I was recently discussing Ariana & Evans Peaches and Cognac shaving soap with @Chard52142 and he suggested that I might like this soap for shaving with a straight razor. Well, I love fresh peaches and I dearly love Courvoisier cognac. The two together are a real delight. So, I ordered some of this soap from my local brick and mortar. I didn't shave until late that day, knowing the soap was going to be delivered. When I got it, I opened it and nearly got knocked down because the smell was very strong, at least to me. It wasn't unpleasant however. Still, leaving the soap open fragranced up not only the bathroom, but also the bedroom. After a few shaves and leaving the lid off for a number of hours did a lot to tone down the smell and it became more pleasant. It is not like Courvoisier or peaches, exactly, but it is pretty good smelling. it is not my favorite, as it smells a little medicinal, especially at first. However, this tones down and it becomes pretty nice.
My first shave went like this: I put some water in the top of the soap and let it sit while I showered to soften my beard. I poured that out and wet my Rudy Vey with a 25mm Muhle fiber knot (pictured above), shook it out gently three times, and started rubbing it in the soap. It lathered very, very quickly. It lathered more like a good cream than a hard soap. I then used my bowl to finish raising a good, rich lather. I painted my face really well, once adding a little water to the tips of the brush. I took the above Thiers Issard straight razor and made a stroke from North to South, starting at my short sideburn to my jaw. The razor glided like it was on air, or ice! I could barely feel there was a razor, and then only because of contact with the skin. It was stunning. I have never experienced that, before. I finished up that pass and then re-lathered. This time I made South to North strokes against the grain (mostly). It was glorious! I've never had such a smooth, gliding shave with a straight razor. I have with a couple of DE safety razors and a properly sharp blade, but never with a straight. My only issue was that because the soap was so slick I shaved a little close and I could feel it later. My face was mostly BBS and I wasn't trying for that.
Each shave afterwards produced the same results and the residual slickness is the best I've ever found. I learned I can go back and touch up areas without re-lathering with no issues. Even after rinsing my face and applying witch hazel, I could still feel some slickness when I later washed my face. The after shave feel of my skin was very nice. It was not dry and not greasy, but was just right.
Price wise, this soap is not too expensive. There are many artisan soaps that are far more expensive that don't do nearly as well. Overall, I liked this soap so much that I ordered some Barbiere Sofisticato. I can't wait to try it.