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Artisan's Vs traditional

I'm addressing one point at a time so I don't make a mega-post. How could you possibly deduce this? You know nothing about me or the quality of my shaves.

I didn't buy shaving stuff. I bought daily irritation-free and blood-free DFS shaves in under 10 minutes including the time for preparation and cleanup. I don't stretch my skin to get a BBS because I don't feel like getting ingrown whiskers. It turned out my initial choices were almost flawless, so I didn't waste much money purchasing things I don't need.

What you should deduce is I believe quality shaves are a result of outstanding preparation, flawless and mindful technique while shaving, and avoiding stupid mistakes that draw blood. You can't throw money at deficiencies in these areas and hope to solve them.

You should deduce that I've spent the time to learn how to achieve my goals without expensive shaving stuff. There is no benefit I could buy that I don't already have enough of.

You should deduce that I achieve my goals with traditional mass-produced products. You should also deduce that my basic four items are high enough quality and enjoyable enough for everyday use.

You should also deduce that it's fine for us to have opposite opinions.

I do not mind your disagreeing with me. You make your own choices, I make mine. They do not have to be the same.

However, concerning my deduction about your valuing economy, the very fact that you have calculated the cost per shave indicates that this is high on your list of priorities. That proves my deduction was correct.

I have absolutely no idea of my cost per shave as that is not one of the factors I consider when evaluating soaps. There is only one soap that I included price in my review. I tried Gentleman's Nod tallow soap that cost me $27. Although the soap was quite good, there were some slight deficiencies that I do not expect in a soap costing $27. I have numerous soaps in my collection that perform better than Gentleman's nod, yet cost less. I could not recommend others purchasing the soap unless the price drops to a level commensurate with its quality.
 

GaryTha

Contributor
I do not mind your disagreeing with me. You make your own choices, I make mine. They do not have to be the same.

However, concerning my deduction about your valuing economy, the very fact that you have calculated the cost per shave indicates that this is high on your list of priorities. That proves my deduction was correct.

I have absolutely no idea of my cost per shave as that is not one of the factors I consider when evaluating soaps. There is only one soap that I included price in my review. I tried Gentleman's Nod tallow soap that cost me $27. Although the soap was quite good, there were some slight deficiencies that I do not expect in a soap costing $27. I have numerous soaps in my collection that perform better than Gentleman's nod, yet cost less. I could not recommend others purchasing the soap unless the price drops to a level commensurate with its quality.
I never mentioned cost before you deduced I value economy. Your reasoning was flawed and incorrect. On the other hand, you mentioned the cost of everything, and I can deduce you place a high value on price regardless of value. Do me a favor. Quit trying to figure out what I'm thinking.

It's simple. I buy the level of performance I need. Nothing can do better for me than Williams. There are many equals. I just happened to buy Williams first because I liked the old-fashioned box design. The colors reminded me of Fargo starch.
 
Ease of lathering: 7 out of 10. To rate a 10, the soap has to load in less than 15 seconds. I have many such soaps. Williams takes at least 30 seconds unless you bloom it first.
Ease of lathering: 6 out of 10. To rate a 10, a soap has to produce a suitable bowl lather in less than 30 seconds. I have many such soaps. It take me at lease two minutes to develop a suitable lather with Williams.
Primary Slickness: 8 out of 10. Williams is slick, but I have many soaps that are far slicker.
Residual Slickness: 6 out of 10. In order to use buffing strokes to achieve BBS, I need a soap that provides a high level of residual slickness....slickness that remains when there is no visible lather on the face. With Williams, I have to reapply lather continuously during the buffing process. I do have many soaps that rate 10/10.
Cushion/Protection: 6 out of 10. I have sensitive skin, but have a coarse, fast-growing beard, so I have to shave with very sharp blades and aggressive razors. I need a soap that provides a protective layer between my skin and the blade. Williams just does not provide a great level of protection. I have many soaps that rate 10/10 on cushion so I can get a BBS shave without irritation.
Blade buffing? Who before Charles Roberts really did that?

And if you really had sensitive skin, why would you be messing around with blade buffing, especially blade buffing with no lather?

If you want to shave without lather, there's a product for that, and it's called Cremo. They still have the old fashioned Barbasol cream in a tube, for that matter. It will give you way more "residual slickness" than an artisan shave soap ever could.

Although not included in the performance rating, Williams also scores poorly on fragrance. The scent is weak and smells like citronella candles. The positive is that it smells better than Arko. For me having soaps that possess a wonderful aroma adds to the luxurous experience of the shave. My top soaps have outstanding performance and outstanding fragrances as well.
If you really had sensitive skin, why wouldn't you prefer a mildly scented product?

Williams is a lemon verbena scent, which is a fine fragrance and certainly isn't comparable to insect repellent. It's an old soliflor style fragrance, but at one time this was common in America and England and was considered better than the French style fragrances that were designed to be sensual and abstract.

Arko smells like traditional Turkish kolonya, the kind of stuff you give to a guest at your home.

I completely understand that many folks do not have the same stringent requirements for a shaving soap that I have. Perhaps you are willing to take 3-4 minutes to load and lather a soap; I am not. Perhaps your beard is thin and your skin is tough such that primary slickness is the only criteria you need in a soap. Perhaps you skin is oily so you do not want the added butters and oils included in artisan soaps. There are millions of people in the world and we all differ. However, if there were not thousands of people who like the same type of soaps that I do, the artisans would not be able to produce and sell them for $5 and up per ounce.
I've never noticed Williams taking appreciably longer to load and lather unless you have a bad shaving brush.

