. 89
Wickham 1912 Vegetal : Parma Violet (FREE SAMPLE)

Round 2
Baume.be : Ceam (soap not available, and apparently they only have the one soap product so we'll call this classic)
Pre De Provence : Original
Pre De Provence : No. 63
Provence Sante : Green Tea
Provence Sante : Verlaine
Saponificio Varesino : 70th Anniversary
Castle Forbes : Lime

In the interest of objectiveness all soaps will be tested over multiple days in the following manner with the following products:
BRUSH: WSP Superfine 2-Band Silvertip “Monarch” RAZOR: Fatboy BLADE: Treet Platinum or Rapira Platinum Lux BOWL: N/A

Soap sample will be pressed into bottom of wide coffee mug and bloomed.
Cold tap water will be used, wrung out brush to load & face lathered, 2-3 pass shave depending on efficacy and available time WTG – XTG – ATG.
Lucky Tiger Aftershave & Face Tonic to follow & if necessary (or weather conditions demanding ) Nivea Balm.

The Soaps:
Martin De Candre : Original


Unlathered : Scent is an earthy pungent lavender. It's a unique scent, strong but not overpowering, a very natural old world scent. Malleable, but I am working with shavings so it is to be expected.


Charged for 30 secondsNo mountains of lather but very cushiony & slick. Lavender comes on much stronger post bloom. Other elements are still clearly present. Looked it up post shave and it has rosemary & mint scents to round out the lavender. This puts words to what my nose detected, rosemary adds a mild earthy pungent, and mint (think actually mint leaves freshly picked) adds a smooth green body to the smell.
Very slick, seems to love water. Still dialing it in but this soap feels like it likes to be run a little thinner than I’m used to.
Fantastic considering the circumstances, my face doesn’t need nor like being shaved twice a day. Especially since I did a true 3pass w/touchup BBS shave this morning. This was not the most comfortable shave and I should have stopped after the first couple strokes. But I couldn’t help myself and toughed it out :lol:. Again it performed remarkable well given the circumstances.

Squeezed out brush after 3 passes:

Same 30 second load. Got it much more dialed in today, wonderful slick protective lather. Did I mention slick!?, because it’s Really slick. Razor glides beautifully and cuts closely with comfort. I appear to have made zero dent in the 10 gram sample despite the production and the much hyped staying power of MdC appears true so far.
Very good, face feels smooth and soft but not overly moisturized.
Squeezed out brush after 3 passes:

Harder 30 second load, really picked up some product this time and WOAH!! Does this soap lather like crazy, big fluffy slick lather galore. Only did a 2 pass shave this morning because I shaved last night. Very close comfortable shave.
Excellent, felt like I had put on a balm instead of lucky tiger splash.
Didn't have time to snap a pick: Sorry :bored:
Shaves 4-6

This soap continued to perform up to the standards noted in shave 3. I couldn't be more pleased with this sample.


Pros:Presentation, scent

This is an outstanding product, the scent it phenomenal and it is very easy to use. With little effort a cushiony, voluminous, slick lather, with very good post shave feel can be made. A little bit goes a long way, so I can easily see how a full container would last and last.

The post shave feel is very good but I would rate MWF as better. Not exactly a fair comparison admittedly but we are in the price range where I'm going to dock points for anything less than absolute perfection.

The price for a full container is steep $60 incl. shipping, taking it into the premium level of shave soaps. However, it does come in a very nice durable container and it's a full 200 grams, from an artisanal maker. Compared to other soaps in it's range, it would be a value buy. Penhaligon's BB: $35+ 100g refill, Floris 89: $52+ 100g with bowl, Acqua Di Parma shave cream : $76+ 5oz bowl, ...you get the picture.

Would I buy a full container?

Yes I would, I enjoy the scent and the performance and I'll always have a lavender scented soap in my den and I would find it very very hard to believe that I can find a better lavender than this. Used as part of a seasonal rotation I expect one jar to last for several years.

NEXT UP Klar Seifen : Klassik
First Impressions:

Unlathered: this a hard soap, and i mean HHHAAARRRDDD! According to Klar's website this soap is milled five (5) times and you can tell, the shavings take significantly more pressure to meld than MdC or the puck of MWF I grated a couple days ago. This is a really unique scent, I've never smelled anything like it **(not true but I'll get to that below)**. Officially, it's described as lemongrass & sandalwood. The top notes are green & citrus on a base of sandalwood. This really lightens up a usually heavy scent. However, the scents are blended beautifully and no single note sticks out. This is a very "German" scent if that any sense. It's an efficient and masterfully executed take on traditional European scent profiles.

30 Second charge on the brush and it produces lots of slick cushiony lather. MdC produces more, but I'd give the edge to Klar in slickness. The scent dies down somewhat but stays strong enough to be enjoyed. This soap is very dry and it can take plenty of water without running thin. Based on initial lather this soap will last forever in the full size.

Post Shave feel:
Excellent. Very little sting with Old Spice. Slightly below The Fat, roughly on par with MdC.

Shave 2-5

Got this soap dialed in properly & This soap is absurdly slick. I'm talking ice oil on ice slick, if there's a slicker soap out there PM so I can try it because I don't think it's possible.

Post shave feel is of course fantastic with such a slick shave.

Lather is very good as seen below after 3 passes

However, I was wrong I have smelled this scent before, and it smells almost EXACTLY like whatever cologne or EdT my dad wore when I was younger. Seeing as how my dad's still alive & we didn't get along well when I was younger (he's got a bit of a temper & I was a rebellious sh** head in my youth, you know the rest of the story) this scent is done for me for now and I won't be finishing the sample.


Pros: Durability , scent
Price: 8
Quality: 10
Scent: Wonderful but not for me as explained above.
Lather: 8
Efficacy: 9
Moisturizing: 7

This won soap of the year here on B&B at one point and for very good reason. At $25.5 shipped on Amazon for 110 grams of some of the hardest most concentrated soap I've ever used this is a solid investment. Although not fully explored above, this soap LASTS. I loaded for a full minute on the last 3 shaves & two test lathers in a bowl trying to get rid of this stuff and there's still a bunch left that I scraped out of the mug. So if you're value conscious this would be a good buy for you.

Would I buy a full container?

If I found a scent I enjoyed more, yes. This soap is incredibly slick, great post shave feel and a little goes a long way.

Dusy Kabinett
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