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This topic come up from time to time, so I thought I'd share my experience.

Being deployed, lots of care packages make the rounds here, especially this time of year. We generally open them up and everyone gets to go through them, pulling out things they want/need. Well in a recent care package, I found a bar or Ivory Soap. Being a convert to bar soap a few months back, I snagged it right up. It's probably been about 20 years since I've used Ivory bar soap. When I unwrapped it and smelled it, there was something vaguely familiar about the scent. Yes it has that typical fresh, clean, soapy smell... but still I know that scent. Then it hit me. It smelled very similar to Williams Shave Soap.

Then I started to recall the old ads (see below) about shaving with Ivory soap, so I decided that next day, I was going to shower with my Ivory soap and then shave with it, just to test it out.

I loaded off the bar of soap for 30 seconds then proceeded to face lather. I found that it lathered pretty easily and produced a decently thick lather. On the face it was a bit thinner than it looked on the brush. It provided nice glide and cushion. And it rinsed easily and was not sticky on my face. Towards the end of the first pass, it started to break down a little, but it certainly lasted long enough to shave. Due to the scent, I was comparing it to Williams the whole time I was shaving. The result?

Ease of Lathering: Edge Ivory
Quality of Lather: Equal
Glide & Cushion: Equal
Lather retention: Edge Ivory
Moisturizing: Edge Ivory

Now, I'm not trying to Bash Williams here. I use it and I like it. I get great shaves from it. My main purpose here, is to highlight Ivory soap, and say that it can be used as an effective Shave Soap. Will it become part of my soap rotation? Probably not. But would I use it again? Definitely. If all other soaps went away and all that was left was Ivory... I'd be perfectly happy using it.

In reading previous threads about Ivory, many dismissed this and said they'd never try it. I'd suggest reconsidering and giving it a try. I'm curious to hear other's impressions of it.




From Mr. Razor:
 
Good to know these little tricks. Never know when you are in a bind. I keep checking the care packages for shaving stuff as well.
 

rearviewmirror

Moderator Emeritus
on the grooming forum, a member said he uses Yardley soap that you can pick up at CVS for a buck a bar to shave with. I always have some on hand, checked the ingredients, and IIRC tallow was #1. I'm going to grate up some of the rose soap I have and give it a whirl.
 
I just made a pretty good lather with a bar of Irish Spring in an attempt to de-funk my new horsehair brush. Made a slick, but not really protective, lather.
 
It smelled very similar to Williams Shave Soap.
Now, I know that everyone's olfactory systems are different but I am so taken aback by this statement that I am not even sure where to begin. Admittedly I have not smelled Ivory in years. Has the formulation changed? The reason I ask is that I can smell the citronella of Williams through the unopened box and all I can recall smelling of a bar of Ivory soap, opened or unopened, is soapy cleanness.

Are you referring, perhaps, to "vintage" Williams with which I am entirely unfamiliar? Perhaps the vintage formulation had no citronella smell?

Cheers!
-Greg
 
Are you referring, perhaps, to "vintage" Williams with which I am entirely unfamiliar? Perhaps the vintage formulation had no citronella smell?
Not at all. Vintage Williams has almost no smell at all. I mean modern Williams. Now I didn't say they were the same, I said similar. The off-scent that many smell from Williams is very strong. It was that same type of smell in Ivory, but more subdued. Similar enough for me to associate them together though.

You're right everyone smells stuff differently. Many people describe Williams as having just a clean, soapy smell. Maybe they remember the classic soap scents like Ivory and think that Williams smells similar to that?
 
My very very first shave when i was sixteen was with a regular soap, i just grabbed it,rubbed it on my face, then lathered it with a brush and the blade glided like hot knife through butter!
 
i enlarged and read the face lathering instructions on the box.... makes sense....

i may give this a shot later today....
 

ackvil

Moderator
KJ, great post. Brought back memories when I was a kid and played with Ivory soap in the bath tub!
 
I have used Ivory in a pinch to shave with. Not a great shave but it is workable. The Ivory with Aloe is a tad bit better.
 
I've often wondered if our various shaving soaps are all that superior to some of the decent bar soaps out there. Just the other day, I found 4 bars of Ivory (got to be at least 10 years old) in a drawer in the second bathroom. I've also thought that Williams smelled a little like Ivory bar soap. I have shaved with a disposable many times with whatever bar soap in the shower once my beard was moistened enough. Not as much fun as our normal routines but works about as well.
 
I've often wondered if our various shaving soaps are all that superior to some of the decent bar soaps out there. Just the other day, I found 4 bars of Ivory (got to be at least 10 years old) in a drawer in the second bathroom. I've also thought that Williams smelled a little like Ivory bar soap. I have shaved with a disposable many times with whatever bar soap in the shower once my beard was moistened enough. Not as much fun as our normal routines but works about as well.
As someone who has shaved with bathing soap, let me clarify, I have done it IN A PINCH. I would not do it on a regular basis unless forced to do so. Shaving soaps, even Williams, are much better suited for shaving than are bathing soaps, there is not even a comparison.
 
Yeah...Definitely! I used it in a pinch one time. I would do it again, if given a no choice. Scent is similar. For me, regular use of any "bath" soap on my face tends to dry it out. Anyone else curious what is in the .56% that is so bad they couldn't call it 100% Pure? lol. Take Care
 
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