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Grooming Dept's Newest Soaps, Bases, and Releases

How do you like the Mallard Lavender? Been thinking of ordering it since it's still in stock.
If you like lavender it's one you can skip. Not that great at all. As a soap it's decent, but I have others I like as much or more. I really don't see why so many consider this one of the best soaps ever. It's good, not great imho. Sending $25 to Nancy Boy is better in my opinion. La Toja leaves me with better face feel. Ach Brito Lavenda is a much nicer lavender.
 
These are soft soaps with no preservatives, right? Use them up asap.
That would seem to be somewhat of a risk with as many as some have. $1000 in soap is one thing, but it going bad is quite another. Of course, if you can sit on $1000 worth of soap, it going bad probably isn't going to put you in the poor house either. It makes for amazing shave gluttony shots though.
 

ackvil

Moderator
When I first tried a Grooming Department soap (Magnolia) I noticed that my skin felt very smooth after my shave. I also noticed that the lather was slicker than most other soaps I have used. I later purchased the After the Fire soap. Once again, I noticed how slick the lather was and how great my face felt after the shave. I looked at the ingredients of the soap and saw that it contained many ingredients than other soaps.

I then decided to look at the ingredients of various soap makers. The first thing I saw was that GD soaps seem to have many more ingredients in contrast to classic and other artisan soaps. In addition, GD soaps contain more variety of oils in their soaps.

For example, here is a list of ingredients that Murphy & McNeill Claddagh contains:
  • Stearic Acid, Water, Beef Tallow, Duck Fat, Potassium Hydroxide, Kokum Butter, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Milk, Kaolin Clay, Lanolin, Tocopheral, Fragrance, Tussah Silk
These are the ingredients for DR Harris soaps:
  • Potassium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Linalool, Sodium Chloride, Petrolatum, Palm Kernel Acid, Coumarin, Orthotolyl Biguanide, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 77891
I have never tried a Sterling soap but some folks on B&B seem to like it. So I went to their website and found that these are the ingredients for Sterling's Agar soap:
  • Beef Tallow, Stearic Acid, Distilled Water, Castor Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Vegetable Glycerin, Fragrance Oil, Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Milk, Lanolin, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lactate
Then I examined the ingredients contained in Grooming Department Soaps. What I observed was that the ingredients vary tremendously depending on the soap. I also noticed that some of the GD soaps contain either Peptides or Silk Amino Acids: ingredients contained in my wife's rather expensive facial cream that she uses.

For example, here are the ingredients in the Asinus, the unscented soap.
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Donkey Milk, Potassium Hydroxide, Duck Fat, Lamb Tallow, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Kokum Butter, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Sucrose Cocoate, Fragrance, Safflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Acacia Senegal Gum, Kaolin Clay, Avocado Oil, Mango Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Carnauba Wax, Allantoin, Chamomile Extract, Sea Buckthorn Extract. Flaxseed Oil, Sacha Inchi Extract. Silk Amino Acids and Tocopheryl Acetate.
The ingredients for the Mallard Lavender soap:
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Duck Fat, Castor Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Goat Milk, Meadowfoam Oil, Avocado oil, Fragrance, Silk Peptides, Glycerin, Sunflower Lecithin, Sucrose Cocoate, Xanthan Gum, Betaine, Carnauba wax, Kaolin Clay, Calendula Extract, Sacha Inchi extract, Green Tea Extract, Allantoin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Lactate and Tocopheryl Acetate.
For Janus, the vegan soap:
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Oatmeal Milk, Potassium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Mango Butter, Camelina Oil, Fragrance, Marshmallow Extract, Glycerine, Sunflower Lecithin, Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Larch Arabinogalactan, Glucomannan (Konjac root), Corn Silk Extract, Beta Sitosterol, Kaolin Clay, Sodium hydroxide, Betaine, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Grape Seed Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea Extract and Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).
My conclusion: it's not just beef tallow that seems to make a difference in soaps. Rather, it is the combination of various ingredients that result in the differences.
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Contributor
Ambassador
When I first tried a Grooming Department soap (Magnolia) I noticed that my skin felt very smooth after my shave....My conclusion: it's not just beef tallow that seems to make a difference in soaps. Rather, it is the combination of various ingredients that result in the differences.
Great information. Thank you.
 

ackvil

Moderator
An interesting exercise is to look at both what is included in the various formulations and what is excluded.
 
When I first tried a Grooming Department soap (Magnolia) I noticed that my skin felt very smooth after my shave. I also noticed that the lather was slicker than most other soaps I have used. I later purchased the After the Fire soap. Once again, I noticed how slick the lather was and how great my face felt after the shave. I looked at the ingredients of the soap and saw that it contained many ingredients than other soaps.

