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Elysian Cocoa Orange Truffle Shaving Soap review

I haven't seen a review of this soap, so I thought I'd get the ball rolling. (Those who have also tried the soap, please feel free to add your own reviews.)

TL;DR: Good artisan shaving soap, but there are better values (including among artisan soaps).

I got a 4oz tin of the soap from Pasteur Pharmacy* as an unsolicited free sample when I made a purchase previously. Pasteur regularly sells the soap for $22.00 for a 4oz tin. On the lid of the tin, the ingredients are listed as follows:

Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Stearic Acid, Grass Fed Beef Tallow, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Glycerin, Tussah Silk, Kaolin Clay, Essential Oil, Fragrance.

The Elysian website (Cocoa Orange Truffle Shaving Soap, Tallow, Shea Butter, Silk, Kaolin Clay, Small Batch, Men's Shaving Cream, 4 oz | Elysian Soap Shop - https://www.elysiansoapshop.com/product/cocoa-orange-truffle-shaving-soap-tallow-shea-butter-silk-kaolin-clay-small-batch-men-s-shaving-cream-4-oz/15?si=true) describes its soap as follows:

"The goal was to create a shaving soap from the most simple high quality ingredients that also has tons of creamy, stable lather. We specifically created a well balanced formula designed for all skin types (Normal, Oily, or Sensitive Skin) with no artificial colors, no Parabens, no Sodium Lauryl Sulfates, or Phthalates. Our soaps are made in small batches with only the finest ingredients.

Used for centuries as a natural skincare product, Grass Fed Tallow is a collagen-rich skin plumping moisturizer. The fatty acids in Tallow make it extremely compatible with our own skin, and it will not clog your pores. Tallow is naturally vitamin rich, packed full of vitamins A, D, E and K, giving your skin all the nutrients it needs to replenish itself. Shea Butter has skin soothing properties that make it ideal for a shaving soap. High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins give Shea Butter excellent anti-inflammatory and healing properties for little nicks and razor burns. Coconut Oil reduces wound healing times, and also has superior antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties to prevent break outs. Glycerin is a soothing skin softener. Silk and Kaolin Clay give the soap "slip" to help your razor glide, and leave your face feeling moisturized and silky smooth post shave."

When I first received my tin of Elysian Cocoa Orange Truffle shaving soap, I opened the tin to take a quick peek and a test sniff. The soap is a light brown color. It looks like it was poured into a gold colored gold aluminum tin, where it hardened.

In fact, the soap is pretty hard. It's not milled, but neither is it a croap, like Proraso. It's just a little less firm than Barrister and Mann's Excelsior Base but still firmer than Ariana & Evans's Kaizen base, Captain's Choice, Henri et Victoria, and many of my other artisan soaps.

The soap smelled delicious and it's chocolate heavy. The scent reminds me a bit of the chocolate orange candies** wrapped in orange aluminum foil I had as a kid. After that though, I recapped the soap and it's been sitting in my cupboard until last night's shave.

For the shave, I used my nickel Fatip Grande with a Wizamet Super Iridium on its seventh or eighth shave. I used my presoaked and squeezed dry cherry Semogue Owner's Club finest badger brush to whip up a lather in my Captain's Choice Cobalt Seaworthy lather bowl.

I scooped about half an almond sized amount of the Elysian Cocoa Orange Truffle soap from the tin and soaked it in some warm water in my lather bowl while I showered. After I finished showering, I poured the soak water into an empty cup then began whipping the soap in my lather bowl. I gradually poured some of the soak water into my lather bowl while whipping my brush across the soap inside and eventually reached a thick creamy lather.

I applied some of the soak water on my face then lathered up with my brush for the first (WTG) pass. The pass went well. The lather was cushiony and decently slick. It wasn't super slick, but it was slick enough to prevent my razor from dragging. Additionally, it was fairly cushiony so as to provide a little bit of extra protection. I completed the pass by rinsing my razor and wiping off the residual shaving soap.

In doing so, I noticed that there really wasn't much of any residual slickness. I also noticed that my facial hair had been reduced to a CCS-. To this point, my shave was easily socially acceptable, provided no one ran his/her hand against the grain on my face. Even the , there would only be some slight tugging/resistance from facial hair.

I splashed my face with some more soak water and then used my brush to apply some more lather. (The lather in the bowl had not dried out nor died down in the interim.) I then started my second pass (ATG). This pass also went well. Again, the lather proved to be of decent cushion and slickness. Sitting idle in my lather bowl had not affected its performance. I finished my pass with some minor buffing of my usual trouble areas. The lack of residual slickness meant I had to apply just a little bit of lather to these areas.

After rinsing the remaining lather off my face, I applied an alum block to my face. There was a bit of noticeable tingling, where I had (over)buffed. While I am to blame for overbuffing, I suspect that a slicker lather may have helped reduce (or even prevent) irritation.

While waiting for the alum to dry, I rinsed my lather bowl and cleaned my brush and razor. Once everything was cleaned and dried, I washed the alum off my face and applied some Captain's Choice Nor'easter aftershave splash. The scent of the soap had washed away entirely when I rinsed off the soap. There was no conflicting scents between the shave soap and the aftershave.

I think the soap is decent, but I would've preferred it if the lather were a little slicker, especially if there were just a bit more residual slickness. Still, it makes a cushiony and protective lather. However, for $22, there are better (artisan) soaps out there.

Based on this experience, I give the soap a solid B (Captain's Choice Venture gets an A from me). It's a good soap. My face felt pretty good after the shave. But I've definitely experienced some soaps that provided better shaves.

*As many others have already written about the excellent customer service at Pasteur Pharmacy, I won't go into detail. But suffice it to say that I am a satisfied customer of theirs and highly recommend them.

**They were the size of an orange and had to be broken in order to get precut slices of the chocolate orange.




"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
That review was very well written. Thank you for taking the time....

Do you think it will be more to your liking the next time you use it?
That review was very well written. Thank you for taking the time....

Do you think it will be more to your liking the next time you use it?
Thanks for the kind words!

It's not that I don't like the soap, but I have other soaps I like much better (including many less expensive soaps). If I only could only use this soap for the rest of my life, I'd be just fine. That said, I'd need to find a way to increase the lather's slickness to make my shaves a little more enjoyable. Keep in mind, that review was based off just one use. Maybe I didn't dial in the amount of water needed to make the lather perfect just yet. But with the chocolate scent, I'll probably wait until the weather cools off a bit, first. 🙂
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