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First tallow...what should I get?

Well fellas, I'm ready purchase my first tallow based soap and wanted see what myriad of opinions I could find.

I'm not keen on rose, lavender or lime though.

Hit me!
I'd highly recommend you consider either Mike's Natural Soaps or Mystic Water. Mike's Orange/Cedar/Black Pepper has an incredible scent (if you want to feel like Florida just exploded in your den). I also have his pine & cedar, which is like standing in a forest while you shave. Michelle's Mystic Water Marakesh is a very complex patchouli scented soap and her Lily of the Valley gets great reviews!
My friend William has made some fine suggestions for you, I always recommend that you try AOS in any of the flavors. This is a soap that will spoil you for life.
What is the deal with tallow? I recently started using Arko, which I hear is tallow based, but what is tallow (just rendered animal fat?) and why do folks give it such high praise?
What soap, aside from the Cella that will already be in your shopping cart?

I highly recommend the DR Harris line of soaps; in Arlington or Marlborough, since it appears that you are not interested in floral scents.
Mike's Naturals Orange, or Arko. Great prices and Mike is a great guy to deal with. Oh yeah, they're great soaps, which doesn't hurt!
What is the deal with tallow? I recently started using Arko, which I hear is tallow based, but what is tallow (just rendered animal fat?) and why do folks give it such high praise?

Soaps are made by a chemical reaction with a fat. Tallow is beef fat. Soap can be made with other fats and often is today with various vegetable derived fats - vegetable oils. Lots of people think tallow derived shaving soaps produce thicker and slicker lather. Particularly, the majority opinion has been that soaps reformulated away from tallow have generally been worse afterwards. Whether that's intrinsic to vegetable soaps or the result of poor reformulations is open to debate.

To the OP, lots of great suggestions already. AOS is great and you may be able to buy it locally. Mike's, QCS and Razorock are as good as anything I've tried. Cella and Mitchells Wool Fat are great too although MWF has a soft lavender scent. For me, I'd go Mike's or QCS, great soaps, great scents, great customer service and small vendors. But Razorock is very good too.. and Cella is a classic...
The two soaps that have been the standard that all others have been compared to seems to be Tabac and Mitchell's Wool Fat (MWF). In terms of Italian Soft Soaps then I would say Cella, followed by Vitos. For Artisan shave soaps with Tallow look to RazoRocks Artisan shave soaps such as Boston Tea Party (Green Tea fragrance) or Third Eye (Sandalwood fragrance), also check out http://wwwqueencharlottesoaps.com they have many fragrances to choose from and they make some of the best shave soaps and cream both containing tallow. Last is the Shave Sticks and based upon your fragrance preference I will not even suggest Arko, but I would say look at Palmolive Shave Stick, Speick, and Valobra. Buying a few different shave sticks could be the best option as they are lower price, and you can try several different ones for about the price of one shave soap or cream.
I haven't been able to make up my mind what MWF smells like. To me it just smells like soap, very nice soap, but just soap.
Tabac will serve you well my friend. As mentioned previously, it is what I judge all other soaps against. The scent is hit or miss for some but I think it is classic and über manly! Plus you could lather it with your eyes closed.

Mystic Water is really great too. You can get a ton of generous sized samples for a very reasonable price. Thier lavender is actually my favorite. But they have a Lot of other great flavors too. Good luck choosing one, but eventually you will end up with them all
I'm with Tom. Might as well start with the standards that all at one point get compared to - tabac or mitchels wool fat.
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