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DR Harris Marlborough soap, lather issues?

Anyone ever have problems loading and lathering Marlborough into anything useful? I've tried many times using every method I know and all I get is a foamy, airy mess with no lubrication. Fendrihan naturally won't take it back because I tried it. It's funny because I also bought the Lavender and that one loads and lathers fine, just like the Sandalwood. I'm using a synthetic brush that works beautifully with all other soaps.
I've reached out to DR Harris to see what they say but I wanted to see if anyone here had found the same thing.
 
Marlborough was one of the first hard soaps I ever used, along with TOBS Sandalwood, and I was never able to achieve a decent lather with either. I speak as someone who cares little about lather quality as long as I can shave with it; I certainly have no interest in thick, yogurt style lather. I ended up using both as shower soap. I have used many, mainly vintage, hard soaps since then with no problem and perhaps my lathering technique was lacking with the Marlborough as it was one of my first hard soaps. That said, I will never again buy a modern hard soap from any of the so called luxury English brands.
 
Mine lathers great. Synthetic brush, mostly wrung dry, maybe 10-12 swirls clockwise, followed by as many counter-clockwise, then straight to the chops. Lasts for two passes, plus plenty in the brush for touchups.
 
This soap works best at a thick creamy consistency. It looses slickness if you drown it. Try more product and less water. The tallow DR Harris base is an excellent soap when you get the water ratio right. You might try a stiffer brush to aid with picking up more product.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
This soap works best at a thick creamy consistency. It looses slickness if you drown it. Try more product and less water. The tallow DR Harris base is an excellent soap when you get the water ratio right. You might try a stiffer brush to aid with picking up more product.

We may have vastly different water coming from our respective taps, but I MUCH prefer a thinner lather for my shaves, and the Harris soap gave me all the slickness I could want, despite the typically meagre load I used, and high hydration.
 
We may have vastly different water coming from our respective taps, but I MUCH prefer a thinner lather for my shaves, and the Harris soap gave me all the slickness I could want, despite the typically meagre load I used, and high hydration.
That’s true. My tap water is very soft. You need to play around with your own conditions. Blade coatings also come into play. I’ve found that different soaps sometimes require a different approach. They can have very different consistencies at optimal hydration.

SMN took me a while to figure out. It’s amazingly slick but the lather is quite runny. For a long time that was a pain as it continuously dripped down the handle of my straight razor. The solution was a thinner application. Now it works great. A dense short lofted badger is perfect for laying down the thin layer that SMN works best with.

My DR Harris lather is more resistant to running.
 
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Mine lathers great. Synthetic brush, mostly wrung dry, maybe 10-12 swirls clockwise, followed by as many counter-clockwise, then straight to the chops. Lasts for two passes, plus plenty in the brush for touchups.
Wow, really?? That's it? If I wrung out mine and did 12 swirls in each direction I'd be swiping a completely dry brush on a completely dry puck.
This soap works best at a thick creamy consistency. It looses slickness if you drown it. Try more product and less water. The tallow DR Harris base is an excellent soap when you get the water ratio right. You might try a stiffer brush to aid with picking up more product.
I'm having trouble getting that thick creamy consistency. No hard water here so I don't quite get it. Also, the Lavender lathers perfectly. Don't know why they'd be different.
 
No issues here. I have all the DRH soaps ex-windsor and they all lather up fantastically.

Rich, creamy, slick lather and easy to generate.
 
DR Harris (as far as I’m concerned) hard soaps require a healthy loading. A soppy wet badger or synth I load for a solid 30 seconds to get a good lather.

These and Mitchell’s Wool Fat require the same approach for me, load it like it’s your mother-in-law!
 
never any issue with my DRH Marlborough!
as above advice, load heavy, not too much water, lather like hell on your whiskers.
ultimately you'll be rewarded with great lather and super shave!

dr harris marlborough omega thiers issard may 17 2021.jpg
 
I also get the light airy froth when I first start loading up my wettish boar brush from a D R Harris puck. It probably doesn't help that I have it in rotation so it dries out completely between uses. But I just keep loading heavy and then scoop it all out and put it on my face and work it up adding water as I go. It doesn't take long before it all comes together and produces a very good lather. D R Harris isn't as easy to work with as say the old tallow Tabac but it's still a very good soap.
 
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You can try the old "use the puck like a shave stick" trick. DR Harris puts the same soap in their shave sticks, so it works pretty well that way.
 
DR Harris is one of my favorite and most consistent soaps. What i do
is bloom that soap with very, very hot water. I take a quick shower
and when I come out I pour that bloom water into a small ramekin.
Then I load the brush heavily (50+ swirls easily). I bowl lather, so I start
working the soap from the brush in the bowl using a series of swirls and
back and forth strokes. Then, i gradually add in the bloom water. As the bloom
water cools, it gels to the consistency of liquid soap. The lather just explodes
in the bowl when I add the gel-like bloom water. Slick, creamy, yogurt goodness.

Love the DR Harris scents as well, especially Windsor.
 
I can get this much lather in about 30 seconds, even with extremely hard tap water. Just use shaving cream rather than soap and make sure the water is hot.

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Mine lathers up well. I bought it about 3 years ago and am just now getting it into rotation. Thought it might be an issue lathering because we moved and we are on well water now. A bit on the hard side. I like it, just which the scent was stronger. Supposed to smell woodsy, cedar, sandalwood, but it smells more like tobacco to me.
 
I like it, just which the scent was stronger. Supposed to smell woodsy, cedar, sandalwood, but it smells more like tobacco to me.

Lots of people experience cedar as smelling like burned tobacco, or worse, an ashtray. I get that in the very top of the dry down, but then it leans more towards the "milled lumber" or "pencil shavings" type of woodsy scent.

If you want better performance, I can highly recommend the matching Marlborough Cologne. It is terrific.
 
Lots of people experience cedar as smelling like burned tobacco, or worse, an ashtray. I get that in the very top of the dry down, but then it leans more towards the "milled lumber" or "pencil shavings" type of woodsy scent.

If you want better performance, I can highly recommend the matching Marlborough Cologne. It is terrific.
Thanks. That makes me feel better about my scenes of smell. LOL! I'm glad you mentioned "pencil shavings" because I was smelling that as well after a while and was questioning my sanity. I've been looking at the cologne and aftershave. They are proud of both. I'll probably pull the trigger on the cologne. I like the scents to last.
 
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