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Aleppo Soap: The Experiment

I received two bars of Aleppo soap yesterday. Made in Syria, travelled from there to Lebanon, Sheffield (UK) and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe). I bought the soap from Neil at www.alepposoap.uk (yes .uk not .co.uk) in my search for the best natural, body soap I could get. I do have a specific Aleppo shaving soap from Tadé on its way too... For those who are not in the knowing, Aleppo soap contains only 4 ingredients, namely olive oil, laurel oil, lye and water and is made using a hot process before a 9 month long maturing process. The Kesabella Aleppo soap is a 50/50 soap, seemingly the highest percentage of laurel oil on the market. The label that Neil put on the back suggests glycerine as an extra ingredient? So why not trying it out for a shave?
My weapons and ammunition are in the picture. IMG_5804.jpegSince two weeks now I'm feeling much more confident with the Mühle R41 and my Fatip Originale is on (temporary?) retirement. I don't consider myself a very experienced wet shaver (1 year experience) but don't have any problem with the R41. Under the chin my first pass is always a straight against-the-grain pass. For me this works better (=less irritation) than with-the-grain and then against-the-grain. A limit myself to a two pass shave with very short strokes IMG_5806.jpegIMG_5807.jpegIMG_5809.jpegand maybe a touch-up here and there if necessary.
The shave: little and quite unstable lather, light beige in colour. I put the bar of soap next to my sink and reloaded every now and then. In the end it all resulted in the same BBS shave as usual, no irritation, no weepers, no nothing.
So in the end your choice of shaving soap seems to be only a matter of smell??? Another thing that I noticed is the little to no difference I experience using different brands of DE blades. Some maybe last a shave longer than the other? I must admit I haven't experimented with the lowest cost segment of blades...
The only thing that makes a shave really different imho is the razor you use. For me closed combs simply don't work. I tried the Fatip Gentile, the Mühle R89, the Supply single edge and the Razorock Hawk. The Hawk is OK-ish but the others are either straight disasters (Supply) to I-know-there-s-something-that-works-better. I'd say the Fatip and Mühle R41 give very similar results but the Mühle is maybe slightly more comfortable to handle due to it's thicker handle. (I do need the R41GS now!)
 
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Some glycerin is made as the oils are saponified with the lye. It may not be an extra ingredient.

That soap is not ideal for shaving, but it can work; as long as you can maintain a slick coating you should be all right.

BTW, Fatip has some wooden handles available now. I have one and enjoy using it. Plenty of grip on the wenge wood model and easy to hold.

1629561640132.png
 
Some glycerin is made as the oils are saponified with the lye. It may not be an extra ingredient.

That soap is not ideal for shaving, but it can work; as long as you can maintain a slick coating you should be all right.

BTW, Fatip has some wooden handles available now. I have one and enjoy using it. Plenty of grip on the wenge wood model and easy to hold.

View attachment 1315107
I thought the same about the glycerin, but logically if it's not an extra ingredient you would expect it to reduce the amount of olive oil and laurel out to a similar amount, no?
How is the balance of the Fatip wood? Does it have enough weight in the handle and how wide is it at it's widest point? I do like a heavier razor and really like the weight of the piccolo handle, if only it were a little wider. I strains my fingers as it is now.
The stainless R41 comes in at 113 g and the handle I understand is even slightly wider than the regular R41. Sounds comfortable to me... (The Fatip though is way more 'artisanal' than the R41 which I really like!)
 
I thought the same about the glycerin, but logically if it's not an extra ingredient you would expect it to reduce the amount of olive oil and laurel out to a similar amount, no?
How is the balance of the Fatip wood? Does it have enough weight in the handle and how wide is it at it's widest point? I do like a heavier razor and really like the weight of the piccolo handle, if only it were a little wider. I strains my fingers as it is now.
The stainless R41 comes in at 113 g and the handle I understand is even slightly wider than the regular R41. Sounds comfortable to me... (The Fatip though is way more 'artisanal' than the R41 which I really like!)
There is somewhere around 7.5 - 10% glycerin by weight of the oils that would be remaining in the soap unless it is removed. As I understand it, the Aleppo soap is stacked up and air cured for several months, so the excess water evaporates but the glycerin stays in.

