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Grooming Department - a newbie's experience

Although I've been wet shaving for decades, I only started using a brush a year ago, and I started trying soaps beyond Proraso more recently than that.

As I explored I saw references to Grooming Department, almost always with a level of controversy - out of stock, orders delayed in shipping, etc. Since I don't need more stress in my life, and I was finding other great soaps, I didn't even bother to go to the GD web site.

This lasted until a couple weeks ago, when I was reading yet another thread with a lot of grumping about GD business and wondered, "Why do they all care so much?" Curious, I finally went to groomingdept.com, and to my surprise saw there were half a dozen soaps available - true, lots of others were out of stock, but tallow "Magnolia and Oud" sounded good. On an impulse - as a test, really - I ordered it. I got a prompt email confirming my order, a day or so later I got an email saying my order had been shipped, and a few days after that (USPS California to Pittsburgh) it was in my mailbox.

And it's a really, really good soap. I went back and ordered beef and duck "After the Fire," and the experience was the same - drama-free purchase of an outstanding soap.

So, to other soap newbies: My experience shows there's no reason to be intimidated by Grooming Department. I'm by no means denying some have experienced issues with GD's business model, and in the future maybe I will too - I'm kind of addicted - but I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the option because they were scared off.

(However, GD pucks don't fit in my medicine cabinet... :( But they do provide great brush-loading area. :) Life is full of trade-offs.)

Happy shaving,
Tim
 

shavefan

I’m not a fan
I received mine today, priority mail in 3 days, with email/tracking updates from GD along the way. No issues at all.
 
Although I've been wet shaving for decades, I only started using a brush a year ago, and I started trying soaps beyond Proraso more recently than that.

As I explored I saw references to Grooming Department, almost always with a level of controversy - out of stock, orders delayed in shipping, etc. Since I don't need more stress in my life, and I was finding other great soaps, I didn't even bother to go to the GD web site.

This lasted until a couple weeks ago, when I was reading yet another thread with a lot of grumping about GD business and wondered, "Why do they all care so much?" Curious, I finally went to groomingdept.com, and to my surprise saw there were half a dozen soaps available - true, lots of others were out of stock, but tallow "Magnolia and Oud" sounded good. On an impulse - as a test, really - I ordered it. I got a prompt email confirming my order, a day or so later I got an email saying my order had been shipped, and a few days after that (USPS California to Pittsburgh) it was in my mailbox.

And it's a really, really good soap. I went back and ordered beef and duck "After the Fire," and the experience was the same - drama-free purchase of an outstanding soap.

So, to other soap newbies: My experience shows there's no reason to be intimidated by Grooming Department. I'm by no means denying some have experienced issues with GD's business model, and in the future maybe I will too - I'm kind of addicted - but I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the option because they were scared off.

(However, GD pucks don't fit in my medicine cabinet... :( But they do provide great brush-loading area. :) Life is full of trade-offs.)

Happy shaving,
Tim

How did you like the Magnolia Oud? I'm intrigued. I love the smell of Magnolia flowers but don't like rose scented things on myself personally. I'm wondering how floral that soap is. Thanks for the update about Grooming Dept. I like you had pretty much decided I didn't need the drama in my life.

--Badlander13
 
I have the previous Magnolia and it's one of my favourite soaps. I like the notes of Magnolia and Oud separately. Can't imagine them together, but I'm not Mohammad!
 
Mo has really been working on getting the shipping issues solved. He hired help a month or so back and they bailed on him. That was part of the issues with the delay.

He’s been able to get some better help over the past few weeks and since then things seems to be humming along nicely.

His new formulas are currently #1 for me. It’s almost not possible to add enough water to them.
 
How did you like the Magnolia Oud?

Insert strong disclaimer here: I'm not very cultured with regard to scents. My discernment doesn't really go beyond pleasant vs not, and masculine vs feminine. I was a little worried this would be suitable for my Great Aunt Effie, but it's not; I think the oud balances the magnolia in that regard. My wife smelled the puck and said something like, "I guess you're confident in your masculinity" - but she didn't have the same reaction to smelling it on me, just saying that it's pleasant.

Also it seems to rinse pretty clean, so the residual scent isn't strong. My brush seems to rinse out more easily than WK did, for example. Somebody wrote that GD clogged their drain and that's a surprise to me (maybe a different base), because I think it's pretty soluble.
 
I got Chypre Vert today and did a test lather. Seems pretty darn nice. Very thick, thirsty lather and a pleasant herbal/floral scent. I have Tao on the way.
 
I tried quite a few Mohammad's soaps and as of today my two favorite are the Aether and the Chypre Vert. Unfortunately the Aether was not produced since, but hopefully Mohammad will decide to make it again.
 
Great soaps for sure. Just wish more of the scents resonated with me. If they did, I would be selling everything else and just use GD. Hopefully others can experience a soap at some point.
 
Nice soap good performance. I tried one after all the threads. Personally the scents were a little too strong and the base too soft. Lots of guys like this just not my cuppa.


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Had a shave with Incense and Rose just a bit ago and it's a phenomenal scent. Probably my favorite of the bunch I've had the opportunity to sniff.
 
I've used four different GD soaps. They may be out there somewhere, but I haven't found any that work better for me. Great soaps!
 
Well, I finally got the chance to shave with my first GD soap last night. After the Fire is really hard to describe. To me, not that much of a barbershop scent. I like the scent, don't love it. But.... the shave itself was incredible. I couldn't believe how easy it was to lather and how shiny the lather was. I didn't really want to believe the hype, nor do I strive to be someone who is chasing releases. It seems though that GD is getting larger capacity with the proof being the last release being on his website as well as west coast shaving.
 
I have tried a few GD soaps by now. Here are my favorites in order:

1. Kulfi (Amazing Scent and Cushion, coconut and cardamon)
2. Island in the Sun (Wrigley's Spearmint and Citrus, nice)
3. Verbrannt (Nice resin and pine, not overly smoky, don't be put off by label)
4. After the Fire (Lime forward with lite smoke, awesome)
5. Chypre Conifere (Cologne like scent, nice)
6. Before the Fire (Lime forward barbershop, easy to like)
7. Chypre Vert (Peachy, orange and floral jasmine, green)
8. Naranja de Sangre (Orange and Leather? works well, who would of guessed?)
9. Elan (Very strong juniper, 10 on scent scale, keeper)
10. Magnolia and Oud (OK but traded it)
11. Kolnisch (Like the lime but unpleasant lingering scent, traded it)
12. Sandalwood Fig Musk (Yuck! Buttery sweet cloying, Traded it)
13. Rose and Incense (Rose is too fem for a macho guy like me, traded ;-)

Funny how everyone enjoys different scents and has different reactions!
 
A shave buddy & I both bought some of the latest formulation and the scents are simply awful. As well, although a good soap it did not strike me as anything spectacular and lacked in slickness. Far better are A&E, DG Icarus base & any B&M soaps.
 
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