What's new

From Africa - Up with the best! (Review)

While I usually buy soaps in the US and UK while traveling, Covid has - for obvious reasons - prevented me from enjoying my hobby. So, it was with an equal amount of excitement and trepidation that a new range of local (South African) soaps came to my attention. Since I am more than familiar with Stirling, B&M, Declaration Grooming (DG), Grooming Department (GD), Wholly Kaw, MWF, Tabac, MdC, Cella et al, I was certainly sceptical if a home-grown soap would stack up amongst the best. I ordered two soaps from what seems like a growing collection of options and was eager to try.

I love a more bitter citrus (orange) scent as I was swayed by the Master Soap Creations Orange & Cedarwood option. But, I had to buy blindly and take the word from the soap manufacturer, Fernando, that this was a scent that may appeal. I am always reluctant to buy blindly having been disappointed before with uninspiring scents! Once the soap arrived, I immediately took the initial sniff. This fragrance could well have been customised for me - it was that appealing! Just the right amount of woodiness came through alongside the very recognisable orange notes - not sweet and not too bitter. A really wonderful scent experience for my tastes.

So, onto the shave which occurred the next day. For me, the way to test a new product is to shave with a slightly worn blade and a two or three-day stubble. it's a tough test and will expose the flaws of many products! The brush was a RazoRock Plissoft 26mm Big Bruce which is always guaranteed to make the best of any soap - especially those like this one which comes in a large diameter tub. Since this was a soap with no prior reviews or forum discussion, there was no help in dialling in. I was on my own all the way! So, I did what I normally do, just bloom very lightly for a few minutes and then take the brush to the soap directly in the tub to make a face lather.

I loaded relatively lightly for about 20 seconds and the results are in the pictures. A fantastic rich, creamy and yoghurt-like lather emerged. In fact, I rarely get this from many of the other brands I had mentioned without some element of previous experience. This worked right off the bat. The lather was exceptional. It had gloopy peaks and the rich tallow content created an amazing smooth sticky skin mask-like coating for my face. From a lather perspective, this was exceptional. The soap hugged my face and there was absolutely no dissipation of lather as sometimes experienced even with top brands. The scent level remained above average for the duration of the shave - to my absolute delight. My wife commented that the scent was still lingering in the bathroom well after my shave!

Now to the performance itself. All I can say is that this product is more than competitive with most of the better artisans I have tried. it's simply excellent. My three-day growth was no match for the super glide that this lather allowed on my face. It provided a very close and smooth shave. Indeed, I always like to test for residual slickness and it was there in abundance. Look, I would certainly argue that a Tabac or MdC offers a tad more slickness, but given this is an affordable soap (in South African currency) and produced in early batches, it is simply an amazing product. I would also argue that while a DG or GD soap produces a more moisturising post-shave feel, this product is hardly no slouch! It's right up there amongst the best even if a post-shave splash or balm may be required (to individual taste). I found the shave exceeded all expectations on just about every aspect deemed important to myself and shavers alike. Importantly, I experienced absolutely no skin irritation - significant since it was a three-day growth that had to be mowed away!

In summary, this is a soap that would get a 5-star rating from me. When combining value, performance and scent, it's a winner. It is packed in a quality container with attractive labelling too. And, it requires no learning curve! Highly recommended!

For those looking at the pictures, the second picture is immediately after the initial 20 second load and the third picture is the excess lather for the second pass (and after painting on the face for the second time)!






IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3580.JPG IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3580.JPG IMG_3582.JPG IMG_3583.JPG IMG_3580.JPG IMG_3582.JPG
 
Last edited:
Thanks for the review - my good friend who’s also in Canada like myself has a bunch of these soaps and he loves them all.

Rick


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Thanks for posting, any chance you could take a picture of the ingredients list?
I can send you an ingredient list for one of their other soaps i have, absolutely fantastic soap, the ingredients should be roughly the same.

Sent from my Redmi S2 using Tapatalk
 
Top Bottom