What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Arko vs Mogno: The Konomi Code Challenge


Here, we have a battle between two heavyweights of my shave den. Hailing from Turkey at 75 grams, a dovometer* of 10mm, and a cost of $2.00, the $0.0026/dm/g value champion Arko presumably needs no further introduction. Hailing from Portugal, at 90 grams, a dovometer of 18mm, and a cost of $6.00, the $0.0037/dm/g, Ach Brito Mogno is less well known, but a rising star in the world of high performance value shaving. Both of these venerable soaps are produced by century old soap manufacturers, and have been enjoyed by wet shavers throughout the world since the 1950's.

Before we begin, we should perhaps first address the elephant in the room: scent. The scent of Arko is controversial to say the least. It has been likened by some to that of a urinal puck; to others it is merely a clean soapy smell reminiscent of the Ivory bars of yore. I find myself in the latter category. For it's part, Mogno has been variously described as "Arguably the most exquisite barbershop scent yet conceived" all the way to Sir Bertrand Russel's assessment: "A scent so divine, it is scarcely within the limits of mortal comprehension; Mogno is a priori evidence of the existence of God". I find myself squarely in the middle of these two claims.


With introductions out of the way, let's move on to the format of the present battle: The Konomi Code Challenge. Those of a certain age will recall the original Nintendo Entertainment System (circa 1985), and the universal cheat code of one of it's more prominent developers, Konomi. The eponymous code was as follows: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. The Konomi Code Challenge is essentially an 8 pass shave in the directions proscribed, followed by a Bar of Alum to evaluate discomfort before starting the day. The shaves are done in a split-face format, with one side of the face lathered with Arko, and the other by Mogno. The shave is done on a daily basis, alternating the soap applied to each side of the face (left vs right) each day. The razor will be a RazoRock Game Changer .68, loaded with a Perma Sharp Super. The plan is to continue the shaves until a champion has been crowned.

The lathering methodology is worth discussing in more detail, as it is designed to truly push these soaps to their limits. Each stick is applied directly to the beard, and lathering is done by hand. I spent the first 9 days this month comparing these soaps by alternating my trusty Shavemac Badger (had it for 20 years) vs RazoRock Monster with each soap and side of the face, but found the results tended to favor the Monster irrespective of soap. Next I tried alternating hand lathering vs the Monster with each soap & side of the face, but found that lathering tended to favor the hand lathered soap. Thus, on day 9 of this challenge, I have settled on lathering both soaps by hand. To further highlight the performance of these two soaps, although both soaps will be relathered by hand between passes, no additional soap will be added from the sticks. Thus, only the soap on the hands from the initial lathering will will be used for relathering the seven subsequent passes. This lathering format is the most severe test I can think of for both the initial slickness, and especially residual slickness that I can imagine, and it is residual slickness that I believe is the most important performance characteristic of a comfortable and nick-free shave.

With all that preamble out of the way, let's begin.

* Dovometer is a measurement of soap density/hardness on a linear scale. It measures the millimeters of compression of a coil spring applying force against a fixed surface area necessary to penetrate a given sample of soap. For more detailed discussion see:

 
Last edited:
Day 1:

Razor: RazoRock Game Changer .68
Blade: Perma Sharp Super, day 1
Arko: Right
Mogno: Left

Both of these soaps lather admirably, even with my annoyingly hard water. Arko seems to be slightly thirstier than Mogno, but it's difficult to ascertain. On the first ATG pass, Arko sprung into the lead, much to my great surprise. It's difficult to fault Mogno however, because it was due to an errant pass over a trouble area, but even so, it produced 2 small weepers. It was an inauspicious start, and it was compounded by my inexperience shaving ATG on the first pass, and my use of my normal "pneumatic stretching" technique whereby I inflate my cheeks to stretch the skin. It yields a otherwise unobtainable BBS smoothness, but if this contest is going to stretch several days, I think it's prudent to abstain from using that technique.



Subsequent passes showed Arko thinning slightly more quickly than the Mogno, and residual slickness seemed to suffer accordingly. That said, I experienced no nicks on the Arko side. After the 8th pass, the alum bar stung the Mogno side (expected), and none apparent on the Arko side. Points to Arko. Thirty minutes after the shave, the Arko side was noticeably dryer on the Arko side than Mogno side. This round is technical TKO by Arko, but I suspect it's more a condemnation of that one bad pass than it is of Mogno. Hopefully, subsequent rounds will be free of rookie mistakes, and will yield better information.
 
Last edited:
Quick question: Did you put the scent profiles in the wrong location? Asking for @FarmerTan
Yes, I am quite sure. I'm familiar with @FarmerTan's opinion of Arko's scent, given that he is a fellow brother of the order of BOSC, and he raises the topic frequently and inappropriately during chapter meetings. That said, given that a precondition of membership to that organization is the admission that one is not of sound mind, it seemed imprudent to include such superlatives in the present discussion. Thus, you many rely on the descriptions given as those derived from broad based consensus, free of subjectivity, exaggeration or hyperbole.
 
Last edited:
Day 2:

Razor: RazoRock Game Changer .68
Blade: Perma Sharp Super, day 2
Arko: Left
Mogno: Right
Time: 7:20

Today went a bit better than yesterday. No big mistakes and no weepers on either side. In the early passes, the slickness of these two soaps is very comparable, it's probably impossible for me to distinguish between the two. In the later passes, it seems to me that Mogno has an edge, although I'm surprised by how close the two are. Both are more than up to the task, which is impressive. Eight passes with no additional soap from a brush or stick is pretty demanding. Both of these soaps have excellent initial and residual slickness. No sting from the alum bar on either side. The Arko side feels dryer to me, which is definitely amplified by the cold, dry weather. I'm giving the victory to Mogno for the slightly better slickness and for being less drying, but Arko performed admirably.