Williams is a mug soap. It's meant to be used every day. "Blooming" is perfectly appropriate if you aren't going to use the soap as intended.
 
Williams is a lemon verbena scent,
Thank you! I almost made that point myself. So few seem to be aware of lemon verbena, which is strange since we seem to know about all kinds of other old things around here. Williams seems to be erroneously compared to citronella quite often.

I wonder if people in 1840 were sitting around talking of their Williams hoping for the day in the 20th century when citronella came into widespread use so they could describe Williams scent or if they just said lemon verbena.
 
Vintage Williams didn't smell like that. I'm also not convinced that Modern Williams is actually a lemon verbena scent. To my nose it smells like a urinal puck or a citronella anti-mosquito candle.

it does lather well though, after you water-board it sufficiently.
 
Vintage Williams didn't smell like that
Based on your use of vintage Williams when it was fresh off the store shelf, or based on vintage you've bought that no longer has much scent of any sort? The reason I ask is the only vintage puck I've ever had smelled musty and a little bit soapy, but lathered great.

it does lather well though, after you water-board it sufficiently.
True. But if used as a daily driver you don't have to water board it.
 
...I wonder if people in 1840 were sitting around talking of their Williams hoping for the day in the 20th century when citronella came into widespread use so they could describe Williams scent or if they just said lemon verbena.
I'd wager they were just trying to get by as well as avoid dying from cholera, smallpox and a host of other infectious diseases as the average life expectancy during this era was 37 in the USA.
 
I'd wager they were just trying to get by as well as avoid dying from cholera, smallpox and a host of other infectious diseases as the average life expectancy during this era was 37 in the USA.
True. The irony is that most of us discussing this would be dead were it 1840.
 
Based on your use of vintage Williams when it was fresh off the store shelf, or based on vintage you've bought that no longer has much scent of any sort?
Based on an older guy on another forum that has used Williams for decades whom I talk to occasionally, who informed me that it used to be close to unscented.
 

GaryTha

Contributor
Today was my 200th shave in a row with Williams. It was also my 46th shave on the same Astra SP blade. High-quality DFS in less than 10 minutes including preparation time and cleanup time. Not everyone in B&B gets a BBS every day.

I prefer to use all mass-produced shaving products because they work just like the industrious people who use them.
 
Williams is a mug soap. It's meant to be used every day. "Blooming" is perfectly appropriate if you aren't going to use the soap as intended.
Precisely. That is why I stated that Williams performs well above its price point. For those who want to use Williams on a daily basis, it works, just not as well IMHO as some of the artisan soaps. I just chose to use a variety of soaps in rotation.
 

GaryTha

Contributor
Precisely. That is why I stated that Williams performs well above its price point. For those who want to use Williams on a daily basis, it works, just not as well IMHO as some of the artisan soaps. I just chose to use a variety of soaps in rotation.
I've gone away from a puck for 30 days. There was no trouble loading the brush after. It's better if the container is covered in this situation.
 
I have and use Williams and Arko, 2 of the cheapest out there. I also have the big jar of MDC. IMO, the MDC is not 10x better than either of the others nor is it 5x better than the Artisan soaps I have. (I am basing this on cost per equal amounts) Do I like MDC, yes. Would I buy it (I won it in a PIF), my answer is a resounding no.

I am not price conscience on anything I buy in any aspect of my life. I am value conscience. There is no value in MDC over an equal amount of Williams or Arko to me when they all perform well for me. If the MDC gave me an extremely increased value and performance then, yes, I would keep it in regular stock in my den. It doesn’t so I don’t.

I do like the mid range Artisan soaps I have but it’s primarily for the scents as the performance is on par with all of the others.

No one should make assumptions about someones reasonings for their opinions nor should they tout theirs as the right one. Agreeing to disagree is often more difficult than just disagreeing.

Everyone’s input is valuable when taken in the context of the presentation and their reasoning behind it.


AoM; B.O.S.S.;Knight of the Veg Table;MFR2019
 

Toothpick

Moderator
One Warning To Those Posting Here:

If you have made your point in reference to the OP then consider it made and move on. If you have something to add to the OP’s point please share it. Otherwise there is no need to camp out in the thread debating each other.
 
While I enjoy both artisans and traditional soap makers, I lean more toward traditional (tallow or veg base) mostly because I prefer a hard puck. And some bias that higher volume soap makers should have better quality control.

Using the same soap every day makes it work better, but I like having a variety of scents and hard/medium/soft soaps.
 
whats better .... artisan toilet paper or non artisan toilet paper? same splinters getting you in the same place. And you still gotta apply it manually. So does paying twice as much make it twice as better?
 
While I enjoy both artisans and traditional soap makers, I lean more toward traditional (tallow or veg base) mostly because I prefer a hard puck. And some bias that higher volume soap makers should have better quality control.

Using the same soap every day makes it work better, but I like having a variety of scents and hard/medium/soft soaps.

You do have a point about the consistency of artisan soaps. They are generally produced in small batches. Because they are produced from numerous ingredients, getting exactly the same quality from batch to batch is difficult.

However, you can have the same issue with commercial soaps where the fat used to make the soap can vary from time to time depending upon what is available and cost effective. I have seen ingredient lists that state: can be made with fat a and/or fat b. That certainly does not foster consistency in quality.

I have heard that some soaps are made from recycled fat retrieved from the deep fat frying vats of restaurants. Although that sounds gross, after the recycled fat is purified, it is perfectly safe to use. It just means that there could be variations in the fatty acids included in the soap as restaurants use a variety of oils and fats.
 
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