I then decided to look at the ingredients of various soap makers. The first thing I saw was that GD soaps seem to have many more ingredients in contrast to classic and other artisan soaps. In addition, GD soaps contain more variety of oils in their soaps.

For example, here is a list of ingredients that Murphy & McNeill Claddagh contains:
  • Stearic Acid, Water, Beef Tallow, Duck Fat, Potassium Hydroxide, Kokum Butter, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Milk, Kaolin Clay, Lanolin, Tocopheral, Fragrance, Tussah Silk
These are the ingredients for DR Harris soaps:
  • Potassium Palmate, Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Aqua, Potassium Palm Kernelate, Glycerin, Parfum, Linalool, Sodium Chloride, Petrolatum, Palm Kernel Acid, Coumarin, Orthotolyl Biguanide, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Pentasodium Pentetate, Tetrasodium EDTA, CI 77891
I have never tried a Sterling soap but some folks on B&B seem to like it. So I went to their website and found that these are the ingredients for Sterling's Agar soap:
  • Beef Tallow, Stearic Acid, Distilled Water, Castor Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Vegetable Glycerin, Fragrance Oil, Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Milk, Lanolin, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lactate
Then I examined the ingredients contained in Grooming Department Soaps. What I observed was that the ingredients vary tremendously depending on the soap. I also noticed that some of the GD soaps contain either Peptides or Silk Amino Acids: ingredients contained in my wife's rather expensive facial cream that she uses.

For example, here are the ingredients in the Asinus, the unscented soap.
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Donkey Milk, Potassium Hydroxide, Duck Fat, Lamb Tallow, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Kokum Butter, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Sucrose Cocoate, Fragrance, Safflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Acacia Senegal Gum, Kaolin Clay, Avocado Oil, Mango Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Carnauba Wax, Allantoin, Chamomile Extract, Sea Buckthorn Extract. Flaxseed Oil, Sacha Inchi Extract. Silk Amino Acids and Tocopheryl Acetate.
The ingredients for the Mallard Lavender soap:
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Duck Fat, Castor Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Mango Butter, Coconut Oil, Goat Milk, Meadowfoam Oil, Avocado oil, Fragrance, Silk Peptides, Glycerin, Sunflower Lecithin, Sucrose Cocoate, Xanthan Gum, Betaine, Carnauba wax, Kaolin Clay, Calendula Extract, Sacha Inchi extract, Green Tea Extract, Allantoin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Lactate and Tocopheryl Acetate.
For Janus, the vegan soap:
  • Aloe Vera Juice, Stearic Acid, Oatmeal Milk, Potassium Hydroxide, Castor Oil, Shea Butter, Cupuacu Butter, Mango Butter, Camelina Oil, Fragrance, Marshmallow Extract, Glycerine, Sunflower Lecithin, Grape Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Larch Arabinogalactan, Glucomannan (Konjac root), Corn Silk Extract, Beta Sitosterol, Kaolin Clay, Sodium hydroxide, Betaine, Allantoin, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Grape Seed Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea Extract and Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).
My conclusion: it's not just beef tallow that seems to make a difference in soaps. Rather, it is the combination of various ingredients that result in the differences.
Very thorough and informative Jim. Please add my thanks to the list.

For me, and I think for many others, the post shave is one of the things that distinguishes GDept soaps from many others. My GDept post-shave routing is simple:
  • Paint my face with leftover lather and let it sit for a minute or two while I tidy up.
  • Wipe off the lather, rinse with minimal but sufficient water, and allow the water air dry if time permits. All those skin goodies in the soap are then left on your skin. :) BTW, Mohammad (the proprietor of GDept) recommends this procedure.
  • Use an astringent if necessary.
  • Apply fragrance.
I sometimes use an aftershave for fun, but not to improve my skin's health.
 
I think something in it is not to my liking. When it's on my face, I feel that I want to get the shave done, so I can get it off my face. After a couple of minutes, it feels like soap that has been on too long. Because of that, I rinse very well after the shave to get it all off. Then I'm fine and the face feel is ok. It leaves me just fine and not dried out. Reading the label, it looks like it would be great stuff and apparently is for many though not all. For me, my La Toja feels much better on the face and much better post shave as well.

Paint my face with leftover lather and let it sit for a minute or two while I tidy up.
I can see that, if the soap is amenable to your skin. I've actually lathered and washed my face with La Toja during the day because I like the face feel so much. I tend to have oily skin in the summer with the heat and humidity we get here so whatever the salts are in La Toja, they are very much to my liking.
 
All I know is that for someone that sells a 4oz tub of soap that within 2 weeks or so shrinks to about 3-3.5oz and costs about 40-60% more than other soaps just seems like a rip off to me!! I don't care how good it seems to most, if on average the soap loses 20% of the content without me using is just spells "Rip Off" and I don't care how you try to spin it...it still spells "Rip Off"!! It can have all the water in the world, if it loses 20% of its content in the 1st week without me using it I would feel used!! Why is it my Stirling at just over half the cost doesn't shrink like GD soaps do? It has water in it also!!
 