The Fatip with wood handle has a metal core which adds some weight. The handle is longer and wider than the Piccolo, and balances well. However, the razor is overall ~10g lighter than the Piccolo. You can see it in this picture I have borrowed from the famous Fatip collector, @Raven Koenes:

fatip-zebrano-comp.jpg

I was a bit concerned about the longer length, but I found it very comfortable. Reminds me somewhat of holding a Mont Blanc pen! It resembles the Joris razors in some ways.
 
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There is somewhere around 7.5 - 10% glycerin by weight of the oils that would be remaining in the soap unless it is removed. As I understand it, the Aleppo soap is stacked up and air cured for several months, so the excess water evaporates but the glycerin stays in.

The Fatip with wood handle has a metal core which adds some weight. The handle is longer and wider than the Piccolo, and balances well. However, the razor is overal ~10g lighter than the Piccolo. You can see a comparison in this picture I have borrowed from the famous Fatip collector, @Raven Koenes:

View attachment 1315200

I was a bit concerned about the longer length, but I found it very comfortable. Reminds me somewhat of holding a Mont Blanc pen! It resembles the Joris razors in some ways.
The balance of Fatip Woods is phenomenal given the handle length. The weight, for me, seems just right, and it beats the Muhle r41 for ease of use and maneuverability imho. I shave with it and don't notice the handle much at all. That's a good thing. It's a very comfortable razor to use.
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Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
I have some Aleppo soap too, but haven’t tried shaving with it. I used it in the shower for a while. Being a good part olive oil, I just assumed that it didn’t lather well. If you want a ‘latherless‘ experience, I’d suggest Martin de Candre ‘Marseilles Toilettes’ soap with 4 oils, grapeseed, avocado, pistachio, and olive oil. The stuff is so slick that the bar slides off my soap mat.
 
The balance of Fatip Woods is phenomenal given the handle length. The weight, for me, seems just right, and it beats the Muhle r41 for ease of use and maneuverability imho. I shave with it and don't notice the handle much at all. That's a good thing. It's a very comfortable razor to use.
View attachment 1315215
Based on measurements from a Fatip wood picture, I believe the diameter is 13 mm. Which is comparable to the Mühle R41GS' 13.5mm. My heart really goes to the Fatip...
It seems however they are not that easily available in the UK. I only found them on www.stjamesshavingemporium.co.uk for £45. Connaught – the cheapest shaving option in the uk – tells me their importer cannot supply the Fatip Wood. Open comb is a no-brainer, zebrano or olive is the tough choice here...
 
Based on measurements from a Fatip wood picture, I believe the diameter is 13 mm. Which is comparable to the Mühle R41GS' 13.5mm. My heart really goes to the Fatip...
It seems however they are not that easily available in the UK. I only found them on www.stjamesshavingemporium.co.uk for £45. Connaught – the cheapest shaving option in the uk – tells me their importer cannot supply the Fatip Wood. Open comb is a no-brainer, zebrano or olive is the tough choice here...
There is Gifts&Care in Spain. Some of the Fatip Woods are discounted at the moment. I'm not sure how that works post-Brexit as far as shipping cost, etc...
 
There is Gifts&Care in Spain. Some of the Fatip Woods are discounted at the moment. I'm not sure how that works post-Brexit as far as shipping cost, etc...
Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately no European country is shipping yet to the UK post Brexit. I tried them before to get the Fatip Storto Piccolo Gold... the ordering process went ok but next day I got a cancellation email... Brexit is a big mess!
 
Some Fatip woods are also available on Amazon.co.uk. But the pictures show both originale/gentile without the option to select either. My questions were never answered. Fishy business...
 
I love Aleppo soap. Luckily, some recent Syrian immigrants have set up shop locally. They were working on a face moisturizer that could be used as an aftershave balm as per the owner. I need to get back to try some.

 
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