I'm trying to spend the same amount of time on each side of the face. I'm also shaving at my normal (brisk) pace, so I'm not babying these soaps at all. The whole operation from lathering, 8 passes, and final rinse was 7:20 seconds. I'm didn't do the Satchmo technique today (cheek inflation) , so it's not what I would consider BBS on the cheeks and jawline, but it's a damn close shave.

It's probably worth noting that both soaps could benefit from a post-shave balm. Personally, I find that a few cents worth of hyluronic acid does a better job of hydration than any croap/soap that I have ever tried anyway. I haven't been using HA during the experiment, so I get a good sense of how these soaps leave the skin feeling.
 
Last edited:
"I think you've had enough beans!"

One has so learned to appreciate learned colleagues who can quote the classics!

Soap so cheap the shipping cost is four times the cost of the soap. Can't even get Williams around here any more. When the lights come on again I'll have to pick up a case in my travels.

O.H.
 
Hm, sold out at I.B. ...


AA :straight:
I got mine at Mensroom Barbershop in Milwaukee, a B&B supporting vendor. At the time it was $5.95 and the shipping was $3.00, which was the best deal I could find. Looks like it's gone up a buck.

In the EU it sells for about $4.50 with no VAT, but the shipping is rather steep. :(

 
Last edited:
After shaving with Mogno I’ll have a moustache like that? Sign me up!
Sorry, I should have clarified about the mustache. For that, you need to volunteer at your local fire department too. Great way to give back to the community, learn new skills, and guaranteed to help you grow a great mustache.
 
And the only review is written by some d00d that writes just like Dovo1695 and even uses ARKO!, too.
Sounds like something I would do. I do most of my shopping at Italian Barber. Mogno was love at first shave for me. I'd guess that 90% of my shaves for the last 4 months have been Mogno. To be honest, I didn't expect Arko to hold up as well as it has, but it's absolutely holding it's own. That's the nice thing about split-face shaves; it's a lot easier to compare soaps when you have near instant feedback. Even then, it's still pretty subjective!
 
Last edited:

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
My only comparisons with ARKO! have been to my unscented soaps and I don’t know if the others are worse or better, but ARKO! smokes them on the learning curve. I have big dreams for Mogno and might revisit MWF at some point.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
Ambassador

Here, we have a battle between two heavyweights of my shave den. Hailing from Turkey at 75 grams, a dovometer* of 10mm, and a cost of $2.00, the $0.0026/dm/g value champion Arko presumably needs no further introduction. Hailing from Portugal, at 90 grams, a dovometer of 18mm, and a cost of $6.00, the $0.0037/dm/g, Ach Brito Mogno is less well known, but a rising star in the world of high performance value shaving. Both of these venerable soaps are produced by century old soap manufacturers, and have been enjoyed by wet shavers throughout the world since the 1950's.

Before we begin, we should perhaps first address the elephant in the room: scent. The scent of Arko is controversial to say the least. It has been likened by some to that of a urinal puck; to others it is merely a clean soapy smell reminiscent of the Ivory bars of yore. I find myself in the latter category. For it's part, Mogno has been variously described as "Arguably the most exquisite barbershop scent yet conceived" all the way to Sir Bertrand Russel's assessment: "A scent so divine, it is scarcely within the limits of mortal comprehension; Mogno is a priori evidence of the existence of God". I find myself squarely in the middle of these two claims.


With introductions out of the way, let's move on to the format of the present battle: The Konomi Code Challenge. Those of a certain age will recall the original Nintendo Entertainment System (circa 1985), and the universal cheat code of one of it's more prominent developers, Konomi. The eponymous code was as follows: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start. The Konomi Code Challenge is essentially an 8 pass shave in the directions proscribed, followed by a Bar of Alum to evaluate discomfort before starting the day. The shaves are done in a split-face format, with one side of the face lathered with Arko, and the other by Mogno. The shave is done on a daily basis, alternating the soap applied to each side of the face (left vs right) each day. The razor will be a RazoRock Game Changer .68, loaded with a Perma Sharp Super. The plan is to continue the shaves until a champion has been crowned.

The lathering methodology is worth discussing in more detail, as it is designed to truly push these soaps to their limits. Each stick is applied directly to the beard, and lathering is done by hand. I spent the first 9 days this month comparing these soaps by alternating my trusty Shavemac Badger (had it for 20 years) vs RazoRock Monster with each soap and side of the face, but found the results tended to favor the Monster irrespective of soap. Next I tried alternating hand lathering vs the Monster with each soap & side of the face, but found that lathering tended to favor the hand lathered soap. Thus, on day 9 of this challenge, I have settled on lathering both soaps by hand. To further highlight the performance of these two soaps, although both soaps will be relathered by hand between passes, no additional soap will be added from the sticks. Thus, only the soap on the hands from the initial lathering will will be used for relathering the seven subsequent passes. This lathering format is the most severe test I can think of for both the initial slickness, and especially residual slickness that I can imagine, and it is residual slickness that I believe is the most important performance characteristic of a comfortable and nick-free shave.

With all that preamble out of the way, let's begin.

* Dovometer is a measurement of soap density/hardness on a linear scale. It measures the millimeters of compression of a coil spring applying force against a fixed surface area necessary to penetrate a given sample of soap. For more detailed discussion see:

🤔 How could I not, after reading this?

One bar of Mogno, inbound.


AA
 
Top Bottom