I havnt had any of my soap shrink to 3oz in the first week, so not really sure where you got that. Water evaporates, his just had a higher content of water. You add water back and it’s the same amount of soap, no matter how much you wanna think it’s a rip off. There are several different types of soap production methods. Different curing times, different ingredients. Not all soaps are the same. His soaps use a lot of ingredients that have water and other liquids in them, as the soap ages, some of that liquid evaporates, the soap cures more, and shrinks slightly and forms a harder puck.

If you don’t like the soap, fine, that’s you prerogative. Many people love it and don’t think they are being “ripped off” and gladly support a one man shop. That VERY small, fairly new, operation is one reason it costs more. A larger and more established business can charge less because they produce more and have their process down. Oh, and the GD soaps actually would cost about $6 less if the shipping wasn’t included in the price. Also, does Stirling use Essential oils and absolutes? Or do they use synthetic oils for their scents? That can make a huge difference in price as well.
 
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All I know is that for someone that sells a 4oz tub of soap that within 2 weeks or so shrinks to about 3-3.5oz and costs about 40-60% more than other soaps just seems like a rip off to me!! I don't care how good it seems to most, if on average the soap loses 20% of the content without me using is just spells "Rip Off" and I don't care how you try to spin it...it still spells "Rip Off"!! It can have all the water in the world, if it loses 20% of its content in the 1st week without me using it I would feel used!! Why is it my Stirling at just over half the cost doesn't shrink like GD soaps do? It has water in it also!!
you complain, loudly and repeatedly, in pretty much every thread I see you in.

chill out, please.

it's hard for me to tell if shaving is your hobby or 98.73% of your personal identity.
 
I had that happen with one of the GD soaps, came down to me having a reaction to the amount of scent oils. Let it air out for about a week and haven't had a problem since.
I can certainly try that. I know I have no problem with lavender oils in general and that is why I bought this variation. I like lavender. There are a lot of oils in this and I'm sure they are all good, but just as one's skin cannot tolerate certain creations from the laboratory, the same can happen with certain creations from nature. I would bet money it's not the lavender oil that is my problem here. But I'm also leery of trying other creations since lots of oils in one are present in the others as well. I did have a patch test years ago and came up allergic to parabens which ironically is a preservative that was widely used because most were NOT allergic to it. Since then other concerns about parabens have developed.
 
If you don’t like the soap, fine, that’s you prerogative. Many people love it and don’t think they are being “ripped off” and gladly support a one man shop. That VERY small, fairly new, operation is one reason it costs more. A larger and more established business can charge less because they produce more and have their process down. Oh, and the GD soaps actually would cost about $6 less if the shipping wasn’t included in the price. Also, does Stirling use Essential oils and absolutes? Or do they use synthetic oils for their scents? That can make a huge difference in price as well.
Personally I've never tried anything by GD and have nothing against them except that it seems that I see more than enough posts about curing and shrinkage problems and that coupled with price is what keeps me from even trying them. If I buy a soap and 2 weeks later 20% of it just disappears from not even using it I would feel cheated plain and simple, and that "IS" my prerogative, right?

If memory serves me correctly, Rod also started basically as a 1 man show and had growing pains along the way but I don't think he's had some the problems mentioned in this thread though... He does use essential oils in some of his soaps and there are some of the same ingredients that GD uses, yet the 6 tubs I have in my cabinet, and a couple are over 2 yrs old, have never shrank at all and that was the only point I was really trying to make. So now I will step away from your little piece of heaven here and let you be!!
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Contributor
Ambassador
Personally I've never tried anything by GD and have nothing against them except that it seems that I see more than enough posts about curing and shrinkage problems and that coupled with price is what keeps me from even trying them. If I buy a soap and 2 weeks later 20% of it just disappears from not even using it I would feel cheated plain and simple, and that "IS" my prerogative, right?

If memory serves me correctly, Rod also started basically as a 1 man show and had growing pains along the way but I don't think he's had some the problems mentioned in this thread though... He does use essential oils in some of his soaps and there are some of the same ingredients that GD uses, yet the 6 tubs I have in my cabinet, and a couple are over 2 yrs old, have never shrank at all and that was the only point I was really trying to make. So now I will step away from your little piece of heaven here and let you be!!
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...When it's on my face, I feel that I want to get the shave done, so I can get it off my face. After a couple of minutes, it feels like soap that has been on too long. Because of that, I rinse very well after the shave to get it all off.
Tallow and Steel gave me the same feeling, only if I left it on to long or didn't rinse it completely though. However, I haven't experienced that feeling with GD.

Everyone's skin is different
 
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